About a week ago I finished reading Isabel Allende's Portrait in Sepia. And now, I have my nose in another book about unattainable love. Both of these books share a theme - and they share that theme with my life, and with some other women I know.
Girl wants boy. Girl loves boy. Boy is detached but allows the chase anyway.
And all this time I thought it was just me!
As a single girl, I dated all kinds of guys - well, just to say, a variety of types. I thought if it didn't work with one kind of guy, I would try a totally different kind of guy. Yet, all of my relationships played out the same...
scenario A - the nice guy.
After a few exciting weeks of getting to know each other, I get bored. Either I took my exit to stage left then - or after a few more weeks when I felt terribly guilty for torturing this nice guy with my tantrums.
scenario B - the bad boy.
After a few exciting weeks of getting to know each other, he took his exit stage right. I was left to sob in my pillow, because that guy, you know the one - the one who was so aloof to your advances, the one who took you to dangerous places and left you breathless, the one you could fight with in one minute then passionately kiss the next minute, the one who returned your calls in 10 days (or just showed up on your doorstep with all that charm and rugged good looks) - that guy left because he was on to his next adventure. A rolling stone gathers no moss.
Oh, how I cried over the bad boy. Oh how I wanted him to want me. This drove my best friends INSANE. All of the late nights on the phone or the living room floor, crying my eyes out over a pint of Ben and Jerry's for that emotionally unattainable guy and his torn blue jeans and indifferent attitude. "You deserve someone who treats you better." "Don't you want a guy that loves you just as much as you love him?" "He's not worthy of you!" "I know guys who want to go out with you - guys who will CALL YOU BACK." Well meaning words, totally lost on me. I wanted the guys that didn't want me and I didn't want the guys who wanted me.
I've always been aware that girls like me aren't rare - but I didn't think we were particularly common either. Could I have missed that common denominator? Are we the majority? Are some girls secretly vying for the bad boy - and just have the discipline and strength to hold it in long enough to comfort their basket case best friend?
Two novels in a row with this underlying theme - not too mention all of the romantic comedies - and I think that maybe I've had a revelation about all my girlfriends! Not just my real life girlfriends - ALL of you! All my girls: the ones I've known FOREVER, the ones I've only known through the bond of motherhood, my friends I've had for a year, a month, a decade, a lifetime, my friends I visit with regularly, and the ones I see rarely, the ones who live on the other side of the world, the ones who have never met me face to face but only through blogging.
What is that desire in us that pulls us towards the bad boy, the lone wolf?
Stasi Eldredge says in her book Captivating, "... every woman in her heart of heart longs for three things: to be romanced, to play in irreplaceable role in a great adventure, and to unveil beauty. That's what makes a woman come alive."
(That book? is amazing and you should totally read it if you haven't. If you have read it? You might as well reread it. ;-)
Good news, I managed to catch one! Yep, I married him, had kids with him and everything. We have a mortgage and a retirement plan and argue over yard work. But don't let that facade of a routine marriage fool you. My favorite thing about us is that our marriage is not boring. I can honestly tell you, we have not had a dull moment. There are times I feel like we are just barely hanging onto each other, and times a magnetic field pulls me close to him, closer, and closer still. As frustrating as it can be, I wouldn't want it any other way.
There is no other man who could leave me wanting him more and more and more after 9 years. Yes, there are times I cry and wallow in self pity because I think I love him more than he knows, more than he loves me back. I get jealous over the possibility that there is a woman out there who could win that part of his heart that I think I couldn't win. But he does love me. He is the bad boy that didn't move on. He is the bad boy that stayed for two kids and a corporate career. Nine years may not be that long in the grand scheme of things, but we're getting older. Together. And we have had so many adventures together. Too numerous to account for here. We have so many adventures in front of us too.
I guess that's what I love the most about my bad boy; living with him is a provocative adventure.