‘The Cost of Knowing Too Much’ or ‘the Pitiful Girl I Met Who Couldn’t Live Without a Man’

When I met a girl who recently broke up with her Google-employee ex-fiancee and was to share a San Francisco apartment with me in a nice part of the Panhandle because he kicked her out, I could only look at her, feel pity, and reinforce why I hope to never fall in love again.

I really am sorry for the truth; a man cannot bring the hope, love, and fulfillment that other girls are so desperately searching for and expecting upon a relationship. Whichever male they find and wherever they may find him, they will project their deepest longings and desires for consummate love and end of all pain and sorrow on him. And he will not deliver them.

You see, I was like her once but sobered up from prince-fantasy quick after feeling the knife. This girl before me, though, could not. She was a co-worker I met recently at my new job, and the encounter served to confirm many of my suspicions about the perils of human romance. Delirium is more like it. She hadn’t slept in days. She railed on endlessly, “I thought he’d marry me. I thought we would. He told me I didn’t have to work, that he would pay for everything.”

Walking into the living room, I turned on a James Bond film with Daniel Craig for something to look at besides the sad sight of her guzzling down Pinot Noir and downing Pepperidge Farms chocolate chip cookies, but she sat right next to me on the couch in front of the television and went on and on.

She needed someone to hold her tonight, she told me. Or else she couldn’t sleep. So I could keep the keys to the place until she returned in the morning from a local bar. Turns out, she was meeting a fellow co-worker whose attention she spurned until the last month when she felt her fiancee turn cold.

He was smitten with her but did not interest her beyond the random stints of touching and empty kisses that got her through the nights she needed self-love.

“He’s not a rebound,” she explained. “He’s really not.”

She was a modern-day Gatsby and I felt like her sympathetic Nick Carraway, who could tell her that Tindr and online hookup sites were a bad idea but only sadly look on as she nodded and agreed, but did it anyway without anyone to stop her.

“Romance never goes unpunished”, says one of my favorite protagonists from the film Murder on the Orient Express. I have never been so impressed by the truth and delivery of a line before that spoke so true to life and fiction.

Romance never goes unpunished.

She already told me she was going back to her ex-fiancee’s place to water his plants and that, perhaps, he would not kick her out a second time. Hearing her say that – now that made me depressed. I stared harder at the screen and tried to comment on Daniel Craig’s age to take both our minds off of sad things when her phone buzzed. It was the unlucky-in-love coworker.

She hurried for her things to meet him at the bar, and I watched her go. And finished the rest of her cookies. She did not return that night. I assume she had given herself away.

I was torn between terrible pity and fascinated admiration at her unrelenting (was it hopeful or deranged?) determination for a man’s touch. She would not give up on the deranged hope (let’s call it that) in a man out there that could love her to completion. I almost wish I could be that hopeful and stupid again. There is a starry-eyed quality, an adventurousness in girls who date, flirt, and spy out men, but I know too much. That it’s a temporary high.

Maybe I’m an old crone of a girl. Maybe I’m a coward who’s sitting at the sidelines of life for staying out of the game. But at least I sleep well at night and my dignity is intact. And my hope is well-placed in the One who truly loves me, though I do not see Him right now.

I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown.

Revelation 3:11

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