This evening while I was doing my part to get us packed for our big move in 2 weeks I came across a cache of dusty self-help books on one of my bookshelves.
One book was “Sexy at Any Size” (a really good book actually), another was the Bridget-Jones inspired “Becoming a Goddess of Inner Poise“…still yet was the snarky “He’s Just Not That Into You“. DID NOT LIKE. THAT BOOK.
Then I stumbled across self-help GOLD.
My copy of “The Rules: Time-tested Secrets for Capturing the Heart of Mr. Right“.
Yeah, that’s right. Like many single women, I was handed this book by a well-meaning friend, and actually tried to live by some of the bat-shit crazy rules in this book until I realized trying to live my life by rules set forth on a paperback book was insane and made me look like a controlling social engineer from the depths of crazy-land.
It’s funny, it specifically talks in the book about how if you break the rules in this book, you will not find a successful relationship. I personally believe that if you don’t break a few rules in this book, you’ll walk around like you’ve got a stick up your ass. Following this list of arbitrary rules didn’t really work for me. It wasn’t until I broke a few of The Rules that my dating life actually got interesting, and went from the “wishing and reading the Rules” stage to the “living and laughing and leaving the Rules behind” stage.
Some rules I effed up on:
Broken Rule #1 – Be a “Creature Unlike Any Other”
Hmph. This rule was mostly about keeping a certain amount of mystery in your relationship. I guess I broke that one the first time I peed with the door open. He literally screamed. Now he tries to hand me bank slips to look at while I’m in there with my underpants around my ankles, having personal time and reading Adele’s article in an old Rolling Stone. I’m all like,”What is this?! What do I do with this?!” and He’s all like “I dunno.” Neither of us finds it strange that the interaction is happening while one of us is pantsless.
On 4th of July I pulled a prank that involved telling him to lift my leg (pantsless of course) and then farting directly into his face. Again, he screamed. And gagged. And laughed. Almost a week ago and I still cry with laughter about that, and so does he.
Speaking of pantsless… I guess introducing him to my “Pants Off Friday” celebrations probably blew up Rule #1… unless it actually supports #1. I’m pretty sure dancing around without my pants on Fridays makes me a “Creature Unlike Any Other”
Broken Rule #5 – Don’t Call Him and Rarely Return His Calls
I always returned his calls. I was always so excited to hear from him that I didn’t have the self-control to be coy and all not-calling-back right away.
Rule #6 – Always End Phone Calls First
Um… yeah, like the first 2 months he was ALWAYS the one that hung up first, usually because he fell asleep while I was talking excessively. See Broken Rule #5
Broken Rule #14 – No More Than Casual Kissing on the First Date
I guess now’s the time to tell the Story of the Cold.
The BFE and I met through online dating. When I finally bullied him into asking me out, we jokingly came up with a code: if he tried to kiss me, and I wasn’t feeling it, I would just say “I have a cold”.
Our first date was a movie… while we’re sitting there, he leans over and is all like “Hey, I don’t have a cold”… I laughed and kissed him. I haven’t stopped kissing him yet. 🙂
Our good-bye kiss after he walked me to my car lasted about 25 minutes. I don’t think I ever left so happy. I guess technically it wasn’t “casual kissing”. 🙂
Broken Rule #17 – Let Him Take the Lead
Are you kidding me? What is this, 1925? See Broken Rule #14… he kept beating around the bush so I finally got him to ask me out. I kinda let him believe it was his idea. So in theory he took the lead… right?
Broken Rule #22 – Don’t Live with a Man (or Leave Your Things in His Apartment)
Whatever. He moved in with me, so I didn’t actually move in with him. It was the best thing we ever did.
Broken Rule #31 – Don’t Discuss the Rules with Your Therapist
That smacks of someone desperate to hide their crazy. I’ve said it before, and I’ll said it again: “In the South we don’t hide our crazy. We sit it on the front porch and give it a cocktail”. My friends are my therapists, and the idea of having to hide some element of my nutjob personality from my friends is exhausting. I once tried to explain the rules to my friend Kev, and I could visually SEE part of his life force draining away due to the sheer tedium of all the rules.
I guess each person has to decide for themselves if The Rules is something they want to do. I just felt it was a bit antiquated for me and my lifestyle, along with somewhat crazy and most importantly, a set of rules specifically designed to hide the best parts of yourself from your partner.
I mean, yes, some of that stuff is common sense, and is designed for those girls that get so excited with each new prospect that they shoot straight for Stage 5 Clinger. I agree – you probably shouldn’t go all stalker-y on potential new date guy, but seriously? Why should I hide who I am? How could I NOT share Pants Off Friday with the dude that might end of being my Baby Daddy? If you can’t take me at my worst, you don’t deserve me at my best. And that means no Pants Off Friday for you!