After reading a great deal about how mercury from my dental amalgams was making me stupid (I’d been searching for the cause for years), I finally went to a dentist the other day to have my four amalgam fillings replaced with porcelain composites.
I haven’t been to many dentists in my life, so this was my first female dentist, which made me a tad apprehensive. So many women have tried to pry their way into my head to fix purported problems in there over the years, that willingly opening my mouth to one with power tools seemed a tad reckless.
My concerns were for naught. She was by far the best dentist I’d ever had, which struck me as part of a recurring pattern. The best doctor I’d ever had was female, too. The best physiotherapist. The best divorce lawyer. In fact, all my professional relationships with women have been great.
Why, then, have my personal relationships with women been such a disaster? How could I get along with them so well in one vein, yet so poorly when it involved the most important vein of them all?
Was it because money changed hands professionally? Nope, lots of money changed hands personally, too.
Was it because professional relationships were so well-defined? Nope. With a relationship discussion at least once a week, my personal relationships were as well-defined as any.
Was it because I failed to live up to my obligations as a mature, responsible adult in a loving, equal partnership of mutual respect? Look, this thing is complicated enough without mixing a bunch of gobbledygook in there. Let’s just get down to the nitty-gritty, shall we? The biggest difference between my professional vs my personal relationships with women has been…sex. I have it with one group, whereas I merely want to have it with the other.
But isn’t sex supposed to bring a man and women closer? Aren’t we supposed to do some kind of bonding thing, blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah? So what could possibly be the problem?
Like all great psychoanalysts, I decide to rifle through my childhood memories to find the root cause, when a vivid memory suddenly pops into my head. It’s of tall, golden-haired Ken sitting in his red convertible outside a dollhouse, a red sweater tied around his neck, exactly as my sister had left him. Exactly as she’d always left him – high and dry after another date with smoking hot Barbie in one of her teeny-weeny pink mini-skirts.
“The hell with this,” I make him say as my pre-pubescent hand lifts him from the convertible and straightens his legs. He strides toward the dollhouse and kicks in the door. Barbie runs out to meet him in a skimpy nightie. She stares at him, her mouth slightly ajar. I know she’s supposed to say something, but I’m a man and have no idea what, so I keep her silent.
Ken isn’t in the mood for talking, either. He knows he should be carrying flowers. And uttering professions of endless love. And probably reciting poetry, too. But he’s got a serious case of plastic blue balls and doesn’t have time for any of that.
The next thing I know, he has her over the makeup table, doing things the Mattel engineers never intended. It’s consensual but not exactly romantic, lustful rather than passionate, rough, not gentle. When it’s over, Barbie has an indentation in her cheek from one of the makeup boxes – a sore point between her and Ken from that point on. The emotional wound festers, and pretty soon, she’ll only have sex with him when she’s drunk.
“So that’s where my dysfunctional relationships began,” I whisper to myself. “Barbie got cheated out of the true romance she desired, which, at some level, made her and all the real life Barbies that followed angry at Ken. And Ken failed to embrace true intimacy with women because, well, that’s hard to do that when you start out mounting them from behind like a dog in heat.
Now that I know the cause of all my problems, I also know the cure. I have to get a new Ken and Barbie, and a new dollhouse, and, this time, do it right.