Just the Worst, in the Literal Sense
I often use the phrase “____’s the worst” to describe my very close friends. Older generations do not seem to get that… mostly because it’s completely counterintuitive. In recent years, if someone mentions the name of a friend of mine (“Yeah… do you know Jordan Beeks?”), I will usually laugh internally, remembering the span of our friendship, the jokes we have, the alcohol I’ve seen them drink, the mistakes we’ve both made, all the while thinking about how the person who posed the question just has no idea how well I know that person. Through all the college-related memories, I usually respond in the aforementioned way (“Hahahaha… I do. He’s the worst“) when, in reality, he’s the best. Does that make sense? Anyway:
I know that I’ve written a blog similar to this one in the past, but it deserves some more attention. I apologize in advance for the nature of this blog. I’m not going to sugar coat it: it’s a rant. While I had a great time being up in the Bay Area with my family (nails done, hair done, everything did, tbh), I’ve decided to keep on this path that’s going away from my usual “diary-like” blog entries and incorporate my opinion a little more. Mostly because I’m pretty sure most of the people that have read my blog for a long time are saying, “This is great, but you know what would make it even better? The whiny thoughts and feelings of a twenty-two year old grad student who hates the town she lives in and isn’t financially independent.” Because the blog was obviously lacking opinions until today.
Friends, I’m here to talk about our generation: specifically, dating/hooking-up/whatever other names my sister and other 15-year-olds have come up with. Y’all… I am the biggest champion of the Millennial generation. In undergrad, I wrote an entire paper devoted to our work ethic and potential for greatness. Work hard, play hard! The most accepting generation yet! Something about “Orange Is The New Black” which somehow I still haven’t seen! I believe in all of my mid 80s-2000s babies. Let me start off by saying that there is some controversy surrounding the cut-off birth years of the Millennial generation. Personally, I feel that older Millennials (mid 80s-late 90s) and the younger Millennials (2000-now) were raised very differently. There are so many interesting articles about this topic, and I really suggest you read them. Huffington Post has some great ones. Though, they also say that I’m part of Generation Y, which I disagree with, but whatever.
As much of a cheerleader as I am for this generation, I’m starting to become incredibly peeved… and by “starting” I mean “continuing to be” and by “peeved” I mean “rant-to-my-mother-in-the-middle-of-a-crowded-Cheesecake-Factory-for-a-full-hour-about-it level frustrated.” My frustration is currently aimed at straight men of the Millennial (and somewhat above) generation. My anger doesn’t necessarily stem from my own current experiences (“How’s you love life, Megan?” “How DARE you.”) but from those of my close, straight, female friends. I should note that the problems I will address aren’t necessarily contained in the heterosexual community, I just haven’t heard any of my non-straight friends talk about these issues specifically.
Over the past few years, I’ve seen a very alarming trend in the stories my girlfriends tell me. I’ve listened to these stories, become involved with these stories, and had mild versions of them myself. But my friends bore the brunt of the madness, and that doesn’t sit well with me. Gentlemen, please note that this generalization isn’t meant to target you specifically. I have to say that because many of you are still doing the #NotAllMen thing un-ironically. Guys, I love you, but what the actual hell are you doing? In all seriousness. Everything from making un-prompted promises of a relationship just to ghost a girl a week later, to being a controlling dirtbag who’s entitlement knows no bounds. Why? What has happened to you? Do each of you individually have a large splinter in your foot that is causing you tremendous physical pain and you’re taking it out on your potentially-intimate relationships with women? IS THAT WHAT’S HAPPENING? I KNOW A LOT OF GOOD DOCTORS.
I’ve followed the harrowing saga of most of my friends’ relationships (girls and guys) and things just continue to look more and more bleak (besides Will and Alex: as always, the exception to my rule. And Devon and John, seeing as their wedding is in a few weeks). I think my biggest problem is the lack of honesty between people. In this day and age, we’ve gotten ourselves deep into “hookup culture,” meaning that young people place less value on committed romantic relationships than in years past, and they engage in far more “casual” relationships. I won’t get into the arguments in favor and in opposition to hookup culture, but just know that there are conflicting views. Of course. As always. With everything. But my point lies more within admission versus hiding of one’s true intentions in this culture (I should probably do a legitimate study, seeing as psychology is kind of a thing with me, but this is my informal blog so, once again, I’m gonna do what I want). According to my own ears, a crazy amount (let’s say like ballpark 75%) of my female friends have reported (told me over brunch) that they’ve experienced a frustrating sexual/romantic encounter with the opposite sex because he lied about what he wanted from the get-go. I’m not talking about “we hooked up and I saw that as a promise that we’d be boyfriend-girlfriend and he hasn’t texted me in three weeks,” I’m talking about full-on, unprompted promises made that turned out to be complete crap. I can’t tell you how many female friends of mine (oh yeah… about 75%) have a few stories that go something like: “We met at a party, we hooked up, he surprisingly texted me the next day, we continued talking for weeks, we went out on a few dates, he told me he was ready for a relationship/he wanted me to meet his parents/he bought us tickets to Paris for spring break/he offered to pay for all the pizza I’d ever eat for the rest of my life, and then he just stopped talking to me.” This is a different issue than “he lied until I slept with him and then he disappeared,” which, by the way, is also awful. I say that because it may not be common knowledge. No, this is even weirder. In each story I hear, sex isn’t the end game. In fact, it’s very existence within these relationships is incredibly different from person to person, yet the promises and the sudden disappearance always occur. Guys, please explain this to me. If you’re just looking to hook up, why not just do that and then stop? If you do want a relationship, but you change your mind, why not make that clear? Why do you assume every girl is looking to get into a serious relationship like yesterday and you’re going to need to be super crafty and sneaky in order to work your way around that? I hate this saying, but I’m gonna say it anyway: it’s 2015, brosephs. If you just want to hook up, just make that known. Hey, you know what, it’s really simple. Just don’t be an ass. It’s super easy. Just treat this woman with the respect of another human being.
What’s really worrying to me is that this isn’t isolated with the general douche population (this population includes, but is not limited to, entitled guys that like to postpone putting “labels on what we have,” shaming girls for dressing and acting the way they want, breaking up with girls on their birthdays, worming their way back into the lives of girls they’ve hurt, being unsupportive of aspirations, creating lose-lose situations for their partner, and putting down their partner’s friends. And also letting your new girlfriend drive your pick-up truck, and being really bad at lying, and loving yourself before anyone else, and telling your friends that she’s obsessive and crazy… this went a distinctly TSwift route). I’ve seen good guy friends of mine do similar things without even realizing it. I’ve actually seen a few girlfriends of mine do similar things as well, though the overwhelming, perpetrating majority remains men. Our young lives are already complicated enough (job-market wise, finance-wise, you guys there are so many articles out there) without adding disappointing romantic/sexual relationships on top. This is no expert opinion, so I hope none of you take it as such, but I write best when I’m angry. You can imagine what four years of Chapman Creative Writing professors had to endure. We’re facing such a new and strange dating environment, what with technology and all our The Facebooks and The Tweeter, we don’t need to stir the pot. Insert weed joke here because college.
Remember when you were in middle school and boys had little to no interest in you, and your mom would say, “they’ll be more interested in high school, they’ll have matured a little more.” And then she says the same thing about college boys. And then post-grad boys. Yeah. My friends have dated men in the late twenties and early thirties that are doing variations of this “fake promise and run” routine. At the older edge of Millennials and the youngest stage of Generation Y, you’d think, well damn, they’ve probably developed life skills that would enable to to be honest in relationships. Apparently, #NotAllMen, as the case may be. Granted, I have far less data (stories) on men over twenty-five, but the stuff I do have sucks. Like it sucks to know that this may continue. I hope no one is taking this as a “men need to be more committed” rant, because it isn’t. You do you, kid. If you’re the forever-bachelor and you want to be hooking up into your eighties, you have every right. What I’m ranting about is looking at the gal next to you in the nursing home and promising love and marriage if you intend to stop calling her room and switch nursing homes in three weeks. I don’t think it’s an entirely unreasonable thing.
I have noticed a few other issues in this same category, but I won’t delve into those today. I don’t want this post to derail itself. To all of my gals that may have been in/are currently in a similar situation (or some other issue you want to bring to light), I’m thinking about doing something different–maybe a blog, maybe a book at some point?–relating to this subject, and I’d love some of your thoughts or stories. If you at all feel compelled, send me a message on Facebook or text me or snail-mail me (I check my mailbox every day because I’m still waiting for a care package my mom sent three months ago) about it! With my therapy and writing backgrounds, WHO KNOWS WHAT WE’LL BE ABLE TO ACHIEVE*
*if someone could pay me my book advance within this next week, I’ll achieve a little faster.
(Jackie, I’m proud of you. Keep on fighting the good fight and never settling for less than you deserve).
Friends, I love you. Thank you for reading this.
As Rashida Jones once said, “Why is it so much easier to use exclamation points than to FEEL exclamation points? Like these mean nothing to me right now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”