[CW: vulgarity and strong language]
I’m gonna get real in here. I’m gonna use the F-word, and I’m not pulling punches. This here is a Nookie rant, and I’mma go off.
You’ve been warned.
I’m not going to ask you to kiss me,
neither ask for forgiveness when I believe that you have done wrong,
or that you have made a mistake.
Nor am I going to ask you to hug me when I need it the most,
or to invite me to dinner on our anniversary.
I’m not going to ask you to go around the world
to live new experiences, much less
ask you to give me your hand when we are in that city.
I’m not going to ask you to tell me how pretty I am,
even if it’s a lie or that you write me anything nice.
Nor will I ask you to call me to tell me
how your day was or tell me you miss me.
I’m not going to ask you to thank me for everything I do for you,
for you to worry about me when my moods are down
and of course I will not ask you to support me in my decisions.
I’m not going to ask you to listen to me when I have a thousand
stories to tell you.
I’m not going to ask you to do anything,
not even to stay by my side forever.
Because if I have to ask you,
I do not want it anymore.
— Frida Kahlo, to her husband, Diego Rivera
I have one response to this: FUCK THAT SHIT.
Actually, I have another: FUCK THAT SHIT ALL TO HELL.
In fact, now that I think about it, I have at least half a hundred responses to this, all very similar and increasingly vulgar.
Because to me, this is a pile of manure that stinks to the highest heavens.
I say this with love and respect for Frida Kahlo and her impact on art and thought and all the things.
But this does dent my respect for her.
More than a little.
Because this reads to me like a long crappy flowery excuse for being a shitty communicator, and also taking whatever he dishes out, without standing up for herself.
Passive-aggressive bullshit at it’s finest.
“If I have to ask for it, I don’t want it.”
That’s like the poetic equivalent of, “I’m fine.”
So, now he’s just supposed to read your mind? Are you fucking bonkers?
And people swoon over this malarkey. And post it with comments like “BOOM,” or “this meeeeee,” or “sighs, yes.” and I simply shake my head, like WTF?
Do you even KNOW what a shitty relationship they had? Like epically fucked up and deranged.
I’m mentally exactly the opposite of this.
I say what I want, and I give people in my life the opportunity to step up and give it to me. I set them up for success.
And yes, sometimes they fail. Heck, people fail a lot. That’s the nature of people.
However, when they fail, it’s not because I didn’t communicate. It’s because they didn’t listen. Or didn’t care. Or weren’t a good fit. Or didn’t have the spoons or whatever.
Not because I was all mysterious about when I needed a hug or whether they made a mistake.
Which, honestly, to me sounds like an emotionally abusive relationship:
- “I’m not going to tell that I’m hurting, but I expect you to hug me at just the right time.”
- “I’m not going to tell you when you reallllllly fucked up, but I’m going to remember that you did, and expect you to recognize it and apologize on your own.”
- “I’m not going to ask you to tell me how pretty I am to you, but when I don’t hear it, I’m going to get all insecure and worried and hold that against you.”
To me, the opposite of every single one of the lines in that poem is true.
“I’m going to ask you to kiss me with a smile on my face and a flirt in my eye, so you know exactly that what will make me happiest right then is your affection.
I will tell you when you’ve done something wrong, and I will also tell you (when I know) what can be done to correct it, so that we can move forward and be happy together.
I’m going to ask for a hug when I need it the most. Hell, I’m going to ask for random hugs when we pass each other in the kitchen, or when we see each other again after more than an hour apart. I believe in hugs and their power to connect us.
I don’t frankly care much about “dinner on our anniversary,” and rarely give a damn about specific holidays, but when I do, you’re going to know what’s important to me, so you have the chance to do something amazing.
I will not only ask you, but plead with you (if necessary) to explore the world with me, to share new experiences in the mountains and in the cities, to try new foods and see new sights, and duck into alleys or behind trees to get in a grope and a bit of tongue.
I absolutely want to hear how beautiful I am to you, and how sometimes the sight of me takes your breath away, and if I need to hear that right now, I’ll say so.
I will ask you how your day was, and about your adventures, and I’ll listen, so I can learn more about who you are (and who you are becoming) when you’re not with me, so I can love you even more and better when you are.
I’m going to thank you for everything you do for me, and I’m going to ask—nay, demand— the same from you, because appreciation is a cornerstone of a good relationship, in my eyes.
If I am down, or feeling frustrated or I’ve failed at something, I’m going to ask for your care, for your support, and for your shoulder to lean on, just like I offer those to you.
I’m going to ask you to let me know when you have time to listen to me talk through an issue or to rant about silly things I find on the internet.
I’m going to ask you to do EVERYTHING that I want from you, anytime I want it, to give you the opportunity to give it to me, just exactly as I need it.
Because when I ask you, I give you the gift of KNOWING me.”
And to take this rant a step further, I expect the same from my partners, friends, and loved ones.
Because I want to have the opportunity to love them the way they need to be loved. To support them when they most need it. To give them the time and attention they want.
Not because I won’t try to know intuitively when to do all those things.
But because sometimes I will fail to know. Because I’m human. Because I get distracted by all the things in my head clamoring for attention and time. Because sometimes I’m selfish and absorbed.
Like all humans I know.
So when they ask, they are setting me up for success. Telling me exactly what I can do to make their day a bight brighter, to make them smile or to feel cared for or whatever.
Just what they need, when they need it.
I call it communication, and I think it’s pretty fucking awesome.