“The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them,” Maya Angelou famously said.
Now that George Clooney and Stacy Kiebler have broken up, he’s calling me. Never mind that I am married and old enough to have been his baby sitter, he’s calling. I certainly not marriage material (I’m already married) and I’m not interested in having his babies. So I am perfect for him. I see his name on my caller ID and, well, I don’t pick up. I have a man who has cherished me through thick and thin. He makes George look like a short-term bad bargain.
So what if he’s a zillionaire with a villa in Italy? So what if I could go to the Oscars in a drop-dead gown? So what if he seems funny, sexy and, dare I say it, have a deeper side to him? He’s active with the U.N. and genuinely nice to his parents. At least that’s what he’d have the public believe.
Would I like to spend a couple of years with him? Not if I was 30, single and wanted a family. Why? he would not give me what I wanted. I want a man who will stick around … for the long haul. He’s shown over and over again, he is not that kind of man. An endless string of women have either been okay with that or thought, deep down, I can change him.
If I know nothing else, this I know: It’s really hard to change yourself; it is totally impossible to change someone else.
I’ve seen the front and back of a number of people. You show me a new face, I’ll have a pretty good guess at what the back end looks like. And George Clooney from the back looks like a guy who will never give you a commitment, so why bother?
If a guy thinks a 12 beers on the weekend is normal, believe it. Believe that he’ll choose the beer over you. You can either live with it, try counseling, but chances are, he’ll choose a thing (beer) over you. And you get the consequences: a guy with cirrhosis down the line, or worse, if he drinks and drives, a man who risks your life and that of your family. I knew a man who thought a drink was a 12 ounce glass of bourbon with some ice cubes in it. He died driving drunk.
If a guy hits you, believe it. I have one friend whose husband slapped her in the middle of an argument. She told him if he ever did it again, she’d divorce him. He did — five years later — and she left. Why? Staying was tacit permission to hit her again. (I think the wedding vows should say, “For better or for worse, but not for whacking.”)
If a man is cheap emotionally and financially, believe it. I know one guy whose wife was working hard to help him achieve HIS goals. When her birthday rolled around, he drug his heels. He got her the gift she wanted, but only after pointing out it was a little above his price range. He was cheap. Fast forward forty years later and after having made really, really good money, he doesn’t pay the housekeeper anything in her retirement, even though she worked for him for thirty years. He gets a retirement from his job but he’s too cheap to provide one to her.
I guess what I am saying is Maya Angelou is right. I wish someone had told me this when I was twenty. Please believe her, and don’t get in too deep, too soon as you may not be able to get out in one piece. (The number one cause of death in the workplace for women? Homicide by a male partner.) Remember, apples don’t fall far from the tree, and if you marry the wrong man, you might end up with kids just like dear old dad.
That’s my opinion, what’s yours?
Causes Dixie Swanson Supports
Lupus Foundation of America
YMCA of Greater Houston
Pen Bay YMCA
Action for Healthy Kids