I’m Not a Cool Girlfriend

No one I have ever dated will ever call me cool.

The words, “loyal,” “honest,” and “intense,” may come up, but “cool,” despite my very best efforts, has never been a descriptor that fit me very well.

And believe me, I have tried so hard to be cool.

I have shrugged off missed dates, gotten over lies, moved past drunk indiscretions that “meant nothing.”  I’ve laughed off inappropriate requests,  given guys second chances without second guessing them, after seconds turned into hours, and then days without hearing from them.

I have dealt with cell phones smashed in fits of anger, holes punched into walls, and a million, “I’ll do better next times.”

I tried really hard to be cool.

You can ask my therapist how hard I have tried:

During one of our sessions, it was with desperate sincerity that I asked her if it was possible to take medication that could “dumb me down” just a little bit.   Make me feel like less of me.  Make me let things go.  Expect less of people.  Because I was sick of feeling like too much for  the people around me.

I’ve tried really really hard to be cool.

I’ve had people that insist on treating relationships like a game of “would you rather.”  I’d hear things like:

Well, would you rather he tell you about something he did that would upset you or have him lie to you?

Would you rather he get moody and disappear from time to time or have him be super clingy?

I’d play along and choose the lesser of two evils and pretend that it was enough.

I’d let lies slide by, I’d let communication lapse, I’d pretend I didn’t see things that I saw.  I’d let myself feel miserable. I’d bite my tongue when people told me to never settle.  Because all I ever heard about was how I needed to settle, because…well…guys just don’t ever really “get it.”

I really really wanted to be a cool girl.

But I couldn’t.

I have tried to be a cool girlfriend.  I have faked being cool.  I have literally paid in blood, sweat, and tears to be cool.  I’m not.

I cannot be a cool girlfriend for this one reason: I could never find that boundary between making a compromise and being a door mat.

And I finally got sick of being walked all over.  I couldn’t deal with having my faith in men and relationships destroyed all in the name of “keeping my cool.”

I’m not a cool girlfriend.

I’m not a cool girlfriend because I refuse to believe that all men are as basic, and needy, and insensitive as the world at large portrays them to be.    I refuse to believe that in order to be in a partnership with a man, I have to accept a certain amount of “boys will be boys” behavior.

I’m not a cool girlfriend because at the end of the day, I believe that a boyfriend can treat me with the same respect, honesty, and integrity that I treat him with.

I’m not a cool girlfriend because I expect my partner to treat every woman like he treats me.  I expect him to sit out strip clubs, I expect him to stand up for drunk women being creeped on in bars. I expect his adoration for me to reflect in his treatment and respect for every single woman he meets.

I’m not a cool girlfriend because I believe that men can learn to honor, cherish, and fiercely protect the commitments  they make to the people they love.  They can realize that every decision they make either takes them towards their commitments, or away from them.  Without compromise.  Without question. Without ridicule.

I’m not a cool girlfriend because I know I don’t want a boyfriend who is “cool.”  I want a boyfriend who is brutally honest.  Who shows me his edges in moments of panic and says: how do I fix myself without hurting you?

I want a boyfriend who realizes that both of us, in the face of something real, like a relationship that matters, are so drastically uncool, and uncollected, that it’s beautiful.

I want a boyfriend who treats me like my friends do: who returns calls, checks in, invites me out, laughs at my incredibly not funny jokes, and recognizes how horribly overwhelmingly unfair it is for women to always have to be the cool one.  The one who understands. And forgives.  And pretends to forget.

So yeah, I know.  A lot of you out there are thinking: girl, you’re living in a dream world.  That there’s certain realities I have to face.  That “guys will always be guys.”

And all I have to say to you is…yes…most guys will always choose to be guys.

But some will choose to become men for the people they love.

And if you doubt that, if you really think some men’s cluelessness in relationships, and the endless one night stands is what all guys want because it is in their nature…show me your role models.  Show me your men who live their lives lying and deceiving and failing at relationships, who, on their death bed say…man…that was one heck of a life.

Show me those men.

And I’ll show you the slew of men who are happy to step up their game.  Who are relieved to not be reduced to a #notallmen stereotype.  Who want to talk about what they’re feeling.  And how broken they felt when they were crying as kids, and told to hide their emotions and “act cool.”

Cool gets you no where. There are better things to be than a cool girlfriend.

Cool gets you settling for a cool love, a cool relationship, and cool communication that inevitably turns cold, brittle, and breaks. And I’ve had enough of things breaking on me.

I can’t shake off the pain anymore.  Pretend giving more than I got didn’t matter.  I’m just not that cool of a girlfriend.

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A Brief Response to the Stanford Rapist’s Father

For incredibly personal reasons, I don’t like commenting on stories about sexual assault, But I just can’t even deal with this nonsense…

In case  you haven’t heard about this case, and want to be thoroughly depressed, you can read about it here.

Basically, a Stanford student, Aaron Brock Turner, was convicted of assaulting a woman.  He was found by two people who were passing by, and tried to flee the scene.  He was sentenced to six months in jail because the judge did not want to “ruin” his life.

The light sentence, and judge’s reaction didn’t surprise me much.  I wasn’t shocked, I wasn’t angry, I was just glad there was a conviction, honestly.  Because statistically, that almost never happens. 

What  “got” to me, was the accused’s father sitting down and basically speaking up for his son, all the while speaking out against the  experiences of assault victims everywhere.

I honestly don’t know whether to cringe or cry, so I guess I’ll just go ahead and actually comment on some of the father’s concerns about his son’s future.  His son who raped a girl. Raped her behind a dumpster.

 

Below is the statement of the accused student’s father. I’ve inserted my comments where needed.

***********

As it stands now, Brock’s life has been deeply altered forever by the events of Jan 17th and 18th.

Don’t worry. So has the victim’s.  Getting assaulted behind a dumpster tends to really change your outlook on things

He will never be his happy go lucky self with that easy going personality and welcoming smile.

She won’t either. Her “happy go lucky self” was most likely last seen the moments before your son took her behind a dumpster…and raped her. 

His every waking minute is consumed with worry, anxiety, fear, and depression. You can see this in his face, the way he walks, his weakened voice, his lack of appetite.

So is hers. I imagine she sometimes feels okay, until the anxiety and depression your son caused by raping her flares back up. 

Brock always enjoyed certain types of food and is a very good cook himself. I was always excited to buy him a big ribeye steak to grill or to get his favorite snack for him. I had to make sure to hide some of my favorite pretzels or chips because I knew they wouldn’t be around long after Brock walked in from a long swim practice. Now he barely consumes any food and eats only to exist.

Please rest assured that there is another family dealing with watching their child waste away.  The family of the girl who your son drunkenly raped and left behind a dumpster.  

Maybe if your son hadn’t been so busy treating women like pieces of meat, he’d be able to sit down and enjoy that rib-eye with you.  Looks like you’ll know what to get him for his first family dinner home when he finally gets out of jail…in 90 days. 

These verdicts have broken and shattered him and our family in so many ways. His life will never be the one that he dreamed about and worked so hard to achieve.

Don’t worry…These verdicts have broken and shattered the family of the girl who your son raped as well.   You’re not alone. 

But hey… If there is any silver lining to this cloud of awful, please just know that you are “Saving” many other families the same “grief” of watching their rapist child being punished for something they did.

Because, honestly, watching the way this trial played out pretty much guarantees that many victims of sexual assault are going to come to the conclusion that it’s just not worth it to press charges. It’s just not worth it to speak out.  

And they’ll suffer in silence and scream into pillows when letters like this continue to pop up in the main stream media. 

That is a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of his 20 plus years of life. 

<screams into pillow>

First off, by “action” do you mean “assault?”  You MUST mean assault, because that’s what your son is being sent to jail for. No one ever has had to “pay a price” for getting a little action.  It just doesn’t happen.  

You DO have to pay a price when you get a little “assaulty” with someone.  Yes, that’s a word.

So, I’m not sure if anyone’s ever told you this, but there actually is not an acceptable amount of minutes you’re allowed to assault someone no matter how old you are.   The ratio doesn’t exist but if it did, it’d be this:  

The ratio of assault to age is zero.  You’re allowed zero minutes of sexual assault in your lifetime. 

If you’re further confused…Here’s a chart: 

FullSizeRender (25)

The fact that he now has to register as a sexual offender for the rest of his life forever alters where he can live, visit, work, and how he will be able to interact with people and organizations.

You want to know what negatively effects your ability to interact with people?  Dealing with the aftermaths of being raped by a stranger and left behind a dumpster.  

What I know as his father is that incarceration is not the appropriate punishment for Brock.

As his father, I feel your opinion on this matter is largely biased, which is why the jury didn’t ask or consult with you prior to their decision to find your son guilty of three accounts of sexual assault behind a dumpster. 

He has no prior criminal history and has never been violent to anyone including his actions on the night of Jan 17th 2015.

Once again, the jury largely disagrees with you on this one. As do the witnesses that pulled your son off the victim. 

Brock can do so many positive things as a contributor to society and is totally committed to educating other college age students about the dangers of alcohol consumption and sexual promiscuity.

 I’m not sure if you picked up on this, but… He’s not going to jail for being promiscuous. That’s not the crime he’s being punished for.  He can have sex with as many men or women as he wants to.  It’s completely allowed. 

What’s not allowed?  Taking a completely inebriated co-ed behind a dumpster, assaulting her, and trying to run away when other people find you.  It’s  very illegal. 

By having people like Brock educate others on college campuses is how society can begin to break the cycle of binge drinking and its unfortunate results. Probation is the best answer for Brock in this situation and allows him to give back to society in a net’ positive way.

Very Respectfully,
Dan A. Turner

Ok, Mr. Turner…You want to begin to break the cycle of sexual assault?  Then how about you stop minimizing it? How about you stop referring to it as an “unfortunate result” of drinking.  

If anything else, please just stop saying that rape is a “result” of anything other than people like you not taking it seriously. 

And finally,  if your son is found guilty of rape (which he was) and the judge says he doesn’t want your son’s life to be ruined (which he did) you actually won the trial, yet you’re still asking for leniency… So here is where I have to ask you, very very respectfully,  to go behind a dumpster, and f*ck yourself.  

And if you need any guidance on how to go about doing that, just ask your son.  He’s got copious amounts of experience in this department.