Nutrition Labels

In 1990, the U.S. passed a law ( Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990 ) requiring most companies to list their nutrient and ingred...

In 1990, the U.S. passed a law (Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990) requiring most companies to list their nutrient and ingredient information on their packaged goods as well as limiting the claims a company could make on said packaging ("low in sugar!" "high in fiber!" "will make you live a bazillion years longer!").  Food companies had a little over three years to get their shit straight before this law went into effect in 1993.

Before this, there were many books and resources that would list some of the major nutrients of some processed (and unprocessed) foods, i.e., the T-Factor Calorie Counting book.  It told you the basics (calories, fat, carbohydrates/sugars, protein, salt) about the average baked potato all the way up to a Whopper with cheese.  (Opinions about food/diet has changed so much over the past 18 years, hasn't it?)

And before that, people didn't care what was in their packaged foods, because pre-packaged industrialized food hadn't been invented yet.  Beef came in cow packaging; tomato sauce came in tomato packaging.  Any packaging was done in the kitchen (salting, canning, pickling, etc.). Before labeling, one had to rely on a mix of experience, instinct, and social learning to know what foods were good for you and which were not (and it was just a best guess).  This was also the golden era before "dieting."  It was either you had food or you didn't.  (Notice how the diet industry evolved concurrently with the industrialization with food?)

I wish men were required to wear a label*
(I bet you didn't see that coming). 

All too often men put forth a(n initial) good showing that they are kind, generous, loyal, honorable (the front of the box health claims) and then as time goes by you see what they really are (the nutrition label showing all sorts of weird petrochemicals, preservatives, and filler).

But unlike that which guides our nutrition choices, men have no labels.  We have to go on faith that what men tell and show us is an accurate representation of who they are at their core.  We take a risk (emotionally, mentally, sexually, etc.) when we get involved with a man.  Sometimes it is a healthy risk, and sometimes it is a very unhealthy risk (but that's something we only find out in retrospect).

Most of us would never go near the guy that was going to break our heart if, from the onset, we knew he was capable of it.  They lead with tenderness and care when really they are only looking out for themselves.  Their communicativeness is a carefully executed ruse to win trust and lose undies.  The effort they expend is proportionate to what they think they can get in return, instead of giving freely from their heart (a/k/a generosity).

I believe that books like The Game and people like Tom Leykis, and even the sexual revolution have screwed the single woman that wants to be in a monogamous relationship with a decent man.  Basically if you're a guy and you don't want to be in a relationship, you don't have to be because somewhere there's a woman willing to just have casual sex with you.

As an anthropologist (I studied biological/forensic anthropology in college), I can understand the biological impetus for men to want to have lots of sex with many women (and a woman's desire to nest with one partner), but since the dawn of civilization society has set the rules/boundaries/parameters of such interaction.  Recently society has lost its mind.  Whereas in the past a guy actually had to be honorable and do right by the woman, the bar is currently set quite low.  If a woman has any kind of standards or expectations, she's seen as demanding or is accused of acting entitled. A guy calling on the third day is considered responsive.

Fuck yeah I feel that a guy should (ahem) call me, maybe take me out in public (*gasps*), or introduce me to his friends (outrageous!) if he would like to see me without my clothing on.  Is that such a radical idea?  Apparently it is. 

What gets me most is the misleading/misdirection.  Dating is not a magic show where you trick your audience into believing the impossible is possible by distracting them with fast talk or faster hands.  I'm a huge fan of calling a spade a spade.  If a guy is interested in sex only, he should not lead with talk of a relationship.  Men should not put women on layaway (hah!) under the "buy now, pay later" or "fuck now, date later" plan.  If you think you're a gentleman and a decent person, take the girl on the date first.  If a man is unsure of whether he wants to date or fuck a girl, he should err on the side of caution/decency and ask her out.  I don't care if it's coffee or a three-course meal.  If a that man is interested in a woman, he should put forth effort.  It reads as "you are worth my time/resources/consideration."  To me, that's the difference between the gentleman and the jerk.  If he uses the promise of dating as leverage to have sex, he is a jerk.

All too often when we experience the jerks, we don't recognize it at first.  We see a challenge, or feel that we need to jump up and down, waving our arms in the air in order to be recognized.  Furthermore, women are now taking on the roles of the prince slaying the dragon.  We go above and beyond to prove our worthiness to a guy.  It's so effing backwards.  I think if a woman finds herself walking through fire for a guy, it's the wrong guy.  No man with a spine, sense of self-worth, or cajones would let a woman assume all the risk and face the fire.  That's just basic decency that your mom and dad (should have) taught you.

Imagine if in addition to a nutrition label, the very worst of the worst (the men who make other men look bad) had to have a warning label slapped on them? What if the warning label said "This guy will cheat on you, give you STDs, impregnate you, and embezzle money." You'd avoid him like the plague, right?

But I wouldn't be writing this post if that's the way the world always worked, now would I?  The truth still remains that there are men out there that abuse and misuse women.  There are men that are like wrecking balls in a woman's life -- completely oblivious or not caring to the damage they cause.

It's hard to practice lovingkindness and forgiveness to yourself when you feel like you've been duped.  But I ask you this -- in these situations, did you act accordingly to who you want to be/how you want to be perceived?  Were you trusting?  Honest?  Selfless?  Kind?  Considerate?  Compassionate?  How dare you let someone make you feel like you are bad/wrong for being all of these good things.  Shame on them for taking advantage of you .  Be resilient, if possible, and remain all of those positive attributes.  The right person is out there and you don't want to scare him away by being a jaded princess walled up in an emotional fortress.

So yes, I'm talking to myself here.  There are a few of my inner circle who know what has been going on in my life (and no, no pregnancy or embezzlement).  It's utterly disheartening to meet someone that you could see having a future with and then having it be a complete mirage/one-sided love affair.  I'm exhausted from trying. I'm exasperated from trying to explain things to him in a way that he would understand that he was responsible for causing me pain (I still don't know if he understands -- in my mind if you caused someone pain, writing "I'm sorry" in an IM is not enough).

But I am glad that I stood up for myself (albeit it five months late).  So many people keep on telling me that I need to love myself before trying to get in a relationship.  If you knew me, you'd know how absolutely silly this is to say to me.  I love myself beyond compare.  I think I'm beautiful, brilliant, witty, sexy, and so much more.  Wanting to be in a relationship is not about me trying to supplement myself or be rescued.  Part of loving myself so much is knowing exactly who I am and what I need to be happy.  I am my happiest when I am able to love someone worthy of my love.  I know the quality, depth, and strength of that love and devotion.

If a man doesn't think he's worthy of my love, or unable to handle it, he needs to have enough self-awareness to figure it out and then admit it to himself.  No equivocation.  No wasting my time.  I had actively decided to not have sex with anyone until I found that capable man.  I thought I had, and boy was I wrong.  And while I regret that he was either duplicitous or had the emotional maturity of a gnat, I know my heart and mind were at engaged long before my body.

To quote Gigi from the movie "He's just not that into you" (I know, I know, not a cinematic great, but it had a few great quotes in it...):

I may dissect each little thing and put myself out there too much but at least that means that I still care. Oh! You've think you won because women are expendable to you. You may not get hurt or make an ass of yourself that way but you don't fall in love that way either. You have not won. You're alone. I may do a lot of stupid shit but I'm still a lot closer to love than you are.
The odd thing is that I feel compassion (bordering on pity) for him.  Who passes up the chance to be genuinely loved so easily?

*If you want to bitch and complain about women, feel free to do that in your own blog.  And yes, I'm lumping all men together.  I know fully well that there are good guys out there, but until I meet one that wants to be with me and treat me well, these are the kinds of  guys I have to either deal with or be wary of.

**Also, please no specific man bashing in the comments.  I can appreciate that you want to be supportive/protective, but that won't help me feel better and/or move on.

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11 comments

  1. omg I love the idea of nutrition labels for men ha!

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  2. No, I didn't see the topic transition coming but what a great post. If only men had labels... What would also be helpful is if you could read a list of prior reviews. The good guys treat every woman well, even when a relationship doesn't work out.

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  3. Misty: They'd probably want labels on us too, right?

    KC: Booyah! Surprised you all. And I don't even know if reviews would help -- because it's often case-specific. But you're right, a good guy treats every woman (every person) well.

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  4. Okay, so here's what I'd change. Instead of: "I am my happiest when I am able to love someone worthy of my love. I know the quality, depth, and strength of that love and devotion" and "Who passes up the chance to be genuinely loved so easily? "

    Say this: "I am my happiest when I am loved by someone worthy" and "I attract someone who wants to be genuinely and easily loved."

    I know I shared a little of my history with you...we have A LOT in common. I am here to tell you that when you change your mind about men, you will be amazed.

    I am sure you've heard it a million times before (I know I did), but there are wonderful, loving, amazing men out there...men who love, adore and respect you...men who want to marry you and spend the rest of their lives with you. So why do/did we choose the opposite? I know in my case (although I didn't know it at the time), I didn't think I could get a good guy. I didn't think I deserved one. I wasn't attracted to the good guys. I also wasn't surrounded by people in good relationships. I didn't know what a good, healthy relationship really looked like.

    I know that you know that you do deserve the best. And the good news is that you're now putting that message out to the universe. And I have a challenge for you :-) I want you to write a post about the man of your dreams. I want you to write every detail about this guy. I want you to write about the good men out there...the ones that don't come with any warnings. Don't hold back...write as if your life depended on it. The only catch is, it all has to be written in glowingly positive terms and phrases.

    Do you accept??

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  5. Ooops...I meant to add to this sentence: "I am my happiest when I am loved by someone worthy, someone who knows how to love me with quality, depth, and strength"

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  6. Karen -- I totally get what you're saying. I'm very lucky to have both my brother and father in my life as examples of good men who know how to love women well. It helps me hold on to the hope that there's a good guy out there for me. And you're very right that I do want the reciprocal love of quality depth and strength. Without a doubt I know I deserve it.

    I also have a great example in my mother's cousins (and their children) who have wonderfully supportive relationships. My mom's cousin is one of the most romantic and sweet men I know, carving signs in driftwood "Joey Loves Sandie."

    I have so many wonderful examples of men loving women in my life. But I think my approach as been wrong: like I said, feeling like I need to prove my worthiness to a guy. The right guy will see how awesome, sweet, and kind I am and will know beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is lucky to have me in his life.

    The right guy will know it.
    The wrong guy will not.

    As for your challenge -- I don't like to write out the details of the man of my dreams, because when it comes down to it, there's only one thing that really matters: he's an exceptional lover of all things Robby and he shows that with his thoughts, words, and especially actions.

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  7. "The right guy will see how awesome, sweet, and kind I am and will know beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is lucky to have me in his life........he's an exceptional lover of all things Robby and he shows that with his thoughts, words, and especially actions."

    BIG GRIN! And there we have it!!

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  8. Oh honey, it's been there all along...
    And well... sometimes i just give a guy too much time to figure out whether he's that guy or not.

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  9. I wish I could give you some earth-shattering awesome advice...

    My only thing that I want to say is that despite not having a romantic, emotional relationship with "the right guy" (yet) we all love and care for you just as much.

    A big hug goes out to you cause I hate to see you hurt or sad about anything, and especially due to someone dumbass.

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  10. I know that all my friends love and care about me, but there's a empty part of my heart behind a red velvet rope just for him.

    I know you know what I mean.

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  11. girl, been there, done that...oh wait, STILL doing that...lol

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<3 Robby