Mattie Jo Cowsert
Hey dudes! It’s 2017! PRAISE JEEBUS. We need a new year after 2016. Now if only we could keep January 20th, 2017 from actually happening…
Last time we chatted, I was submersed in complete confusion about my religious views and fundamental identity because of that hot Jewish guy I met on Tinder. But I was also content with the fact that I didn’t have to know all the answers. I just had to, like, be nice to people while I tried to figure my shit out.
Enter: Boy Monster.
Boy Monster: A phrase coined by my oh so infamous hip friend, Julia (see blog #3) to describe men who are a total burden but for whatever reason we keep them around. This is closely related to the term Fuck Boy or FuckBoi. Which has a lot of definitions but can be narrowed down to my favorites: Men who act like boys and will manipulate you in any and every heartless way possible in order to get fucked. Men who still rely on their mothers but disrespect women.*
* Courtesy of Urban Dictionary
Okay, here’s the thing about discussing Boy Monsters/Fuck Boys; no one cares about the details. You could share story upon story upon story about how terrible these guys are and the listeners just roll their eyes and say/think “So cut things off. This seems like a pretty easy solution.” So I’m gunna try REALLY hard not to simply share story after story after story about how shitty this guy was/is. I want to share mostly my thoughts and emotions around the issue. But in order to do that, I do have to give you some background details so. Bear with me.
I met Boy Monster (we’ll call him BM for short. Not to be confused with Birth Mother, Peggy Jenkins. Or Bowel Movement. Even though he was the most shitty) on one of my many trips to NYC. I met him at the aforementioned musical theater awards show (where I also met the guy I eventually lost my virginity to. Oops) and thought he was gay. Totally harmless. So we got together later that week and saw a show. It was Bring It On and he kept talking about how hot the lead (Taylor Louderman AY-YO Missourah!) was. “Oh. This guy is straight? That’s so weird. His voice is so high. And he wears skinny jeans. Eh. Oh well. It’s New York.” We met Taylor after the show and he asked me how well I knew her and I was like OMG CALM DOWN. Also. I’m hot. HIT ON ME! Oh did I get my wish.
For the next year BM and I kept in touch via text, Facetime, long distance communication of all kinds. I developed a strong bond with him. Idk. Something about him seeming so gay made me trust him like a best friend. But he was still aggressively sexual in a way that made me want to send him nudes. Look it was a really strange attraction but I was into it. By the time I moved to NYC, I honestly thought BM would be waiting with a single rose at my apartment ready to meet my parents and ask me to be his girlfriend. I am not even exaggerating on this one. I actually expected this to be the case. Why else would he have spoken to me so often for the last year, developed this relationship with me, and tried to convince me to break up with that super-young-Republican-boyfriend I had at the end of senior year? BECAUSE HE REALLY LIKED ME, RIGHT? RIGHT?!?!
Wrong. What actually happened is he never responded to my texts about meeting my parents (which is really the biggest indicator of a guy being a douche/not actually interested/not worth two sheets of toilet paper. You should want to meet my parents. They are amazing), later came to apartment to mess around (and didn’t even stay the night to cuddle ugh), and the next thing I knew he was in a relationship on Facebook.
I’m sorry what?
And okay look. I have been told in my Christian relationship theology that often women create these outlandish scenarios in their minds, based upon zero factual foundation except their own unstable emotions. Yes, yes you see we crazy women lie to ourselves to get what we want and then are disappointed by reality. Only women do this. So, hey you crazy women! Watch those thoughts! You are probably insane! Was I insane? Did I make all of this up? Did this dude ever actually act in a way that suggested he wanted to be involved with me? The answer is yes. I was not, in fact, a crazy emotional woman. Because these Christian dating theologians failed to mention that (obviously not sexist) men often create scenarios around women’s feelings and then make us feel like idiots when we become vulnerable to them. Which is what happened here. I thought this guy was pursuing me for an entire year. This guy was actually just enjoying nudes (underwear pics). And then still got a girlfriend. Who was tall. And thin. And obviously not me.
So a year passes and I guess BM is enjoying his really hot girlfriend because I don’t hear from him. Cool. I move to the actual city where you live and then you decide to never talk to me. I go on a lot of Tinder dates and try to find myself or whatever. And then I get a call. From BM. Asking if he can come over. He’s just ended things with his girl and he’s really upset about it. So of course he needs me, ME to console him in this time of need (I KNOW). He couldn’t think of anyone else? Like, I don’t know, HIS MOM? Ugh. Dick.
But of course I said yes. Not because I thought it was my chance to get laid or any other heartless agenda. No. I said yes because I genuinely wanted to help him if there was anything I could do. I mean nevermind he’d pursued me for a year and then gotten another girlfriend and then not talked to me for a whole other year. I am a Midwesterner and we always put others first, damnit! So he comes over.
I’m not sure how long we talk about his breakup before he starts to kiss me. And I enjoy it. And don’t know how to stop it. And then…okay I don’t think the details here are important except that this paragraph will end in me ambiguously suggesting the situation probably should have ended differently. But it did open a can of worms. A sexual can of worms I really wish had a different metaphor. Sexual ocean of opportunity? Okay that sounds a little better.
Yeah so Boy Monster slept with me the same day (or week? Does it matter?) he broke up with his girlfriend of over a year.
How Many Strikes Do You Get?
Shortly after that scenario I found myself having a surprising and ironic conversation with BM in an NYU recording studio about, you guessed it, sex.
Me: I just feel like everytime I go out with a guy he’s just waiting to have sex with me. And that’s weird for me because in Missouri you assume proper consummation of marriage unless otherwise stated.
BM: So you want to have sex?
Me: *Eyeroll Emoji* You are not listening to me!
Essentially the conversation led to him telling me my “giving up the goods” does not determine my value. Which is totally true! And it’s something I stand by firmly today. What was messed up about that conversation is he was using that to manipulate me into having casual, “unattached” sex with him.
BM: Just because you have sex with me and we aren’t in a relationship does not mean I will disrespect you or treat you like a simple piece of ass (except that’s exactly what he did). No one has to be objectified. You’re my friend first. Always.
His argument was very compelling. And also I REALLY REALLY wanted to have sex with the same person more than once. Because, you know. That seemed like a noble thing to do in my sexual journey. And plus we were friends! It’s not like I didn’t trust or know him.
Strike Three (Million)
So I start having sex slash falling in love with this guy. And that’s when things got really super bad slash complicated but actually very simple (he sucks, I suck. We’re both immature). We’d have some crazy emotionally charged night complete with tears and laughs. He’d cook me dinner or we’d decorate a Christmas tree or I’d listen to his latest song. He introduced me to his family (and oh me gee his brother was V. hot). He’d ask me to work on musical projects with him or offer to put my furniture together or get me icecream after a gyno visit. What I don’t have time to type out here are all the texts and actual conversations where he told me he loved me. Told me he needed me. Told me I was the person he trusts the most in the whole wide world. We did a lot of things that seem really mundane typing them out but when we were together it just felt easy. I liked being with him. I asked him every time we were together why he wasn’t my boyfriend. “We like eachother. AND have great sex. That sounds like a boyfriend recipe to me!” He never had a straight answer. It was always some dance around statement that made it seem beneficial for me to both 1) not be committed to him but 2) keep having sex with him.
For the next two years we had the typical boy monster/hopeful girl relationship. We would have a great night together and then I wouldn’t hear from him for weeks. And then I would hear from him, in some dire situation where he “really just needed me” and I’d drop everything to be with him. If he found out I was dating someone he always made sure I knew he knew it wasn’t going to last. We made plans and he’d cancel on me. Or forget. He’d agree to get together so I could yell at him about not responding to my texts, meeting my friends that were in town, or coming to my birthday party. He was always really stressed from Grad School and seeing a new therapist. I had to constantly ask if he was sleeping with other girls. He was always sleeping with other girls (sidenote: if you have to ask. He definitely is). He never asked about my life. And when he did, he would give me advice that sounded like he’d read it straight out of a fortune cookie. No personalization. I was like “does this guy know me AT ALL?” Well obviously he did. This dude capitalized on my need for passion and excitement in a relationship. At the expense of you know, my self-esteem.
I don’t know if I’m painting the picture well here (I hope so because that’s kind of my thing), but my point is that I was totally in love with this guy, Fuck Boy-y as he may have been, I felt I was in love with him. When we were together, it felt very real. But the time in between? The constant wondering and worrying if he was sleeping with other girls, thinking about me…My friends absolutely hated him because they knew he was awful. It’s really painful to watch your awesome friend/loved one spend so much energy on a total loser. Okay. I’m being really mean and calling this dude a lot of names that he totally deserves but as a Midwesterner I still feel kind of bad. So, as a disclaimer, I do not think that just because this guy was immature and awful to me, he is a bad person. But I do think he needs to grow the fuck up and never treat anyone else with this much disrespect. I also think he wasn’t the only shitty one in this situation. As I’m writing this out, I realize so much of this was just both of us being young (And wild. And free). When else can you be that reckless? Not when you’ve got three children and really expensive insurance, I know that much.
I tried dating other guys (a lot) but I just never felt the “connection” I had with BM. After dating my totally awesome dream guy, yet still desiring a relationship with BM I was convinced I was broken. Was I ever going to be attracted to anyone else? I know this guy is terrible so why am I in love with him? WHY CAN’T I LOVE A GOOD GUY?????
I didn’t mean to make every title of this entry a baseball reference. Things just happen organically, ya know?
Anyway, around a year ago I decided to cut BM out of my life completely. I had a total breakthrough/down watching The Last Five Years. Through a series of tearing back a fuck ton of emotional layers (as one does after watching Anna Kendrick kill a JRB song), I made a few pretty pivotal self-discoveries.
I realized, my issues with BM had nothing to do with BM. The real issue was, in my heart of hearts, I really truly believe(d) I was inadequate. And that belief about myself dictated almost everything I did. I really didn’t like myself. I, me, Mattie Jo did not believe I deserved the best. BM was simply the personification of my “you’re not enough” devils (Also he didn’t want to meet Camille when she came to visit. And that like pissed me off more than the parent thing. Who doesn’t want to meet CAMILLE?). If I ever wanted to shake that fundamental belief, I was going to have to stop engaging with people, situations, and self-talk that perpetuated this belief.
After my decision to completely cut BM out of my life, I experienced great clarity. I was happier than I’d ever been since moving to New York, I was booking a lot of really great work, and I read a lot of self-help books about knowing and truly believing I deserved the very best in every part of my life. We spoke a few more times after my departure to Storyland. But when I felt myself falling back, I’d make sure I got super distracted and get a new book. The result was really, simply put, a better Mattie Jo. I started doing hard work to break my harmful eating habits. I made commitments about relationships I will always adhere to. I fell in love (it’s crazy how letting go of familiarity makes life way cooler). I drank a whole lot less. My skin cleared up. And look, I’m not saying all of that came about simply because I left BM behind. But I am saying, when you get rid of your worst distractions, you’re able to focus more on what’s important. I was able to deal with the root of my issues, instead of manufacturing a new problem to avoid managing my own heart.
A few weeks ago my roommate came home and let me know BM was working on a show with him. BM also had no idea who my roommate was. Which is HILARIOUS considering they met on at least five occasions (Again. If a guy doesn’t remember basic details about your life, he sucks. Florin remembered how much I hate pigeons. I didn’t even remember telling him about that). Anyway I saw and hugged BM on opening night. He was shocked to see me but it was kind of funny being a little rude to him about not knowing Gavin. It was also REALLY gratifying to not feel any certain way towards him. I am happy. And I hope he is too. I also hope he sucks a lot less now. That somehow my no longer enabling his terrible behavior has shaped him up a bit.
So here’s what I want to say to all the women (or anyone!) out there who are currently involved with Boy Monsters/Fuck Boy/FuckBois. I’m not going to shame you because I totally get it. But I just want you to know that it’s not about him. It’s not about the sex you’re having and God is smiting/cursing you for having it with a loser (I also legit thought that). It’s about the fact that you believe it’s okay for someone to treat you like option 872 on his list at any time when you’re treating him like option 1. That he doesn’t even give you, an exceptionally wonderful human, basic respect. It’s about us deciding that no company is better than soul sucking company. No sex is better than emotionally abusive sex. No male attention is better than manipulative male attention. No one to be boy crazy about is better than being involved with an actual crazy boy. Because who we are, by ourselves reading a book about the Enneagram, watching Friends, submitting for an audition appointments so you don’t have to go to those God-forsaken open calls, seeing a half price movie on Saturday mornings, or giving ourselves a manicure that will be totally messed up in less than a day (these are all just me aren’t they?) is enough. We are enough. We deserve the best.
P.S. MICHELLE OBAMA 2020!!!!
P.P.S. Seriously. Who doesn't want to meet Camille?