21st Century Goddesses & the Men Who Don’t Deserve Them
Most of my friends are either married or in some sort of relationship. Whenever we meet for drinks or dinner, the topic of love inevitably comes up. Being one of the few single friends left who has the time to listen to their woes, I am often the go-to-person when a sounding board is needed for a good rant about significant others. The topic of each rant session would vary from a golf-obsessed husband who forgets to pick up the kids to an absent boyfriend who may be having an affair. Generally, I hear only one side of the story and the rest is derived from observation. But as I listen and watch, one thing becomes apparent: these women are amazing yet they are stuck with partners that don’t seem to appreciate them. So I wonder: Why are these women with men who don’t deserve them? Here are four stories of 21st century goddesses and their lesser halves.
Sara the Domestic Goddess
Men stutter, stumble and fall when they meet Sara. Slender, tall, green-eyed and blonde, Sara is a modern-day beauty. She would walk down the street and men’s eyes would follow unashamedly with obvious admiration. On girls’ nights out, I have to play governess, like those in the Victorian era, to fend off the men who fall under her spell. Aside from her outwardly good-looks, Sara is what I call a “domestic goddess”, one who adeptly gets around the house cooking, cleaning, mothering and caring for her beloved partner in such a skillful way that one can only be in awe of such talent. But not only is she the mistress of her home, she is also the mistress of her profession, a successful working girl of the 21st century combined with 20th century ideals of the classic, stay-at-home wife. Sara has traveled, lived and worked in over 30 countries. Now settling down for a quieter, less wearisome life, she is pursuing a second university degree and already considered the top of her class. On the fiancé front, she is one of the most romantic and generous souls I know: getting home just in time from her busy schedule to cook multi-course meals before her fiancé comes home from work, baking his favorite peanut butter cookies, surprising him with “sports dates” (though she has no interest in sports herself) and leaving love notes in his briefcase, car and shirt pockets almost every day.
Her fiancé, let’s call him “Brutus”, is an average joe; possessing no traits, qualities or accomplishments that make him extraordinary in any way. He is of an average build and height with average good-looks, but his larger-than-average-size ego makes Kanye West look humble. Being a self-centered, insecure man, he doesn’t feel loved or special unless his partner’s life revolves around him. He likes to spew criticisms and opinions of others to elevate his own importance and uniqueness which makes him all the more common. As a partner, he is inconsiderate, untrustworthy and unreliable, with moods changing as quickly and as frequently as the San Francisco weather. Hardly ever the one initiating the effort, he takes without giving much in return, and when he does give, it is generally unqualified opinions and concerns about how Sara lives her life, the friends she associates with and the decisions she makes. When these opinions are expressed, Sara would spend the following days and weeks cleaning, cooking, gifting and note-writing with increased vigor, as if proving to him that she deserves his love. Despite Brutus’ insensitivity, disrespect and downright emotional cruelty, she believes that he is “the one” whom she can’t live without. Afraid to lose him, Sara behaves more like a love-slave than a loved one.
Kari, Every Man’s Dream-Girl
Kari is an exotic, olive-skinned, dark-haired beauty with two bachelors and one master’s degree, all from a different country. She is a citizen of the world, globe-trotting since childhood and living in countries that most of us would be too afraid to visit. She is a fashionista, a buyer for Barney’s and jet-sets across the US and Europe, meeting the oddest and most extraordinary people. Despite her grueling travel schedule, she manages to see her boyfriend “Charlie” every weekend, always cooking his favorite meals, cleaning his flat, organizing his bills (sometimes even subsidizing it) and spoiling him with VIP seats to Giants’ or 49ers’ games. She is a sports fanatic herself and rules any sports bar conversation with her uncanny ability to memorize sports stats, being able to debate sports with the best of men. On the field, she outruns the fastest of cornerbacks in flag football and catches the fastest of pitches in baseball. She is the perfect woman as far as athletes and sporty men go but also gives the best of video-gamers competition on the Xbox.
Charlie, however, questions the viability of his relationship with Kari, often expressing concerns about where she “really” is, what she “really” is doing during her work travels and her commitment to the relationship. Like Brutus, Charlie is insecure; unable to fully trust any woman unless that woman is present, available and accessible at all times. Because of this, his commitment to Kari is tenuous at best which he himself acknowledges but is unwilling to confront or overcome that uncertainty. Instead, he is consumed by his insecurities which he then quells by consuming large quantities of alcohol. During one of his recent drinking binges, Charlie sent Kari a break-up text: “I can’t do it anymore… good-bye.” That same night, he went home with a woman he met at the bar. Though this was the first known incident of Charlie cheating, this was not the first of break-up texts. Kari has received break-up texts a few times before, which Charlie would aways put down as the aftermath of having too much to drink. Kari would forgive him and return, silently praying that those texts were just alcohol-induced sentiments. Each time this happens though, Kari would be devastated, resenting a job she loves because she is traveling most of the week and blaming herself for his insecurities. She’d emotionally beat herself as if she had cheated and sent the heartbreaking texts.
Ally the Uber-Mom
Ally is a sweet, gentle, mid-west girl with a sweet and gentle face. Originally from Montana, she is a simple girl with simple values. Her greatest ambition is to have a family of her own: specifically, a husband, two children, a golden retriever and a home with picket white fences. Though she did not achieve this goal precisely, she has married, purchased a home with black wrought-iron gates, adopted a poodle and gave birth to four beautiful and lively children. Aside from these personal achievements, she is the controller for the city of ——- and President of the local school’s Parent & Teacher Association. Ally is the quintessential domestic goddess, being able to manage and care for a wagon-load of children, dog and husband with no housekeeper or nanny to assist. How she manages is quite amazing and miraculous!
Her husband, “Tiger”, is often absent, spending much of his time on the golf-green practicing his stroke or hanging out at the driving range discussing Phil Mickelson or Tiger Wood’s latest record. Ally handles most of the household chores on top of her mommy-duties. The few household chores reserved for Tiger, such as taking out the trash, often falls on Ally also since Tiger frequently forgets to do them (probably because his brain is full of golf trivia). As for finances, much of his paycheck is spent on golf equipment, lessons and club fees. And though he does love his children and plays with them often, the task of cleaning, feeding, chauffeuring and disciplining is left to Ally. Tiger, on the other hand, knows exactly when to disappear when household or childcare assistance is needed. For this reason, Sally is often mistaken as a single mom.
Genevieve the Lion-Hearted
Genevieve is a Harvard law graduate, an adoption attorney and lobbyist for orphan rights. She is the prototypical New York City career woman whose social network includes some of the city’s most influential power players. Being of French and Korean descent, she is enchantingly beautiful with long brown hair, golden-amber eyes and ivory skin though she tries to downplay her good-looks with unassuming attire. Her natural charm, genuine interest, friendly warmth and compassion for all people are disarming, causing everyone she encounters to love her. She has her pick of admirers, yet for some inexplicable reason, she has chosen “Axl”.
Like Axl Rose of Guns N’ Roses, Genevieve’s Axl is emotionally unbalanced, explosively temperamental and insanely egomaniacal. He is a Wall Street stockbroker, which is rather surprising given his inability to contain his emotional outbursts. At home, when he loses his temper, Axl would go into a shouting fit, randomly cursing at Genevieve as well as anyone around, reminding me of a patient with Tourette’s. When he is not throwing a temper tantrum, he is restlessly puttering about the house, trying to find a project to keep busy but never able to stay with it for long because his interest wanes rapidly like that of a hyperactive child with ADD. So it is up to Genevieve to keep Axl’s enormous ego and temper in check but how her heart withstands his emotional tirades is amazing!
So reflecting on these stories, I can’t help but wonder why someone would put themselves through such psychological and emotional torture. Anyone, especially Brutus, Charlie, Tiger and Axl, should thank the heavens everyday for having such amazing women stand by their sides. But instead, they are the ones being worshipped like gods. So what is it about these undeserving men that these women can’t live without? Is it a fear of being alone or the hope of change that keeps them there? What makes these men (and women as well) worth fighting and suffering for? Is love so blind that they cannot see the reality of their situation or see the true character of their lesser halves? And how much should one tolerate and compromise before walking away? Perhaps I’ve just been living in my safe little world for too long, but I don’t get it. Surely, relationships shouldn’t be as difficult as the ones highlighted in this article.
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