"At the heart of it, all men long to be irresponsible."
"Why would you not want to be the best mature person you could be?"
"Maturity has little to do with it, though immaturity is what keeps me young. Irresponsibility is the hallmark of youth, and it is all about hanging on to youth."
"So you're having a midlife crisis."
(smiles) "I have had a perpetual midlife crisis then. It's chronic." (laughs).
"That's funny to you?"
"If I don't laugh, I'll cry. I'd love to start over. Completely. Have an actual family instead of just parents, you know? An intact, loving family, but where then is the struggle for the artist in me? Let's get back to the point, though. Maybe I long to be irresponsible because I want to complete my childhood. It ended rather abruptly. My mom used to tell me that when I was ten years old I put away my toys and told her I needed to make something out of my life. Ten years old for Christ's sake."
(Shakes head)"Don't be. I don't want pity."
"So let's talk about all men, then, like you started with. Are you basing your assessment that they all long to be irresponsible on just your own experience?"
"It isn't evident, glaringly obvious to you that men are like that?"
"I don't know, I've met plenty of men who are kind and responsible. Men with a steady job, who show up to dates, on time, even open the door for me...."
"Oh, you believe in chivalry?" (chuckles) "I've got news for you. We hold the door so we can watch your ass go through."
(Appalled, mouth open in shocked silence)
"Yeah, I know you like to think that you can give men at least a little credit, but just don't. Maybe your gay male friends. It isn't even about sex, it's about lust, because we're also timid and fearful of intimacy. The psychologists have that right. Why do you think porn is so popular? It keeps women at arm's length. We don't have to answer for our inadequacies, physical or emotional."
"We also don't want to be responsible for your happiness. Hell, we don't want to be responsible for our own happiness. We're always looking for other people, other situations, other locations, and material goods to make us happy. God forbid we should do any self-work so we can be happy independent of anything, or anyone, else."(smiles)
"How can you be so cynical? No, no, how can you be so okay with that, if you believe it?"
"Who says that I am? Laughing or crying again. When you think about men's motivations in biological terms, all the shit makes sense. Keeping up appearances. Showing off. We have raised the lek to a theatre stage. We hoard material goods like a male bower bird, all to get our genes into the next generation."
"You said it wasn't about sex."
"True. I guess maybe it is if you really are a stud. Maybe a lavish lifestyle, and climbing the corporate ladder are substitutes for guys who can't get it up. Maybe women have that right."
"Well, gee, thanks for giving us a little credit." (rolls eyes sideways)
"So, if my man leaves me for a younger woman, it isn't about sex?"
"Nope. It's back to youth again. She symbolizes youth, freedom, confidence, everything men aspire to."
(Skeptical tongue in cheek) "I see."
"No, really. At some point in a man's marriage, his spouse becomes a symbol of confinement rather than freedom. It could be that in the process of trying to make her happy he has sacrificed his own plans and goals for security, for his wife's cooking, her income, her mere presence in his otherwise lonely life. That's always the trade-off, isn't it: freedom or security."
(Shakes head slowly)"You've got this all figured out, haven't you?"
"Hell no. If I did, I wouldn't be sitting here with you. I value your honest appraisal. Truly, I do."