Another post from years ago...
When you're a straight chick and a relationship ends badly, it's always tempting to become a man-hater for a while or at least to indulge in man-hating bullshit sessions with your female friends for a period of a few weeks.
Luckily, I'm an equal opportunity hater. My rage and contempt towards the world and its populace are not gender-specific.
Being a "pussy" isn't gender specific although you'd think it would be. Being a "dick" isn't either.
I've met plenty of chicks who were complete and utter dicks. Most of my chick friends are dicks, in fact. On too many occasions to count, I myself have been guilty of being a complete and utter dick.
And I've met more than my fair share of men who were total pussies.
In the case of my most recent romantic interlude, a Nicholas Sparks lark had it been directed by George Romero, it turned out that the guy was kind of… a pussy. Somehow, this makes it difficult to hate him.
When I started feeling the pity instead of anger, I knew I was growing as a person.
I also knew I wouldn't have to watch a Lifetime movie for pointers on how to surveil his apartment through night vision goggles so I could slice his nuts off in the most efficacious, least criminally culpable manner.
He's even more fucked up and self-absorbed than I am, if possible. And that's punishment enough. For that reason alone, I don't hate him at all. Not even a little.
Because hate means you love someone. You care enough to hate them.
Because when the man in question is actually a pussy, it's counter-intuitive. Because that would make me a pussy-hater and I happen to like my pussy. It's one of the few things about myself that I like, besides my ability to successfully screech out the rapid-fire lyrics to "Pay to Cum" when drunk and to tan instead of burn in summer.
The latter quality is due to the fact that I'm half Middle Eastern. But my quick-to-bronze-instead-of-burn skin also comes with a price: an oily sheen that requires careful tending with monthly search-and-destroy facials.
These are performed by Beverly, the facialist in my dermatologist's office.
Beverly, the man-hating facialist.
When I go to have my skin's oil glands annihilated by Beverly's excruciatingly painful ministrations, it's a trenchant monthly reminder why it's so much, much better not to become a man-hater.
Beverly is very, very straight. She dates a lot of really, really bad guys.
Subsequently, she really, really hates men. Mostly because she's been fucked over by so very, very many.
I know this because each month when I go to have my skin scraped and prodded and plied with stinging fruit acids, she regales me with details of her latest romantic travesty.
"So we're sitting in the Olive Garden," she'll begin, scrubbing at my face with a steaming exfoliating scrub. "And we're waiting for our stuffed mushrooms; I really like those; and out of the blue, he says, 'Ever thought of getting bigger boobs?'"
She'll lean in and peer at the pores on my nose and sigh.
"I told you last time not to squeeze blackheads. You'll only enlarge the pores. You have to wait and let me do them."
"I know. Sorry."
She continues her exfoliation.
"So anyway. I was like, 'What's wrong with my boobs?' And he was like, 'They're itty bitty mosquito bites, is all.' And then he laughed."
It's unfortunate for me that Beverly's anger intensifies as she recounts stories of Bobby's yen for bigger boobage, Johnny's infidelity with the waitress from Long John Silver's and Kenny's unrelenting demands for anal sex ("And in the parking lot of Home Depot, can you believe that? Anal sex is his thing and in public places, too!").
It's unfortunate for me because it means she wields her scary instruments with extra rigor.
"Hold on to the side of the chair if you have to," she'll admonish, hovering over my face with a shiny, scalpel-like instrument. "It's gonna feel like your face is coming off. Don't worry though. That's normal."
As she digs out impacted sebum from deep within my pores, I concentrate on not screaming. I’m never sure what's more painful: the scalpel-like instrument she's scraping over my skin or her blow-by-blow account of what happened that time Paul decided they should give rim-jobs a try.
It's entirely unclear to me why she tells me such incredibly personal things.
"Paul and I had a fight the other night over some girl with fake boobs we saw at the gym. I was like, 'But she's all fake.' And he was like, 'Yeah, but she's hot.' Don't move, I'm gonna zap an oil gland."
I stare at the ceiling and grit my teeth and try to ignore the hissing sound my skin's making.
"God," she continues. "I mean, if he wants fake and plastic, you know, screw him."
"I wish I could afford to get liposuction, though. I mean, that's all I'd do though. I'd still look natural."
She holds the oil zapper gun aloft, absentmindedly, and continues musing.
"Maybe just a nose job, too."
Normally, Beverly's incessant man-bashing is almost unbearable to listen to, particularly when a light layer of fruit acid is slowly eroding the outermost epidermis of my face.
Three weeks ago, right after my quasi-relationship limped its way to oblivion, it turned out to be not so unbearable.
"So what's been going on?" Beverly said, draping a paper bib around my neck. "Seeing anyone?"
Without fail, she asks this question before any others. My left arm could be nothing but a shredded, bleeding stump from a recent car accident and still, the first thing she'd ask would be if I was seeing anyone.
Her world revolves around seeing someone, anyone. As long as they have a dick and deep-rooted women issues.
Sometimes, I wonder if she enjoys being fucked over, just so she'll have something to discuss with her patients, in addition to her other topics of choice: when The Biggest Loser will be back on the air ("I'm thinking of applying, but I don't know if I'm fat enough."), Atkins versus South Beach ("I tried Atkins for a week and I was constipated the whole time!"), and her perennial favorite, Brangelina ("I hope Angelina burns in hell for what she did to Jen! She is crazy; you can just tell from her eyes! And she's a drug addict, for sure! Just look at those veiny arms of hers.").
Beverly's Us-Against-Them take on the male-female dynamic is both heartbreakingly misguided and infuriatingly clichéd, the product of one too many Oprah Relationship Specials watched while curled up in a comforter on her couch, sucking down tear-soaked Ben and Jerry's.
For this reason, I never tell Beverly when I am actually seeing someone. Because I’m not sure I want someone who buys Dr. Phil's books and actually completes the worksheet exercises to weigh in on my romantic state of affairs.
And because if I am seeing someone and things are going well, I know what her reaction will be: "You think he's the One? You think you're going to get married?"
It is this blind, puzzling, doggedly hopeful romanticism that leads her to such crazed disappointment when guys fuck her over, as they invariably do. And I'm not about to get tips from a woman who gets through breakups by reading books like I Hate You; Don't Leave Me.
It took me several months to figure out who it was that Beverly reminded me of. When I did, I couldn't believe that it had taken me so long.
The deeply embittered judgment of loose women. The enraged disappointment in men, all of whom were Cheaters and Bastards until proven otherwise.
Beverly reminded me of my mother.
Of course, my mother's interests run more along the lines of Merchant Ivory and Royal Dalton china, but still. The similarities were remarkable.
Take, for example, the oddly puritanical refusal to use profanity of any kind except when pushed to the limit, usually by the dastardly deeds perpetrated by men.
Beverly, believe it or not, refuses to swear, except when she's recounting some grisly fucking over or breakup conducted in a Johnny Rockets parking lot. This makes the inevitable gutter mouth all the more disconcerting.
Beverly, when she reaches a particularly gruesome detail of being fucked over, resorts to profanity.
Lots and lots of profanity.
Then the moment vanishes and she's back to being Good Girl Beverly, chattering away about the high thread count sheets she just got on sale at T.J. Maxx.
I've long suspected that her selective profanity may, in fact, be Tourette's of sorts. One that's activated by recounting tales of being fucked over and why it was that she told Bobby, "I hope you learn to suck your own cock in Cabo San Lucas, 'cause I sure as hell ain't doing it anymore."
I HAVE to give her my mother's number.
I think this every time Beverly's bent over my face, scraping away and yammering on about the time she caught Bobby with lipstick on his shorts and he said the shorts were supposed to look like that; they were designer.
This was what she was obsessing about three weeks ago, when I went in right after my quasi-relationship came to an end.
"This is gonna sting like crazy," she muttered, dabbing a film of acid along the planes of my face. She paused. "So come on. You seeing anyone?"
"No," I replied. "I was. Sort of. But we broke up."
"Oh," she breathed. "I'm sorry."
And she really was, I could tell.
She frequently she says she's sorry when she pours too high a concentration of fruit acid on my face and tears of pain stream down my cheeks but from her noncommittal apology, it's clear that she doesn't really mean it.
This time, her soft tone told me that she was, indeed, sorry. After all, breakups were a way of life for Beverly. How could she not empathize? She had at least one or two every few months. And with each one, it seemed, she learned less and less.
"Nah," I replied. "It's okay. I'm fine. The only thing is, now I have to find someone else to fix my computer. I think I have a virus. It's a MacBook but I keep getting all these pop-up ads. And it's really slow."
Beverly stared down at me.
"It sounds like you're more upset that he's not gonna be around to fix your computer anymore."
"I am," I sighed. "I do a lot of work on my computer. Now who's gonna fix it? I'm really bad with computers."
"That's awesome!" she cackled. "You were fucking him for tech support!"
Either Beverly's selective puritanism was rubbing off on me or I was rubbing off on her. She never swore out of the blue.
Unless, of course, she was recounting what had happened that time she caught Dwight getting a blowjob from the Piggly Wiggly cashier, back when she lived in Atlanta.
"Huh," she remarked, studying me. "Your face is gonna be really red after this."
"It's okay. Just keep going."
Beverly picked up an evil looking lancer and giggled.
"I think it's so freaking awesome that you were fucking him for tech support."
She prodded at my forehead.
"That's so great. I can't wait to tell my friend Angela that."
When I got up from the chair, she patted me on the shoulder. It was clear that my breakup had earned me a warm place in her heart. This week, at least.
"Here," she whispered furtively. "Take these samples. This stuff's really expensive. Dr. Stevenson sells this up front for God-knows-how-much an ounce. It's vitamin C brightening serum. It makes your skin glow, you'll see."
She stewed for a minute.
"I used this a while back and my skin looked amazing. Not that it stopped Kenny from going out and fucking the hostess at Pizzeria Uno."
"They never buy the cow when they get the milk for free," I muttered.
She stared at me.
"What?" she asked.
"They never buy the cow when they get the milk for free," I repeated. "My mother always says that."
Beverly squealed with glee.
"So does mine!" she exclaimed.