« Previous | Main

The Axis Of Snivel

I was planning a spa weekend with my girlfriends, and my boyfriend of four months wanted to come. I offered to plan a romantic spa getaway for just us, but he insisted I not go to the trouble; he’d simply join my girlfriends and me. I explained it was an all-girls weekend, and girls talk about different things when guys aren’t around. He just lost it. He said there shouldn't be anything I tell the girls that I couldn't tell him. He accused me of not trusting him, broke down sobbing, and stormed out. He hasn’t returned my calls since. I think he’s being ridiculous, but he’s been fantastic until now, and I don't want to lose him.


Wait, is he a man, or a 4-year-old who lost his mommy in the bread aisle? “MOMMEEEE! DONNN’T LEEEEAVE MEEEEE!"

The great thing about not having given birth to him is that you can leave him. And you probably would -- if he hadn’t been “fantastic until now.” Yes, until now, when he refused to accept that a fundamental element of the “girls’ weekend out” is the “girls.” In other words, if you have a penis, a prostate, and a five-o’clock shadow, don’t come.

If only he were just stupid. Stupid people can be taught. Just ask authors making a mint reaching out to them by name: Hey, Moron! Imbecile! Dummy! Want to lose your virginity before you’re too old to get an erection? Check out “Dating For Men With The Brains Of A Philodendron.” Your boyfriend, unfortunately, is purposely stupid -- and unpersuaded by your tutorial on what an all-girls weekend entails: in some small part, going away for a weekend to talk about him. This becomes awkward if he’s right there in a pink robe and a matching “I’m pretty!”-embroidered pink turban, sharing PMS horror stories while plucking your best friend’s eyebrows.

The guy’s at least smart enough to couch his stupidity in the language of love: “You can tell me anything!” -- as if love is cause for issuing somebody an all-access pass to your head. Yes, and “Wither thou goest, I will go!” Perhaps this sounds romantic, especially with all the whither and thithering. Basically, what it proposes is a relationship modeled on a persistent fungal infection: “Hey, baby, I’ll be all over you at all times like an itchy rash!” This isn’t a sign that two people love each other but that one is so much of a missing person that he can’t be left alone, not even for a weekend.

The last thing you need is a guy who can’t live without you. A better idea is one who can, but would rather not. You won’t find a guy like that gathering up his hoop skirts and storming out of the building, sobbing about being excluded from your bikini wax festival. No, he’ll be too busy thanking his lucky stars and planning his night out making man-grunts with the boys.

Ditch the “fantastic except…” logic that women so often use in hopes of hanging onto an ultimately unacceptable man: “He’s fantastic except…well, except for those bodies under the sun porch, and the way he stretches out my bras when he wears them under his business suits.” Or, in your case, he’s “fantastic except…” when you double date with your best girlfriend. You and she excuse yourselves to the ladies room, and he sheepishly pulls out a lipstick and says to the other guy as he’s running off to join you, “I just can’t get comfortable using the dinner table as a vanity.”

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry:


Comments have been moved here, due to an error in which I nearly deleted an entry after I duplicated a post. Sorry about that! -Amy
You know, Amy, I've given this some thought, and I actually blame the entertainment industry -- particularly popular music -- for a lot of the problems in relationships. Just like daytime television glamorizes sex, popular music glamorizes dysfunctional relationships. Emotional dependent is actually the way to be, and heartbreak is the state we should all aspire to.

Consider some of the themes behind popular music. We have Michael Bolton, for instance, caterwauling How am I supposed to live without you, now that I've been lovin' you for so long? "Romantic," his fans might say. I say "sickening." A good answer to this question might be "the way you did before you met her."

The song describes her as having met someone and she's going off with him. Yet, Bolton describes this two-timing ho as all that I've been living for. Good God, man, get a spine! Salvage some dignity and tell this tramp to go to hell. Wishing her luck and saying good-bye might be better, but either one is preferable to emotional blackmail, which is what this protest boils down to.

How about Toni Braxton, who wants a man who walked out the door and walked out of my life to un-break my heart?

Yet every drag queen worth her salt insisted on performing this godawful song!

If your romantic partner has told you that it's over and walked out on you, the LAST thing you need is for him to come back a few minutes, or even a few days later, and say, "You know what? I was wrong. Let's do this again."

Gary Morris, the original artist of "Wind Beneath My Wings" before Bette Midler took off with it, tells his love I would be nothing without you. Really? What is she? A woman or God, who can capriciously create and recreate you ex nihilo?

The music industry needs fewer performers without a self and more Gloria Gaynors, who recognize that while she went through a point where she kept thinkin' I could never live without you by my side, but came to understand I will survive and told this loser who did me wrong to go on, now! Go! Walk out the door. Just turn around now, cause you're not welcome any more!

I bet this emotional dependent who wrote to you has every Michael Bolton album ever made and listens to the soundtrack to "Les Miserables" every day of his life.

Posted by: Patrick at April 3, 2006 04:46 AM
There's a book about the kind of love that's actually lovesickness -- Love and Limerence -- by Dorothy Tennov.

I don't blame the media. It's usually issues of self-worth, looking for (not love) but self-worth in all the wrong places.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at April 3, 2006 07:19 AM
every breath you take
every step you make
i'll be watching you!

is that the police, phil collins style?
or just the police?

either way it creeps me out

Posted by: g*mart at April 3, 2006 01:36 PM
There are lot of songs about co-dependent saps because we've all been there before - it's a universal subject.

Posted by: Todd Fletcher at April 3, 2006 04:33 PM
Praise Bob!

"Look for a partner who COULD live without you, but prefers not to."

That should be right there in like 9th or 10th grade curriculum and drummed home in the manner of "Just Say No".

Not sure if it would work any better than the "anti-drug use" message, but at least we made it real clear so they can't whine later by playing an endless loop of the Sad Songs noted in above comments.

Posted by: SteveHeath at April 3, 2006 06:35 PM
g*mart writes

every breath you take
every step you make
i'll be watching you!

is that the police, phil collins style?
or just the police?

either way it creeps me out

That's The Police. And if you think that's creepy, check out these lyrics...

I put into Nashville, Tennessee,
But you wouldn't even come around to see me.

Is it just me, or shouldn't that be telling him something?

And since your headin' up to Carolina, You know I'm gonna be right there behind you

Now, this should be telling us something about him...like he needs a restraining order on him! I mean, how romantic. He's stalking her.

And as if that weren't creepy enough, the song's title is "Steal My Kisses," since the chorus is simply "Always have to steal my kisses from you."

Ugh! Creepy! Would you want to be with someone who kept "stealing kisses"? Ewww. Get off me, you perv!

Posted by: Patrick at April 3, 2006 09:42 PM

Posted by: Amy Alkon at April 5, 2006 03:37 AM

Urk! It's "Whither"! Flog your assistant immediately!

Posted by: Radwaste at April 5, 2006 02:59 PM

Post a comment

Remember Me?