On p 187, four words jumped out the page at me and almost screamed:
Just be a lady.
To explain why my heart was racing by the mere mention of these words, I'll have to backtrack (a lot), so perhaps I should first round up what I "learned" from my new favourite man, Mr Harvey in his book which I now consider gospel.
Some points include:
- He has a good job and solid work history.
- He's kind to his mother & checks in with her often (mama's boys don't apply)
- His nieces and nephews spend considerable time with him.
- He keeps his house clean and knows how to cook a few decent meals.
- He's financially prepared to care for you and your children, or he has the desire to.
- He doesn't faint at the sight of diapers.
Throughout high school, I was boyfriend-less because I just wanted to pass matric and get an exemption.
Anyway, I soon got the knack of the language and before I knew it, I was gallivanting all over Seoul - on my own, drawing large amounts of cash from the bank - on my own and even ordering pizza on the phone...for delivery - on my own! I used to use any days off to travel - internationally, if possible. All my travels (Singapore, Malaysia, China etc...) were done independently. In other words, I paid for my own flights, accommodation and other expenses. And. I went alone. Just me. Something I never thought I could ever do...and in actual fact, turned out loving exploring on my own!
Back in university, I started having panic attacks. The first one was serious and I had to come home for about a month. After treatment and medication, I went back to my life as a university student where these panic attacks would creep up on me - sometimes when I was with friends, and sometimes when I was alone in my res room. I had no one to hold my hand and tell me that everything was going to be OK. That's all I really needed to hear. I used to picture my psychiatrists face - with his glasses perched on his nose telling me: "Remember, you're not going to die from a panic attack."
(Up to this point of this blog post, it's taken me a day or two to get back to it)
I seem to be so conscious of everything I do now, because every move I make or thing I utter, I keep hearing Steve Harvey telling me, Just be a lady. Don't get me wrong, I may look all female, but since Thursday night I have had the startling reality that my actions have probably made people (boys, guys, men) around me think that I'm as tough as a guy.
Let's take a trip back to 2008/2009 when I was living in South Korea. A new teacher started at my school and we soon became friends. His name was Lee. We went out a few times for dinner and drinks and he introduced me to his friends (all guys). One particular evening, Lee left earlier than his other friends and before we all decided to go home, I stayed and went to a bar with two other guys. The two guys ordered a round of beer and when it arrived, all three bottles were placed in the center of the table. In deep conversation, without thinking, I reached for a bottle as the same time as the guy next to me and just popped the lid open. Just like that. He sat back and said, "Oh - I was going top open that for you."
I could have melted with embarrassment. I apologized and said that I did it without thinking. I promised that he could open the next round for me.
Thinking back, Lee never really treated me much like a lady when we used to go out. There were a couple of times where he would enter a bar before me and the door would actually close on my face. One particular day we were sitting in the teachers room and if I'm not mistaken, I had just applied hand lotion and couldn't open something. Lee was sitting next to me, so I asked him to please help me.
Before he took it from me, with big eyes, he asked me: "Oh, NOW you are woman?" Everything seems crystal clear now. All my actions made the guys around me think and feel like I was a tough cookie. I can't blame them though, because that's the image I was putting out to them, right? So it's my fault.
I seldom ask for help - even when moving and lifting heavy objects, I can do it - because I've had to do it alone for as long as I can remember.
In recent times, even if I'm out (for example at a club) with a guy - who's like a brother figure, I'd want to buy them a drink. It's just who I am and I guess it's a bad habit I have to kick soon.
Sigh... well, there's a lot more I have to write about this topic, but for now I think it's suffice to say that I may have just found the cause of my singledom for all these years :-)