Keep it together, gents
Posted Saturday, March 2 2013 at 02:00
- There is nothing sexy about a deranged man who goes all boo-hoo about a failed love affair, but it happens in more ways than one
We all have been hurt before. Only as men, we never say it openly. That is too fruity. But hurt by any other name would still sting as much. However, pain has to be concealed, partly because it makes a man look weak, and also because it robs the inflictor of the benefit of seeing you all broken and crushed.
We cloak hurt and hide it from the prying — and judgmental — eyes of the world. And there, like a sore wound, it gets septic and eats us up from inside, in solitude, until either two things happen; we meet someone else with the exact (or bigger) hips as the woman who hurt us, or we look in the mirror and say, “look at what you have turned into; a pathetic, long-faced pap. Get over the snivelling and mopping already!” Then we go out and look for bigger hips – the only exorcism our hearts understand.
The truth is that we all have done some things we wish we hadn’t during those moments of pain: embarrassing things that showed our lack of control. Below are a few:
Begging and crying
She says she cannot take it anymore. She is moving on. She has always threatened to leave; in fact she has always left. But you always got her back. It was not that difficult. Now there is something different in her eyes: resolve. She is gone. So, like a little girl, you boohoo before her, on your knees.
You plead to be taken back, promising to change. You blame the devil, or other dark forces, but she looks away uninterested. The resolve in her eyes smells like burning rubber.
A few months later, you think back and the thought of you all wet-cheeked and pleading fills you with deep regret. Regret that she left, yes, but also for what she turned you into.
The carrot girl
Maybe she was not even ready to leave. Maybe she was just trying to test if you would be moved enough to stop her from leaving. Maybe her acting was so convincing that it made you start blubbering promises to take her where she always wanted to go, or to go see her parents, or to stop drinking, or to give her half the money for the car, or offer to pay her rent.
After the dust has settled and she has said she is giving you a second chance, the reality of your promises dawn on you. And you kick yourself a little.
You blow her friends phones, asking for details of where she is, who she is seeing, or where she is seeing them. And you keep showing up with your sob story and sorry face.
Following her everywhere, like a phantom, your sense of dignity low as an envelope, your self-esteem non-existent. But you keep doing this until one day she calls the police or her deranged ex-convict brother. Then you stop because you are a coward.
In campus there was a gorgeous Ugandan woman who lived next to where I shared a crammed room with another student. One night, at 1am, her ex showed up, deep-voiced and drunk out of his head. He knocked on her door repeatedly, begging to be let in. It was annoying.
My roommate and I decided to go tell him to keep down the racket, but when we opened the door and realised he was about 6’5’’ and with a hand the size of my roommate’s thigh, we slowly receded back into our cubicle. But that man is not unique; we all have shown up at the ex’s door unannounced, demanding answers or to be taken back, or to be given our money back.
Some guys have found the new guy in the house and showered him with a few ungentlemanly words as she stood there, glad she made the right decision.