B is for boys. B is for buttheads. B is for being a badass when faced with boys who are buttheads. I’ve had my share. I’m a little different than my blogger counterpart, J. Whereas she grew up in a house with a solid relationship model on display every day, my childhood was a little more fractured. A little more like the norm of today rather than the norm of the 1950s.
My parents met at a pig roast on the beach. Dad was a never married late-twenty-something leading a fairly uncomplicated life as a grocery clerk. Mom was living with her parents, newly divorced with an infant. Seven years later, I came along, and six years after that, the marriage dissolved. I grew up being shuttled between homes every other weekend, acquired step-parents (mine are AWESOME — many sympathies if yours are lame), and got to feel that unique blend of awkward shame/guilt that every kid feels when an adult looks at you with pity-filled eyes and says something about how they’re sorry you’re part of a “broken family.”
Let’s get one thing straight — my childhood wasn’t broken because my parents split up. My childhood was enlightened by the idea that if you’re not happy with someone, you are allowed to leave. You should try your darnedest, but at the end of the day, if you’ll both be happier apart, then apart is how you should be.
Independence should not be scary. It should be enjoyed. Even my grandmothers valued their independence. One outlived her spouse by eighteen years and never looked twice at another man — she’d disliked the one she married, so why do that again? My other grandmother was married at eighteen and has currently been married for 72 years. You know what she urged any child or grandchild who would listen? Don’t get married at eighteen!
So here I am, the oldest unwed grandchild on either side. Unlike J, I do not ever date very aggressively. The thought of 3-4 first dates a week sounds like precisely zero fun. I like creating deep connections, and modern dating with its apps and ghosting and the swipe swipe swipe just….oy, can you pass a novel? I think I’ll have more fun buried in one of those than with some dude from Tinder buried in me. Just sayin’.
Still, here’s the magical part: even though I personally don’t date that much, I have a way of drawing out people’s best stories. You know when you do something outrageous or terrible or disgusting, and there is literally ONE person in your phone who you can tell without fear of judgement? That’s me. The person who first dates open up to about all of their weird fetishes and fantasies? Also me. I don’t know how or why this is the power I’ve been granted, but as someone who is curious as fuck and dearly loves to laugh, I have to say, being that person is pretty damned perfect.
I have learned a lot from being a fairly independent collector of absurd dating stories. Get ready to learn some things, too.
With love, B!