Regarding Rule #1 to Avoid Becoming a Male Asshat, I believe it was Rod Tidwell who said it best during a post-game bro-chat with Jerry Maguire.
“A real man does not shoplift the ‘pooty’ from a single mom.”
To which Jerry hemmed and hawed like a burgeoning asshat, “I didn’t ‘shoplift the pooty.’ We were thrown together and — I mean it’s two mutual people who … all right, I shoplifted the pooty.”
Did Rod Tidwell back down after Maguire came clean? Hell to the no! No, he didn’t. He responded with a righteous, “Shame on you. SHAME on you, Jerry Maguire!”
Well, I’m a woman, not a fellow man in the dating war theater, down in the trenches under heavy artillery fire with my penis-packing compadres.
And sometimes women are considered man-hating harridans when they scold men for asshattery.
But it’s a chance I’ll have to take!
Because I’m coining Rule #2 to Avoid Becoming a Male Asshat.
Gentlemen, when a women is over the age of 30 and wants to get married and have children and you don’t…
Do Not Age the Egg!
I repeat, do not age the egg!
When I was in my 30s I thought I’d be able to get pregnant until I was 46. Susan Sarandon did it, after all, so certainly it would be no problem por moi.
Imagine my surprise when medical professionals took it upon themselves to finally inform the female public that getting pregnant after 35 is a bitch.
Not only that, it’s at the age of 30 that a woman’s fertility starts to noticeably drop!
This was incredibly stressful news for me, as I’d been dating a man for three years who wasn’t quite ready to be married, but did want to have children someday and it would likely be with me if I would just quit putting so much pressure on him and wait.
I waited two more years. Checking in every so often.
Yes, he still wanted to get married and have children and I really should wait for him. Because if I left him now, (he said) at age 31, who knows how long it would take me to meet someone else?
And who knows how long it would take that someone else to be ready to get married and have kids?
Maybe they would never be ready to get married and have kids when, if I’d just waited for him a little bit longer, I wouldn’t miss the baby train.
I was 33 years old when he decided to move out.
He’d finally had enough, after five years, of my wheedling, implying, hinting, nagging, threatening, cajoling, bribing — oh my darlings the list does go on — in an attempt to get him to marry me and impregnate me with his children.
Had I had any self-esteem I would’ve left years earlier.
Sadly, I didn’t have that much self-esteem. I was eager to believe what I heard, rather than what I saw.
The self-esteem came after he left and I was able to pick myself up by the bootstraps (with a wonderful therapist’s and 12-step sponsor’s help) and move on with my life.
So gentlemen, if you don’t want to get married and have kids. And if you’re dating a woman over 30 who does want that, but doesn’t have enough self-esteem to quit you and walk away, be the bigger man. Set her free.
Here are a few analogies that could serve as visual aids:
Like a child who thought he hooked a trout, but actually caught a whale shark, cut bait.
Like a customer who ordered cheesecake, but got a main dish, send it back to the kitchen.
Like a gardener who wanted a leaf blower but got a fire hose, return it to the hardware store.
Like a first-grade teacher who ordered Dora The Explorer, but received The Sound And The Fury, exchange it through Amazon.
Like a groom who asked for a stripper for the bachelor party, but got a Nobel Laureate, yell at your best man Tad.
Okay, perhaps I’m being a bit of a judgy harridan. The truth is, it’s perfectly okay not to want to get married and not to want to have kids.
Why should you want to do it just because she wants to do it? It doesn’t mean you’re a lesser person. It doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you! It just means you don’t want that.
And while you may want her, really really want her, you also have to want what she wants.
And if you don’t, you’ve got to be honest with her. Don’t string her along. Don’t try to convince her (or yourself) that you may want what she wants someday.
Because then you’re “shoplifting the pooty.” Worse yet, you’re “aging the egg.”
If this were an open letter to women I’d advise them to own what they want and walk away. But this is an open letter to men. I’ll write the one to women at a later date.
It may even be that you do want to get married someday and have children. But is it with this woman who wants it now?
If you don’t know or are not sure and she’s got that ticking biological clock, let her go.
She may come back to you someday. You may go look for her too. But be honest and truthful in the now.
It’s the selfless thing to do. It’s the brave thing to do. It’s the right thing to do. And when you do the selfless, brave, right things you reap the reward of respecting yourself in the morning.
And while you’ll miss the warm space she provided in your bed, you’ll feel worthy of so much more than a placeholder until the right lady, or, in the words of Rod Tidwell, until the “kwan” comes along.