Thoughts by Richard Bleil
Tonight, as I write this post, my relatively new friend Maggie is on my mind. Maggie is a gorgeous woman, and I’d be a liar if I tried to claim that I don’t have a little crush on her. I would also be a liar if I said that I wanted to be with her, at least in a romantic way. I’ve asked her out (a few times), but as much as I feel like we have the potential to be very good friends, I suspect we are too different to be able to get along as a couple. Still, she intrigues me, so I’ll keep asking her out just because I want to get to know her better, and, no, I don’t mean that metaphorically.
I’m not the right man for Maggie. And, Maggie, if you’re reading this, please keep with me and give me a chance to explain what I mean when I say this. See, Maggie has problems.
I don’t mean she has the kind of problems that are so common. I’m not suggesting that she has drug or alcohol problems, I don’t believe she is abusive, bad with money or anything like that. See, Maggie’s problems are that she is gorgeous, strong, intelligent and I cannot imagine her settling.
If you met Maggie, you would immediately notice a few things. First you would notice how striking she really is, tall, gorgeous and her style is just striking. Then you might notice the side-arm that she carries, and the confidence with which she speaks and carries herself. You would notice her aura of leadership, and intelligence in the way she talks. These are great qualities, but also the problems of which I speak.
See, men are basically skittish creatures, easily frightened and intimidated. These qualities that I admire so very much in her are the same qualities that the typical man simply won’t be able to handle, and I feel as if I should mention at this point that, when I say I don’t think we would work as a couple, this is not the reason. Between the two of us, I just think she needs more of a man’s man than I am.
But the problem is that the qualities that I adore so much are the same qualities that often drive other men away. In our society, we’re still raised to want women to be passive and weak, which she certainly is not. She’s a manager, but from what I have seen, she has a quality of leadership that I never could master. As an outside viewer, she seems to be able to be fun to work with, while maintaining respect. I’ve worked with many bosses who tried to lead with intimidation, firing employees to show their authority, using anger and fear to keep their people in line. Maggie shoots nerf bullets at her people, but even when having fun, I’ve never seen any indication of disrespect from those working under her. This is a great quality in a manager, one I wish I had had.
The last I had heard she was having relationship problems with her current beau. She never really told me the story of what’s happening, but it happened at a bad time, as she has very recently had a birthday, and, of course, there was Valentine’s Day. I bought her a little something for her birthday because, frankly, I think everybody deserves to feel special on their birthday and I didn’t think it was right that she might miss out because of relationship problems. I also got her a little something for Valentine’s Day, but I gave something to all of the female employees (there are only four) at her place of business.
Maggie, if you are reading this, I hope we’re still friends, but most of all, I hope you hang tough. It is difficult to find a man with the self-confidence to be with a woman with your qualities, but I believe you would find it so much more difficult to settle for a man who cannot handle it. I’m so proud of her for not changing, or hiding, who she is to accommodate the insecurities of the men in our society and wish more women were like her. Today I was speaking with a friend and during the conversation we (of very similar ages) spoke of the society in which we, she and I, were raised, where women were actively discouraged from “male” roles just as men were steered away from “women’s”. We’re getting better, and women like Maggie are not facing the obstacles that my friend today faced, but obstacles remain. Maggie is a shining example of being true to herself, and is a real joy to know because of it.