Dating for Dummies (By Which I Mean Me) – Knights on White Horses

Darling, you were wrong about me being too interesting for you.

I have discovered that I am actually a very boring person.

Or at least, I must be.

We have previously discussed the types of men to whom I find myself attracted.  It was not the nicest thing I have ever written, but it was not untrue.

Please know that I do not hate men.  I have had; do have really wonderful relationships with them.  I have been in love with three men, all three of whom (I think) view me as a complete person — physically, mentally, emotionally — and as much as I (may have) occasionally dislike(d) them, I truly believe they (still) love me for who I am.

So it’s not that I don’t like dudes.  Or that I don’t respect them.  I just haven’t quite sorted out what I’m doing here.

Darling, it has been ten years since I met you.  Ten years since we drove around Georgetown in my old car singing songs; since we played tennis on the Hilltop.

Ten years can be a lifetime.

The thing I have discovered about men is that many of them have idealised views on women, and thus they are perpetually disappointed.  Spoiler alert: Women are not always interesting, or delicate, or feminine.  Sometimes, we are boring and gross.

I, for one, have a horrible habit of accidentally burying workout clothes in the hamper and allowing them to fester.  I leave wet towels on the floor and the bed.  Sometimes, if no one is coming over, I don’t bother keeping up with the battle against dog hair.

And I’m locked in a fight with a silent, ugly disease, which is sometimes…disgusting.

In sum, I am a woman who is going to get old; I am a person who has some pairs of shoes that smell absolutely awful.  I am occasionally clever and smart, but often gross, and definitely human.

I am boring.  Sometimes even…forgettable.

Darling, I sat at dinner on New Year’s Eve, thousands of miles away, and the band’s first song was that silly pop song — the one the photographer set our wedding slide-show to because I never gave her a song for the album. Did you ever listen to it?  Do you remember?

Tell me you haven’t forgotten.

But what I realised in trying to justify my own boringness to a series of guys who want their women to be Just So was that I had been trying to put men into certain buckets as well; dress them up as knights on white horses.

I recalled a line from a song I love — a song sung in a scene from White Christmas — where Rosemary Clooney and Bing Crosby share their first kiss.  She says something about knights on white horses, and he says something about being careful about putting men up there, because knights in white horses are likely to slip off.

Being conscious of that now, I look at the “successful” relationships I’ve had; that I have, and it occurs to me that I view(ed) those men as fallible humans — not knights on white horses.

Darling, I want; I want; I want.  I want a Jaguar; I want to go to China; I want; I want; I want…

Relationships of any kind, I am discovering, are about respect.  Respecting oneself in whatever form that takes — how it morphs and moves and helps one find happiness.  Respecting one’s partner; one’s friends.

It is easy to admire a white knight.  But you can’t see his face.  You can’t get through the chain mail, and the breastplate.  And when challenged, he’s either victorious, or likely to slip off his noble steed.  Respecting him is much harder.

Darling, I’m boring and ordinary.  You don’t have to fight that demon; you don’t have to be perfect.  I just want you to be you.

That’s the thing.  You just have to be you.  The rest — in its messy, ugly, smelly, gut-wrenching, not-aways respectable, happy-making, ever-loving time — will come.

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