Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Susan went from being "single" to "in a relationship."

One of the girls at your lunch table is dating a jerk. They’ve been together for a while, but everyone knows she’s too good for him and nobody understands why she puts up with him. You tell her, “He’s just using you,” and “You deserve so much better!” but to no avail. She defends his antics, assuring everyone that he’s not as bad as he sounds, and “If you guys knew him like I know him, you’d understand.” Everyone sympathetically shakes their heads and sighs as she stares at her phone again, wondering what he really meant by that text message.

Then one Friday, purely out of the blue, she marches to the lunch table, plunks her lunch tray down on the table, and declares, “I’m done. It’s over.” Jaws drop, eyes widen, and everyone scoots in, eager to hear more. “The things he says and does are not okay, and I am sick of enabling him. From now on, I am only dating guys who respect me and what I stand for.” You and your friends devote the rest of the day providing supportive text messages, warm hugs, and declarations of “I’m so proud of you.”

In English class, you whisper to another friend, “So, do you think it’s too good to be true?” She shrugs and whispers back, “Let’s just do whatever we can to help her see that this really is what’s best.” You invite your group of friends over to your house for a girls’ night in her honor and all seven of you stay up talking, laughing, and eating ice cream until two in the morning.

Sunday night, you log onto Facebook and before you even get a chance to upload the album from Friday, you see that nasty little heart announcing to the world that they are in a relationship. “Cute,” you think, “18 people like this.” You scroll over it and, sure enough, all of his friends and their girlfriends are thrilled about it. You click over to her profile and your stomach knots as you read her status: “Sometimes you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. I’m so sorry I made you doubt my commitment. Thank you for always forgiving my stupid mistakes. 10.18.11 <3 Together forever <3” 16 people, who clearly aren’t clued in on the situation, like this.

I was disappointed, though admittedly not shocked, when Susan G. Komen for the Cure publicly apologized for having the prudence and courage to withdraw their financial support of Planned Parenthood. I had hoped that we could make Komen feel right at home “on this side of the fence,” but they have abandoned their bravery and “gotten back together” with an organization that pretends to help save lives but, in reality, ends life. Maybe in the future, with our support and encouragement, Komen will do what’s truly best for women by using their grants to fund health instead of homicide.

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