I just got a love blast from the past.
Someone I adored. How I adored him so pointlessly. Sigh.
I'm sure he really cared for me, in one of those ways that didn't mean anything but he thought was still supposed to mean something to me.
In a way, it's hard to remember hoping for something to happen with him. I was naive about him and so fruitlessly optimistic. There was what I believed was going to happen between us, and there was what I believed had already happened to us and when nothing came of it all, I severed my connection to fruitless optimism once and for all.
I suppose a lot of things have changed since then. In those days I was like low-hanging fruit, easy to grab and take. There were so many things I wanted and so many dreams that I thought I had no way of achieving on my own. I was waiting for someone to come along and change all that, and just about any person could have convinced me that their dreams needed my partnership to make them come true. When you don't have any plans of your own, it doesn't take much for someone to convince you to go with them wherever they are going.
These days, everything I want is in the palm of my hand and I don't need anyone else to ride in and save me from living the dream, so the stakes are a lot higher. Also, I used to work hard for men; I'd be where they wanted me to be and I'd wear what they wanted me to wear and I'd be who they wanted me to be. But I'm not a 25 year old girl and I don't work hard for men anymore.
I suppose I wish I knew about all this at 18 or 21 (or even 27). That a good man doesn't run you around the tree and make you do all the work, just so he can say he has you on his leash. That the best men, and they are out there, are the ones confident enough in themselves that when you're around them, you forget about what's wrong with relationships and you feel more like a woman than you've ever felt before.
I remember being young. And I remember wanting to be someone's ideal; wanting to do all the things that an ideal woman would do and wanting to be all the things that an ideal woman would be. I've found over the years that the only women that men think should be ideal are the ones in the Victoria Secret magazines, and almost any other woman can win the heart of a man by humor and a little empathy. Men are simple creatures, really, which I like. They don't like being criticized or mocked. They like to be flirted with. They don't know how to act properly around women and they're absolute fools about the women they like. I wish I would have known these things when I was young enough to want to win the heart of men.
Now, I'm not sure what I want from love. Not enough, probably. I'm not interested in winning the hearts as much as the minds of men. The rest is up to them.