Now I don’t have anything against this theory in the abstract. It makes perfect sense…for a certain type of man living a certain type of life. But since Mr. Max is not about that life right now, I swiftly and emphatically forbade him from wearing that t-shirt.
Yes that’s right – I said forbade.
As he does every time I get hyper about something, Mr. Max pretty much just laughed at me. And through his bursts of incredulous laughter I explained to him that wearing that t-shirt sends a message and it’s not one he would be authorized to convey as long as he holds the title of Mr. Max. He argued that if a message was indeed being sent by him wearing the t-shirt, it would be received by people who don’t know us and don’t know anything about us. I agreed, but still maintained that no way no how is he wearing that t-shirt.
I didn’t think much about it again until I mentioned the incident to a girlfriend a few days later. She too looked at me incredulously but – unlike Mr. Max – she’s not one to just let me go along my unreasonable ways. She flat out told me I was fucking backwards to forbid him to wear a t-shirt and that I needed to let it go.
That’s probably true, but in my mind it’s not really the point. In my mind, the fact that I fervently do not want my Mr. Max walking around in that t-shirt far outweighs the debatable fact that I am unreasonable in not wanting him to do so. In other words, even if I’m totally wrong for not wanting him to wear the shirt (which I’m not) he shouldn’t wear it anyway because I don’t want him to.
Last year I wrote about the things we do for love and how the meat of relationships lies in the little things we do to show our partners we care. And while I still believe that’s true, that’s only half the story. Sometimes we show our feelings by doing special things, but sometimes – moretimes even – we show our love by not doing the things we want to do.
There are a lot of things that make relationships extremely difficult, but the most challenging thing has to be balancing our wants and needs against those of another. It’s fair and reasonable for us to expect our boy/girlfriends to do things to please us to a certain extent…but how much is too much?
If Mr. Max tells me to stop hanging out alone with my male friends, is that asking too much?
If a woman asked her man to get rid of his sexy real estate agent, would that be too much?
If a boyfriend expects his girlfriend to keep her ladyparts hairless even though she wants to grow it out, is that unreasonable?
If I ask Mr. Max to stop biting his nails because I want him to be able to scratch me, is that putting my needs before his?
I think the eternal struggle of being in love is how to find the right balance between holding true to who we are and making accommodations for who our partners want us to be. I’ve always found it fucking draining to have to account for someone else’s viewpoint and factor it in to my decisions; not having to do so is one of the greatest things about single life. And once I do take the leap into the land of the boo’d up, I tend to go one of two ways: either I lay down and acquiesce to my partner’s every whim and forget who I am in the process, or I hold fast to my principles, no matter how minor and unimportant they may be, just to make the point that he cannot boss me around. There’s a way to balance those two extremes, I know there is. But I’ve never really been able to do it,
But what about you guys? Do you think we show our love in the things we don’t do for our partners’ sakes? Is there such a thing as asking too much when it comes to the one we love? And ladies really – would you let your man wear that t-shirt? Speak on it in the comments.