Saturday, May 24, 2008

Down the Emotional Rabbit Hole

Today, while cavorting around with my friend J, we stumbled into a lovely new food/hardware/kitchenware store. I was minding my own business when a smallish, though devilishly handsome, guy in a chef's coat gave me his best slow and sultry once-over on his way to the kitchen. I hadn't noticed this fella before and was really rather disinterested altogether, but now my primal instincts began to kick in and I was the hunter, sniffing out my prey. But you see, since I'm a woman, what that means is that even though I was the one pursuing, I wanted him to pursue me with equal intensity. Call me an old-fashioned hunter. It's all about being noticed.

I think that's really what it boils down to for us women. We just want to be noticed. And then once we're noticed, we want to be desired. After that, we want to be adored, then cherished, then SEEN. That is the last step in feeling fulfilled. We want a man to see us. And by see I don't mean "Yes, I see you're wearing a green skirt." I mean, "I know what makes you cry, I know that your nose twitches when you are happy and I know you wish you'd never said the word 'poop' in front of your Uncle Todd, who has irritable bowel syndrome."

We want to be known inside and out, and desired, adored and cherished for everything we are. What's worse, we're often willing to give up a great deal in order to scratch our way to the finish line, all in the hopes that our own goal will be recognized - that a man will notice us and then want to fall, the way Alice fell down the rabbit hole, into the foundation of our soul.

So even though this chef meant about as much to me as a piece of lettuce, deep inside, I was already thinking about that ultimate emotional trophy.

"I will flirt him into a frenzy," I thought, "and then he'll want to follow me home like a puppy dog."

Now don't get me wrong. I don't really entertain the idea that I have in me any sort of power that could turn a man into a puppy dog, but in these moments of pursuit, your mind tells you all sorts of silly things. Soon, he was standing next to my friend, who he apparently knew from years back, and handed her a plate of house-cured coppa drizzled in a fiery pepper jelly. He only brought one fork.

"Hey, I'm with her, I'm with her," I bellowed, trying to amp up my flirtation.

He just stared. (Note to self: Get a new power cord. Amp has apparently been shut off due to an outstanding electric bill.)

Okay, game over. Mr. Chef is not interested.

You really think I just let the game end, though? Of course you don't. Because you remember what I said up there about having all these delusions of grandeur. So you know that his avoidance of me only pressed me onward.

He did a little staring for a bit, then shuffled off to the kitchen, leaving me to sulk with my lemon mayonnaise.

As we made our way to the car, I realized something startling. So often, I'm willing to take mere kitchen scraps in order to feel just a little bit good about myself. Sometimes I'm so darned hungry to be seen that I let that be enough. Old bones and sinewy pieces of fat. That's my emotional supper. No wonder I'm never full. I guess I've got an emotional tapeworm. I keep taking whatever the next guy is willing to give me, just to fill the hole inside. But wouldn't you know, the hole is nowhere near my stomach. It's in my heart.

How do you fill your heart? And please don't say by learning to love yourself and recognizing your own special gifts. Blah, blah, blah. I need measurements here, actual tangible ingredients. Are we talking 5 cups of flour? Maybe a stick of butter? Guess I'd better start baking...

1 comment:

Date Girl said...

I know exactly how you feel! I can't tell you how many times I've been at a bar and I wait till I catch the eye of one of the bar guys, until I get that smile that says they like the way I look. It's definitely kitchen scraps or maybe in this case bar crumbs? Either way, when you figure out how to fill the heart, you be sure to let me know!