As part of my friendship duties, I often find myself giving my homies advice on relationships. It’s probably my tendency to use words like “homie” that makes the guys especially comfortable, but I have to say I kind of love being asked. In a weird way it actually helps me learn about myself, and how I should handle my own relationship problems. It’s true that things are easier said than done. Sometimes I wish I had someone like me to go to, because as good as I am at empowering my friends to make good decision and be happy in their love life, I can’t say I’m able to do the same thing for me. The hardest thing to do is to remain logical about a situation when you’re emotionally invested in it.
That being said, my “expertise” so to speak isn’t entirely absurd. Growing up I had a clear understanding that my parents needed to get a divorce at a very young age. Their relationship was based on a foundation of deceit, their values clashed, and the only reason they stayed together was because my mom didn’t want to lose custody in a country where women have no rights. By the time we moved to America when I was a teenager and they finally filed for divorce, I couldn’t be happier.
My mom’s second marriage however ended up being worse than the first. She met a clinically bipolar man with a prescription drug abuse problem who flip flopped between a really generous guy who took her on nice trips and bought her expensive gifts when they were dating, to a neurotic psycho who cried and accused her of wanting to take all his money after they got married. At this time I was living in Seattle and she was in California. She would call me everyday, a lot of times crying and unhappy, but she was too emotionally weak to leave him, so I moved down mainly because I needed to rescue her. My 20-year-old self rented a U-Haul, packed all her shit up and rented an apartment for us to move into, so she could get the divorce process started again.
Meanwhile, I had a year off from school because I had to gain residency in California, so I started looking for full time jobs that didn’t involve me serving food or selling clothes to people. One day I saw an ad for a job where I could control my own schedule with an expense account and pretty good pay, so I went in for an interview at a Beverly Hills based matchmaking agency that was basically designed to introduce “marketable men” to “eights and above”. My job was to recruit the girls into the agency from bars, malls and porn conventions. Essentially I was being trained to be a madam. As a part of my job I learned how to bring women’s guards down so I could pick them up, spent hours asking them about their past relationships, and discovered a whole lot about women’s wants, expectations, and how relationships go from paradise to hell. At the same time, as much I wanted to help my mom meet someone, I knew the agency wasn’t the right place for her, so I created an online dating profile for her and she eventually met her current husband, who is amazing, on there.
By the time I was ready to start my last two years of college in San Diego, I had to turn down the Agency’s offer to be the director of their San Diego branch. Now I had a different problem. I needed to make the same amount of money working half as much, so I walked into the largest engagement ring store in San Diego, and after three interviews convinced them that based on my experience as a matchmaker and a teenager working at the mall, I was qualified to sell diamonds to prospective husbands. They bought it, so for the next couple years I spent hours every weekend with various guys and couples, pulling on their emotional strings, listening to them talk about their relationships, and making them believe that moment was the right time to apply for a high APR line of credit and max it out on an overpriced engagement ring for their one and only love. Yes, I killed it there, and as glaringly obvious as it was that a lot of those relationships were going to end in divorce, I did it anyway and put myself though college working 2 days a week. Maybe the reason why I haven’t had a boyfriend since then is karma, but I did learn a heck of a lot about men’s wants, expectations, and the difference between healthy relationships and bad ones.
All this combined with two live-with boyfriends and almost six years of breaking hearts and getting my heart broken in the single world have given me a unique perspective on this crap… but only from the outside. I guess it is true—Those who can’t do teach.