Sometimes I try to make sense of my persistent single status. Is it my “annoying perfectionism” perhaps? Or maybe it’s my insistence on “seeing things as they should be instead of how they are.” Or it might be my refusal to “accept infidelity as a natural predilection” of all men. Maybe it’s my unwillingness to “surrender all control” to a man.¹ Surely a good part of it is due to my “emotional retardation,” but we can’t disregard my nefarious “hidden agenda” or ignore my “failure at quid pro quo.” Oh, and then there is the fact that I expect to experience some level of pleasure during sex and my obvious need to deal with my “death wish.”²
It’s really no wonder I’m single. I’m not saying all my ex-boyfriends judged me accurately, but they haven’t all been entirely wrong, either. I’m far from an ideal girlfriend, but that would be because I’m an actual human woman and not a fantasy character or a porn star.
I no longer need to wonder. All has been revealed by the helpful folks at Everything is Terrible! in convenient video form.
Why didn’t anyone tell me before? While it’s true that I’ve written about using books to deal with men, crazy fool that I am, I was using those books to keep the men away! And why haven’t I ever thought of wearing sports jerseys when I have no interest in any particular sports team? Or spilling my drink on some poor, unsuspecting schlub so I can get his number? This video is clearly going to change my life. (I’m whispering right now. Are you leaning closer to hear me? Come on, you know you are!)
The bigger surprise for me was discovering just how many places online I can find someone — almost always a man — telling women all the ways we need to change ourselves so that we’ll be attractive to men. There’s Arkady, a guy who calls himself a dating guru. He’s pretty young for a guru in my opinion, but what do I know? He’s got a whole slew of vids and a blog to help all of us poor, lonely ladies mold ourselves into a woman men want to be with. Oh, and then there’s Rob, the “Trainsexy” jackass man and his videos teaching women all the ways we move our bodies that make us unattractive … and, of course, how to fix that mess so that men will find us sexy. He uses his interest in ‘training’ us as a convenient excuse for walking around filming women’s asses everywhere he goes. (Can you tell how much I’m loving Rob?)
To be fair, there are plenty of tips out there for men, too. Arkady might even have more videos for men than he does for women. But there is no comfort for me in knowing that there are just as many how-to-be-attractive videos on YouTube for men as for women. This is all pretty sad and scary.
Rob’s video is maybe the most interesting of all the ones I watched. It has certainly stayed with me the longest. Thanks to Rob, I now find myself obsessed with watching how women walk. (This isn’t entirely a bad thing, as women’s bodies are always more interesting than men’s, but it’s a bit embarrassing to get caught staring!) I’ve seen plenty of women with that side to side ‘monkey walk’ he describes. I think it’s pretty interesting, however, that the one woman he says has a great walk is filmed from the side so that we can’t actually see how she’s moving. Clever, that. It keeps the ideal elusive, so we still need Rob to show us how it’s done, so we can never be quite certain we’re getting it right.
In my unscientific observation, I’ve seen plenty of women with excellent hip-sway, however. There seems to be no shortage of ladies who know exactly how to get the full range of motion out of their pelvises. But there is definitely no shortage of men who turn and look at women with the ‘wrong’ walk. Sorry, Rob: men look. They turn and watch a woman walk down the street no matter how she walks. Maybe they really do like the hip-swing walk best, but they seem happy with any walk at all.
(I’m making fun of Rob, sure, but I find that he has had an ill effect on me. I can’t figure out what kind of walk I have, and it’s driving me crazy! I have no desire to make men turn and watch me as I walk down the street, but I can’t shake the curiosity.)
Of course, none of this leaves me any closer to understanding my party-of-one status. It’s hardly the end of the world, but neither is it ideal. Too, it’s certainly not nice for me to be thinking about any of this when I haven’t really brought things to a full and final close with AC. And maybe that lingering open door is the real problem. As long as I can’t let go of him and he doesn’t let go of me, the swing of my hips, being able to make sports small talk, whether I’m bold enough to hit on shy men … none of it matters at all.
¹ His words (yeah, maybe one day I’ll write about that). All quoted assessments are direct from the dissatisfied lips of paramours past.
² You know, because I’m fat and fat people have a death wish.