The Men Who Turn Me On, Turn Me Down
By Bea Joyner
I heard this little ditty while at the Country Bear Jamboree in Disney World. One of the female singers came down from the ceiling on a trapeze singing, “The men who turn me on, turn me down.” She lamented that in her hunt for a mate, she was attracted to many bears but the ones she really wanted didn't seem to want her. I started thinking about my own experiences and realized that I too had suffered being turned on by men who weren't turned on by me.
Just imagine you've gone to a party or club and the music has you swaying. You've come with your girlfriends and there isn't a man there that you know. You want to dance so bad you can hardly keep still. You start looking around to find a partner and there he is, a glorious creature who looks like he just stepped out of Gentleman's Quarterly (GQ) magazine. You begin to cast looks his way, hoping you catch his eye.
There, for a brief moment, you thought you had gotten his attention. Instead, he walks over to an equally glorious female and they begin to dance. Suddenly, you feel someone tugging your sleeve. You turn to look and there stands an equally clean brother, but he's only five feet, four inches tall and what the men's stores call “portly”. He asks you to dance saying he's been watching you, that you look like you wanted to get out on the dance floor, but you suddenly don't feel like it. And there you have it, the man who turned you on, turned you down. And the man you turned on, you turned down.
Let me explain what I finally learned after repeating this same scene over and over. I finally took a good look at Mr. GQ and realized that once again, I was judging a book by its cover. And believe me, the cover was to die for! But he wasn't. The brother looks over every woman in the room with the attitude, “Yes, baby, you know I am the answer to all of your fantasies!” I started really checking the brother out and you know what I discovered, shallow can run VERY deep. When a man spends more time looking in the mirror than I do, and his conversation is only about him, the “turningon” gets turned off very quickly.
Then I looked at the woman he chose to dance with. In many instances, she was an exact duplicate of him and his shallowness. I began to ask myself, did I really want to spend most of my day in the beauty parlor and the hours in front of the mirror or wear the seductive-type clothing she had on just to attract that man? The answer was aresounding NO! So, what did I realize? They were the perfect mates for each other but not for me.
But let's not forget the brother who did ask you to dance. First of all, he found you attractive, just as you are. Did that raise his value in your eyes? For many of us the answer is a resounding NO as you promise yourself not to wear that outfit to the club or party again. Think of it, here was a brother who appreciated you for being you but because he's short and on the heavy side, he gets rejected time and time again.
Now in our defense, I know that some of these brothers are a definite NCAA kinda of guy (“No Class At ALL!”) But the brother asking you to dance isn't trying to sleep with you or marry you. He is responding to your need to dance and he was turned on enough by it to risk asking you to dance. But he gets turned down because we're afraid that Mr. GQ will never ask us to dance if he sees us with him. Some smart sister realizes that the shorter brother is the better bargain, asks him to dance, they hit it off and eventually get married.
Then one day, you see this happy couple walking arm in arm, oblivious to everyone but themselves. You begin to admire their genuine affection for each other and wonder when and where you can find such happiness. Suddenly, you look closer and recognize him as the brother who asked YOU to dance and you turned him down. There is a lesson to be learned from all of this and I'm including the brothers as well. The scenes I just described could have easily happened to them as well! Instead of Mr. GQ, it was Rihanna. Instead of Mr. Short and Round, it was Ms. Big Woman. What should we ALL learn from this?
That maybe, just maybe, we need to admire Mr. GQ or Rihanna from a distance and stop thinking that Mr. Short and Round or Ms. Big Woman wanted anything more than a dance. What that leads to is anyone's guess. But if you are truly looking for someone who accepts you as you are, maybe, just maybe, you could be attracted to the man you turn on!
Bea Joyner, CEO of Busy As A Bee Productions provides “Parenting Parties”—seminars through the Philadelphia School District and others. She believes the optimum question to ask a parent is “Would you want your child to make decisions about your health care or nursing home?” Contact: [email protected]