I never watched Ally McBeal when it first appeared on television in the late ’90s. I probably did not have a TV at that time, preferring to be out in the world rather than sit and watch. Lately, however, since my sweetie pie suggested that we get a Roku box, we’ve been perusing Ally McBeal re-runs. On one episode of Season 1, I think it was Billy who declared, pointing to his crotch, “This makes men stupid.” Then, pointing to his heart, “This makes women stupid.” Why is that? And why does this stupidity cause us women to equate love or any kind of friendly interest at all with a guy’s sexual interest?
I am pretty much out of the “stupid” zone, since I have a fantastic, committed life-partner. We’re Über-compatible in all ways and share a lot of fun together. Lately, however, I’ve been in a flirtatious kind of mood, flitting about like a butterfly in a flower garden. (Sweetie-pie says, “Just keep coming home to me, babe, and I don’t care that you flirt.”) So, I flit here…flirt, flirt, flirt. I flit there…flirt, flirt, flirt. I am having fun, baby, make no mistake. Flirting and being flirted with, no big deal. Keeping it cool. Keeping it together. Keeping it light. Flitting back home to my guy. Imagine my surprise when the stupid factor kicked in and I started to have feelings for one of my targets of flirt. Let’s call him Flirt Target 152. They weren’t the kind of feelings like I wanted to date this guy…I’m in a committed relationship, like I said and there was nothing compatible about this guy and me. Nothing. There was only a strong interest in wanting more of a connection and I could not put my finger on what that might be. “It’s not this,” I said to myself. “It’s not that,” I argued. “What is it then?” Sadly, I had no answers, only torment and obsession and wanting to find out why, why, why! Why Flirt Target 152, for God’s Sake?!!
Fast forward to another Ally McBeal quote in season 1: “We’re not only wired to want what we can’t have, but we’re also wired to want what we really don’t want.” Now, as you can imagine, Flirt Target 152 drifted away to other interests. The further he drifted, the more obsessed I became. I told you above that I did not want the guy. Not really. I only wanted the energetic exchange, not the guy himself. He and I were not, would never be compatible…not in real time and space. But the mere fact that he did not want anything to do with me became a torment. Why didn’t he want anything to do with me? I’m fun, I’m funny, I’m sensitive, kind, creative, I make people laugh! I got caught up in old nightmares; stuff that I thought therapy and healing had vanquished. I began to act a little nuts…okay a lot nuts. A true believer in self-knowing and self-examination, I looked, I dug, I sorted, I filed….I wanted answers to why I had become obsessed with someone I did not want. I wanted answers to why I became stupid.
Finally, exhausted, after weeks of torment, endless talks with friends, and a “come to Jesus” moment (my term for a heart wrenching moment of honesty) with my sweetie pie, I got closer to the truth. The truth, it seems, was simple. I wanted to be friends with someone; he did not share my interest. I developed feelings – deep like – for someone who did not reciprocate (this one really made me mad -why in the world did I develop feelings??). I did not share this with my sweetie-pie and it became a wall between us. Sigh. The good news is that I’m still with my Über-compatible guy, still living a life of adventure, still flirtateous AND still writing. Let’s hope another good story comes out of this misadventure at the very least. But why, oh, why, the stupidity in the first place? All I can surmise is that we’re a bit more complicated than we’d like to believe. And still operating under stupid principles.
Note: A fellow author, Anna Meredith, read my article and put it beautifully: I think that being gripped by the desire to connect, especially on an energetic level, has little to do with the here and now and thus can make us feel that special kind of crazy. the fact that logic doesn’t match up with that kind of resonance is maddening, but sometimes it just is. whether it’s a trigger from our past or beyond or even something happening on another level that we’re unaware of, it’s real and powerful. I couldn’t have said it better. Thanks, Anna!