Want to win my heart forever? Day 5 of my self-imposed 30 Day Writing Challenge is: Five Ways to Win My Heart.
Clue: it’s actually not that hard. My biggest red flag/warning sign is that I’m extremely high maintenance when it comes to managing me emotionally because when I feel a feel, I mean seriously: I FEEL MY FEELS. But once you’re in my heart you are there forever and ever amen so it’s all a wash in the end, I suppose. It’s when you act like a complete ass and show me why I was wrong to stick you there that you lose me. Here are 5 ways to ensure that never happens, 5 beginning steps down Amy’s yellow brick road:
1- Be honest. All the time. About every single thing. I mean, you don’t have to tell me I look like I’ve put on 15 lbs or that new hair color I’m trying out is hideous or this person is a funner friend than I am. Not THAT kind of honesty. That kind of honesty is going to have me giving you stony silence for a few days until all my tears burst forth and I let you know you aren’t perfect here, here, or here either, you bastard. No. I mean the big things – be honest about the big things, even when they’re hard. I’m not going to go into further detail than that, because if you can’t figure out what kinds of things are Big Things, then you and I don’t need to be friends, spouses, lovers, OR acquaintances.
2- Make me laugh. I laugh all the time, even when I’m in a state of “That’s so F-ed Up I Can’t Even” fit of incredulity at myself or others. Even when I’m crying. I’m not kidding – I will laugh. Unless it’s a deep-down, broken heart, soul wrenching cry spell (and these only happen in private – I have never ever let another human being see me in this state), I will laugh. Because I can’t not; this whole thing we’re all doing is just ridiculous. Like, if Donald Trump becomes president and six months in declares an emergency halt to the Bill of Rights and the Constitution and declares himself dictator for life? I will laugh. I will laugh with great mirth and deep fear, but I will laugh. So be funny and make me laugh and you will have me forever. (The things that make me laugh are self-deprecating irony. Corny, cutesy things are okay, but if you know how to do self-deprecating irony and kind sarcasm well, oh let’s be lifelong friends, please.)
3- Be protective. I’m a bad feminist. I say it all the time, partly because it’s true and partly because I’m sincerely apologizing to all the good feminists out there. I’m a feminist but I’m not strident enough. I like men too much. The good kind of men. And I want us to all help each other. We don’t have to scream angrily and push other people down to get to the top…can’t we all just give each other a leg up?
At any rate, I like to feel protected. I protect the people who matter most to me, and I like to feel protected by who I hope I matter to. I don’t need you to get into a fistfight if some guy is being a dickhead to me (though I wouldn’t stop you, if you thought that would fix it)…I just need you to stand up for me. I like to feel safe and taken care of. I don’t know how else to explain it other than this: I can hang my own curtains and fix my own garbage disposal, but I don’t WANT to do these things. I need a hero. I’m holding out for a hero til the end of the night. (See? All the other feminists are totally rolling their eyes at me right now.)
4- Validate me. I think when someone constantly invalidates me a lot it’s a big indication they actually don’t have very much respect for me, no matter how much they say they have. Over the last year, I’ve learned to really pay attention to actions, not words, and I’m starting to detach from people neediness (at least today as I type this I am). So if you’re saying you respect and value me, but you’re constantly invalidating what I say and think, then that indicates you actually don’t respect or value me. And if there’s no mutual respect, then it’s not really a relationship I want to be in and I’ll either pull back, way back, or just pull out entirely.
I have two things I talk about when I talk about stuff: (1) things I don’t really know a whole lot about but have really big opinions on anyway and (2) things I know a whole lot about and get really worked up, totally passionate about whenever I speak of them. If you’re going to invalidate me, you’re far better off invalidating me over things like 401K investments, Wall Street, retirement planning, nuclear fusion, the Middle East crisis, and anything Math. But if you’re going to try to roll your eyes at me about kids, education, writing, mermaids, mythical pirates, and unicorns? Oh, hell NO. (I’m being facetious. Just don’t invalidate me – even my stupidest opinion is always sincere. And if I love you, I always treat your stupid opinions as sincere. So let’s not invalidate each other so you can win my heart, okay? Yay!)
5- Know me. I’m not talking mind reading – that crap is hard to try to do with people, believe me because I try a form of it every day, every single day, I’m alive. I think I mean just GET me. Understand me. I think a lot of people in my life think they know me a lot better than they actually do because I write a lot on this blog and I’m fairly open about my struggles and whatever I’m going through in my life at the moment. But I don’t know too many people who really, really KNOW me, really understand me. There are layers to me even I don’t know I have until I find them. And I think a clue to someone who claims they really know (but don’t, actually) is when I peel back a layer and that person judges me and my new layer. Or they correct me and my new layer. Something like that. Whatever happens, I find I have to quietly close up that part of me with that particular person and, though I love them immensely, I now know: they don’t really know me. Or want to. (Maybe what I’m really asking for is someone who may not always understand me but WANTS to.)
And if you think you completely know/understand me, don’t TELL me! If you want to raise my hackles, the worst thing you can do is go: “Amy, I know you better than you know yourself.” Because that’s not going to work for me, even if it happens to be true. That’s the kind of thing that always makes me go: “Oh, well then. Let’s just see about THAT, Mister.” If you can find a subtle way to let me know you understand me completely, I will be melted putty in your arms and you will be placed in my heart for always.
As an end note, I’d also like to add that I’m also highly susceptible to being wined and dined. Oh, and! Beaches. Take me to the beach, to the ocean, and I’ll heart you for always. Because I’m not kidding: I’m so bad at feminism.