I’ve always thought of myself as a good girl.
As a child, it was all about being seen and not heard. As an adult, I find myself responding to social situations in much the same way. I sometimes feel as though I’m a bit like those porcelain dolls you keep high up on a shelf behind glass and labeled with my name, all the lovely loops and swirls, raised and on an embossed card and a sign scratched out in calligraphy on ecru, heavyweight paper: “Lovely to look at, nice to hold…”
In dating situations, I’m an accoutrement, an accessory. I complement my wearer. I respond when spoken to. I’m agreeable. My opinions are generally kept to myself.
If you met me, met my family, the women in my family especially, you’d scratch your head and wonder where this behavior comes from. I was raised by a strong, independent mother. All the women in my family work and are very accomplished, competent, successful, bright, outspoken and witty. I can’t remember a time when they didn’t all voice their own ideas with the same confidence as the men in my family.
I’m a throwback. It’s probably the result of reading too many Regency romance novels during puberty. You remember the ones with the dashing gentleman who bucks the rules of society to choose a lovely young lady of limited means. Yep, that’s the girl I believed myself to be. Ridiculous.
And now, everyone who knows me is now scratching his or her heads wondering what the heck’s gotten into me. Just the other day, my mother asked me, “Why? What is it about him?”
To be completely forthcoming, even he asked, “Why me?”
I didn’t have an answer. But I’ve given it some thought, and I figured I’d answer her and him and everyone else at the same time.
It’s because he lets me be me, the real me, the person behind the good girl. I am more who I am since I met him than I have been my entire life. And the dashing gentlemen in those romance novels have nothing on him. And I’m not the girl who needs rescuing anymore because he broke open the glass display case just by showing me that it’s okay to be myself. In a way, I guess he did save me.
And I don’t think of myself, anymore, as that good girl who plays fair and does everything she’s supposed to do and worries about what people think or even what that voice in the back of my mind tells me I should and shouldn’t do. I’ve thrown out the rulebook on this one. I’ve shushed the voice.
And I don’t care where it’s going. For once, I’m kind of more interested in the ride