I can count on more fingers than I have on both hands (and maybe a few extra) how many times I have heard this phrase from men. Always stated with a level of excitement normally reserved for the discovery of a new country. "Holy mackeral, a woman who understands me!" When I was young and foolish (as opposed to now where I'm just plain foolish) I took it as a great compliment. More than a compliment it was a sign from the heavens that we were a match made in . . . something less than hell. OF COURSE no one else 'got' them. They were sooooo complex and mere mortal women were far too mundane to understand their varied hues. Their incredible depth. Except guess what? Not so much.
Frankly, I didn't 'get' them. Not in the end. Because they were always off to women who didn't understand them at all. (and they made this quite clear! "she doesn't get me" so... wha... Huh????) SO much for that 'getting'. It pissed me off. But not nearly so much as the fact that of all these charmers that I was so "undertanding" of not a single one of them ever 'got' ME.
Now I'm sure they thought they did because let's face it, I had a habit of getting involved with complete losers who thought they were geniuses. They weren't, well okay one was but we were kids so that probably doesn't count. What they were was selfish immature guys with limited scope who saw only their tiny version of the world and they belonged with women who were truly like them. Despite the fact that they 'didn't get them'. Their ambitions were small. Their minds were smaller. We will not discuss anatomy.
All these guys that I 'understood' and really 'got' would think they 'got' me because they saw what they wanted, heard what they wanted and believed what they wanted to about me. All evidence to the contrary. What I really am was never something they 'got'. Like the ones who knew I wanted to get married and bless the world with the fruit of their loins. Yeah. Uh... Right. Cause that's me: mommy material. Yeah. IN HELL I'm mommy material! Move over Satan, Big Mama's in town. Oy vey. Or (one of my all time favorites) "Joy's not the kind of girl you just fuck, you'd want to marry her." WHAT?????????? Are ya kidding me? Talk about projecting, pal.
The truth is I'm pretty good at picking up on things about people. Early training in a violently dysfunctional household will teach you lots of things, among them: low self-esteem, anxiety and an uncanny talent for noticing things that not everyone notices. The twitch of an eye, the tensing of a breath that mean more than what the other person wants you to know. Possibly more than they are aware of themselves. I used to think everyone did this sort of reconnaissance, the careful watching of people and what they say and do to determine their next move (and if you needed to duck) but I found that is not the case. Truth is most people never see the subliminal cues other people give off. Dogs do, but people? Not so much. So I guess I've got a minor talent. Is it a money maker? Yeah, again: not so much.
I bitch and moan on this blog quite a bit but the truth is I'm pretty damned tolerant. At least I used to be. I used to put up with the crappiest behavior - or just the most incompatible behavior - for far longer than any less tolerant (read stupid) person might have because of that easy-going nature and because of my early training which taught me that I deserved the most abundant crappy treatment I could find. Of course I told myself that I had broken that cycle because I would never EVER tolerate someone hitting me the way my mother had. And they never have. But I let them 'hit' me in other ways... I was too 'tolerant' to see it for what it was.
Happily I've learned not to tolerate quite so much any more and have learned that people do in fact show you their real selves very quickly, very early. Which can cut down on the amount of toleratin' you might need to do and if you're not inclined for putting up with bullshit in your life any more; you can nip that nonsense in the bud and move on! Because, amusingly enough, people will often show you exactly who they are right away. They say it outright "I'm lazy" (followed by a cover-up laugh) or slightly more subtle, they actually show you (if you're watching closely). Of course the beauty of the reveal is that we almost NEVER BELIEVE it when it first comes up! Nahhhh, couldn't be. That's just a self-deprecating joke, etc. After some time we see it, but not at first. "Oh yeah, wait a minute.... he did say 'sex isn't the most important thing'" (FYI: that phrase coming from a guy is an impotence/sexual dysfunction tip-off. Remember it ladies and run for the hills. Unless that's the type of thing you're looking for, in which case mazel tov!)
I'm teaching myself not to be quite so tolerant any more. It goes against my grain, because being 'nice' is a big part of who I am (or who I'd like to think I am. . . maybe I'm not really so nice. THAT is entirely possible.) But right now? I just don't care any more.