This is one of my favourite posts that only got one comment when I initially posted it and it was from a dude I was dating so that doesn't even count. I thought it might be fun to bring it back.
I spent my first two years in Toronto involved in a ridiculous relationship with a complete asshole. I’m sorry for speaking ill of the dead to me, but really those who know me know that this guy was just…no good. When I go back now and read my diaries from that time I’m shocked by how heinously this guy treated me and the worst part about it is that I can’t even ask myself why I let it happen because I already know the reason. I let all that shit happen because I understood this dude. I knew how he was raised, how the world had treated him, what he had been through, and how all of that contributed to him becoming the selfish asshole he was at that time (and likely still is).
Because I understood so much about this man, I could understand why he did the shit he did. Not to over-simplify, but it was almost as though he couldn’t help it – no, it was more like he truly did not know better. And because at that time I was not the mouthy bitch you now know and love, I never really tried to explain to him what was wrong with what he did, I just understood and took it and took it until I could take it no more.
As a chronic over-thinker, I spend a lot of time examining the motivation behind the actions of the people around me. And as a classic Libra, I find myself a little too capable of seeing both sides. This is a great quality in a humanitarian or a diplomat, but for a serial dater it can be a bit of a problem. Why, you ask? Because it’s difficult to drum up the appropriate level of righteous indignation when someone does you wrong if you can understand exactly why they did it. This is a quality I used to really enjoy, but as I get older (and more bitter?) I find it mildly maddening. In my twenties I had patience and sympathy for people, in my thirties I say, eff a who shot john.
The who shot john is the back-story…the rhetoric and bullshit that explain why your new guy isn’t calling, your bff isn’t being supportive, your boyfriend won’t go down. I could have called this post “do feelings trump behaviour” because that’s really the crux of this issue…if your wo/man does something wrong to you, but you know they care for you and you understand why s/he did it, does that make it okay?
In the past, the who shot john could excuse a multitude of sins for me, but now I’m starting to wonder if it matters at all. Yes, I can certainly understand a man who is too busy and too stressed to pick up the phone and call me, or a man who is too gun-shy to claim me as his girl. I can understand a recently-heartbroken friend who finds it difficult to be enthusiastic about my new dude and I can understand a boyfriend who has been socialized to think that oral sex is nasty. But where does all that understanding really get me?
At this point, I think I’m tired of understanding people. I’m tired of giving them leeway because of my insight into their neuroses. At the end of the day, people either choose to let their hang-ups get the better of them or they don’t. So behaviour is really what’s important to me. If john is lying bleeding on the floor in front of me, does it really matter who shot him?