My parents show their love by spending money on me. As a child, I appreciated this. As a teenager, I resented it. As a struggling actress, I’ve returned to appreciation. I need new underwear once a year and my mother has finally gotten comfortable buying me thongs.
So when my folks come to town, a shopping spree inevitably takes place. The spree often goes bust, as my “pickiness” leaves me empty handed…with the exception of a handful of new thongs. (I am less picky with my panties.)
I drive my mother crazy every time.
Through gritted teeth. “I’m buying it for you, so just take it.”
“I appreciate that, Mom. It’s an okay shirt. But I don’t love it. And I don’t see the point in getting a shirt I don’t love.” My voice is steady. The speech, redundant.
She waves the shirt much too close to my face. “Wear it around the house! Something is better than nothing!”
Come on, Amy. She’s old. Just accept the shirt and say, ‘thank you.’
Instead I say, “I would rather go topless.”
Hey…at least I got my thongs.
My pickiness has always shadowed my love life. People tell me…and her and him and us…that it is wrong to be so picky. Women have replaced The Rules with books like, Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough.
Seriously, my loves? We want to spend the rest of our lives with Mr. or Mrs. Good Enough?
Some—it seems the majority these days—will answer with an enthusiastic, “Yes! After all, what’s a picky person’s destiny?”
“Loneliness,” they say.
I call bullshit.
I have a right to my pickiness because I’m not afraid of being alone for the rest of my life. I would rather spend my days with me, myself and I, than with a person who doesn’t move me…physically, spiritually and mentally.
There are some people who aren’t picky. Who don’t care what face they wake up to in the morning, as long as they wake up with a face – any face. I envy these people. God bless ‘em. But their priorities are different from mine.
The people who piss on picky probably set family and kids high. They don’t have time to be picky—or so they’ve heard—because a family should be started at a moderately youngish age. Perhaps they value money more than I do. They’re smarter there for sure. Maybe they don’t feel as entitled?
I really do think I deserve everything I want.
Or maybe they just got lucky. They’ve found their mate and have either forgotten they didn’t have to settle, or forgotten they did. They want everyone to be as happy (or as miserable) as they are so they dole out advice to people who don’t need it.
If you’d just get to know him…
- You could build a relationship based on friendship
- You might have a lot in common
- He could grow on you
- You’ll be happy. I mean come on, you don’t look like Megan Fox
- You’re getting older…take what you can get
- You might be pleasantly surprised
- Free meals anyone?
Truths for the masses, but not for me. My evenings may not be filled with dinner dates, but my life is no longer filled with substandard men. I know what I want when I see it…scratch that…feel it…and I will wait a week, a month, a lifetime.
“But you can’t possibly know,” people say, always with exasperation. If only Amy listened. “You have to give guys a chance.”
My answer is patient. “You may not know, but my experience is different.”
How can I be so sure?
I always know when something is not right for me, but sometimes I do it (or him) anyway.
I’ve tried on the wrong men, men I knew I would never fall in love with, because I thought I should. They look good on paper. Everyone else thinks they’re hot. Who do I think I am? They’re great! Right?
Yes, they were and they are, but they weren’t right for me, and I knew that the moment I saw them hanging on the rack.
I feel it…deep in the pit of my stomach.
I was in the 6th grade the first time I felt it. Benji (a fairly cute, well-liked boy) called and asked if I would “go steady with him.” I said “yes,” but only because I didn’t want to hurt his feelings.
I puked when I got off the phone and then spent the night sobbing hysterically. You see…I didn’t want Benji. I didn’t want to hold his hand. I didn’t want to nuzzle up against him. I certainly didn’t want his chapped lips touching mine. My mother told me I wasn’t ready for a boyfriend.
“Yes I am!” I screamed passionately. (I had been ready for love since the fourth grade. Madonna had prepared me well.) It just wasn’t supposed to be with Benji. The vomit didn’t stop until I called the next morning and broke it off.
My gut has been just as verbal ever since. I have ignored it and there have been many more Benjis; some have lasted as long as 2 years. The nausea eventually subsides—they actually do grow on me…sort of like stretch marks. And while I have never fallen in love with any of my Benjis, some tender feelings have developed; but never the type of love that makes a “we.” Benjis are the type of love bred of loneliness, a love that leaves you fighting for “me.”
That might be okay, if I didn’t know what it was like to be in love enough to love for two. In love enough to be exceptional.
And if I’m going to love again…it’s going to be of the extra-ordinary kind.
So call me picky all you want, but I’m not going to give a guy a chance if the thought of his tongue in my mouth makes me want to vomit. And I’m not just talking about the less-than-GQ-handsome guys. Beautiful, smart, funny, together men sometimes make me feel like vomiting.
Nausea is a wonderful barometer that warns me away from many messy distractions.
Several years after we broke up, an ex-boyfriend, and now dear friend, said to me, “I know I’ll never need to worry about you, because I know you’ll never settle.”
Damn right. I will never settle. I may be alone, and I may be topless, but I will be vomit-free and I will know I have followed what was right for me.