In my last post I mentioned that I had some male friends who were the “not all men” exception to the rule of men grinding me down; one of them called me after reading that to check in on me.
So just in case – I’m fine! I’ve never been one to permanently roll over and play dead; maybe for a few days, yeah, but before long I am back standing up again and saying “and you know, another thing that gets me…” But he sounded worried, so just in case I had to let anyone else know, I’m better.
But this also gives me the chance to make a few other shout-outs about those men, and How They Get It.
* Richard – the one who called me – is someone I have always known has my best interests at heart, and also has the knack to balance them with a wicked sense of humor. He sensed early on that the way to reassure me that All Is Right With The World is to make a pretty twisted joke, but he still makes sure I’m comfortable that it is just a joke. He doesn’t just try to be sensitive to dealing with Me As A Woman, he tries to deal with me as an individual.
* My father is the reason why I’ve imprinted on a whistling-past-the-graveyard kind of thing; but even more importantly, he always let me see that he got all jazzed about my brain. We are very much alike – I’m very much My Father’s Daughter – and one thing we have in common is the propensity to play Devil’s Advocate in discussions for fun. He was starting debates with me about science and politics and current events and such as early as Junior High, but it wasn’t until I was about seventeen that I realized that he thought that our debates were really fun – and, I realized, so did I. And part of the reason why they’re so fun is because he sincerely is interested in what I think and how my brain works. I’ve come to realize – this means that I’m a woman who’s always had a man in her immediate surroundings who valued her brain. And that makes a big difference. (Thanks, Dad.)
* And no less important – my uncles George and Peter, and my grandfathers Edward and “Row”. I may have been a bother chasing them around with stories about tree frogs at the age of six, but they still dug it. And I always knew that.
* Speaking of brains, my friend Colin and I have been symbiotic in some amusing ways (we have given up on ever playing Rock-Paper-Scissors because all three of the times we’ve tried, we always pick the same thing every time). But he also gets some elements of the female experience on a level that men (understandably) don’t usually get. Sometimes it’s because of having had strangely similar experiences – he’s had the someone-tries-to-flirt-by-staring thing happen to him – but more so, it’s because the guy is just plain empathic, I think. Whatever is at the root of it, it’s awesome.
And the best part is, these guys aren’t the end of the list, they’re just the most illustrative examples. My brother, my cousins, a good number of old co-workers, Mr. Shrimp Grits, a happily large percentage of the men I’ve dated in the past – they’re also on the roster.
On a number of online discussions about gender relations and misogyny, I’ve see guys ask exactly what keeps so many women from just throwing in the towel on all men. And the reason I don’t is because I still managed to find a good number of guys who keep me from wanting to.