I got my first hater. Initially I was curious to know who it was and why he/she would send me a negative remark and then I realized that it didn’t matter. The post was as follows:
“I know you hate men. Too bad.”
It was sent by anonymous. There was a photo on the profile but that was taken down right after the message came through. “The contents of this profile are no longer available” was the message that appeared instead.
He knew I hated men. And like any good victim in a psychological thriller, I wondered what else he knew. Did he know how much I hate to fall when I rollerskate? Or how much I hate 8:00 a.m. on Mondays? Did he know how much I hate going to the dentist? Or how much I hate to admit I’m wrong? Or how much I hate to think about the possibility of my book not being a success but that I wrote it anyway and am working on two more because my determination is stronger than my fear or I’m just thick that way?
Hate is a strong word, and it isn’t an often used one in my world. I may not like that my dog randomly and sporadically barks loudly for no reason but that doesn’t mean I hate my dog. Sometimes my recipes turn out awful but that doesn’t mean I hate baking. Sometimes my heart has been broken but that doesn’t mean I hate men.
Clearly that person read no further than the page name, got insecure, and lashed out. It’s happened before.
About a year and a half ago I attended a fund raiser at a friend’s house. She was helping her church raise money for their music program and I agreed to come and offered to bring a cheesecake. Whether I wanted it to be or not, cheesecake has become my thing. I get it. I own it. And I’m happy to oblige. I brought one of my own recipes: Pear and Elderflower.
My friend, the hostess, was sharing with the guests that this cheesecake recipe will be in my book when it’s published and, by the way, the title of the book is “Cheesecake loves my thighs and 27 other reasons why cheesecake is better than men.” The women laughed the loudest and invited me to read at their book clubs. Some of the men agreed. One man, however, protested. He took offense, he said. His wife suggested he “zip it” but he didn’t. He felt the comparison was demeaning, objectifying, and so on. As he politely held his ground, as people do at church fundraisers, my friend handed him a slice of cheesecake and said, “try this and then tell me what you think.” He took a bite and then another and another. He returned the empty plate and said, “I stand corrected. Young lady, I can’t compete with that. Good luck with your book.”
I don’t hate men. If I did, I wouldn’t continue to date them. I’d stop dipping into the dating pool and definitely stop looking for my happily ever after. I actually love men. I just happen to love cheesecake a little more.
I also love ice cream but love frozen custard a little more. I love going for long walks but love going for long bike rides a little more. I love getting dressed up and wearing heals but I love wearing my overalls and pigtails a little more.
There is no hate in these equations.
I have loved the men I’ve dated, and I hold no grudges that things didn’t work out. I have loved and I will love the next man in my life a little more.