Two single women staring down the barrel of the rest of their lives, having never met the man who would be more than items on a list or hopes scrapped together on a vision board. This man is the unseen companion that opened the doors to our independence.
He is present in between the philosophy and the plans shared between us in what sounds like a fairly ordinary conversation.
It certainly is a familiar one.
Women all over the world are in cafes, on video-chat, and in their tiny one-bedroom flats talking to each other about the man, who one-day, will rescue them.
He isn’t like the other men who, in their own loneliness, created various online profiles.
These men, in a cage of their own making, are also just confused boys.
They come with agendas that have a way of perverting intimate communications into pathological categorization.
I am not a crazy woman.
Yet, I have held onto the girlish fantasy that men are good. They are champions, victors and have the capacity to be awestruck by the sheer miracle of my presence.
He can see my value because I know my worth.
The conversation continues.
I share my plans about growing my business. We don’t talk about the kid I didn’t have. There wasn’t an abortion; I just never got pregnant. I did birth captivating notions into my everyday reality.
I contributed something. Yet, the ache of longing for something other that what is, is apparent.
The child that never was exists in the same realm as the man that is yet to be.
This man, he is more than flesh and blood. He is validation. He’s the whisper that everything is going to be alright; the voice that carries over from childhood when mom would say the same thing.
He doesn’t know if it will be alright. But, he knows enough about living in the moment to say so.
The check comes and a punctuation has been placed on our conversation. We hug, happy to have had the comfort of a familiar face and the comradery that comes with friendship. Truths were told in an exchange of sentences laced in subtlety.
Neither of us want to be alone. We each have varying comforts with it, but mostly we want to meet our man.
In some ways, we have met him or at least I have.
Every time I fall asleep at night with the pangs of a broken-heart in my chest, my man holds it together.
He hits the snooze button in the morning once or twice but he gets me up and makes sure the day’s tasks are completed. He is focused. He is strong, funny, witty, bold, crass, and ready for anything.
I am the man I want to be with and the woman in me feels sad about that.
I’ve certainly held castings for the part. Many have auditioned but none have been much better than an understudy.
This judgement isn’t some kind of feminist idealism that needs to be augmented with Beyoncé songs. In fact, it feels as disappointing to write that statement as it does to be labeled a “Strong Woman.”
The man in me is strong.
But I am tender. I am nourishing. I am receptive. I believe in potential and hold a higher vision for life, love and vitality. The female in me is a hidden treasure.
If there ever was an answer to the question, “What do women want?” it is this: “Women want to be women.”
I don’t want to be a man.
I want a man, the man that has existed in every man I f*cked, made love to and given myself to, to see the woman in me. I want to be cherished. I want the turf war between logic and emotion to shed its gender-specific classification and give way to the human experience.
I want the narrative to be intimate and the mystery to be pleasurable.
Women around the world wake up and stand by their man every day. They support themselves with careers but don’t want to be dismissed as career women. And the mothers with fatherless children want to know, “Why?”
How is it that we lost each other?
Men, women want you. We want you to understand that you are a part of our conversation even if the content is about fall fashion. We want you to know that it is not okay to use brute force to control us. We love you for who you are because we see the best in you.
We want you to be the men we know how to be so that we can be the women we are.
It’s not that we are alone. You reside inside of us and we know you long before we meet.
There are some of us that will only live with the notion of you, that then gets substituted with a cat. (Not to perpetuate the stereotype but at some point somethings got to give!)
And we want to meet the real thing.
I think I speak for women of a certain age, with a certain mindset, and who are strong not as an intrinsic quality but more as a function of survival.
The perfect man exists.
We know you are out there because we’ve felt you in our hearts all along.
The perfection is in the reflection. I, for one and for all, can’t wait to meet you in the flesh.
Author: Rebekah McClaskey
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock