“I’d like to buy this television. It’s got the high definition I’m looking for.”
“Good news! This wide-screen TV also comes with a complimentary honey badger, at no charge!”
“…a honey badger? Isn’t that, like, the meanest animal on earth?”
“We prefer to think of it as ‘fuzzy-wuzzy destruction.’ But it’s totally free! You’ll pay absolutely nothing to have in your home, destroying your couch! Biting you in your sleep! Devouring your other pets and vomiting up their bones!”
“Can I just have the television?”
“No, no, you don’t get to decline. We’ve already put the honey badger in your car. It’s chewed off the knobs on your radio, so you’ll definitely need the additional entertainment of this brand new television!”
“Couldn’t I just buy another television?”
“Did you not say that this TV had the high definition you were looking for?”
“Then I think your choice is clear. Sign here. Quickly! Before the honey badger gnaws through your brake line.”
“All right, fine. But what do I feed my honey badger?”
“Neighbors. Homeless people. Ultimately, nosy policemen.”
Now, obviously, this is a silly example, but I see too many people in relationships with a single, extremely positive aspect – great sex, a partner with a good job, a lover who tolerates your depression, a partner who would do anything for you.
…then there’s the honey badger.
The honey badger represents all the things that don’t work about this relationship – the furious outbursts, the emotional withdrawal by way of punishment, the sneering disdain of all your other passions, possibly even physical abuse. There’s usually more than one in this kind of relationship. And when you point out how obscenely dysfunctional this pairing is and how ultimately unhappy it makes them, they always say the same thing:
“But s/he gives me X. I just can’t find X anywhere else.”
And that’s the hi-definition television at work. Yes. You can find that good aspect elsewhere, and almost certainly housed in a better boy/girlfriend. Just like there are thousands of televisions that have hi-def cables, there are tons of people who can provide you with great sex or financial stability or depressive support.
Now, it’s scary that you’ll have to go looking, which is a distinct pain in the ass, because I’m not going to tell you that these folks are common. No, you’ll have to do your due diligence here, comparison shopping at a lot of stores, doing online research, checking Craigslist for surprise bargains. It’s a lot of work, and some days, yes, you may despair.
But your current television comes with a free honey badger to wreck your life… and there’s no separating the two. Take the good sex, the honey badger is tagging along. And that honey badger is ripping apart your other relationships, destroying parts of your happiness, forcing you to be always on guard for the next crazy honey badger assault. And that’s not a good relationship. That’s actually a terrible relationship with one good upside that you can mistakenly cling to.
But there are other honey badger-free televisions with the same features. You can find a better TV somewhere – maybe not one with all the options you had before, and it’ll be a little scary learning to handle the new remote control, but you’ll find this new honey badger-free television has its own upsides you’ll grow to love.
And more importantly, you don’t have to spend your life managing some crazy-ass beast.
Seriously, though. There are millions of human beings out there, each with their own benefits. I’m not saying people are interchangeable – they’re not. But when your lover is shredding your life from the inside, it doesn’t matter how clear this rerun of “Frasier” looks. It’s time to go.
Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.This entry has also been posted at http://theferrett.dreamwidth.org/280104.html. You can comment here, or comment there; makes no never-mind by me.