Thursday, March 7, 2013

Why You're Not Married Yet, Chapter 4: You're Crazy

In case you are new to the BLOW OFF, 20 LA Wannabe and I have been reading the book Why You're Not Married...Yet By Tracy McMillan and giving our take on her take. See previous posts here. This week, we read chapter 4: You're fucking crazy bitch. Okay, it's actually just called "you're crazy." Here we go!

A Single Girl's Perspective (20 LA Wannabe):
There’s really no way around this one.  Bitches can somehow be alluring, shallowness can always have hope for depth, and sluttiness, well what guy doesn’t secretly like a girl that loves to get down? But crazy?  Calling a woman crazy to her face is one of the most cutting insults a man can possibly throw at a woman.

Ironically this is the chapter that I took the least amount of notes on. Not sure if I innately knew a lot of McMillan’s information or if the concept of admitting that I’m actually crazy to someone other than my shrink that prescribes me meds to make me more normal was too daunting. Lets see, shall we? McMillan says that we are crazy if we thrive on insanity and being emotionally out of control. No argument here. She also tells us that being crazy means that we are co-dependent on both our partner and our friends-- so we have people that will let us re-enact the drama of our daily lives since we thrive on re-telling these stories. So far sounds like Lindsay Lohan to me minus the trips to court and jail.

And then McMillan guides us to this chapter’s thesis, CRAZY SCARES MEN! While we might think men can be intrigued by our “craziness” they don’t know how to deal with it and it makes them feel victimized and frightened. I agree that crazy scares men, but it makes them feel victimized? I’m going to disagree with her conclusion here and say that I think that crazy scares men because they are simple and want to keep their lives as simple as possible. They don’t want to get involved in our unnecessary drama. They want to go to work, drink beer with their buddies and watch football on Sundays. Hearing about our girlfriend that intentionally wore the same dress she knew we were going to wear to the charity event isn’t high on men’s priority list and they deem a lot of our heightened emotions as frivolous. They don’t want to be distracted from their easy-going lifestyle.

 So McMillan’s quick or not-so-quick fix if you’re certifiably cray cray with men? Go to therapy and get hobbies. I believe that everyone can benefit from therapy. Besides, who doesn’t want to sit around and talk about themselves for an hour straight? And hobbies are important because whenever you’re too wrapped up in anything it usually causes it to implode. Her last piece of advice? Whatever you do, do NOT impulsively send him twenty texts in a row when you haven’t gotten a response to the first few. Do people still do this? I think we’ve seen enough rom-com’s to be aware this is never an effective tactic. But if for some reason you partake in this type of impulse behavior you can write a text or an email but you need an impartial third-party friend to read and approve it. Then you must wait 24 hours to see if you still want to send the approved message.

 I enjoyed this chapter but I think a lot of this is fairly self-explanatory. We all figure that if we aren’t in a relationship perhaps we are dragging our emotional baggage along with us a little closer than we suspected. But they are all good reminders that drama doesn’t equal excitement…especially with men.

A Married Woman's Perspective (Saaara):
The best thing I got out of this chapter is that there are two types of crazy: major crazy and minor crazy.  Guys, I'm totally only minor crazy!  I feel so much better now! 

Here's the next takeaway that can be helpful for all of us that are currently in relationships.  Men and women have different thresholds for intensity.  What we consider harmless (Kenny G intensity) a guy can consider chaotic (Metallica intensity.)  OMG. This totally explains why when I'm totally not freaked out about something my husband starts saying "relax, relax, relax" all anxious that I'm two minutes away from going through the roof.  I'm hoping this will help us with communication, because McMillan also points out that the more anxious or chaotic a guy feels, the less likely he is to listen.  So, I need to be calm, cool, and collected like those old deodorant commercials.

I don't necessarily agree with McMillan's argument that all crazy is connected to co-dependency.  Of course, the longer you're with someone (especially when you're married and financials come into play) the more you rely on each other, and in turn, depend on each other.  But I feel like I'm a pretty independent person that's still been known to get a little cray when a relationship starts unraveling.   I guess McMillan's larger point here is that the last thing that's going to save your relationship from ending is you acting CRAZY about the possibility of it ending.  Getting all intense and needy and panicked is only going to drive a guy away. 

On McMillan's go to therapy/get a hobby advice.  Therapy: duh.  Honestly, every chapter of the book so far could have ended with "go to therapy."  I thought it was also weird that the book makes the assumption that if you're acting nutty, it means you had an unhappy childhood.  Let the record show that I had a very happy childhood and I still act like a crazy person sometimes.  I can see how having hobbies and things we love to do on our own will help make us more independent (again, common sense), but let's be real: when you have a broken heart, it's hard to feel enthusiastic about any of those things.  I remember going out with my friends and pretending to have a good time, but the whole time I had that empty feeling in the pit of my stomach that just wouldn't go away.  And unfortunately, I think the best cure for that is not therapy or knitting a scarf: it's meeting someone else.

One thing McMillan doesn't touch on is that Major Crazy can not only cost you a guy, but it can cost you your friends.  Over the last year, I've definitely put distance between myself and a friend, because every time we went out I spent two hours of my life listening to her various melodramas.  It just got to be too exhausting and instead of telling her she was the common denominator in the roller coaster that was her life, I stopped hanging out with her. 

Lastly, I love McMillan's advice on the "impulse" texts/emails.  I like it so much that I think we need a new Impulse BLOW OFF series.   Any time you want to send that email or text, but you aren't sure about it, email us and we'll tell you what to do, or we'll just let you post it to our site to get it off your chest.

Until next week when we dissect chapter 5: You're Selfish.  I'm really hoping McMillan writes her next book for dudes and takes some of the onus off of us ladies. 

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