Broken is the new functional

Just in casual conversation, I wondered aloud whether anything would change. I see a lot that goes right, but a hard-to-ignore amount that’s broken. I also see opportunities to fix what’s broken. But the answer was probably not. I posited that broken is the new functional — we could choose to thrive or choose to survive. And by default, if survival wins, it’s still a victory, sadly enough. Even if we don’t have time to wash off the oozing wounds before the next battle begins.


Because Sabre is so goddamned smart and articulate (happy belated birthday, babe! The party was LEGENDARY! *mwah!*), her latest rant got me to thinking. For those of us who refuse to operate under any illusions, we don’t appreciate those who spin their lies so eloquently that even they are shocked when you call bullshit on them.

To wit:

As I’m looking through blogs, and yes, I stumbled upon some that are written by people I know, I’m almost stunned at the amount of disingenuous nonsense I’m reading. Hello? Why on earth would anyone do that?

Okay so we are here to meet new people, score a date, maybe even find love. Okay, cool, I’m getting that. But why on earth would anyone waste their time typing up blog entries about the type of person they are that is simply not true?

Is it possible that they think this is the way to find love? Oh my. Come here children, let Mistress Sabre impart some wisdom upon your fool asses. If you are just looking to score some easy action, rock on with your bad selves. Tell fantastical stories about the goodness of your soul and kindness of your nature. Ramble on about finding beauty in streams and rivers. Talk about your inner strength and independence as if the world relied upon it. Reinvent yourself as many times as it takes. Knock yourself out.


If you are seeking something else, and I see that a lot of people are, then maybe the trick is to stop spending so much time trying to convince everyone how wonderful and noble and awesome you are, and start spending more time being real. Because here’s the trap you are getting ready to stumble right on into: after dating your new found someone for a couple of weeks, a couple of months, hell it may take a couple of years for the slower natured of us, your true self is going to come out. And that is not to say that there is anything wrong with your true self, it’s probably a fantastic self. But it’s not the person you advertised.

It’s funny, the way people want to be perceived. But just because you write that you are special and fabulous and original and caring and God’s freaking gift, believe me, you need to qualify that statement. What you think is God’s gift might, to us, be a bag of flaming dog poo on a doorstep. (Read: Explode elsewhere, please.)

There are those of us out there who really do want to believe that wonderful people are out there. But we’re also smart enough to know that anyone who sells themselves as perfect is someone who has already lied to us before we’ve even met them.

We all sell the “new and improved” versions of ourselves, which means most of us know that nobody’s perfect so don’t bullshit us that your shit doesn’t stink. The deepest and best relationships (friends, employment, etc.) have been the ones in which everyone was completely themselves in the beginning. I respect the person or the workplace that says look, these are our shortcomings. Maybe not in the first conversation, but I dig anyone who doesn’t claim that everyone sits around singing Kumbaya, holding hands and having a love-in, as standard practice.

I am sort of fired up because I know exactly where Sabre is coming from in that post. I had an ex who posted an ad in the City Paper back before Teh Internets saved us from many a lonely night. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I remember his ad — I wanted to date the person who was advertised! Oh wait, already had. Hah.

But seriously, he sold himself as witty, intelligent and attractive. My girlfriends read it, and I’ll never forget my friend Becky, who looked appalled and said, “Somebody should sue him for libel!”

I don’t know. He did get a lot of responses. Nobody really stuck around, though. I guess where he and I differed is that he was quick to put himself “out there” and get a date, no matter how much he had to lie his ass off to do it. ๐Ÿ˜‰ (Just kidding, he had to have more than a few redeeming qualities to get any attention from me!)

But I’m the opposite. I put my heart on Teh Internet every day of my life, but I never really actively seek the romantic affections of strangers. I do have a dating profile or two out there, and they’re sparse. I don’t tell you more than you need to know. I expect for you to know that there’s a lot more to learn than I could ever publish, and I refuse to sell you on something I can never be.

If you’re brave enough to get close to me — and I will let you, if I think I should — this ride is not for the faint of heart. I will expose you. I will find your wounds and maybe even pour salt in them sometimes, but I have the power to heal them. I am trained to hear what people say and to pay even more attention to what they’re not articulating. I can call bullshit on you without breaking a sweat. I will not give you the time of day if I suspect anything artificial about you, especially if you’re handing that artifice to me on a pretty, shiny silver platter.

I’m not aiming this rant anywhere in particular as I am actually surprised to be “meeting” quality people online. I am the world’s greatest skeptic, so go figure. But I do so love when exes and otherwise-horrid people are putting themselves out there like they’re the “answer to your question” and “a good person who’s always had bad luck” and “a hidden treasure,” I think it’s necessary for them to list the phone numbers of their last two exes and/or enemies.

When someone tells you they like nature, it’s probably because they don’t have a job (and walks through the park are FREE) and they’re hiding in Mommy’s attic, hoping for women to find them pitifully cute. And they won’t be so cute when y’all go out to dinner and he makes you pay. ๐Ÿ™‚ Doesn’t mean he’s not a great person, truly, but he sold you on someone else. And wouldn’t it be nice if, when you returned them back to their natural habitat, the refund policy also included a little bit of help for your battered heart after unnraveling all the stories that became built on the first mistruth that so easily seemed to roll off their typing fingers at 3 a.m. when they typed up their perfect little profile?

We don’t like for our guys to be pussies, but for God’s sake, don’t sell yourself as a knight when you’re a serf. In this day and age, we fair maidens would rather have something real than a glass slipper that’s going to shatter if we step down too hard on it. If you can’t trust us with who you really are, how on earth do you expect for us to love that person if we don’t get to meet him until we’ve fallen for the visage you instead presented to us?

I guess broken really is the new functional, in every life domain. We all want to feel like we can fill a gap for someone, to feel like we can add to their lives somehow. But by the time you reveal your true self, if you hadn’t presented it from the beginning, for us it’s the same as starting a relationship with someone new. Which, we would rather do, because we don’t want to be around if/when the next personality decides to come out.

2 Responses to Broken is the new functional

  1. Sabre :

    “…anyone who sells themselves as perfect is someone who has already lied to us before weรขโ‚ฌโ„ขve even met them.”

    I wish I had learned this little gem a decade ago. But you know, if I had, I wouldn’t be where I am right now. Now if I could just get this taught in public schools, I’d be happy.

  2. Amy :

    How many times have we all been the victims of “misleading marketing?” It saddens me to think how many people believe their own hype. I guess you have to look at something and guess off the bat that 75% of it is bullshit, or at the very least well-polished bullshit.