Choking on All Our Contradictions

Image via Bustle

By: Gabriela Yareliz

It’s the age old story– good girl loves bad boy (let’s face it, there are “bad girls,” too). The movies are chock-full with this storyline– Princess Mia had a crush on Josh, the boating moron, and not the nice guy next door. Not only are movies and tv shows saturated with this notion, but we do it in real life. I think this happens more in our younger years. It’s like the Rory and Jess story (Gilmore Girls). We think we can be some random exception in some troubled or arrogant person’s life. Wrong. But we like to try, and this is exactly what “Bathwater” by No Doubt is all about.

This song is all about a young and “insecure” woman who decides to try to be in a relationship with someone who has serious baggage, or as Gwen Stefani sings, a “museum of lovers,” a “precious collection” that has been housed beneath his covers. She states that the “bags are much too heavy in my insecure condition.” What I find interesting is the fact that she may not be as insecure as she thinks. I think we often label people as insecure if they are worried about exes and other factors in a relationship, but sometimes, someone’s history is just concerning. That should be a red flag. It’s not so much that the one person seeing things clearly is insecure, but that the other party may have serious impediments to or no desire to have a healthy, stable relationship with one person.

There are people who are constantly flirting with the opposite sex, or they exhibit other behaviors that are simply inappropriate to a neutral, sane mind, and it starts to eat up the sane person inside.

Follow me on this next example– in Sex and The City, Samantha Jones, the most sexually explicit and confident of the bunch, starts dating Richard Wright, a wealthy hotel magnate. He is a jerk and is clearly always flirting with other women, and he actually ends up cheating on her repeatedly. Interestingly enough, she suspects this. She feels it in her stomach and decides to go undercover to catch him, and she does. My point is, Samantha was never an insecure woman, but she knew who she was dealing with, and in the end, she was right. (It almost drives her insane in the process). Their breakup scene has that iconic line where she tells him: “I love you too, Richard, but I love me more.

The truth is, when we do try to make these doomed relationships work (and they are doomed simply from the get-go because the person doesn’t have what it takes to be who we need them to be), we end up telling ourselves lies, mentally, to appease the mind. We do as Stefani sings, we love to think that they couldn’t love another, and deep down inside we also recognize we are “diving into our own destruction.”

Maybe, you’ve been there. Maybe, you’ve washed in someone’s “old bathwater” and told yourself they “couldn’t love another,” and then it fell flat. Maybe, you are there now, as Stefani sings, “choking on all your contradictions.” Don’t set yourself up for failure by pursuing something that is destined to be a dumpster fire. You deserve a clean bath without someone’s cloudy bathwater. Like Samantha Jones had to do, love yourself more.

Published by Gabriela Yareliz

Gabriela is a writer, editor and attorney. She loves the art of storytelling, and she is based in NYC.

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