As per 2015 Bucket List Item #13 “Read a new book every two weeks from the library,”
I’ve been spending many a night bookworming it up in the comfort of my hermit cave.
Sherry Argov’s Why Men Love Bitches is not technically a new read; it’s been strategically hidden behind a stack of 18th-century novels, away from the scrutinizing eyes of guests perusing my bookshelves and evaluating my literary prowess. (Side note: Mr. B was a total book snob. One more tick in the douchebag column!)
The title is obviously kitchy; which is why I refused to read it for such a long time. To my surprise, I ripped through it in two hours (I am a reading ninja, it’s actually my superpower), and found myself taking notes as I nodded along to many of the simple but poignant principles Argov puts forward in this tongue-in-cheek “relationship self-help” book. She redefines the term “bitch” throughout the book as a woman who simply knows what she wants – Babe In Total Control of Herself. (Okay, this made me groan a bit, but stay with me!)
Disclaimer: I didn’t agree with every concept in this book; I chose to glean the concepts I could apply to my own life and recent situation. I particularly disliked Chapter #4, dedicated to the art of being a “dumb fox,” which made me want to burn my bra in protest.
Here are some “aha” moments I did take away from the book, and will apply moving forward:
1. A bitch does not stop moving to her own rhythm! If you allow your rhythm to be interrupted, you’ll create a void. Then, to replace what you give up, you’ll start to expect and need more from your partner.
2. When you love life with him or without him, that is when he will accept you and value you for who you are. A bitch prioritizes herself over “melting” into someone else.
3. A bitch is not governed by fear of losing a man, because she knows the real price to pay is when she loses herself.
4. The relationship may not be right for you if you find yourself jumping through hoops. When something is right, it will feel easier and much more effortless.
5. Never stop living your life. Take a class. Develop a hobby. Meet people. You are only as interesting as the depths of your own interests.
6. Stop telling yourself, “He is the one. He is different!” every time you meet someone new. Instead, you have to think, “I’m willing to learn more. I’m enjoying myself, but if it doesn’t work, there are other ducks in the pond.”
7. Be an independent thinker at all times, and ignore anyone who attempts to define you in a limiting way.
Simple concepts? Yes. Of course.
Did I follow them with Mr. B? Absolutely not. I lost my sense of self; I lost my dignity.
Would following these concepts to a tee have changed the outcome of my sad sob story? Probably not. I was unfortunate enough to date an emotionally-immature and manipulative asshole. But if I hadn’t promised my life away and put all my eggs in the “boyfriend basket,” I may have better dealt with the demise of our relationship.
C’est la vie, people. You live, you learn.
Current Status: realizing Mindy Kaling is my spirit animal / eating dinner out of a can / debating finally taking my Christmas tree down