Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Why "settle" is not a dirty word

Alright, so obviously I totally dropped the ball on reporting about my diet on a daily basis. Given my post history, I should’ve known that I wasn’t going to follow-through with that! Before I go into today’s post, let me give a brief update about the new eating plan. So far, I’ve lost a grand total of 11 lbs, and I’m going into my fourth week on this program. I’m VERY pleased with the results and I’m looking forward to taking off a few more plans before I transition into a more normal eating pattern.

Right now, I’m eating roughly every two and a half hours, which averages out to about six times per day. Before I started this plan, I would’ve NEVER thought I could eat six times per day. I mean, I like to eat just as much as the next fluffy chick, but… six times per day is A LOT! My meals are so tiny, though, that six times is just right, and even though my meals are small, I’m never hungry because as soon as my stomach starts to rumble, it’s time to eat again. Hallelujah! I even managed to stay on this plan while I was out of town (my cousin passed away and my dad and I flew to his hometown for the funeral). I always, ALWAYS gain weight whenever I’m away from home, but this time, I lost a few pounds! Amazing!

Anyway, I plan to stick to this plan for a few more weeks because I’d like to lose at least another 10 lbs. I’m shooting for a grand total of 30, but I don’t know if I’m going to use this plan to lose all of it. I’m currently researching other options and might transition to something else before the month is over. We’ll see! I know that some people might advise me to stick to what I’m doing since it’s working for me. Why fix what ain’t broke, right? But, at the same time, I think the reason a lot of people end up cheating on diet plans is because they get bored. And this plan doesn’t leave me with a lot of options on a daily basis. I could see how one day I might just be like “Fck it!” and eat an entire pepperoni pizza. And that would just be sad! So, maybe it’s better to just find another diet plan that’s equally as good and go from there.

In any case, I’ll keep you posted about my progress and I’ll share information about the next plan I decide to try out.

Now… without further ado, let’s move on to today’s topic.

“Some people are settling down, some people are settling, and some people refuse to settle for anything less than butterflies.” – “Carrie Bradshaw”, Sex and the City

When did “settling” become a dirty word? I mean honestly, if you tell a woman she’s “settling”, it’s like you’ve called her a btch or something. It’s just become a nasty term and I’m not sure why.

The quote above (in bold) is a quote from my favorite TV character of all time, the ultra-fab Carrie Bradshaw from my favorite show, Sex and the City. And I totally understand where she was coming from with it. I mean, sure, I’ve dated guys that were only given the time of day because I was completely bored and needed something to do to occupy my time until the next Mr. Right came along. And, then, I’ve had those experiences where I date someone and immediately there are sparks (a.k.a. “butterflies”).

Admittedly, the butterflies are the better feeling (duh!), but Lord knows that those damn butterflies are elusive. They are RARE and it takes the perfect combination of a lot of factors to be all cosmically aligned before they make an appearance.

And what do you do if those butterflies are misleading. What if you meet someone, feel butterflies, and it’s obvious that the feeling is not mutual. That happens, too, and it SUCKS! Or, what happens if you meet someone, feel butterflies, he feels ‘em too, but sooner than later the butterflies fade? You went with your gut and your gut lead you in the wrong direction? You’re left alone with the memories of the butterflies and not much else.

Anyway, so I’m stuck in a predicament. Saturday night, I went out with my friend Teresa from law school, and I met two guys. Sparks flew with one of them… like, they were popping all over the place and even Teresa noticed. The other guy? Ehhh… not so much. But he was perfectly fine! He is a nice guy, respectable job, normal looking, pleasant smile, kind and courteous. The other guy is just… dreamy! I don’t use that adjective often, but… it’s true! He’s got all the things I’m looking for. He was smart, funny, kind, great career, etc., plus he was super-cute in a quirky sort of way (the guys that I’m most attracted to aren’t really “traditionally” cute). I liked him right off the bat for no particular reason at all. And he was so charming! We spent the evening, laughing and giggling, and while the other people around us were talking, we made faces at each other across the table.

So, here’s the thing… even though sparks flew between me and Prince Charming, he didn’t ask me for my number and I left without getting his. The next day, I took matters into my own hands and decided to let cyberspace bring us together. I immediately logged-in to Facebook, found his profile and sent a friend request with a short note reminding him of who I am. That was Sunday. Today is Wednesday and I still haven’t been confirmed as a friend. (Brown Girl Note: I swear that FB has changed up the entire way the dating game is played!)

Now, there are a lot of reasons why he might not have responded to my request. Maybe he’s not as stuck to FB as I am and logged in this week. If he has logged in, maybe he just hasn’t looked at his friend requests yet. Or, maybe… he’s just not as into me as I was into him.


Mr. Right Now called me Monday evening. He was very nice… nothing to complain about, but there definitely weren’t any sparks flying. He wants to hang out this weekend and I’m going to meet up with him and give him a chance. After all, personality matters most, and maybe after getting to know him, sparks will fly. But I’m still disappointed that I’ve been put on “ignore” by Prince Charming.

So, anyway, I told my girlfriend Monica that I’ve decided to go out with Mr. Right Now and she scolded me!

“Brown Girl, you’re settling! That is so upsetting… you’re better than that,” she said.

“Huh? Settling? Look, I’m not gonna stalk Prince Charming. There’s no point. I threw the pass and now he can either fumble or score. The ball’s outta my hands now.”

Monica let out a big sigh. “I just hate to see my girlfriends settle. I mean, it’s not like you could get somebody you actually like. Why go out with someone you’re not really interested in?”

“He’s fine! Nothing is wrong with him. No, I’m not crazy about him, but I wouldn’t say I’m ‘settling’. And, besides, what’s so wrong with settling anyway?”

Now, don’t crucify me for saying that, but in all honesty, I really do find it confusing as to why the settling thing is such a big deal. Obviously, everybody wants to fall madly in love with someone with the hopes of having that person be equally as mad about you. But, how often does that REALLY happen? When I was a kid, my dad told me to “like those who like you”. And, my Godmother told me that “In a relationship, there’s always a person who loves more than the other. Make sure you’re the one receiving the extra love and not the one giving it.” I’d never put much stock into either of these two pieces of advice. Why would I? I was young, and idealistic, and still had crushes that drove me to distraction.

These days I’m different. Some might call me cynical, or jaded. I’d say that the better word for all this is “realist”. The truth is that my Godmother is probably right. There are definitely people who are in lopsided relationships, and why not be the one to come out on top instead of being the one who is constantly getting kicked in the stomach by love?

In 2008, an article called “Marry Him!” was published in the Atlantic. The author basically said that women have two choices – either to be alone, or settle for someone who will marry them. And she argued that, really, there’s nothing horrible about settling for someone who loves you. She also said that she was tired of married people patronizing her about the fact that she was still single. And while her position was radical, controversial, and completely extreme… she made a whole hell of a lot of sense!

Anyway, the second it was published, it met a shitstorm of controversy. Women were emailing the article to friends, and posting it on blogs, and talking shit about the author and her position on the issue. But in reality, I think the article hit home for a lot of women. I mean, nobody WANTS to settle, but we’ve also got to recognize that women have been fed a line of bullsht about how we’re all princesses, and that one day Prince Charming is coming along to save the day. But when it’s time to fight the dragon and get rescued from the ivory tower, what if Prince Charming never shows up. Or, what if Mr. Right Now shows up before he gets there and does an adequate job of taking me away from alla dis here? Should I tell Mr. Right Now to keep it moving and stay locked in the tower until Prince Charming finally decides to show up (if he even shows up at all!)? I should think not!

But honestly, the most profound part of this particular article (in my opinion) is when the author says that many times we marry the person that we’re absolutely crazy about… but how do we know they’re not just “settling” for us?

That’s a rather UN “settling” thought, isn’t it?

If I decided to heed Carrie's advice, and wait until the butterflies show up again, I might be waiting forever! And besides, sometimes the butterflies are a little off schedule and show up when you least expect them. I'm not desperate for a man, but I'm definitely interested in dating one again some day! Whether women want to admit it or not, that is a priority for most of us. Let's be real with ourselves and others... everybody wants companionship. Nobody sets out in this cold, cruel world, intending to be alone...

So, I’ve given up on Prince Charming. Sure, it’s only been three days, but with communication being nearly instantaneous these days, I doubt he wants to connect… we definitely would have by now! And that’s fine.

Despite Monica’s tongue-lashing, I’m going to go out with Mr. Right Now and I plan on having a good time. Nobody is saying that I’m going to marry him (that’s certainly not in my plans), or even that he WANTS to marry me in the first place. After all, Mr. Right Now is a kind and decent guy (from what I can tell) who wants to spend time with me. And that’s what I need in my life… Right Now. ;)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with everything you said, and with the woman's controversial article. Women are fed BS about how we will all meet this perfect man and we are all going to live happily ever after. It's BS, even for couples who had that at the start. A marriage takes hard work, and is not easy. So you are better to find someone who wants to work hard with you, than someone who makes you feel wiggly inside.