You Can't Make a Jackass Into a Stallion

A friend and I recently discussed whether I'd ever remarry. My response? "Nope. Next time around I'm just shacking and whacking."

Okay. Not true. Those who know me also know that while I'm eternally skeptical, I'm also a hopeless romantic. A good movie is one in which the guy gets the girl and everyone lives happily ever after. However, it goes without saying that Cinderella is one of the worst things that has ever happened to the concept of romance.

One of my all time favorite songs is Cinderella by Vince Gill. Part of the lyrics...

....She's just tired
Of bein' Cinderella
She can't live that way no more
She needs a little affection
A little understanding...

Truthfully, whether married or single most women are tired of the aura of Cinderella. And, I'd also add that most men are tired of that douche Prince Charming. Seriously, if a man rides up on a white horse. I'd put my money on it either being stolen or spray painted. Perhaps my view is jaded?

Today's woman can't afford to wait around for a man to sweep her off her feet. And, if she's waiting around for him to sweep anything else, she's gonna be waiting a mighty long freaking time.

About this time last year, I made a definitive decision. I decided to take at least an 8 month hiatus from dating. Many asked why. Few understood. About 6 months before that, I ended a year-long engagement to a wonderful man and eventually delved back into the dating scene. Plus, taking a brief exit from dating saved me from having to spend that extra money at Christmas and Valentine's Day. Hell, guys do it all the time.

Tired of the games, the misconceptions, the utter disappointments of many of the men I met, I chose instead to concentrate on the relationship that I have come to value most of all: that with myself. You see, after the end to a difficult marriage and tripping into an engagement not long after, I figured out that no man could ever fulfill me. Complement me, yes. Fulfill me, no. That's right. The only person that could make me happy with my life was myself. And, I reasoned, it was pathetically unfair to expect another person to do that for you.  I was determined to get to that place. The place where I was completely happy without a romantic partner in my life before I opened the door to the possibility of someone joining me there. I'm writing to you today from that place. It isn't a royal castle, but damn it's nice!

I'm going to tell you, the day that I gave that engagement ring back was one of the hardest of my life. But that glass slipper didn't belong to me. He didn't understand and possibly still doesn't. I told him one day he would thank me (no, he hasn't yet). He wasn't my Prince Charming. He was my Prince Alarming. He was my wake up call.

So, I set down a lonely, yet immensely satisfying, road of self discovery. I wanted my groove back. I wanted to open all the doors that hurt and self-doubt had closed over the years. I wasn't even sure that I could do it. But, here I am. Happy, confident, and giddily getting to know a part of myself that has been locked away for so long.

You'll often hear someone say there's a huge difference between loving someone and being in love with someone. Hey, I totally agree. But, stop for a moment and ponder this. How many people in your life, romantic or otherwise, have touched your soul? Think about it. I can count them on one hand.

When someone touches your soul, they totally transform your life. Don't get me wrong. When someone touches your soul it is painful. Extremely painful but in a beautiful way. Particularly when it is a romantic partner that does it. It splits you right down the middle and exposes everything in you. It is a total vulnerability.

Many years ago, I watched breathlessly as Lady Di became Diana, Princess of Wales. The dress, the pomp, the dream of it all. I was totally captivated. So many girls of my generation were. We wanted the dream. One of the most realistic fairy tales of our time showed us the truth of life behind closed doors. As the world watched that marriage crumble, we saw the reality of life.

None of us know what goes on behind the closed doors of a couple's relationship. Generally, the woman you hear crow about how perfect her marriage is, is a woman who's hiding her true misery. Love ain't easy. And it ain't a fairy tale. You might have a raging stallion but there's a good bit of horse shit thrown in there as well. You just have to grit your teeth, clean it up and get on with it. You can't put a horse down because it makes a mess every once in awhile.

You also can't make a jackass into a stallion. Now, that is a tough lesson to learn. And, the quicker you figure that out, the better. Cut your losses and move on to another pasture. Not a greener pasture though. That just means it has had more manure put on it.

giggling grasshopper

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