Thursday, January 18, 2007

Mrs. BeenThere says:

We’ve often heard it said that 'a woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.' That's all fine and dandy, unless you happen to be a fish that idolizes Lance Armstrong. We know what it is like to be that fish; desperate to get out there and peddle, even though we don't have any feet. As any fish who’s ever longed for a ten speed of her very own knows, it is especially hard to sit on the sidelines watching all the other fish pedaling off to Pottery Barn to register for wedding gifts. Given how many fish are out there actually riding bikes, who seem to be having a really good time, you can hardly fault your average fish for wanting that damn bike!
Sometimes you are a fish without a bicycle, so your goal is to find the perfect bike. Much of the time, however, you have a bicycle. The problem is, however, that your bicycle has a lot of problems. Some bikes are missing important parts, like the seat, so every time you try to take it somewhere you end up with a big pain in your ass. Sometimes one or more of its wheels don't work. No matter how hard you try, you can never get it to go in the direction you want. Lots of times the bike just doesn’t want to take off his training wheels and grow up, thus making it impossible for the two of you to go the long haul together.
Many fish who find themselves with bikes that don't work simply dump them by the side of the road and get new ones. Other fish (and we put ourselves in that category) want to hang on to the bike that they have. They are attached to their bikes. They have worked on their bike, investing time and emotional energy (and even a lot of cash). They are determined to cross the finish line with the bike they've chosen. Even if that bike is a Big Wheel and the race they are riding is the Tour de France.
"You'll never make it!" onlookers scream. We know better. We love this bike. And love conquers all. Even if we can't control the steering, the brakes are shot, and the only thing that works is the bell.
Welcome to the world of long term love and commitment, where irrationality, blind sentiment, and foolish determination rule. We feel your pain. We have been 'the girlfriend' and we know that when you are just a girlfriend, no one really feels very sorry for you. If someone's husband or wife leaves them they usually get quite a lot of sympathy. A woman or man married to a cheating spouse or stuck in a marriage marred by poor communication and a lack of intimacy usually gets at least a sympathetic nod. But when you are 'just the girlfriend' in a long term relationship that isn't going where you want it to, as far as sympathy goes you get nothing.

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