Sunday, June 25, 2006

Ballsy, But Stupid

16-year-old girl runs off to Jordan to meet 25-year-old guy she met on My Space.

You gotta admit, the girl's got balls. Sadly, she ran off thinking there was a well meaning guy on the other end who'd take care of her (that's the assumption anywhere. Nowhere in this article is she allowed to speak for herself and her own motives, and her parents are baffled, as parents usually are). There certainly could have been a well-meaning guy on the other end (sure, uh huh), but I think a lot of women think that in order for them to go out and have adventures and live exciting lives (it didn't surprise me that she's from a small "agricultural" community), they have to partner themselves with some random guy in order to do so.

I'm just as guilty of this, of course, I ran off to Bellingham with a high school boyfriend three days after turning eighteen (my parents wouldn't let me out of the house before then), thinking that now I was going to have all sorts of great adventures. Sadly, not every guy actually shares in the idea that his partner should go off and have adventures - with or without him, and you wake up one day with 100 extra pounds, three kids, and a drinking problem.

I totally blame Disney movies. I mean, you get this whole idea into your head that life doesn't really start until you find your prince charming and get married. What you don't wonder about until later is why all those romantic stories *end* when the characters get married. Well, likely they *end* because all of the adventure stops after they get married, and a movie all about how Mr. & Mrs. argue about who put the spatula in the wrong drawer gets boring (this is why I love the Shrek movies and hope they keep making them. I love that the story goes on and there's still adventure to be had *after* the couple gets together. And they aren't always fairy-tale happy, but they love and respect each other).

I want the story where the 16 year old runs off to join Green Peace and gets hauled out of the ocean because she's trying to blockade a whaling ship with her little rubber boat. Or the girl who goes off to Thailand and starts a rural school for tsunami orphans (I did, in fact, read a story about a 17 year old girl who did this, with her parents' blessing, and who raised all the money for the school and helped build it with her own two hands).

Because, you know, you don't need to hang on some guy and wait for him to take you on adventures. Cause he probably won't. And some of the more deviant ones will think it's a great adventure to keep you locked in the closet in a foreign country and only bring you out for the occasional gang bang.

Like I said: ballsy, but stupid.

Go buy a one-way ticket to Fairbanks and build a log cabin in the woods and brew your own beer. Believe me, it's far more exciting than attaching yourself to somebody who probably doesn't have your best interests in mind.

You're the only one who knows what your best interests are. Don't rely on somebody else to decide them for you.

5 comments so far. What are your thoughts?

La Gringa said...

Ya know, I'm 44 and most of the time I still don't know what my own best interests are. I keep hoping one day I'll figure out the point to all of this.

I do understand the running off with another person. I don't necessarily think it's just that they are looking for a man so much as companionship. Loneliness can be a terrible thing, and these days I often find that no amount of self-esteem or feelings of personal accomplishment make up for the fact that when I get home at night, I have nobody with whom to share that happiness.

Kameron Hurley said...

Oh, sure, but in this case, I think that if it was all about the partner, she could have found somebody closer (in age and distance) on MySpace. I'd wager it was more about the romantic idea of running off to Jordan.

I think that if my high school boyfriend had said, "Let's move in together in the low-income digs in downtown Battle Ground!" I would have been less inclined to "run away" with him. Because living within a 15 minute drive from my parents place just wasn't what I was looking for.

The whole idea is that you get to "run away." It's not necc. about who the partner is, in this case; or even, I think, having a partner at all.

I'm certainly all about moving heaven and earth if you find somebody you think is fantastic who lives uber-far away, but I tend to think that - particularly when you're young - *seeking out* those relationships isn't primarily about feeling lonely. I think it's got more to do with wanting a big change in your life, with romanticism, and not seeing a way to change your life on your own (having been in a long distance relationship, I think that anyone who *seeks that out on purpose* is nuts. At the same time - also speaking from experience - I realize that Shit Happens).

Jennifer R said...

I've gotten the impression from people in the last year that if you want your life to cheer up, the quickest way to do it is to hop into a new relationship. I have Depressing Life Circumstances going on right now and I decided not to date until they were over, and I get all kinds of crap about I need something to make me happy NOW, and ONLY a new boy is going to do it for me. Grrr. So I can kind of see what you mean about how a guy can initiate some big change in your life when you can't do it for yourself. But if you don't pick a good guy to initiate this change, then...well, bad things occur. Ugh. Hence why my dating hiatus- I don't need Boy Drama on top of Evil Family Drama, thank you.

I do kind of wonder about me that my last relationship was long-distance (well, short-distance, as in a few hours away rather than a plane ride). In a way, I got to keep my own life "intact" by having him live elsewhere, and it was great to have a boy-free town once we broke up (as opposed to having to deal with my one local ex after he dumped me because we were in the same social circle). I always have some kind of thing like that going on with my exes- one lived on the other end of the state for about a third of the time that we went out, and I moved a few hours away for another third, and when we were in the same town he was a workaholic. And local ex was obligated to spend almost every single weekend out of town. I guess I like to know that a guy's going to be out of my hair at least part of the time so I can do my own thing. I think I'd go berserk if I actually shacked up with a boyfriend and he was around ALL the time.

So, I guess that's a motivation for an LDR. Albeit a weird one. 

Posted by Jennifer

Terri said...

So what's wrong with three kids, a few+ extra pounds and enjoying the evening with a bottle of wine? (every night?)

David Moles said...

If you’re a teenage girl and you’re gonna hook up with random older men on MySpace, at least be entrepreneurial about it: “Man Robbed by Teen Girls, Thought He was Meeting MySpace Friend.”