Recently the men of The MENding Monologues were asked a series of questions, anonymously, by the ladies from The Vagina Monologues. Strike that; they asked A LOT of questions. They ranged from everything involving communication, to what we think about when “going down” on a woman. It was powerful stuff.
I answered each question honestly and from my heart. But, as I read through each question something beyond just answers stirred in me. So, I wrote the ladies a letter. I’d like to share it with you because I think, based on the reactions I have received to the letter, it might be something more than just the cast of The Vagina Monologues needs to read.
Without further ado…
Thank you for your complex and honest questions. Some were inspiring, others broke my heart. All were intriguing in a unique way – just like all of you.
As I began to go through each question, answering them one by one, I realized a theme. Many of you were asking the same thing, just in a different way. I also noticed that the answer, while right in front of you, was going completely unnoticed. At first I found this mildly irritating, to be perfectly honest. I thought to myself, “You’re asking for something you yourself are not giving? What do you expect to have happen?” Then, I took a moment and meditated on the entire reason we are here. I focused on the role of women, and the “identity” women wear. I realized you weren’t “not seeing” the answer out of some sort of hypocrisy. You weren’t seeing it because of the way you see yourself. This realization, along with the question “Why do you love me” broke my heart entirely.
I want to disclaimer: What I am about to say is mine. I am not answering for, nor will I ever answer for all men. I cannot answer for all men. Just like every woman, every man is his own unique universe. We all have our own gravity and space dust. Our opinions on each of your questions will be different from man to man, even if our answers are hovering around being exactly the same. So, what I say here is purely mine, and mine alone. I do not speak for all the MENding guys, nor do I speak for men at large. Also, you need to know that I don’t actually know anything. Everything I am about to say is purely what I think based on the short time I have been at this life of mine, and based on what my experience has been. It is, in no way, an “answer” – just my take. Dig?
Okay, now that that’s out of the way…
The one thing I am hearing, more than anything else, is an overwhelming desire to be loved. You wish to be cherished, and kissed, and treated like someone’s one and only. This desire is so strong, you are willing to put up with not getting what you want just to have someone – anyone – there. For example, the question: “What is the one thing a woman can do to open the door to a deeper conversation with you?” Simple; start a conversation. You have to have faith in yourself and believe that what you want and think is important, and is in fact valid. If you start a conversation with a man you are with and he doesn’t respond to it in the way you want him to, then the real question is, “Why are you with him?” Is having the “deeper conversation” something you believe to be of absolute importance? Or is it something you can live without in your relationship, but find elsewhere? If you want to be loved for exactly who you are, then you have to do the same in return. So, if your man is not a “deep talker”, you have to either decide if he – as a man – is enough just the way he is. Or, you have to own your choice and leave him. There is a general tendency to put all of the responsibility on the man for a lack of communication, yet it also sounds like you are not necessarily being the pioneers of opening the pathway for it. Own your power, ladies. Own your beauty and your strength and realize – really embrace the fact – that you, as you are, are enough. It’s lovely to be held and kissed and thought of. Wonderful to have a best friend that you can also make out with, or have show up out of the blue to surprise you with something sweet and thoughtful. Someone you can sit next to, or cuddled up under a blanket with, watching a movie or TV shows on Netflix. All of that rocks, I know. But, none of it matters if you are unhappy with who you are.
Do not settle just because you are lonely. Each of you is an amazing individual who is entitled to exactly what each and every one of you wants for yourself. That goes for life, not just relationships. The trick is, you have to decide just how much you want it – then commit yourself to that. For example; if you want to lose weight, stop making excuses and do it. Don’t like your job, or living situation – change it. The choice originates with you.
You don’t need a man, you deserve a best friend. You deserve someone who will love you enough to say what needs to be said, then will still stand right beside you anyway. Someone who will hear what you have to say, and will not be afraid to be “wrong”. Someone who never makes you feel afraid of whatever it is you are feeling, for whatever reason you might be feeling it. You also need someone who won’t just put up with your shit. I need that. We all need that. Those people rule.
I have answered each question individually on a separate sheet. I am uncertain if that, or even this, will be shared with you – but I feel inspired to write it none-the-less. Thank you for that. You are all, collectively, my muse for this one.
I will say this to you; I am also lonely. I feel fear and regret. I feel self-hatred and, at times, the all encompassing belief that I am totally unworthy of love. I hate my face. Hate the weight I have gained over the past year. Hate how hairy I am. Hate my status in life. I fear that I will fail my son, and that he – like everyone else I have loved – will leave me because I wasn’t good enough to make them want to stay. All of this is very real for me. However, I also KNOW I am fucking amazing. I am thoughtful and kind. I am passionate and endearing. I am clever, talented, one hell of a song writer and pretty damn funny – if I do say so myself,… and I do. I am one of the best friends you could ever have, and I can take a punch (or many) and still be a smart-ass. I am honest. I fear rejection, yet I stand tall. I have learned, especially over the past year, I have a just as much right to be who I am as anyone anywhere at any time. Yes, I have flaws – I am fucking human. So, why am I so desperate to carry around the burden of past mistakes and regrets and heartbreaks and blah, blah, blah? I finally put down the baggage and began walking forward, and I never stopped. All the negative thoughts? That’s old voices crying out in despair of being left behind. As much as I would love to be loved, I have to recognize that I already am; by many. Maybe I don’t have someone for “date night”. But, so what? Good people are good people, no matter what role they play in your life. Cherish that, always.
Above all; be kind to yourself.
I would encourage you to set a goal for yourself to say three honest things this week, especially if they are “scary” or “difficult” to say. Challenge yourself to tell someone something you have wanted to say for a long time. Tell the person you’re with you want to talk about things, and you won’t take no for an answer. If he/she agrees; be sure to listen.
I love you all, and my heart breaks that you feel so confused and hurt. Hopefully, between myself and the MENding guys, we will be able to shed a little light on some things. Feel free, and I believe I DO speak for all the men on this, to ask us anything you want at any time. We are all ready and willing to have the “door opened to deeper conversation”. We’re just too afraid of appearing “too intense”. Reach out, my friends. I – we – will catch you if you need to fall.
There is one question I will answer right now in this letter.
Why do I love you? Because you’re you.
With absolute love and admiration,