Narrator: Hey there little Timmy, why don’t you put down that brush of fine, healthy, lead based paint and come over here to learn something about relationships.
Timmy: Geewiz mister, you nearly scared my socks off. Sure, I’d like to learn about relationships.
Narrator: Well Timmy, you’re in luck, because I’m here to explain to you how to have a dysfunctional relationship with someone who’d just as soon eat their own young as look at you.
Timmy: Really? I am not so sure about that. I thought relationships were about love and understanding, not infanticidal cannibalism.
Narrator: Ahh, the follies of youth. No Timmy, human relationships might seem like they should be about love and understanding, but there’s how a thing should be, and how it really is, and if you want to survive in this world, you better plan on having relationship after relationship based on distrust, mutual feeding, and a healthy dose of heartless lying.
Timmy: Golly Mister, that sounds just awful.
Narrator: Yes Timmy, it truly is, but look on the bright side, after 70 or so years of heart wrenching failure, you’ll welcome death with open arms.
Timmy: That sounds real fun, where do I start.
Narrator: Well Timmy, the good news is, in order to have a dysfunctional relationship and always find yourself again and again in the same position is to not do much at all. The first thing you need to do is let people know you are lovelorn, nothing gets predatory people a flutter like a wounded animal dripping blood in the water.
Timmy: That seems easy enough, so I just say I am feeling lonely? Won’t that make people want to help me out or give me comfort.
Narrator: Oh Timmy! That’s what you’d expect, but people with real feelings are far too occupied either getting into or out of the same kinds of sick relationships that you will be enjoying. No, the only people who will take any notice are the ones who will want to feed off you.
Timmy: Holy Moses Mister, I just can’t wait!
Narrator: I am glad to hear that Timmy, and look, here comes little Peggy sue, a pretty girl right from your class. Let’s give it a try.
Timmy: Okay Mister *winks*, Ahh, shucks, I sure feel lonely and need some companionship. How was that Mister?
Narrator: Very good Timmy, oh, looks like we got a bite.
Peggy Sue: Golly Timmy, you sound really lonely. I think that’s just terrible. Did someone hurt you?
Timmy: Well, no Peggy Sue, I’m just awful lonely and feeling a little weak.
Peggy Sue: Oh, that’s very bad, well, I can’t let you get hurt, I would never allow that, why don’t we become friends?
Timmy: Shucks, you mean it? Wow, you’re awful nice. Umm, Mister, I think you were wrong, Peggy Sue seems like a real nice and sweet girl. She’s so pretty and kind, and she says she’ll never hurt me. I don’t think she’s what I am looking for if I want an unhealthy relationship.
Narrator: Oh Timmy, you simple boy, of course she says that. You have to learn how to filter what people say through a truth translator, to see what they really mean.
Timmy: I don’t understand, don’t people say what they really mean?
Narrator: No Timmy, of course they don’t. Where would you get a silly idea like that. What Peggy Sue really said was: Gee, I sure am hungry, and you look like a tasty and guillible snack.
Timmy: I don’t understand Mister, and I don’t believe you. Peggy Sue is too nice and sweet for that, and I am not gonna let you talk about her that way. Come on Peggy Sue, let’s leave.
…Two weeks later…
Narrator: Well Timmy, why are you sitting there crying?
Timmy: I don’t want to talk about it.
Narrator: Oh come now Timmy, it can’t be all that bad.
Timmy: Well I went off with Peggy Sue, and I really liked her, and she seemed to like me, but all she ever did was talk about other boys and get me to help her with her chores and homework, or give her hugs when she was feeling bad. And when I asked her out, she said she’d rather be friends with me. I am just so confused Mister, I thought she really liked me and needed me. All she wants is for me to do stuff for her so she can chase other boys.
Narrator: Well Timmy, isn’t that what friendship is all about? Helping each other.
Timmy: I guess so, but she never does anything for me, I don’t need help with my chores or homework, and whenever I want to do something, she just wants to talk about other boys or her feelings.
Narrator: Well Timmy, I am so darn proud of you, you’ve just had your first unhealthy feeding based relationship. You’ve become Peggy Sue’s tool, when she wants to dump her feelings, or get advice about other boys, or needs help with her homework, she relies on you. She’s a very subtle operator, because nothing that she does is really wrong, it was just wrong for you. It’s not that she’s evil, it’s just that running after other boys takes a lot of effort, and you are like her emotional battery, you’re there whenever she needs a pick me up.
Timmy: Gosh, I never thought about it that way, she doesn’t really care about me, if she did, she’d know that hugging and kissing me and telling me all about her private life is a bit personal, and makes a guy think you want more, if she was really my friend, she would keep it platonic and establish some boundaries, but if she did, then she wouldn’t have the benefits of me having an emotional investment, which allows her to feed. So she gave me just enough rope to hang myself, and she doesn’t get any blame. Because I should know better, right?
Narrator: That’s right Timmy. Most predators aren’t full out violent or mean, they are subtle, and most of their machinations can be excused as just a few minor indiscretions, and because people SHOULD know better, then they don’t have the right to cry foul. It’s very tidy, and one of the best kinds of unhealthy relationships you can have. Now that you have learned that lesson, how about a nice healthy ice cream cone?
Timmy: Geewiz mister, that sounds just great, and I am buying.
Narrator: Oh really Timmy? Where did you get money?
Timmy: I have a paper route, I am rolling in quarters!
Narrator: Well Timmy, you may have just happened on another great way to start a relationship.
Timmy: Really? How so?
Narrator: You don’t have to do much, just let it be known that you have money and you’ll see, in fact here comes Mary Beth, maybe you should offer to buy her an ice cream.
Timmy: Golly, that’s a great idea, I sure like Mary Beth, but we don’t talk much. Hey Mary Beth, would you like an ice cream?
Mary Beth: Oh would I, I just love ice cream. Hey, why do you look so sad?
Timmy: Oh, that doesn’t matter, I just had a problem with Peggy Sue, but I am over that now, I won’t get fooled again.
Mary Beth: Aww, that’s terrible, she’s really mean for not seeing how wonderful you are. This is sure a real good ice cream, thanks a lot. You want to take me to the pictures?
Timmy: Oh my gosh, are you asking me out Mary Beth?
Mary Beth: I sure am, I don’t know what is wrong with that Peggy Sue, but you are such a generous and kind man. I could never hurt someone like you.
Timmy: Gee mister, do you hear that, she sounds awful nice, and she’d never hurt me.
Narrator: Oh really Timmy, just because she says so? Maybe you should just tell her no and walk away.
Timmy: I don’t believe you mister, you’re just so negative, not everyone is out to get something from someone else, some people really care, like Mary Beth, she knows how I feel and she really likes me.
… 3 days later …
Narrator: Well well Timmy, what’s wrong this time.
Timmy: Oh go away mister, I am in no mood for your advice.
Narrator: Okay, but the least you could do is tell me what happened.
Timmy: It was terrible, all Mary Beth wanted to do was to go to the pictures, she really wants to be a star in Hollywood. All I ever did was spend spend spend, and if I tried to kiss her, she would say she was too shy. Then yesterday I saw her behind the bleachers kissing Billy Thompson, and she was only doing it because his dad works for a theater company and he is always talking about all his connections.
Narrator: Well Timmy, it seems like you’ve hit on another great type of sick relationship. Mary Beth was only interested in what you could give her, and how much it was really worth to her.
Timmy: That’s what I said, and then she said she wasn’t that type of girl, and that you can’t buy love and I shouldn’t treat her like a Jezebel. Whatever that is.
Narrator: Well Timmy, you’ve learned a valuable lesson here, you see, girls like Mary Beth act that way to others because it’s easy to conceal, and because you were buying her lots of things, she can always say that you were the bad guy for expecting so much and acting like you could buy her love. The real truth of course is that you bought her things to make her happy, and you only wanted her to make you happy in return, but because what made her happy was material, and what would make you happy is emotional and sensual, you’ll look like the predator because of the bad connotations connected with kissing and holding hands.
Timmy: Shucks mister, I never thought about it that way. I didn’t mean to buy her kisses or holding hands, that’s just what I wanted, and I thought if I helped her get what she wanted, she would give me what I wanted and it’d be a fair exchange. I mean I worked awful hard for those quarters.
Narrator: I know it seems that way, but people will actually think that you are bad for not understanding that not all energy exchanges are equal. Getting a kiss or holding hands is a lot more valuable than anything else in the world.
Timmy: But if that’s true, then why did she do it with Billy Thompson just cause his dad has connections. And what’s a connection?
Narrator: Well Timmy, you’ll have to learn that value is really relative, it’s less about what is objectively the value of something, and more about what the various people around you think. You see wanting to kiss and hold hands is low and sinful, so if you say anything like: Hey, isn’t what I gave of value? Then you will just come off as a sleazeball, and no one likes a sleazeball. Best to keep your wallet in your pocket next time you meet a girl.
Timmy: Well all I know mister is, I never want to have that happen again, I am starting to think that maybe having these unhealthy relationships might not be a good thing after all.
Narrator: That’s the spirit Timmy, relationships are all about grinding you down into a soulless feeder, just like the rest of us, don’t worry, a couple of more bad relationships and you’ll be so hurt and angry, you’ll start going into relationships with a “can do to you what they did to me” attitude!
Timmy: I sure hope so, I am so tired of always being the bad guy just for wanting normal physical intimacy.
Narrator: Don’t worry Timmy, you just want that because you haven’t yet learned of the joys of using people as emotional shammy cloths. You see in our culture, holding hands is a sin, and trying to get it makes you look like a bad person. Instead, you should try to get emotions, no one really needs those after all, and no one ever got an STD or got pregnant from an emotional feeding frenzy. It’s a much safer way to victimize people.
Timmy: Golly, I never thought of it that way. I just thought kissing and holding hands was really keen, but I see that it’s a lot easier to do and harder to detect if all I want is emotional feeding.
Narrator: Well sport, you’re almost there. You’ll need to be painfully victimized and painted to be the bad guy a few more times before you really start to be cynical and take pleasure in feeding off other people the way you’ve been fed off of. Humanity is like a great circle, and each time you get victimized, or victimize someone else, you keep this whole crazy experiment running.