I’ll admit it. I am a full fledged member of the Sex and The City religion. My patron saint Carrie never lets me down. Every time I flip the channels and stop at a Sex and the City episode there is always a correlation with my life. For example, the other night I was lying on my bed, flipping the channels and stopped as I see Samantha (Patron Saint of Sexually Promiscuous Women Everywhere) running up a set of stairs, pearl thong in hand, thinking she’ll catch her beau (Richard) with another woman. The entire episode she’s paranoid because Richard has cheated on her before and finally, out of breath from running up the stairs, pearl thong still in hand, she realizes this is ridiculous.
“I love you, but I love me more,” she tells him and ends things before she loses her mind completely.
Earlier that day, I was on the bus home from Trader Joe’s when two women in their early 20s sat down next to me. I overheard one tell the other, “I just would never want to be a girlfriend. I am always the lover and I like it that way.” The other answers, “Yeah, cause men cheat on women anyway so why even bother.”
I sat there dumbfounded (I also sat there pretending I wasn’t being nosy).
Seriously? What are the benefits of coming second in someone’s life? Of being a mistress? I don’t plan to be second place to any woman or man.
I get the mentality. The other woman gets the sex, the conversations, the occasional dinners and none of the responsibility. But you’re also dealing with a man who knowingly puts your health at risk having sex with multiple women. Who doesn’t respect his partner and ultimately doesn’t respect you. That doesn’t sound like someone I want to put my time and energy into. And then I think of Samantha.
“I love you, but I love me more.”
And I wonder if this is just a matter of loving ourselves a little bit more than we love everyone else.
I’ve seen many women get caught up and disguise what they really want with excuses and false bravado. Saying, “I’m going to stay at this job because I’m comfortable.” When they really mean, “I’m scared if I apply for something better because I might be turned down.” Saying, “Well, if he really wanted to be with her, he wouldn’t be with me right now. When they really mean, “I wonder when he’s going to leave her and if he loves me more.”
This is a matter of self esteem. We should nurture that and teach it from the time we’re little girls to the time we are adult women.
When I was a little girl my mom used to always repeat this mantra whenever I got into trouble. “Primero yo, despues ustedes, y el que venga de ultimo. Tu no me vas a volver loca.” Translation: “Me first, then you guys (her daughters) and whoever else is last. You’re not going to drive me crazy.” Whatever I did she was not taking personal. I used to think, damn mom, you are so selfish putting yourself before your children! I didn’t get it until I was older. You should put yourself first. You should love yourself enough to look out for your best interest. As a teenager she would repeat, “You first, You second, and then everyone else.”
I know someday if I ever have a daughter I will repeat the same mantra to her. She will know not to be second to anyone, not even herself.