One, two, three, four. These are the guys I have messaging me at the moment. One is a long-term friend with occasional six-whiskey-deep-when-the-full-moon-strikes-benefits. Two is cool, but is currently far away in Moscow, providing daydream material for daydreams of a Great Escape. Three and four, who are more unsaved numbers in my phone than actual identifiable human beings, are guys I’m not really interested in, but text back and forth with, just because.
Just because what? Just because I enjoy texting random half-strangers updates about my day? Not really. Just because I think that, one day, some miracle will happen and will make me view them in a new light? Most likely not. While no shrink has been consulted on this grave issue, I have a secret suspicion that the real reason I may be keeping this mini Raya army around is because I’m nurturing some underlying insecurity with constant male attention.
“It’s because you are single,” thou may (kindly) say. Hmm. You see, last summer, I wasn’t single. I was seeing somebody; we may not have been officially exclusive, but it was definitely exclusive to me, in my heart. One fine Sunday, somebody named “Ben Tinder” texted me. Two hours later, “Ben Tinder” texted me again, because I had responded to his initial message. The guy I was seeing saw both texts. I’m not going to say that Ben Tinder is what broke us – there were many obstacles there – but it definitely did not score me any points. Did I mention that Ben Tinder was chubby and balding? But I answered him anyway, just because.
I wouldn’t touch Ben Tinder with a ten-foot pole, the same one I wouldn’t soil by touching the two gentlemen behind the ambiguous 917 numbers in my phone. But yet, I message them back, for no other reason, other than to have somebody to chat with when I’m feeling down, or lonely, or when I see people on social media having a better time than me and I need to remind myself: ‘Hey, don’t worry, you’ll be ok!’ To sum it up, I use these guys as a crutch to waddle through my own swamp of problems, to lean on when that occasional shitstorm of my own doubts and insecurities rolls in, threatening to engulf me whole. And that’s not a good look. I also think that its hypocritical, not to mention downright pathetic, for somebody who laments about the ethos of being single as much as I do, to seek constant validation from men, like those “freedom of self-expression” fashion bloggers incessantly counting the likes on their photos. Which leads me back to square one: Why are we chasing all of this anyway, all the empty ‘likes’ and empty friends and empty texts and empty dates? Probably because we don’t particularly like ourselves enough, that’s why. (See? I passed Psych 101!)
Instead of looking for Band-Aids, or crutches, or any other quick-fixes that I can make pharmaceutical analogies for, maybe we should try getting to the root of the problem and fixing what’s broken? I won’t protract this confessional, but I’m pretty certain that most of us are self-aware enough to know the real reasons we occasionally feel like shit and take it out in self-destructive ways – at least I am. So let’s either work on fixing these reasons, or just work on living with who we are and making this person the best they can be. After all, as we learned from Ajiri Aki last week, loving yourself is key; the rest comes later.
That said, I’m liquidating three and four. One and two can stay.