I’ve been really depressed all week. My roommate and I just split a pint of Ben and Jerry’s Everything But The while listening to Bon Iver in the middle of the night and trying to name the one or two people in the world we know would absolutely never cheat on their significant other. I blame Anthony Weiner.
I’m supposed to be studying for the California bar exam which if you think is anything less than three days of psychological warfare watch this (it’s streaming on Netflix). I’m normally very efficient under a lot of pressure and can force myself to study or work for long periods of time. But this week, I’ve been exceptionally neglectful of my work. Why? Because I’ve literally been obsessed with Weinergate. I’ve read everything about it, I keep checking the Huffpo for updates, I’ve made a point to watch the Daily Show coverage, and followed it all on Twitter. It’s all just so sad and it’s made me completely depressed. He didn’t even cheat and I’m still just in this dejected misanthropic mood wondering if there’s a point to any relationship?
I think I’m looking for an explanation to it all. Actually, I’m looking for something really bad – I want to know that he’s a dog, that he really did cheat and he’s cheated on every woman he’s ever been in a relationship with, and that there were signs about the type of man he is.
I want to know that he’s dirty down to the core because then, then I can know that he’s different from the perfect guy I have in front of me. Then I can know that this pathetic excuse of a man is nothing like the sweet honest guy I’m dating now, Mr. Dreamboat; that they exist in different worlds. Because if Rep. Weiner is not like that, if he’s just a pretty decent guy who got carried away with flirting online, he doesn’t seem that different from Mr. Dreamboat. I’m desperate to ask Mr. Dreamboat about this all; I want to know when you hear about Weinergate, are you as shocked and puzzled by it all as I am? Or does it seem like just one bad decision away from something you might find yourself in? Could you see how in a certain set of circumstances you might find yourself having a little harmless fun on the internet and that this guy is not that different from you? I’m desperate to know – is this just what all men are like in a way that requires understanding from a gender that can never understand what it’s like to be male? I don’t want to be naive but was I wrong to be shocked by this? Am I just kidding myself for thinking I’m dating someone who I think would never do that to me?
Part of my compulsive analysis of this stems from the fact that I have been cheated on. For the most part, every woman who enters a relationship expects monogamy. So when you get cheated on, you have to admit to yourself that you were wrong about him. You thought you knew someone and you were wrong. When that happens to you once, it’s hard not to wonder with everyone you date, if you could be getting it wrong again. I didn’t think my ex would ever cheat on me and he did. I don’t think Mr. Dreamboat would ever cheat on me, but if I was wrong once before, why should I be any more right now? Maybe it’s all just luck and opportunity anyway. I can’t even imagine Mr. Dreamboat would engage in these stupid ridiculous time-consuming Weiner-gate antics, but I doubt Huma Abedin expected this from her husband either. (Actually the most shocking of all is how did a Congressman have time for all this? I barely have time to reply my text messages let alone have multiple online relationships via multiple platforms!)
But I don’t want to be depressed about this anymore. I’ve been in that silly romantic stage the last few months where you constantly feel like you’re walking around high cause of the omnipresent euphoria you feel, knowing you’re falling in love with this incredible human being culminating in a brilliant weekend away last weekend. And suddenly this week, I’ve been feeling like what’s the point. Maybe things were so good, I started to create this drama in my head to sabotage myself? Maybe I’m just afraid of getting my heartbroken into a million little pieces? If I tell myself not to expect anything from him, I can’t be hurt when I found out that he’s not much different from what I fear all men might be like.
But no matter how cynical my head gets, no matter how strong an argument my brain formulates, no matter how many statistics about male sexuality I read, for better or worse, my heart is stronger. I believe in love and I believe in it forever. I believe in it with the same fervency the devout believe in God with. I believe it makes life worth living for and I believe it can last and I believe some men have to feel it as strongly as I do and that some men can choose love over desire. I believe that to the core of my being. So what can I do? Maybe I am wrong. But I’d rather be wrong and still get to believe in a lasting true love than right and give that up. And so maybe my new inamorato is not that different from the men of Weinergate. But maybe there’s just a fine line between the temptation to act on primitive impulse and restraint. But I believe there’s still a line. And I believe I’m in love with someone who remains on the side of restraint. I believe I’m in love with someone who would not engage in Weinergate behavior not because he doesn’t feel the impulse, but because he feels enough love to chose restraint over temptation. Foolish? Perhaps. But tonight, I get to spend with my lover who makes me feel eternal love is possible again. If you’ve ever felt that, you know there’s nothing foolish in that.