Friday, November 19, 2010

Casanova: Not A Comic Book Reference This Time

I start an weekend adventure tonight (Walk through a European city at midnight I've never seen before to get to a hotel I've never heard of? It saves me $20!) , so I lined up a guest post. Say hello to my good friend, Emmy Dee.

I was in love once. His name was Tyler Lawson and he had blue eyes and dirty blond hair that he gelled in the front a la N’SYNC. Unfortunately for me, he was spit-your-slushie-out-on-the-playground cool, and there were plenty girls far more eligible then I was. Tyler was a certified seventh grade bad boy, dating first one uber-popular girl then another. Finally, he dumped them all so that he could shamelessly hook up with anyone he wanted (To this day, I wonder if the rumors of sex on the soccer field were true.) For me though, Tyler was just the start of my Casanova crushes.

In high school there was Ethan, who broke my heart and acquiesced to be my prom anyway. Then, when I was a senior, there was the one good guy that came into my life for years. He was perfect, captain of the football team and ranked in the top ten of the class; we went for endless walks and he talked about how he wanted to save Ecuadorian orphans (no really, I can’t make this shit up.) I had practically planned out the wedding in my daydreams, until one of my best friends broke up with her boyfriend and pounced. I’ve never been much of a pouncer myself, so I went off to college glumly resolved to live out my own version of “Never Been Kissed.”

When I arrived at college something extraordinary happened. Guys started noticing me. More then that, guys started HITTING on me. Woah. Heartbroken as I was over The Last Good Guy, I decided that I had what it took to play the field. I was a fucking idiot. It’s not that I don’t have game, I can flip my hair and stick my boobs out as good as the next girl, It’s that I way underestimated what guys will do to get what they want. In short, I met the Ultimate Bad Boy, and stupidly I fell for him. He was charming and suave and I have to say, an amazing kisser (Sorry, Drew Barrymore.) He talked about kids and dogs and Obama and I fell further and further into infatuation. But he, like Tyler Lawson, wasn’t happy with just one girl’s attention; and he knew how to keep all of us coming back for more. Inevitably the truth of the situation was revealed; In the end I was the other woman, the legitimate girl had spent the year broadening her cultural horizons in France.

I spent the ensuing months listening to hours upon hours of Taylor Swift and A Fine Frenzy; watching with savage pleasure as blond haired blue-eyed boys died in various crime shows. Even though I had known for almost the entire affair that he was bad for me, I had still let myself slip into infatuation. There was something inexplicably exhilarating about caring for someone who was a little dangerous and who treated me with flippant disregard. I wanted him more because he didn’t need me; I was sure that I could prove to him that I was the one girl who was worth it.

It would be easy to blame my delusions on pop culture and the media, I suppose. Too many romantic comedies end with the asshole-jerk realizing that he had it all wrong and presenting the heroine with dozens of roses and a ring. I could blame these movies, except that I know that I’m smarter then that. I knew what I was getting myself into, I’m not (generally) an airheaded ditz who really believes in this stuff (somewhere, my friends are scoffing in disagreement.)

So why is it that intelligent girls like myself perpetually fall for the “bad boy,” the one person who is sure to hurt them? I suppose it all comes down to this: Every girl wants to be THE ONE. We all need someone to confirm that we’re worth it, even while we’re being taken advantage of, hurt, and insulted. A good friend of mine put it like this: “The bad boys are like the perfect storms of genetics sent from wherever to make good girls turn into raving lunatics.” The more abusive the guy, the more I want to prove that I am the girl that he will change for.

Beyond wanting to feel the self-validation of being wanted, there is just something about edgy guys that is downright sexy. Confidence. In order to be a “bad boy,” you need to believe that you have power. By dominating the situation these men create an aura of success, even if inwardly they’re insecure (and believe me, in my experience they mostly are.) Personally, I like to feel protected, men who display confidence and power appeal to that part of me. I know-it’s 2010 and I shouldn’t WANT to be protected by a man. Blame my tween years spent reading Jane Austen and other period romantic novels. It doesn’t matter how much I strive to be the modern independent woman, in the end I want someone who could save me if I needed saving. Nice guys just don’t seem like they’re up for the job.

I saw the Ultimate Bad Boy out a few weekends back. I was at a bar and it was homecoming so it was packed. He was there. We walked within two feet of each other. We pretended not to know each other. Two years ago this would have killed me, now things have changed. I have someone new in my life, someone who loves me and treats me with care and respect. And I love him too. So, instead of spending the rest of that night crying or texting or slinking back with him to his apartment, I stayed out with my friends and danced. When I finally went home I slid into bed with the person I love and I feel asleep. Finally, it seems I have found someone who makes all the bad experiences and spiteful people fade away...

And yes, he’s a little bit of a bad boy.

“Almost Lover” (A Fine Frenzy) became my anthem the spring that I had my heart broken by my college infatuation. Everything about her pleading, soulful voice defined how I felt. This is what I was silently screaming at him. To this day I can’t listen to this song without smelling the sweaty dust of the all-boys floor that he lived on. Someday, I have promised myself, I will ask him. Did I make it that easy/to walk right in and out of my life?

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