I remember that for one birthday in college, my boyfriend at the time offered to take me to a nice restaurant of my choosing. I wanted to look beautiful for him, even though it was my birthday, so I wore heels. I never wear heels. I don’t even think I wore heels to prom. They are super uncomfortable and I am already tall. But I wore heels, and a dress and probably spent time doing my hair. And we walked up and down a main road looking for a good one, and because I wanted to please him and was trying to gauge his reaction the whole time, it took a few miles to pick.
During dinner I looked down and both of my heels were bleeding. Literally dripping blood all over the white carpet of the restaurant. On the way home I could barely walk. Some time later the same boyfriend told me that he’d rather see a girl wear sneakers with a dress than heels.
I have a very clear sense of right and wrong. If I witness something that I think to be un-just, I cannot ignore it. I can’t not intervene, or not offer to help, or not complain about it. I recently realized that a lot of people don’t have this problem, and that I don’t ever want to end up married to one of them. But when it comes to myself, or more specifically, to myself in love, I am willing to put up with almost anything. And I am very willing to ignore unjust circumstances.
I have lost weight for boyfriends. I have gained weight for boyfriends. I have cooked and cleaned for boyfriends when I wouldn’t even cook or clean for myself. I have spent the night laying awake while you snored, or the day in bed with you and missed work and class. I have gone to class for you. I have done drugs for you, drank for you, and illegally driven for you. I have poured orange juice into your mouth while you were having a seizure to save your life. I have given up my hobbies for you, I have changed my style for you, I have ignored everyone else for you. I have pretended to be so many things for you. I have let you push me down a flight of stairs and beat me up and pierce my ears.
And nothing that I do or put up with makes any difference. It doesn’t make you love me more, or make either of us better people.
Every day I have to ask myself if what I’m doing for you is what I really want. Because if I don’t struggle, the next time it’s my birthday I’ll end up with bloody feet again, and it’ll still be my fault.