men don’t listen to me

Dang, someone gave my newest book a mere 3-star rating on Amazon! I would want to roll off a precipitous cliff and land ever-so-gracefully into the feeding trough of starved hyenas if I wasn’t an adult and didn’t just subject a friend to a drunken rant about how I wish more men would challenge my behavior (constructively and justly) instead of enabling me by laughing at all my jokes, for the pressure of having to consistently one-up my last stellar punchline is overbearing and exhausting and makes me want to go right to sleep instead of having sex.

I suppose the same notion could spill over to my “fans,” but the end result isn’t as satisfying as I fantasized… In fact, it’s quite the opposite: I only have a small group of devotees and they gave me their money and I wanted to please them, but apparently, my performance was mediocre. To one of them, or the only one willing to be vaguely honest. They didn’t divulge their complaints in a review, and I wish they had (constructively and justly, of course), for I am a reasonable person and I would enjoy to hear what they liked and what they did not! I would even offer a $10 refund as a token of my gratitude for taking time out of their day to pen said review, because we believe in satisfaction guaranteed or your money back at Rose Damian, LLC! I can’t grow if I don’t know! 

(Constructively and justly; I cannot stress this enough. If they are incapable of phrasing their reading experience in a manner that will not make me want to kill myself, then I would rather they just send me their Venmo username and take my $10. Take $12, even — a 20% gratis for their gratitude. I don’t need any more pain.) 

Back to the subject of men challenging me and how I viciously lie under God’s scrupulous watch because we know damn well that if one actually dared to try I would be so insulted, so disgraced, that I would shame him to my friends for every ignominious deed he ever foolishly committed in my presence, no matter how trivial or whether I cackled along like a moron as the incident occurred, maybe even treated him to a blowjob after…. I would not confront him about these wrongdoings, of course… No, I would likely lie and tell him that I was going to bed early, nightnight baby love you, so as not to arouse any suspicion that he was the catalyst to my mood taking a sour turn. Who would I be if I ever gave men an opportunity to correct their pestilent tendencies? Certainly not Rose Damian (because I would probably be married by now)! 

The other night, I had a dream where my most recent failed relationship was texting me, doing that thing someone does where they incessantly work in something to every conversation — relevancy does not matter because they will overexert themself to make it relevant — because they want you to ask about it. I’m sure we have all had a coworker who finally reeled in a boyfriend after eight dry, dismal, lonely years spent browsing for the newest sex toys on Amazon, and every sentence that comes out of her mouth contains “my boyfriend.” You’re eating tuna salad for lunch? Her boyfriend prefers chicken salad, though you did not recall asking for the public’s consensus on the superior of the mayonnaise-based salads. Her car has been making a funny noise since 1991, but instead of a weekly update on whether it is clinkclinkclinking or clunkclunkclunking, she finally has a potential BREAKTHROUGH in the case! Her boyfriend thinks the issue is [totally not what is causing the clackclackclacking in her car at all because her boyfriend hasn’t the slightest fucking clue; he’s a fucking accountant]. 

Finally, it’s Friday, and 4pm rolls around; only one more hour of trudging through banal mediocrity for a meagre pittance that hasn’t increased in five years, and you’re free from this shithole for two whole days. Restless and impatient as the clock ticks by ever-so-slowly, your coworkers start chatting about their weekend plans. These plans rarely alter and are never exciting in the first place, but you actively participate in the conversation because this is what your life has sunk to and relief is only garnered from the fact that your unfortunate devolution seems to have stabilized and it can’t get any worse than this. Someone mentions a new movie they’re thinking of catching the 7:40pm showing for. 

“My boyfriend said it was a bit disappointing…” The girl who Apparently, Just Got A Boyfriend chimes in. 

You gaze down at the piece of scratch paper on your desk, quickly tallying up the check marks scribbled in the corner of the page; by 11:30am, you were so fucking bored and miserable that you started keeping track of how many times she mentioned her boyfriend; this is instance number 26, which makes for 24 too many. 

You swivel around slowly in your desk chair to face her — it makes a piercing screech and everyone in the office grimaces and wishes you were dead for all of four seconds and then feel guilty because that’s a terrible thought to have, you brought everyone donuts three and a half months ago and the chair simply needs a sprinkle of WD40, Jesus christ when did I get so irritable I am turning into my father this weekend cannot come fast enough — “WAIT,” your voice booms, rousing everyone from their unpleasant reveries of childhood trauma.

“Clarissa, did you get… A BOYFRIEND? Why didn’t you let us know SOONER?” 

But this was a mistake, you see: Clarissa had been waiting eight hours and seventeen minutes for someone to finally ask her about her new fucking boyfriend, and she misinterpreted your petulant sarcasm as a cue that it was finally her time to shine, and she is going to blind you with her refulgent, puppy-love bullshit for the next 43 minutes until you gather your things, stand up, and clock out, just as Clarissa was about to get to the part about how he is just ok at eating pussy, but she thinks she can fix that, and plus, the last man with an expert tongue did back over her cat and didn’t even bother to shoot her a text about it…

Back to my dream: Our text conversation was casual, cordial. I occasionally humor him by participating in these in real life because I am only an asshole in the comfort and security of a Word document. He repeatedly mentioned a name I did not recognize, something unconventional that I cannot recall, though it started with an O… Onyx, Oats, Orifice, Oops, whatever. 

Dream-Me must have had an inkling that this was going to be funny, because I finally relented, sending, “Alright, dawg. You clearly are dying for me to ask about Onyx, so here you go: Who is Oats? Please tell me about Orifice! I must know more about this mystifying Oops!” 

Oats, he eagerly divulged, is a (dream) dog he just adopted for his new (dream) girlfriend. I woke up just as clarity’s sweet relief careened to disgust at the reality of the situation: This idiot not only lured in an unsuspecting woman, but also roped a fucking dog into his disgustly clandestine plan to gauge whether I still gave a shit about him. He could have spared a lot of unnecessary heartache brought upon the foolishly genuine by simply asking me, and promptly receiving his confirmation of NO, though he wouldn’t believe this, of course. He’s never listened to a word I said; a bold statement confirmed by the fact that I woke up from this phantasmic conversation to an actual text from him gushing over how he has never met anyone as smart and funny as me (that sucks; has he tried getting new friends, maybe frequenting a different bar?), relaying that his only wish in life is to be blessed with my presence again (if wishes were horses, we’d all have big cocks), reassuring me that he understands I was going through a rough time (I wasn’t, but after the fifth time of compendiously explaining that I was, indeed, BREAKING UP WITH HIM, citing myriad occasions of HIS insolence which led me to this decision, I thought I would give making me the problem a shot, for one cannot think clearly in desperate times. In fact, panic coupled with exhaustion apparently results in not thinking at all, because had my brain been functioning at even half-capacity, I would’ve recalled that his greatest desire is a helpless, downtrodden woman and it is just my luck that this would be the first thing I had ever said that he actually bothered to absorb), but he just couldn’t understand what went wrong and why I did not want him to let him make me happy anymore (the 22 texts explaining everything that went wrong and how he was not making me happy must have passed through him like a Chipotle bowl during a Romaine lettuce recall scare where the notice warning stores to pull it from the line took dangerously long  to arrive in the manager’s inbox). 

If you recall earlier on in this essay when I stated that I never administer my men the chance to redeem themselves by providing them with constructive criticism on their overall performance as a boyfriend, I will now clarify that I do eventually beat them over the head with a rolled-up file of serious bulk stamped with [WHATEVER SAD, DELUDED MOTHERFUCKER IS IN LOVE WITH ME THAT SEASON]’S REPORT CARD… as I am breaking up with them. My decision is always final, irreversible; I typed it because you can’t erase ink and I don’t believe in White Out; honestly, I don’t buy any because I don’t trust myself to not try huffing it; this goes on his PERMANENT RECORD, which mean he cannot take a class on how to be less of a douchebag to get the charges expunged; etc…

My point is that I explained to my most recent failed relationship why we are not compatible, citing ample sources, many of which I took the time to phrase neutrally so as not to appear as criticisms, because I felt bad, truly: Having invested more into us than I, he would suffer the greater loss. 

An example of my neutral reference: He wanted the antediluvian idea of a “housewife,” subservient and fully reliant on him, both financially and to make every decision for her to ensure that she stays that way; she is to not know of a way out, or to ever have the (even fleeting) idea that an exit exists and is at her disposal. I could never be that for him because I am not stupid; despite showering me in praises regarding my intelligence, he never grasped that it deemed me a poor fit to fill his position. This was paraphrased neutrally as “we are both looking for different things in relationships.” 

(Eventually, I touched on how he frequently treated me as if I did not know my ass from a hole in the ground, but that wasn’t until the third time he made me break up with him and spoke impetuously out of sheer annoyance. I never intended to divert from my plan of indifference, but having to break up with him seven times was annoying. 

The best example I can give of him undermining me took place after we broke up. My car had been rear-ended and totaled; he asked me if I called the cops and collected the other driver’s insurance information; this was a stupid fucking question and thus, unworthy of a response. He went on to say, “Since you didn’t answer my question, I am going to take that as a no…”

You’re right! The man carelessly destroyed my car that I owed $10k on, but I told him not to worry, and instead, to have a wonderful, blessed day, and kept on driving, despite it no longer having a rear end; it was reduced to half a car. I drove away with half of a car. How could I have been so stupid? I’m lost without you!)

This all confirms my suspicion that not once in the five months since our separation has he bothered to ponder the ways in which he just may have fucked up, and unfortunately for him, I’ve been busying myself doing just that, and I am not going to explain my findings to him because he’s a jackass and that’s not my fucking job. In fact, I don’t really even have a job, which is probably what attracted him to me in the first place, and he’s not going to listen to me — he never has and never will — and he can keep gazing up at me from my pedestal he built until his neck aches, which probably happened about eight months ago because he’s old. Too old to behave as he does. 

Stupid bitch.