Bad girlfriend

While you may know I love to write about bad boyfriends, I have a confession to make. I was never a very good girlfriend. I like to think I’m a great wife, but girlfriend? No. I’d have to give myself a C- there. (Note to McIrish: I get an A+++ as wife. Right?)

Here’s the thing. I didn’t date until college. I blame it on my all-girls Catholic high school and Gone With the Wind and John Hughes movies…a dearth of available boys and unrealistic expectations.

When I did hit the dating world, I seemed incapable of one critical thing: honesty. Not that I’d lie…I’d just…fake. I’d try to be the girl I thought the guy would like. Yes, yes, I love mountain climbing! (And please. Outdoorsy to me means reading in a lawn chair.) This party is rocknroll! (Would much rather watch a movie.) Kids? Maybe someday! (I had the names of my future children picked out before I graduated high school.)

But more than that, there was a sense that I was waiting for the guy to figure out that I was great. It didn’t really occur to me that if he had to figure it out—and it took him months—then we weren’t meant to be together. I lacked the gumption to say, “Look. You’re perfectly nice and gorgeous and stuff, but I’m getting the sense that we want different things. Best of luck.” I wasted a lot of time, mine and theirs.

Until I met a cute Irish boy in line. I’d broken up with my boyfriend of two years—a relationship that should’ve ended at least 18 months before it did. I was out of patience with men and myself around men. When the cute Irish boy asked me out, I made a vow. No more pretending. He’d like me or he wouldn’t, and I wasn’t going to try to win the hearts and minds and all that.

We’re coming up on our twenty-second anniversary.

Live and learn. Or, in my case, hopefully live and learn and teach my own kids to know just how lucky someone will be to have them. Someday. Not today, of course.  ; )

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