Sunday, July 25, 2010

Kissing Frogs

A dear friend of mine is having a tough time at the moment. She’s going through a divorce, with a man who can only be described as a maniac. The man’s got it all: control freak tendencies, bullying, and is generally an all round unpleasant person. I’ve encountered some drop-kicks in my time, but this one really takes the biscuit. One whiff of her stories and I was back in Leeds in 2003….I’ll leave that one there for the sake of discretion…..

During one of our many alcoholic beverages this weekend, she lamented her stupidity for getting involved with him. Cue cries of derision from the assembled women at the table who did what all good friends do in this situation: regale one another with equally hideous tales of grief about equivalent losers. And some of the stories really were grim. We’re talking smashing up houses/spells in prison/public displays of violence. So the observation is: everyone has a serious drop-kick in their past. Why?

We’re all smart, successful, hilarious (well we think we are) and attractive (after a little more effort than it used to take, it has to be said) women, and yet over the years we’ve made some terrible choices. There’s definitely a pattern in all of them, apart from maniac tendencies: they were all incredibly gregarious men, whose charisma often stemmed from a deep-seated lack of self-esteem. Their egos needed constant massage and attention…which in turn meant they couldn’t keep their dicks in their pants (sorry mum!) amongst many other hideous acts.  We were also all in our twenties when the bulk of this was happening – I could actually cringe when I think of some of the things I ‘put-up with’ way back then, so age plays a part, too.

So what’s a girl to do? You’re not going to choose a shrinking violet (and let’s face it, they’re certainly not going to be able to handle us) and you can’t sacrifice charisma and chemistry just to be on the safe side. There has to be a happy medium. Someone who makes you tingle but doesn’t make you cry on a weekly basis?

Despite the gravity of the conversation we were having, we all agreed that there was. There are some really wonderful men out there who more than cancel out the losers (Dad: stop texting me! ho ho.)

Failing that, if you’re still afloat in a sea of drop-kicks: there’s always the acid test: introduce them to your girlfriends and let their bullshit detectors do the work for you. LC, we’re on standby….

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