Thursday, July 14, 2011

Jogging in Lipstick: Rules 31-35

Welcome to the final installment of the original [gangster] Rules. You’ve worked hard to get here, and I hope this will help you on your way to that blessed proposal. All block quoted slices of genius belong to Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider, may they forever be thanked in our big fat whore hearts.

Rule 31:
Don’t Discuss The Rules With Your Therapist

They “strongly suggest” you not talk about The Rules with your therapist for a number of reasons, most of them being that your therapist will be like ‘Oh girl. Oh no.’ The three reasons listed for not telling your therapist are:
1. Your therapist might think they are deceitful or manipulative.
2. Your therapist probably doesn’t know that you are prone to throwing yourself at men.
3. If you talk about it with your therapist you will have to debate the intrinsic worth of The Rules and your resolve may weaken.

Wonder why?

BS Meter:
How many Rules have been about keeping this to yourself so you don’t have to defend it? The BS Meter is high on this one, mostly because they know it’s not a good system but they’re telling you to do it anyway.

Points of Interest:
Self-improvement is great—we can all be better in many areas. But self-improvement still won’t get you the relationship you want. […] Simply being a better person won’t get you the man of your dreams. You have to do The Rules!

Meg's Alternate Rule:
Therapy is great! I am a believer! But you have to tell your therapist everything, even the stuff about throwing yourself at men. And then you work through stuff and start feeling better about yourself. And then you get to the point where you like yourself and have self-respect and then you don’t need an egg timer to tell you when to get off the phone with a man.

Rule 32:
Don’t Break The Rules

This is the longest chapter in the book. It’s like they can feel you slipping away, so it’s just chock-a-block with horror stories of girls who started out strong and then ended up breaking Rules (initiating sex and writing their boyfriends “love poetry” – I swear it says love poetry) and then guess what happened? NO RING. HEARTBREAK. BEGGING. SINGLE TOWN, POPULATION: GIRLS WHO BREAK THE RULES.

BS Meter:
It’s not so much BS as just flat out desperate, mean scare tactics. This chapter tipped me over the edge from “this is a really stupid book that is fun to laugh at” to “oh my god, there are women who believe them and this is really mean and sad.”

Points of Interest:
So the answer to the question, “Will he still marry me if I break The Rules? is, sorry to say, “Maybe yes, but most likely, no.” So why take a chance?

Don’t make him a birthday party or give him an expensive gift, don’t mention children, don’t patch things up with his family, don’t ask him out, and try not to call him very often. Basically, don’t push yourself into his life or you won’t be his wife! [emphasis mine – meg]

So when you think that not calling him and other Rules are rude and hurtful, remember you are in fact helping him want you more. The Rules are actually good for him. So don’t go by your feelings, just do The Rules.

Meg's Alternate Rule:
Certainly recognize if you fall into harmful relationship patterns but don’t let a mean, stupid book dictate how you live your life. This goes for The Rules AND for particularly nasty sections of the Old Testament.

Rule 33:
Do The Rules and You’ll Live Happily Ever After

The Rules are hard, so here is some incentive! 20 things listed that will happen if you do this program! And 5 things that WON’T happen if you do the program!

BS Meter:
I love how they dangle the carrot of results that cannot be guaranteed! This book just gets better and better.

Points of Interest:
Some of the things you can look forward to:
8. He gets angry when you don’t pay attention to him. He wants your constant attention and companionship. […] He wants to do everything with you!

Wait, for real? Am I supposed to be excited about this? He’s going to get angry with me when I’m hanging out with a friend and I can never do my own thing?
14. He always wants the phone number of where you are so he can get in touch with you.

Again, this is the list of what to look forward to.

Let’s move on to what WON’T happen if you do The Rules

2. No outside counseling. He has no interest in couples therapy. […] Ultimately, he finds most things about you adorable. He doesn’t feel the need to consult a professional to talk about his feelings.

Those angry feelings when you aren’t paying attention to him? No need to address those at all.

Meg's Alternate Rule:
You know, I can give you 20 reasons why you shouldn’t do The Rules, but I think we’re just shooting fish in a barrel at this point. Maybe if the fish hadn’t wanted to go to all those dances with us it would be different…

Rule 34:
Love Only Those Who Love You

The Rules helps you not chase people who are not interested in you.

BS Meter:
I can’t believe I’m going to say this but you know, that’s kind of a good policy. Recognize that you are great, only be with people who agree with you 100%, and you’ll be fairly happy.

Points of Interest:
Now we like love to be easy. We go to a dance or a party and we don’t have to work at all. We just show up, do The Rules, and whoever likes us, likes us, and who doesn’t? We accept whatever happens. We’re laid back and confident.

Meg's Alternate Rule:
Let me just rephrase that without The Rules and without going to a dance. We go to a party, be our fabulous selves- warts and all – and whoever likes us, likes us, and who doesn’t? Forget them, we’re fabulous.

Rule 35:
Be Easy to Live With

Once you get the blessed proposal, now your job switches from playing hard to get to playing super laid back, patient, considerate, and kind. Even when you’re being underappreciated. Oh, and there are a few more Rules for married life, like don’t go looking for evidence that he’s cheating on you, don’t open his mail, don’t scream too much, always show “utter contentment” with your life, let him do whatever he wants, and make time for a healthy sex life. Obvs, on his terms only, remember!

BS Meter:
UGH. First, I thought we were supposed to be off the hook when we got married. Weren’t we supposed to be allowed to have faults and stuff? Then, wait, weren’t we supposed to be acting like we are single once we’re married? Wasn’t that a previous Rule? So now we need to play hard to get and super laid back all at the same time? I’m so confused!

Points of Interest:
On any given day, try to remember that an attitude of gratitude can go a long way. On bad days, try to remember the reasons you married your husband. In the middle of a fight with your husband, stop and recall all those bad blind dates, the seemingly endless search for Mr. Right.

Meg's Alternate Rule:
For the love of all that is good and true, don’t do The Rules!

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