Friday Night Date Place – Dating Teh Crazy!!!1!!1!

(Before I get emails, know going in that this isn’t one of my more serious responses/blogs.)

“Emotionally unstable women are fantastic in the sack. Their self-loathing translates into … nevermind.” –Jack (Alec Baldwin), 30 Rock

I realize that most of my Friday Night Date Place blogs tend to be aimed at women, but that’s because that’s who I hear from most often when it comes to dating relationships. More than one war council meeting has convened in my living room and I’m just there to take notes. Today, however, I’m doing one squarely aimed at the fellas.

Here’s how the conversation began: “Why do guys date crazy women?” Ladies, you know the answer before you ask the question (do you need to re-read the opening quote again), but I’m going to go through the motions of answering this question. Let us refer to a certain sub-species as Personae dramatis. Some may call the behavior of this group … crazy. Look, we don’t always know that the people we’re dating are crazy. It’s not like they wear “hey, I’m craaaaaaaaaazy!!” T-shirts. While sex is not hard to get, to quote my brother-in-law, “I don’t need no crazy cootchie.”

Although, I’m not gonna lie. Sometimes we know they’re crazy going in and still go there. Even I, this pillar of dating stability, may or may not have gone there in his dating life. I may or may not have said the following after 48 hours of dating someone: “Look, you and I just are not going to work. This relationship will crash and burn in spectacular fashion. You’re just kinda, you know, crazy. But if you want to keep dating knowing that it’s going to end badly, I’m in.”

Cause I just keep bringing the romance.

Anyway, like I said, an actual guy war council broke out in my living room for a change (well, three guys minding their own business while the women convened a war council and we had to defend ourselves) and one issue involved the dating of the crazy. We hated to burst all the mystery, but we’re not that deep.

For some, crazy represents a challenge. In the same way how when you buy a puzzle book, you go straight to the back, passing up less complicated, less messy puzzles and go straight to the hardest ones. There’s a thrill to the “danger” of it all and trying to get out of a mess relatively cleanly. But, to quote a friend, it boils down to “I still want to hit that.”

The other question I get is “when is the crazy too much?” In short, your mileage may vary. Hopefully some time before what we’ll call the Left Eye Rule: if she tries to burn down your house, it may be time to buy some roses and call it a day. However, it usually doesn’t have to get to the whole “I’m gonna burn everything you own” level. Most folks build up to that. You get the phone calls, the 3 a.m. texts, the emails, the showing up at the job (come on, now, you don’t bring stuff to work). Mounting crazy behavior would encompass everything from throwing a glass table at you to vandalizing your stuff to leaving bloody underwear in your locker.* And what is too often the male response to such behavior: “Can I hit that one last time?”

Alright, look, crazy is not contagious, but it does have a way of working its way under your skin. Crazy is infectious and some people need that sort of high level drama in their life (to spark it or whatever). Crazy is passionate. Crazy is exciting. Crazy is a bit of a freak. Dating crazy does not make you enlightened, it makes you crazy because crazy likes to inject drama into their lives and tell everybody about all the deep emotional trauma going on in their lives. Crazy likes the constant rollercoaster and you need to decide if the ride is worth it.

In the final analysis, crazy is what we all are. Some folks are broken in emotional ways and frankly, some of the relationships they are prone to enter into are self-destructive (<-- you may want to click on this link for a more serious take on this topic) or enabling. Sometimes dealing with the crazy makes you appreciate the sane or, to again quote my brother-in-law, “you have to go to the cave to come out a super-hero.” Anyway, guys … aren’t that deep. Some brothas need 13 steps to quit the crazy, cause 12 just ain’t enough. “My name is Jon and … hey, you look nice…”

*Sadly, all real life examples. Not all of them to me. Though I’ll fully admit that I can bring a special kind of joy that drives women to, well, throw a glass table at me.

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You Can’t Argue with Crazy

(Just assume that the disclaimers from yesterday are still in effect)

I’ve experienced my share of crazy.*

I’ve received the occasional rant, just as I’ve had the joy of the occasional dissatisfied customer (still one of my all-time favorite tirades). I was recently asked, how do I deal with the crazy. My answer is simple: I ignore it. I don’t advertise them by giving them a platform (read: I don’t respond to nitwits nor to self-important nobodies trying to make a name for themselves) because that only gives them credence. And I certainly don’t argue back. Why? Here’s what I’ve learned about crazy:

Crazy has time on its hands. I’ve got stuff to do. Because crazy has the time, focus, and energy to sit at a keyboard for long lengths of time …

Crazy LOVES to send out letters. I’m lumping blogs, message board/social networking site comments, and actual letters into this category. In my rant hall of fame, I have a 20 page, single-spaced missive from a fan/(self-described) nemesis. That was an e-mail rant. Number 2 in my hall of fame was an 11 pager that arrived in my physical mailbox. The time it takes to type 11 pages, print it out, put it in an envelope, address it, stamp it, and put it in the mailbox should provide a lot of opportunity to come to one’s senses. However, …

Crazy has other issues they need to work out. When you get an over-the-top screaming meltdown, there to what at first blush seems to be a rather minor point, there’s probably something else going on. In fact, there’s usually a lot going on when the crazy decides to erupt. The actual triggering event is typically only the last straw. A lot of little things had been building up unresolved before the eruption point.

Crazy has to save face. At some point, crazy recognizes the mess that they’ve made. They delete their MySpace/Twitter/Facebook/Message Board accounts in hopes of taking a break from things. (When I’m feeling less generous, I also assume it’s because they don’t want to be held accountable for their words and actions, forgetting that the internet is forever). They wisely go underground, find new circles to travel in, and hopefully time will ease the sting of the fallout from their eruption.

Crazy can’t be argued with. Facts don’t matter. Logic need not apply. The reality of the situation is a waste of time to explore because the only one that matters is the one that they’ve created.

So, no, I don’t argue with crazy. I’ve even quit poking crazy with a stick for my own amusement (who says I haven’t matured?) . Nor do I defend myself against crazy. For one thing, my life speaks for itself. If the accusations made by someone matches the experience people have had with me, then so be it. Secondly, crazy speaks for itself. Most people recognize it as such.

The bottom line is that I try to ignore crazy and leave it alone to work out its issues. I try to deny the eruptions the opportunity to do irrevocable damage to the bridge of our relationship. Crazy needs time and space to heal and gain perspective. And since I’m not going anywhere, crazy always has a place to return to. We’re going to get dirty wading into the tapestry of issues that constitutes the mess of other people’s lives. Might as well be prepared for it.

*For the sensitive, I’m using the term “crazy” to describe the behavior.