Thursday 14 Feb 2002

"Sometimes it's a bitch, sometimes it's a breeze." - Stevie Nicks

I don't really hate the day, come to think of it...I just resent it mildly. See, it reminds me of relationships that could/should have been, at least from where I'm standing. When I'm alone on Valentine's Day, I tend to reflect on the evils of womankind...the game-playing, the lying, the best intentions that somehow go wrong, and so on. Following are six case studies from among the women I've known; some of these I present as evidence, others as examples of the good side of women. All of these have helped me, though, because I like to learn from other people, whether they're doing things right or making a mess.

Woman #1 has it all: a good job, cute, smart, great personality, sharp dresser. The problem is, she's afraid to commit. She wants to keep hunting so she can find the perfect guy, and in the process, she's dated some real losers. If she'd just pull the trigger instead of stalling, maybe she could finally be genuinely happy for a change. Instead, she's perpetually depressed and without direction.

Woman #2 is married, young, strikingly attractive, and European. This means that she wants certain qualities in a man, things that she claims American men don't have. This is only an issue because she cheats on her husband - their marriage is an unhappy one. She has no other vices (doesn't drink, doesn't smoke, doesn't like wild parties) but she does sleep around. She's stated that she wants a faithful, caring man who will make her the top priority in his life - but in the same breath, she's admitted that she isn't willing to give the same loyalty in return. In short, she wants it all without having to give anything. This is a shame, because under her inflexible set of rules, she's never going to be happy.

Woman #3 is a good friend of mine, someone I have become very close with but never met in person. She lives overseas, a transplanted American, and lately, things have all gone badly for her. For a year, she's talked about being unhappy and escaping, but recently I've come to realize something: she's never going to break free. She's all talk (and flirt) but she takes no action. She's not in control of her own life, and probably never will be. I'm not sure why I still care so much, or even bother to try and give her good advice. Even as friends go, this one's an emotional sinkhole.

Woman #4 was someone I met online, though a friend. We had a lot in common and became quite close, including frequent phone talks and sharing of problems. Then, when the moment of truth came and we met, she became cold and distant. This I can understand, in and of itself, but she didn't handle it in a mature way, instead choosing to simply vanish from my life. It wasn't just me, either - she instantly dropped out of touch with other friends of hers. All we know is that she moved away and quit her job at the same time. I like to think that someday she'll realize what she gave up.

All hope is not lost, though. Woman #5 is one of my best friends, someone I've known for many years, good and bad. We were close before we dated and we've remained close after, contrary to the advice of most of my other friends who don't understand why guys have female friends if they're not chasing them. This woman is probably the closest to an ideal life companion that I will ever find, but she had/has places to go and things to do, and it wasn't meant to be. All that aside, at least she's not stupid with relationships like the above four.

Woman #6 possesses a lot of the things I like in a woman: athletic, fun, cute, intelligent, sassy. She's also married, and happily, to her perfect man, and I wouldn't mess with that if given a golden opportunity. I consider myself lucky to count her as a friend, the same as woman #5 above.

There exists a woman #7, but unlike the above six, this seventh isn't someone who had long-term potential for me. In a sense, most of my ex-girlfriends could be woman #7: fun while it lasted, but no real chemistry or potential.

Anyway, that's my 2002 Valentine's Day rant. I hope you got something out of it. If you yourself have already found that special someone, hats off to you! I sincerely hope it lasts forever and brings you much happiness and fulfillment.