I’d searched long and wide to find the perfect desk for my new office. I wanted something befitting my new estrogen parlor, but nothing frilly. After all, while I am a feminine woman, I am also a strong, solid woman. My desk should reflect my personality.
Finally, after scouring several furniture stores in several cities over several months – eureka! – I found her! She was wide and beautiful – gee, somewhat like me – simple and uncluttered. She had only one drawer, but she stood solidly on four long and beautifully turned legs. Her wood was a soft, golden honey hue that just begged me to sit and begin typing.
And I was in love.
But there was a problem. They’d only ordered the one floor model for a special display; they couldn’t order another because she was no longer being produced. I don’t know if it was my long sigh or my long face, but the salesman clearly recognized my disappointment. And no; I wasn’t interested in anything else he had to offer. As I turned it over in my head, he suggested that perhaps – as this was a floor model that had been slightly damaged by the wear and tear of the many hands that had admired her when the eyes weren’t enough – he could give me a discount to take her off his hands.
As I type this, I am reminded how much I love this desk and her matching – also heavily discounted – armoire (after all, I couldn’t just break up the family) now adorned with photos and other mementoes. Would I have purchased her without the proffered discount? Probably so; to me the damage was superficial, cosmetic and unimportant. To the salesman, I needed an incentive to buy – after all, why would I pay for a damaged desk the same price he asked for a perfect one?
That made perfect sense. So tell me, please – why do we involve ourselves in relationships with damaged men? And why – instead of seeking incentives to take them and their damaged psyches with decades of emotional baggage into our lives – do we pay a premium to accept them on their terms? Why do we allow them to mete out to us punishment for the sins — real or imagined — committed by our predecessors?
Is it because we are nurturers who want to bandage their boo-boos – and earn their eternal gratitude for making them whole men again? At what point do we realize that it is their responsibility to “get over it” and to come to us as men worth having?
Is it because we’re so desperate for a man – any man – that we tolerate their crap – any crap – just to say we have one? At what point do we accept that often having no man at all is better than having an emotional invalid?
Is it because there is a part of us that doesn’t think much of us and that believes this is the best we deserve? At what point do we accept that we are not inferior goods and that we need not discount ourselves so that we might be accepted by men who are?
As strong, capable women we need to slow down, stop worrying about the clock and realize that we are good enough exactly as we are. Men who don’t complement us or add to our existence are not men worthy of being part of our lives.
We don’t pay full price for damaged goods.