Can I Keep Him?

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All of my pets are rescues. Saved from the streets of Tijuana, left on a doorstep, found in an alley…all of the furry friends in my life have overcame adversities to be smothered in love by yours truly. When I was little I wanted every pet to have a home. I wanted to save all the cats, dogs, bunnies, squirrels, lizards, bugs, whatever. I’m still the person who puts shower spiders in a cup and lets them live to see another day outside. In my mind, they all deserve love, they all need me.

As I slowly but surely become an adult, I have come to find that I now transfer this rescue behavior onto men. My last boyfriend managed to break his hand and collarbone in a two month period. I wouldn’t exactly say I was glad, but I felt pretty great hand delivering care packages, helping him in and out of his sling, and gently rubbing his hair until he fell asleep. He’s almost 30. “Are you ok?” “What do you need?” “What can I do?” are probably my three most commonly used phrases in a relationship.

I lived with one of my exes, and even after we broke up and moved apart, I didn’t even stop to think when he called me drunk one night and didn’t know where he was. I was maneuvering through the streets of PB looking for him before we even hung up the phone.

One time I dated a guy with a full time job, a college degree, a nice place, and a rescue dog of his own. Guess how long that lasted? I couldn’t have been more bored.

The men I’ve gravitated towards are like the pets I’ve rescued. They’re adorable, cuddly, uncoordinated, and will never love me as much as I love them. They will never reciprocate the actions I’ve selflessly showered onto them.

But the real question is: why? Why do I do this to myself? What is this weird rescue mentality all about? Maybe someday a nice guy will scoop me up to let me take naps by the sunny window and feed me when I cry.

I’d like to say that rounding up every issue-ridden guy into a shelter and listing their history would help me stop making such dangerous choices, but I think it would only make me want them more.

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