‘I’m selfish, impatient and just a little insecure. I make mistakes, I’m out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.”
— Marilyn Monroe.
‘Yay, Marilyn, way to go,’ some of you will say.
‘Love me as I am, yeah! For who I am. Or you don’t deserve me.
I am woman hear me roar!
‘You go, girl!’
A great feminist riposte to Tammy Wynette’s anthem for the little woman selflessly giving her love to one man, even as the five-times married Tammy’s man is:
“Doin’ things that you don’t understand
But if you love him you’ll forgive him
Even though he’s hard to understand
And if you love him oh be proud of him
‘Cause after all he’s just a man
Others among you might be thinking:
‘So what you’re really saying, Marilyn, is you reserve the right to be a total bitch sometimes and expect me to be okay with that?
‘I should be able to handle you at your worst, you say?
‘Meaning I should just let you behave whatever way you like, let you walk all over me?
‘You go, girl … and take a hike!’
And I’m here, thinking:
‘Yeah, I do kind of see where you’re coming from, Marilyn … you’d like to be accepted for the real you, bad and good, that people would peep behind the pout and see the real Norma Jean?
Take the rough with the smoothie.
“Accept Norma Jean Mortensen,” you seem to be implying, “and I will be your Marilyn Monroe”.
‘But you could be a little less self-involved … less of a victim, girl!’
I came across that Marilyn quote recently and it both fascinated and puzzled me.
Got me thinking.
I’ve encountered that Marilyn thing in some women. Girls too.
This expectation that their partners, or Dads, should be able to handle their moods. Work around them until they pass.
It’s not that men aren’t moody too.
Of course we are, but when we are in a bad mood we tend to admit it!
We all play the game in public, all sugar and spice and mostly nice, but then, off camera, reveal some of the less pleasant stuff to people close to us … it’s just that, in my experience, women more often expect their partners to stand back and let the black mood pass.
Now some men — and parents — seem to be wired to basically take the worst from their partner or daughter and let things blow over.
They see the mood as just a moment in time, can let them blow off a little steam and know that things will be fine. They are mature enough to do that. To handle her.
I think you can guess by now I am not very good at that. Too often I meet my wife or daughter’s mood head on, things get heated and can take a while to get over.
I’m not very mature about it all.
Too often I don’t heed the advice I have been given – and have been known to hand out myself — to just walk away.
Walk away, say nothing in that moment of anger or frustration, however tempted I might be to let fly.
Come back and talk about it when we are both in a place where we can work through what has happened. And learn from it. Move on and up.
I have even heeded it at times, and know it works!
There is also something loaded in Marilyn’s reference to being “out of control” Out of whose control? Her own? Her lover’s? Society’s?
But why did she have to be under somebody else’s control in the first place? Not the one looking to be in control? Or some might say, taking responsibility.
It sounds like classic victim stuff: ceding control to someone else, and then blaming them for it
Ah yes, the blame game!
I don’t think I have any desire to control anyone. Not my wife, not my son, not my daughter.
At least not consciously …
Obviously, as a parent, I have to take control of my child, until they are ready to take control of themselves. That’s not the control we’re talking about.
We’re talking about so-called equals, only one constantly tries to dominate the other.
Like any romantic, I like the idea of being with someone because we fit. We don’t seek to control each other, or “handle” each other.
We just work well together. Respect each other. Love one another.
Just don’t throw your mood around!
But maybe I’m not getting it.
Not getting it that when I don’t allow my wife or daughter to let off steam I am trying to control them. I am not accepting them for who they are.
I am judging them.
Maybe it’s about all of us learning to be patient, less insecure and selfish, and maybe then we would make fewer mistakes in our relationships.
And not be just candles in the wind …
As I am writing this, I am just thinking out loud. Or writing out loud as I used to call my blog.
Still trying to understand women. Still trying to understand me.
After all, I’m just a man!
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