Monday, August 4, 2008

I Loves Me Some Rascals!

My darling Vixens, I must confess: I got it baaad for Rascals! We've all known them, those devilishly handsome guys with their killer smiles. It doesn't hurt that they're incredibly playful as they flatter, flirt, and sweep us away on a tsunami of romantic validation. They will tease and compliment until your thighs are set aflutter.

Then they act like nothing happened. While our heads are still reeling with confusion, Poof! they’re flirtatious again! And just like that, they're distant again. It's like trying to figure out a magician's trick: how did he do that? Truly, they are the most ingeniously slippery escape artists ever, and the more we try to grasp them, the more elusive they become. More than once has a Rascal left my heart wriggling like a worm on a hook, begging for mercy.

What is it that's so deliciously tantalizing about a guy with that whole “now-you-see-it-now-you-don‘t“ thing going? One thing's for sure: forbidden fruit is definitely the sweetest.

When my hormones get blindsided by the Rascal's flattery, I can pretty much kiss all rationality goodbye. The conversation between my Brain and another part of my Body sounds something like this:

Brain: Cervix, what’s going on down there? Report!
Cervix: (loud Valley Girl groan; impatient texting) WTF do u wnt?!?
Brain: You’re moving way too fast! Pull back! I repeat: PULL BACK!
Cervix: u r over it
Brain: That’s an order! Do you read me?! PULL BACK NOW!!!
Cervix: Not gonna happ3n!!!

Soon, my Heart is ready to beg my Brain to please, please, please let His Rascally Self have me, whatever the terms. But help is on its way: before any damage can be done, my Brain has already been deputized to stop my Heart, by whatever means may be necessary, lest I throw my entire self into the power of the Rascal.

So there‘s my poor Heart, wrapped in chains, dangling upside-down over a shark tank, begging to be freed so the rest of me can be the Rascal’s booty call. And my Brain, bless it, is talking my Heart through the temptation, bombarding it with the downside, so that my Body will finally be Rascal-free at last.

Once the spell has been broken, it’s easy to see why the Rascal purposely puts stars in my eyes: so I wouldn’t be able to see all the red flags, which outnumber the ones in Beijing. That‘s right: all Rascals are hiding their Mr. Hydes. If I’m not careful, I’ll wind up like a woman I’ll call Wilma, who was hung up on an inveterate Rascal named Fred. Wilma lacked assistance from her Assistant: her Brain did not have the power to restrain her, so she pursued Fred relentlessly. Little did she know what she was in for.

You see, Fred was a Rascal of the highest order, and he strung her along by dangling exquisitely vague promises of “maybe-someday’s” and “if-only-you-would’s“ like a dazzling charm bracelet before her. This went on for years as she transformed her entire life to suit his needs: she moved thousands of miles away from her family to be near him; she supported him financially; she did not have the children she craved.

Then, suddenly, Fred died.

At the funeral, the minister announced that “A very special lady in Fred’s life wishes to share some thoughts with you.“ Wilma stood up; not surprisingly, so did six other women, each of whom was convinced that the minister was referring to her. I wish I could say that it was a good thing Fred was already dead, because these ladies would have killed him, but I’m sorry to report that, instead, a cat fight ensued over the dead and smiling Fred.

Last laughs may be hollow, but then, so are Rascals.

I thought that this sad story and my own experience would make my heart immune from the Rascal’s siren call, but recently, a thoroughly delectable Rascal at work finally asked me out:

Brain: Cervix, we have a green light. Do you copy?
Cervix: (texting back excitedly) OMG so stoked!!!

Then he didn’t call. For. A. Week.

When I saw him again, he told me he was “going through some bad stuff” and “didn’t want to start a workplace romance right now.”

Yeah. Uh huh.

Darlings, we have been using this same “Now-is-not-a-good-time” scam to make men scram for years; we need to acknowledge the sad truth when it applies to us: “not now” means “not ever.”Brain: False alarm, Cervix. Mission has been compromised.
Cervix: (texting back) WTF?!?

As I found out later, the Rascal was actually doing me a favor: consummate Rascal that he was, he had several ladies in a holding
pattern, circling the runway, hoping for a safe landing. As bummed as my Heart was, my Brain was grateful to have dodged that midair disaster.

But my Brain was soon summoned to the familiar role of Houdini’s Assistant, because I found my old Rascal-loving Heart beginning to chirp up with a chorus of “Yes, but‘s“: “Yes, but if I quit this job, then he’d go out with me . . . Yes, but he’s so cute -- so what if it were strictly physical?”

My Brain rallied beautifully to work my “Yes-but’s” off, shouting its encouragement as my Heart writhed away in a straightjacket. But ultimately, at the very last second, the curtain was pulled back to reveal my Self in my entirety -- Brain, Heart and Cervix working as a team. How did they do that?

It’s not easy, but it turns out staying true to myself and evading a Rascal is the best Escape Act of them all.