Opinion

What’s your damage?

Once upon a time, there lived a girl who was in search of something impossibly romantic. That was her damage and I am that girl. We all have ideas of what we want in a partner, but if you look around -or inward-you’ll begin to notice certain afflictions that inhibit the process. There are many types of emotional delusions that get in the way and here are just a few.

The Hopeless Romantic
I am a prime example of this. I spend my days dreaming of a knight in shining armor. I repeatedly fall victim to the whirlwind romance and often scan Craigslist for my “Missed Connection.” I buy plane tickets for exes on flukes with the hopes that I’ll get a phone call the day of arrival, and I think “The Rules of Attraction” is a terribly romantic movie-yikes. With tactics like these, my damage creates a nearly impossible obstacle for any man.

I Heart You, Mr. Unavailable
My friend, Sara, repeatedly falls for guys who are unavailable in some way. Her latest conquest sounds like the most perfect guy alive, except for those few thousand miles between them. She says she really likes him, and I don’t doubt it, but I can’t help but wonder what would’ve come of their relationship if he had a Florida driver’s license. Sara’s damage is not the worst kind, because she’s not entirely lonely, but the course of the relationship is painfully unpredictable.

I Want What I Can’t Have
One of my best friends, Chris, needs to pick up a copy of “She’s Just Not That Into You.” This guy always wants what he simply cannot have, and seems to miss that he can’t have it because it’s not interested in him. While on one hand, he’s got chicks throwing themselves at him left and right, he seems to have tunnel vision for the one out of 200 who wants nothing to do with him. Chris’s damage is bad, because he can’t help but over-analyze every little detail that to a normal person screams “Danger,” but to him spells “l-o-v-e.”

The Rescue Fantasy
My old boss, Steve, exclusively dates strippers. Besides what’s inherently wrong with that, he especially has a knack for finding the ones with the most baggage: abusive boyfriends, cocaine habits, children, etc. His modus operandi goes as follows: find suitable stripper, cling on tight, let her walk all over you in her stripper heels with the hopes that you can rescue her, then sulk around because she dumped you for her ex, his temper and his bag of coke.

Steve’s damage is the worst, particularly because he’s 34 and still chasing his rescue fantasy. Sara, Chris and I have years before our damage gets to that point. We have time to catch our damages in their infancies and nurture them to reach normalcy. Perhaps today you should take a step back and ask yourself what your damage is so that you don’t end up like Steve: 34, lonely and a back scarred by stripper heels.

Alicia Montalvo is a first year graduate student concentrating in sports medicine. Arguments may be forwarded to a.montalvo@umiami.edu.

December 1, 2006

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