Sarah Britten
Sarah Britten

Dear men, please explain?

danger ingozi

I’m a born and bred Jo’burger, so I take security seriously. This also applies to matters of the heart. When it comes to feeling anything for anyone, I have taken comprehensive measures to prevent anyone from getting to me. There’s the boom and the ADT guard, the four-metre wall, the electric fencing, razor wire, beams, security lighting, burglar bars and panic buttons.

But some bastard always works out how to scale the walls and get through the bars. (Usually because I’m a soft touch and always letting the guard take an evening off.)

Last year was especially bad and I swore I’d never allow it to happen again. But of course it always does. At least last weekend’s encounter was a brief scratch rather than a stab with a stiletto between the ribs but it still hurt and I’m still angry.

I thought this was just me who was so stupid but an exchange with another woman on Twitter led to realise that it happens to others too. “It still baffles my mind how you can be such a big part of someone’s life and then BOOM, you’re nothing to them,” she tweeted. “That freaks me out. Happened to me before and it’s made it very hard for me to trust anyone,” I tweeted back. We bonded over our mutual frustration at how we fall for this every time.

Here’s the thing I will never understand: why some men are all over you one minute and completely lose interest the next. What is it with you lot? Is it the thrill of the chase? The toddler who screams for the toy in the shop and drops it for something else the moment he has it? (“It’s like a fucking sport for them!!!” as the other woman complained.)

You are the ones who barge into our hearts, even briefly, and somehow you’re also the ones who get to decide that we’re not worth the bother after all — so when we become attached enough to care about seeing you again, you’ve already moved on and guess who feels like the shop-soiled reject on offer at 60% off. Thanks for nothing, you shits. It’s not as if I wasn’t flush with the floor boards before you came along to remind me that my feelings count for nothing. “Don’t force your way into my life and then leave,” as my Twitter friend tweeted. “It’s not fair.”

That’s what really grates. That we’re not worth the effort of an explanation. That things like basic courtesy –- like, say, if you very specifically and deliberately invite a woman out to a social do the next day and she never hears from you again despite attempts to make contact, this is technically rather rude -– somehow don’t apply to you.

The upshot of all of this is that every time I heal up and scab over, my carapace grows thicker. I’m calloused and battle-scarred, and chances are I’ll miss the chance to connect with somebody nice because I’ve decided that humanity –- especially that section of humanity in possession of a Y chromosome — is best avoided because I cannot face getting hurt again.

I’m so tempted to tell this latest one what I think of him — that based on available evidence, if he’s under the impression he’s a better person than the mutual acquaintance whose character he slated during our conversation at the dinner party where we met, he’s seriously misinformed — but I know I’ll just look like a bunny boiler if I do. Hey, I’m just another stupid female falling for a forked tongue — something we’ve been doing since the Garden of Eden.

Just please tell me, gentlemen (and I use that term ironically), why do you do this to us? What is the motivation? I’d like to understand, so I can take preventative measures. In the mean time, I think I’m going to have to dig a moat and fill it with crocodiles.

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