Addicted To Special.

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 4.824% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

“All those partners who discarded you? They just didn’t see how beautiful you are. Don’t ever change; some day, the Perfect Man will come across you lying on the floor like an old sock, but the Perfect Man will know who you are! He’ll pick you up out of the garbage and set you on the Special Sock Shelf, and he’ll get a rag filled with special What-An-Amazing-Person-You-Are Polish and shine you until you glow!
“That’s what you should do. Just sit there, on the floor, with a bunch of other discarded socks. Wait patiently for someone to come along and pick you up and make you beautiful.”
Over on FetLife, where relationship advice abounds, you’ll see an essay like that hitting the top of the K&P charts about once a week, racking up over 3,000 “loves” from women who swoon in the comments.  It’s a lovely fairy tale.
Unfortunately, what generally happens is that someone comes along looking for a sock, and realizes he can get a free sock to stick his foot in as long as he tells it it’s special.
The truth is that a lot of the women looking for The Perfect Man have really shitty boundaries. They shrug off a lot of insults, not even registering them as the insults they are, because they don’t speak the hidden language of respect.
They don’t know that “I didn’t tell you I was running late because I was out with the boys” actually translates to “I don’t give a shit about your time.” They don’t know that “I’ll introduce you to my friends some day” means “I don’t want to be seen with you.” They don’t know that this version of “We’ll see” means “No.”
And because they don’t speak the language that needs to be spoken, they think that other bullshit, easily-given gestures mean something.
They don’t know that it can be an actor’s trick to look meaningfully into someone’s eyes and go “You’re the only one for me.” They don’t know that “someone who cares about my pleasure in bed” is not in fact the sign of True Love but, in fact, the bare minimum you should require of anyone you’re sleeping with. They don’t know that the monetary expenditure of buying a dinner is nothing compared to the emotional expenditure of taking you to a picnic where their family is.
And what happens is that these women are so thirsting to be told that they’re special that they batten upon these tiny trinkets of affection as proof that they are The One, and ZOMG THIS IS WONDERFUL and they talk in flowery terms about how they’ve found the Perfect Man…
Whereas what’s really happening is that a guy’s figured out that he can use them for a while if he says some sweet things.
And he can use them because they need someone else to tell them they’re special. In many cases, they’ve been purposely crippled emotionally by dysfunctional families, families who quietly erased their ability to ask for things they needed so these folks could better serve their awful desires. They have been turned into mummies, bound by a need Not To Make A Fuss, waiting quietly until someone comes along and digs them out of their tomb.
As such, I think these Perfect Man fantasies are amplifying a toxic need that can’t be fulfilled.
You wanna be special? Learn how to act like you’re special. A truly special person would get furious when some asshole wasted her time. A truly special person would get suspicious when her boyfriend didn’t want to be seen with her in public. And a truly special person would go, “Wait, this is fucking important to me, you’re not blowing me off with a ‘We’ll see.'”
A truly special person would dump an asshole when he wasn’t providing the real meat and potatoes of respect, and giving her little Pixie Sticks of affection here and there.
(Mind you, I like Pixie Sticks. You don’t wanna live on a steady diet of ’em, though.)
And above all, a Truly Special person would rather be alone than to settle for someone else’s half-assed affection.
Truth is, you’re not special until you make yourself special. Most of the really amazing goddamned women I know have such a good sense of self-esteem that they have an anti-asshole shield in place – the assholes stay away because they’ll reject people who aren’t up to par.
(And they also do some self-analysis to figure out the parts of them that genuinely aren’t that special – like a reliance on psychodrama over discussion – and do their best to wear those edges down. The Perfect Man also has an asshole shield in place, and while a Perfect Man can handle a few bumps in a relationship, he’s not going to date someone who’s so unrestrained that she thinks it’s his job to be her emotional backstop.)
So if you wanna be special? Stop fucking waiting. Value yourself like the treasure you are. Learn to speak the language of true respect. Learn to see what things can be given easily, so you can know when someone’s given you something of value.
When you demand a man who’s better, you’ll find – well, not a Perfect Man, but you’ll find someone who shows you his adoration in ways that actually strengthen your life.
Seriously. Change a little. Because you’re better than being someone’s dirty laundry.

2 Comments

  1. Mishell Baker
    Jul 21, 2015

    I’m reminded of the most strangely useful advice ever given by an idiot in a dumb sitcom: “When I’m sad, I stop being sad and be awesome instead.” It’s amazing how many of our problems can be significantly reduced by simply BEING the person we want someone else to tell us we are.

  2. Dawn
    Jul 21, 2015

    Wow… of all the days, this was the day I needed this. <3

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