Before I begin, I find it only appropriate to set the scene for you, my invisible 30-some readers. I cannot decide whether to be flattered or irritated by the traffic my posts have been receiving. You all sit there in front of your computers and your smart phones, silently running your eyes over my naked soul, and then you leave without a whisper. But it is okay, I do the same. In fact, I almost like that you all are nameless, faceless ghosts. It almost makes me feel less exposed, almost. But I digress.
It is in the midnight hour, and roughly 30 minutes ago I finished a Nicholas Sparks novel, Nights in Rodanthe, to be specific. As any one with a heart can tell you, reading Nicholas Sparks nearly always provokes some sort of emotional reaction. However, I am proud to admit that I did not cry this time around, a rare feat. For those of you who have not read this novel, the main theme is finding strength after the loss of a love and having the courage to carry on. Instead of leaving me feeling lonely and heartsick, as many of Mr. Sparks’ works have done, this one actually made me feel proud of myself and the independence I have enjoyed for the last year and a half. It is with this pride that I extend a message to all love-struck girls, or more accurately to you, my translucent peepers.
Whenever we did exercises in high school that forced us to recognize that our peers were human beings, aka give them compliments or describe them, my adjective was almost always smart. Not that my arrogance didn’t love this title, but if I am being completely honest, it made me a little nauseated to think that this was the only word these kids, who I had known for over a decade, could use to describe me. Looking back, I find this absolutely hilarious. In high school, I was an idiot.
As my ex-boyfriends (and the friends brave enough to listen to my incessant whining at that time) will tell you, I was a dreamer, to put it nicely. I like to pretend that this stems from my overwhelming imagination and my tendency to turn everything into a work of fiction. I mean, I am a writer, after all, whatever that means. Essentially, I wanted to be in love, and I would do everything possible to convince myself that I was in love, even when I wasn’t. For some reason, I felt this compelling need to have my life figured out – grab the guy, get the ring, get the degree, success. Of course, most guys, make that 99.9% of guys, my age aren’t exactly keen on emotional intimacy. Physical intimacy? Hell yes. Emotional? See ya.
This was a concept that I knew, but from reading love stories and watching romantic comedies, I thought that I could change the guys in my life. Obviously, this is an impossible task, and looking back, even if I had been able to change them, I would not have liked what I would have created. To wrap this up, I was a dumb, love-struck girl. I was convinced that I needed my Prince Charming in order to be happy, and that I had to find him in the shallow gene pool of my high school, and fast, before I became a spinster, which clearly happened post-graduation. Needless to say, this is the most blatant form of idiocracy I have committed in my life, and I am extremely ashamed of the girl I used to be. What I wouldn’t give to go back to one of these relationships, as the girl I am now, and just have fun without the pressure I put on them and myself. But again, I digress.
My point in all of this is that the media drowns us in romantic love, almost as much as it drowns us in sex. How in the world anyone is supposed to know how to function in society after watching an hour of television is beyond me. Most of this is geared towards adolescents, specifically girls. Unfortunately, girls take these fantasized messages to heart, whether they want to admit it or not. But I am here today to say, as many others have said, that despite the insistence of the media and your “friends” and whoever the hell else, you girls do not need a boyfriend or girlfriend to be happy. Trust me. It is more important that you are happy with yourself, as an independent person. This is a lesson that I had to learn the hard way, a lesson that I didn’t learn until I was already a legal adult.
I wear a ring on my right hand, middle finger. It is a simple, cheap piece of jewelry from an unexciting department store. It is plain silver, a heart whose ends overlap, sort of like the Breast Cancer and Support Our Troops ribbons that people plastered on their cars for a while in the early 2000’s. If any of you ghosts actually know me personally, you probably know the ring to which I am referring.
Quite a few people have noticed that I always wear this ring, and being curious, they have asked a simple question. “Who gave you that ring you always wear?” The questions vary slightly, but they are always concerned with the who. When I reply that I bought it myself, the glimmer of romanticized hope in their eyes quickly dwindles to disappointment, and the subject is completely dropped. They never ask why I never take it off or why I bought it. They just assume that it is from some love interest, and when it is not, they disgard it as merely a worthless trinket.
This is disheartening for two reasons. First, because it shows just how obsessed with romance our society is. And second, because it gives me the distinct impression that no one gives a shit about me if I’m not attached to something with a penis. I almost wrote that I apologize for the vulgarity, but you know what, I don’t.
If any of my ghosts are still devouring my words, I am sure by now they want to know why I never take off this little piece of jewelry. Well, if you ask, I may tell you. But considering it’s lack of romantic glamour, I doubt that you will.
It is now nearing one o’clock in the morning. I no longer feel the restless panging of words bouncing around inside of my head, a most welcome and regretful sensation, so I believe that I may actually be able to sleep now. I will step off my soap box and hope that my tireless ranting’s message has stuck with at least one of you, my dear apparitions.
For now, I shall go to bed. Another time, in another restless urge, I will cloudedly write of another secret, divulging everything and nothing in an urgent gasp. As I do, I will imagine your nameless faces, as you read my words in time with the clacking of my fingernails on the keyboard.