Tonight I went to karaoke at a bar and not in a private room for the first time in a while (earlier today I told someone that New York types hate bar karaoke because it makes them wait in line for reasons that aren’t status-derived and tonight kinda bore that out, at least as far as my impatience went) and someone sang this song, Bryan Adams’s “Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman?,” from the Don Juan movie that came out in the ’90s. This I guess is the dark side of #rememberthe90s because I felt myself being overcome by rage while listening to the super-uxorious lyrics. Mostly the “you’ll succumb to her charms and be overtaken by her so fully that you’ll be made weak” sentiments within, because I just feel like they set up a paradigm that isn’t realistic at all, especially for women. Or maybe I just don’t feel like it’s realistic because I’m in a place where I feel like I can’t make anyone feel that overcome by me? And part of me (but only part, if I’m being honest) doesn’t really want to weaken potential partners because my ideal of a partner is based in a sort of mutual respect and love and admiration, the sort of kinship where we can feel vulnerable around each other but not wholly decimated by the idea that someone else might care about us?
I don’t know. But I do know that even though I’m agitated by it I feel like the sort of ideal of romance encapsulated by this song, even though it’s not even 20 years old, is completely obliterated by the now, by [so many people who are being super ticky-tacky and shutting themselves off from the possibility of serendipity on OKcupid]/[endless yawning possiblity of the Internet]/[insert your pet theory about the availability of porn here]/[thing I might tell you about if you are my friend and I am drunk enough]. And so I just am despondent, really, and wondering if I should just commit to one of those interesting alone lives that people regard with vague admiration.
I am really anxious about even posting this; upending the “there’s someone for everyone” apple cart in public makes me very nervous and upset, even though the parts of me that hate myself the most believe it’s a complete fallacy. But I don’t like talking about why because I feel like a) doing so reveals all of my insecurities about how people perceive me as a potential romantic partner and b) I don’t want to feel weak and defined by others. (Ha ha, see what I did there?)
But! As far as point B, and my friends telling me that no, I am worth people treating me well—fuck, we all live in the pageview era; we’re all at least implicitly defined by how many other people want to engage with us, right?