Some people wonder about me. Why am I quiet at times, vivacious at others? Why am I half Social Butterfly, half Hermit? I have always been a sensitive person, in tune to my surroundings and the emotions of others. I hate loud, aggressive environments because they drain me. I can usually sense what someone is thinking or feeling. I am happy to lend my support and advice to those in need. Hurting individuals flock to the light. I find joy in helping them. But sometimes I need to rest, rejuvenate, recharge. Those are the times when I relish being alone.
Fear is the opposite of love. When someone snubs us, we feel dejected and blame ourselves. Someone else’s disdain is NEVER personal, however. It is based on their own insecurities: they may feel that you will surpass them at work or in another social arena; gain recognition for a goal they’re also working toward; or be acknowledged in their own social circle. In my experiences, I have found this to be true with other women, *especially* in dance and work environments. At times, I have taken a very catty reproach. I have gossiped and slandered in self-defense. It’s important to refrain from retaliation, though. The people who dislike you secretly admire your talents yet fear that you will prove their self-doubts to be true. Instead, shower them with love and love yourself. They are fighting a tougher internal battle than anything they could ever put you through.
Single women are fighting a tough battle. If you’re single, it’s your fault: You’re too clingy. You’re too aloof. You’re too smart. You’re too dumb. You gained ten pounds. You lost too much weight. You’re outspoken. You don’t have a backbone. You’re too nice. You’re too mean. You’re too successful. You don’t have a job. You’re too creative. You’re too dull. You’re too aggressive. You’re coquettish. Is it any wonder we feel inadequate 100% of the time? To echo Marilyn Monroe, “if you can’t handle me at my worst, you don’t deserve me at my best.”
The second variety of these studley duds is far more dangerous than the first. They are not after your financial capital…yet. Rather, they are testing the waters to see if you really are the BBD, or “bigger, better deal,” and they should leave their current partner to be with you. These rovers of South County already have fiancees and girlfriends. But they are unsure about committing to the woman they’ve been stringing along for years, which is where you come in. They’re narcissistic athletic types who beat the Orange County odds. They did not end up in rehab for heroin or pill abuse. They know they are in high demand. They also know that their women know it. So when they make eyes at that brunette spinner waitress at Javier’s, Barbie orders valium chasers and pretends not to notice.
My first encounter with Studley Dudley Numero Uno occurred 4 years ago when I moved to Laguna Beach from San Francisco. I worked at a trendy health food store in the area straight out of college – hey, I’m a Liberal Arts undergrad who finished school two months after the market crashed, don’t judge me – and said dud was my boss. We’ll refer to him as Phil, short for philanderer. This dud’s backstory is narcissistic to say the least: good looking half-Polynesian surfer whose natural tan is the envy of all the South County WASPs. He’s dark complected, yet not swarthy enough to be considered too exotic for the demographic. Before the grocery store gig, he used to cut hair for Toni and Guy. This was most likely the plot to be Edward Scissorhands in the land of horny housewives. Nevertheless, I should have known by his former profession and noticeable lack of bulge from his skinny jeans (yes, skinny jeans!) that he was not the man he claimed to be.
Phil had phelt up all the new-hires prior to me working there. I was a 20-something cliché: a wide-eyed, giggly girl who was enthusiastic about the future (this was prior to Obama’s four-year flop). He was tied into a relationship that would probably end in nuptials. I took his flirting as harmless small talk. A brush of the hand on my hip as he passed my register, warm breath on my neck as he stood behind and examined my cash box, sensuous baritones rippling through my ears telling me to “go to break” when it was time for lunch. He looked hopeful as he inquired, “So, what are you doing later?” “Going to Hennessey’s with some friends. You?” “Oh. Eating dinner….with…..my……….girlfriend. Andthengoingtobed. She’s rich, you know. Well, her family is. She actually works at MAC, but she’s a good investment, you know?” **insert Hipster hair flick here**
I ignored it for a while. And then I was fired up. All this back-and-forth must mean something! It’s meant to be! He’s the soulmate I’ve been searching for! He WILL leave his girlfriend for me! We WILL get married and have gorgeous mocha colored children! He would not be saying these things unless he really meant them, right? RIGHT?
It was House night at Brussels Bistro, a tightly packed restaurant turned after-hours club in downtown Laguna. I was already 3 drinks in with my friend, Russian Supermodel, and we were grooving to the beats of Sander Kleinenberg, one of our favorite DJs. Phil shows up with his arm candy, escorts her to the bar, and dumps her there with some frumpy females. He stands in the corner, disregards Russian Supermodel, and watches me dance. When Arm Candy is not looking, he approaches me. Left hand on hip, breath on my neck, sensuous baritones rippling. He hesitates. “See you later,” he says, grabs Arm Candy, and goes.
Phil is in hot water with Arm Candy. He must redeem himself, so he does what any douchey dud would do: unfriends me, constructs your standard “psycho bitch” tale, and ignores me from then on. I’m convinced that Passive-Aggressive Personality Disorder and lack of bulge must be directly proportional!
Slade Smiley from the Real Housewives of Orange County grosses me out. Typical OC dud — er, dude. He is an unmotivated slacker who doesn’t work, doesn’t pay bills, has various legal troubles, and wants to be supported by his trophy girlfriend. Sounds about par.
What is it about these OC guys that promotes such losery behavior? Word to my South County sisters: you can provide for him ’till he’s drained all your financial capital. But at the end of the day, there will always be someone blonder, bustier, and with a more beneficiary bank account to deter your live-in gigolo’s affections.
Loneliness is a dangerous emotion. It can trick you into thinking you still have feelings for an otherwise toxic person. Daytime for me is quite routine, but late at night, the onset of loneliness takes its toll. It grates on my nerves and drives me to places of desperate unhappiness. The unhappiness turns to bitterness. I end up snapping at those who don’t deserve it and instantly regret it. “What’s wrong with me?” I often think. And then I remember.
As time passes, I realize how limited my options are in love. Dating leads to dead ends. Chemistry is lacking. One person wants something different than the other. Personalities clash and I continue to dig deeper for the great love story that Disney promised. All these dysfunctional scenarios are more damaging than the first for one reason: they lead me back to him. The scent of him on my sheets. Waking up next to him in my bed. Marathon love making sessions morning, noon, and night.
Will I find that again? My eggs dry up as I relinquish the search.
The 8 o’clock hour arrives and aloof loner types stand against the wall avoiding eye contact and staring out the glass panes that line the building. The music has started but no one is on the floor. They are huddling near the back, pouring hooch from a suspicious paper bag into half-filled coke cups. Powder, Poser, Pretentious, Plump Girl and Mother, all there.
Plump Girl says she’s been dancing since 4. But art school could not afford charisma. “So now she’s a big fish in a small pond,” gloats Mother. “She’s the best.” “Yeah, I’m the BEST!” echoes Plump Girl.
Powder, Poser, and Pretentious could not tell you what their favorite dance is. They have watched Dancing with the Stars a few times but don’t give a hoot about the sport. “Dancing is not really about dancing,” Pretentious says. “It’s about having fun and spending time with your instructor. We’re going to Vegas next weekend – the Bellagio, of course two rooms. What do you think? I’m separated, NOT divorced. Yet.” “Dancing is all about sex,” chuckles Powder. “Actually, it’s about winning. I always win because I know everyone,” interjects Poser.
Students searching for surrogates.