“This is the way you’ll jump to the front of the line,” he said. And he spelled out a list of wants and needs — and wants disguised as needs.
He painted a picture of the woman he wanted me to be. The woman he said he deserved.
“But these aren’t requirements,” he said. “These aren’t firm requirements.”
“They’ll just help you to jump to the front of the line,” he said. To really get his attention. To become a priority.
But I couldn’t help noticing he had all the time in the world to tell me who I should be. All the time in the world to reach out and make demands of me and what he thought I should be.
When there was supposedly this long line. This long line that I would be able to cut — if I only reshaped my entire personality, and rebuilt my whole life, into the shape that he required.
He had all the time in the world to give backhanded compliments and unsolicited “constructive criticism” that didn’t sound constructive at all.
“If you could just…” “Have you ever thought of…?”
“If you rebuilt yourself completely,” he whispered, “you would be the woman for me. You would be the woman that every man wants. And half the women too.”
“If you could only be someone different, then maybe I’d consider loving you. Maybe I’d let you jump the line.”
“What line?” I wondered. I didn’t see a line.
But he kept insisting there was one.
Maybe he thought that if he referred enough to this line that I’d see it. That I’d fear it. That I’d fear losing him. And then he’d have me where he wanted me.
But it never happened. For, you see, there was no line there. No line in front of him. And in fact, there was a line in front of me — of a million things I’d rather see and do — a dozen people I’d rather talk to than someone who tries to put me down so I’ll like him.