Something That We Do
I have a good girlfriend who recently got engaged to a man that she’s only known for less than two months. This same girlfriend met this guy through a radio interview that he did. She called in and asked him if he wanted to escort her to a friend’s birthday party. He said yes. I think my friend has seen Sleepless in Seattle one time too many.
So, he showed up on the weekend of the friend’s birthday party, having never met my friend before. He insisted that she take him to some convention thing that he wanted to attend that was way out of the way. I think this may have been the kind of thing where people attending wear pointy ears. They were three hours late getting to the birthday party. Then he reacted negatively to the lack of food.
“I thought this was catered,” he said to my friend.
“It was, but since we showed up three hours late the food was already eaten.”
This guy then stayed with my friend for two weeks. Let’s call him Loser, shall we? Now I can understand being unemployed. I’ve been unemployed (though never for longer than a month, since my eighteenth birthday, so that’s over 20 years now).
What I don’t understand is being unemployed for two years and couch surfing at other people’s homes indefinitely. I don’t understand manipulating my friend into buying a short wave radio for Loser’s “radio show.” I don’t understand how Loser can’t afford to buy his own short wave radio but can afford to purchase a diamond ring for my friend.
This relationship was going really well for Loser. He was having my friend pay for everything while he bitched at her over how she needed to blog every day to make money.
I got news for Loser. I blog five days a week. I don’t make jack shit doing it. Despite getting Freshly Pressed, writing five days a week, having over 160 posts and having posted to this blog for a year and a half now, I average maybe 100 hits in a day. That’s not enough to support any advertising. And advertising and book deals are the only way that anyone makes any real money from blogging. I’d have to be averaging in the neighborhood of 750 hits a day to support advertising. Forget a book deal. You have to have a “platform” to get one nowadays. And that would be considered some degree of household fame, way more than 750 hits.
Loser doesn’t blog himself. He was busy downloading things that slowed my friend’s computer performance and setting things up so my friend could blog and make podcasts. She was supposed to do this while he jacked off on her office chair and slept until 2 PM or later every day and contemplated how my friend could accommodate him by rearranging her entire home to move in his stuff that’s been in storage for years now. He told her where to move her things to make room for his; he didn’t ask. He actually complained that her house wasn’t big enough. Really?! How big is your house, LOSER?
As you can no doubt tell, I am beyond incensed for my friend. I wish she’d get angry as well.
Why does my friend allow herself to be treated this way? Because she wants to be loved. We all do. This man has convinced my friend that he loves her. My friend’s parents were married within a month and a half of having met each other, and she is susceptible to the idealized concept of love at first sight. But what she’s forgotten is that love isn’t just a feeling; it’s something that we do.
Loser’s words and actions show that he is only concerned with Loser. Recently, he came over to fix her computer and wanted her to come with him to his hometown to see him in his “natural habitat.” He tried to convince her that her issues with his selfishness really just stem from her fear of intimacy or reluctance to commit. That’s hogwash, and I wish so many women weren’t eager to fall for this sort of manipulation. We’re literally blinded by the word love.
The truth is that my friend is right to want to get out of a relationship with a man who doesn’t love her. It has nothing to do with fear of commitment or intimacy and everything to do with the fact that love implies a certain degree of sacrifice and selflessness. Where is he sacrificing for her in this scenario? He fixed the computer that he broke in the first place?! Does that count? I hope not.
A man doesn’t have to be a multi-millionaire, but a woman has a right to expect that he shows the same degree of ambition that she expects from herself. You see, with this criteria there can even be love among the homeless. It’s very fair and equitable. What’s not fair is when either partner thinks that their very existence entitles them to sit back and eat bonbons (or jack off in office chairs — whatever) while the other one toils for the living that allows them to live in the manner to which they have become accustomed!
Years ago, the country artist, Clint Black released a song called, “Something That We Do,” that I think really exemplifies my feeling about love. Sting and Don Henley also came out with songs that expressed the same sentiment, but I think Black’s version is the best.
It can be argued that love is a decision or that love is a feeling, and I think the best love is characterized by both. However, love is not really love without the decision, the choice, the commitment to sacrifice for another person’s happiness. The compromise has to be on both sides. Yes, there are days where one person might be giving 90% while the other gives 10%, but if you are giving 90% every day, then you might be in love. But your partner, obviously, is not.