So many nice new readers! My stats are through the roof. Yay! Now everybody who hasn't done so already go read The Badness of Bitterness. Read it!
"I don't like women my age," whined a guy I know when we were both 27. "They're so jaded. I like younger girls, girls without baggage."
He was not exactly a catch himself, but I think he gave me some useful information. This information was confirmed by another guy I know who watched a parade of models on TV and declared (in a repetitive, almost-stoned way) that he liked Heidi Klum. The reason why he liked Heidi so much better than the other models was that she smiled.
The models skulked down the runway in undies and wings, glowering. Heidi strode down the runway in undies and wings, smiling a thousand watt smile.
"There's Heidi Klum," said the other guy I know, for the third time. "I like Heidi Klum. She's smiling."
It is not hard to get bitter and jaded. Some days skulking is easier than striding. We pop into the outside world full of ideals and enthusiasm, primed with the messages we learned in the nursery aka the TV: "Because you're worth it", "Don't hate me because I'm beautiful", "Diamonds are forever", "Dreams come true", "Reach out and touch someone", "Sinfully delicious." We toddle into kindergarten, expecting to be loved and adored by little boys, and instead they hit us with toy trucks. What the --?
You: Let's play house!
Him: No thanks. I have finally escaped my mother and I am now trying to differentiate myself from her by embracing my masculine identity. Therefore I don't want to play with girls or have anything to do with girls at all.
You: You talk funny.
Him: You have threatened my masculine identity, so now I will pinch you.
You: OW! Teacher, he pinched me! Waaaaaah!
Frankly, it's amazing that I wasn't smoking Gitanes and reading Fleurs de Mal by Grade One.
Speaking of Janeane Garofalo, one of the differences I discern between men and women is that many women are drawn to sneering, caustic men who smoke outside cafes between bouts of writing sneering, caustic poetry or prose, and not many men are drawn to female versions of ditto. Men love confident and happy women, but zillions of women will just go for confident.
I suspect that because women know so many women are attracted to sulking snarlers with messy hair, they make the mistake of thinking just as many men are attracted to sulking snarlers with messy hair. Uh-uh. They almost always prefer happy. Not necessarily perky. Happy.
When men really get you down, you start to develop a belief system which can be summed up as "Men Are Pigs." However, if you go through life thinking Men Are Pigs, you are magically going to scare away all the men but the piggy ones and maybe one or two really annoying puppy ones. I don't know why this is, but it is.
One solution is to write a list of all your beliefs about men's badness and then write the opposite on the other side, like this:
Most men are jerks./ Most men are great.
Most men hate women./ Most men love women.
Most men would rape if they could./ Most men are appalled by rape.
Most men want supermodels./ Most men marry women who aren't supermodels.
Eventually you find yourself convinced by List 2 and able to let go of List 1. And this should cheer you up enormously.
Another thing to do, as I have written before, and it's not my own idea--I got it from a book I used to hide from my mother--is to silently bless random men on the street. When you are in a really terrible mood about men, go for a walk and every time you see a man, silently say "Bless his little heart!" or if that seems too patronizing, just silently pray "Lord, bless this man." It really works, but make sure you don't get run over when you cross the street. Pay attention to traffic in between blessings.
Bitter simply won't help you. Let bitterness go. Let it go.