I simply do not understand why other girls and I spend much of our time waiting on guys to show they care about us. We should be secure enough with ourselves we do not need the attention of males to make us feel special. Unfortunately, though we have learned that it is important to be part of couples and if we do not make up half of a couple, we are incomplete. I have had a happy life and am very comfortable with whom I am, but I like almost every other girl in society have spent my share of time playing the waiting game.
It begins very early in life, but we do not realize we are playing the game yet at that time. When we first become old enough to realize that we like boys we begin to place some of our value on the amount of attention we get from them and other people judge us partially by that same amount of attention. My first crush was where it began for me. He was cute and I could not wait each day to get to school to get to see him.
I enjoyed playing with my friends and I of course completed the work that I needed to do, but my day was never complete if he did not pay some kind of attention to me. Usually the attention he gave me was something like him pushing me down, or pulling my hair, but when he did that it made me realize that he noticed me. On the days he did not pay any attention to me, I went home feeling like I had missed something during the day. The teacher might have said I was the best student in class, but if my crush ignored me I had a bad day.
When we get a little older the attention from the boys becomes even more important. By the time we get to be twelve or thirteen years old we start wanting them to actually treat us like we are special. It is no longer okay if they pull our hair, we want asked to the school dance or to a friends party. By age twelve boys do usually at least admit they like girls, but they still do not want to let their friends think the girls affect they way they behave. At that age I had a new crush and he liked me too. He was a nice boy except when his friends were around. He would call me on the phone and say all kinds of nice things to me, but at school he was afraid the other boys would tease him if he said anything nice.
At school he would almost completely ignore me until it came time for a school dance. He asked me to go to the dance with him, but once we got there, he went to one side of the room to talk to the other boys and I was expected to go to the other side of the room with the girls. He did not even ask me to dance until it was almost time to go home and some of the other people had finally gotten brave enough to go out on the dance floor together. I did not dare ask him to dance, because if I did that would have embarrassed him in front of his friends and he would not have talked to me the rest of the evening. When it was time to go home, his parents took us both home, but that was almost the only time he talked anyway, because even when he danced with me, he was afraid his friend would hear if he talked to me.
By the later teenage years, the boys want their friends to know they have girlfriends, and often brag about it to their friends. The problem is they still only pay attention to the girls when it is convenient for them to, and we continue to wait for them. During dances like the homecoming dance or the prom are two of the worst events for the waiting game. I like other girls did not want to go to the prom alone, because that is the worst form of rejection in high school, but most of us girls still believed that the boy should be the one to ask the girl to the prom, which of course led again to the game. When it came close to time for the prom, all of the girls would send all kinds of hints to their favorite guys to ask them to the all important dance.
The girls who had boyfriends were pretty safe in assuming they would get to go with them. I had no specific boyfriend at the time, so I like the other single girls had to search through the mass of available boys and pick one I wanted to convince to ask me out. The one guy I liked at the time had not really shown any interest in asking me to the prom or even going to it, but I was determined I was going to go with him.
When I talked to him, I rarely specifically mentioned the prom, but rather just tried to keep him talking. He seemed to enjoy spending time with me, but would simply not ask me to the prom. Finally, just before the prom he mentioned that if I wanted to go maybe we could go together. We had a great time at the prom, but the game I had to play in order to get him to ask me was exhausting.
Most recently as a young adult the game has become even more difficult and frustrating, because each person I go out with could be a potential future husband and I have to think about that. The problem is they think about that as well and although ultimately men want to get married, none of them want to think about it while they are dating and we have to be careful no to remind them. Right now it is Valentines Day and I am still waiting for some kind of recognition of appreciation from my special guy. I know he cares, but it is all about playing the waiting game, which unfortunately girls like me get very used to playing throughout our lives.
I do not understand why we play it other than our mothers have taught us that is what good girls do because we do not want to be forward and frighten the nice boy away. Instead we sit around forever waiting for them to notice us in order for us to feel special. We need to understand that our value is not dependent upon the recognition of our male counterparts. We as people are very important and valued because of who we are and we should not have to spend our lives sitting around waiting for someone to say they love us, because we know we are important and if the men are not able to appreciate that then we should not feel any less important because of it.
Although it is nice to have the attention of men, we need to understand that our value does not depend on it and we should not be afraid to tell the men that if they do not appreciate us we will survive anyway. Unfortunately, even though we know we are individually valuable, we continue to play the game. We ply it the way our mothers and grandmothers played it before us and the way our daughters will undoubtedly play after us. It is the way the world has always worked and few women are brave enough to break the cycle of the way the game is played.