I don’t care about your band

Some of you, those who don’t know me personally, may not know this, but I have the worst track record when it comes to relationships. Or, more aptly, non-relationships.

I often wonder where this failure comes from, since I grew up surrounded by loving relationships and I’m quite good at friendships. But I suck at relationships.

In my defense, some of the objects of these relationships have been less than deserving.

Of course, I chose them, right?

I don’t care about your band by Julie Klausner is one of the most surprisingly good books I’ve read in a long time. I read the first few pages standing in a bookstore in Toronto waiting for a friend to meet me, and I was hooked. Julie Klausner is a hilarious writer. The surprising part, however, is that I don’t normally like non-fiction. And especially not self help… which, to be honest, this book is bordering on. Technically it’s the autobiography of Julie Klausner’s romantic attempts.. and failures. But it’s presented in a very “self help” type way.

But that might just be because I identified so much with it. Honestly, it might as well have been the biography of my own love life. Just a switch of a few names and she might as well have been talking about my life.

It was refreshing.

Refreshing to see that other intelligent, capable women make similarly awful choices when it comes to men. Refreshing to see that one can survive a series of bad non-relationships and still emerge as a relatively functional person.

Because I am largely surrounded by people who are good at being in relationships. Good girlfriends and good boyfriends, people who are always in relationships. Or people who have even less experience with relationships than I, largely because they make better decisions than I when it comes to getting involved with someone who, logically, is just not worth their time.

“There are two kinds of girls who drift toward the more unsavory characters in the dating pool. There are, first of all, the kind of girls who’ve been ignored, abandoned, or otherwise treated ambivalently by their dads, and look to creeps as a means or replicating the treatment to which they’ve grown accustomed…. The other kind of girls who wallow in the Valley of the Dipsticks are the ones who know they deserve better. These are the girls with the great dads; the ones who had their decks stacked from the outset, who knew it couldn’t get any better in the guy department than the one who taught her how to ride her bike… This category of girls, in which I include myself, has a tendency to exceed her allotted bullshit quota for boys she likes, if only because her stubborn mind will not reconcile the notion of wonderful things ever coming to an end.”

“And there are so many guys. I remember the first time a friend referred to a guy I liked as a ‘man’ and I made a face like I was asking Willis what he was talkin’ ’bout. A man is hard to find, good or otherwise, but guys are everywhere now. That’s why women go nuts for Don Draper on Mad Men. If that show was called Mad Guys, it might star Joe Pesci, and nobody wants to see that. Meanwhile, I know way more women than girls. There’s a whole generation of us who rode on the wings of feminism’s entitlement like it was a Pegasus with cornrows, knowing how smart we were and how we could be anything. The problem is that we ended up at the mercy of a generation of guys who don’t quite seem to know what’s expected of them, whether it’s earning a double income or texting someone after she blows you. There are no more traditions or standards, and manners are like cleft chins or curly hair  - they only run in some families.”

The book made me laugh. It made me cringe. It also made me think a lot about the kind of behaviour that I accept from “guys” that I like. Behaviour I would never accept from a friend or even a colleague.

Anyway, it’s a great book. Read it! Well… if you’re a girl.

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