Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Good Girl's Guide to the Bad Boy

I confess: I am drawn to a certain kind of bad boy: the Rascal.

And who are these Rascals, you may well ask? They are those devilishly handsome, incredibly playful guys who flatter, flirt, tease and sweep me away on a tsunami of romantic validation. They have killer smiles and laugh at my jokes and make suggestive remarks that set my thighs aflutter. 
And then, with no explanation, they disappear! But just as suddenly, they return - in full flirtation mode! Try as you may, it's impossible for you to tell them to go away, especially when your voice is choked with lust.

It's true: Rascals are the most slippery, ingenious creatures ever created. The more you try to grasp them, the more elusive they become. And the more elusive they are, the more you want them! Pathetic, isn't it? What a deliciously tantalizing “now-you-see-it-now-you-don‘t“ act?  One thing is for sure: forbidden fruit is definitely the sweetest.

When a Rascal sweeps into my life, you can pretty much kiss all rationality goodbye. The conversation between the Brain and another part of the 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: dude not gonna happ3n!!!

Soon, the Heart gets in on the action, begging my Brain to please, please, please let His Rascally Self take you at whatever the cost. But if you're lucky, the Brain knows how to stop the Heart from throwing the rest of you under the Rascal bus.

Brain: Remember the last one? All that time, waiting to hear back from him? That's who you'd be getting.
Heart: (sobbing) But he's so sweeeeet!
Brain: Of course, he can ACT sweet! How else did he get to you? Now I'm not leaving until you get over this thing. Jeez, you're a mess. Here, take a tissue
Heart: (blowing nose loudly) Thanks. I hate it when you're right.

Basically, the Brain orders in pizza and sits it out with the Heart for as long as it takes. Once the fog of delusion lifts, the Brain lets the Heart scope out all the warning signs it ignored in Round One. And when I say say "warning signs," I mean more red flags than there are in Beijing. 

And if you're not careful, you'll wind up like a friend I'll call Wilma, who was Rascal-ated by a guy named Fred. 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. Sadly, Wilma's Brain did not have the power to restrain her, so she pursued Fred relentlessly. Little did she know what she was in for.
Because, without warning, 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 felt heartened that Fred thought enough of her to include her in the memorial service. She smiled and stood up to approach the dais.  Not surprisingly, so did six other women. Each of these poor Rascal victims had no doubt that the minister was referring only to her. You would think it was a good thing Fred was already dead, because these ladies would have killed him. However, I’m sorry to report that a cat fight ensued over who exactly was dead Fred's "special lady."

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

I thought that I was finally immune to the Rascal’s siren call, but recently, a thoroughly yummy  Rascal struck up a flirtation before asking me out.
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 know how much he could offer to a woman right now bullshit bullshit bullshit.”

Yeah. Uh huh.

Darlings, we have been using this same “Now-is-not-a-good-time” line ourselves to end things with men. We need to acknowledge that it means the same thing when they use it on us: “Not now” means “Not ever.”

So my Brain was summoned once again to talk my old Rascal-loving Heart down from the ledge. It worked my Heart's    “Yes- but’s” off. It's a good thing, too, because I found out later that this consummate Rascal, like Fred, had several ladies in a holding pattern. They were all circling the runway, hoping for a safe landing. My Brain was grateful to have dodged that midair disaster,  but it can't relax for too long: another Rascal may come down the runway at any given moment.

And now you know how Rascal stories end: not with a bang, but with a Wilma.