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The Cowboy Code: Chapter Twelve, Witless Protection

I have a buddy, who as usual will go unnamed, because The Cowboy Code requires the protection of the innocent and the shielding of the well-intentioned.

Plus this guy was a recipient of the ancient Chictionary, a "book" my guys and I passed down to the young'ns when we left college. Contrary to what the title might suggest, the Chictionary was not about "scoring"...alone. It was about doing things the right way. 'Nuff said.

Unfortunately though, this guy has clearly not read the Chictionary in recent years, 'cause he is in his fourth consecutive faltering relationship. And the common denominator is something the "book" addressed: salvation.

I'm not talking religion. I'm talking character. My guy has the terrible habit of trying rescue women as opposed to commune with them.

Therefore, he starts off at a disadvantage when he begins a new date search, because instead of looking for a woman with whom he has things in common, and looking for a woman with whom he can bond, and looking for a woman with whom he can be partners, he looks for women who need help.

His most recent ex-girlfriend - an ex as of last Friday when he returned to his apartment after work and found her and some of his stuff gone - was physically beautiful, he says. She was quick to laugh, he says. She showed him passionate, almost animalistic adoration, he says.

Are you waiting for the but? OK, here it is. She drank waaaaaaay too much. She couldn't or wouldn't hold a job. She regularly borrowed money from him, albeit small amounts - less than he'd spend during a night out with the fellas, under the pretense of buying something for her "mother." And yet he never met her mother. She had an ex, who hadn't accepted that he was an ex, and she regularly speculated that if her ex ever caught her and my guy together he'd tear them to shreds.

I warned my guy back in the day that this would happen if he kept bringing home strays. Embarassing as it was for me I even reminded him of the unfortunate nickname I carried during the back half of my freshman year and the front half of my sophomore year in college: "Captain Save a 'Ho."

Go ahead and yuck it up. I was able to...about five years after the fact.

Anyway, my friends gave me that nickname based on the song of the same title. Yes, the title is sexist, and the song uses not so nice words. Had to get that out of the way, 'cause I'm not trying to be Imused.

But as rapper/actor Cris "Ludacris" Bridges observed in a different song several years ago, pimping oneself - whether it's selling out your body, or your pride, or your scruples, or your faith, or whatever - knows no gender, and for that he reasoned correctly, guys are hos too. Again, anyone who sells himself out - male or female - can wear that title.

At any rate, I earned the "rank" of captain, because I had a terrible habit of trying to date ragamuffins. I can't explain it to you, but I went through a stretch of nearly a year where I only dated "troubled" young women, the ones who'd been in relationships where their boyfriends had beaten them or their stepdads had forced them to pole dance for a living. I kinda felt sorry for them, and I had this misguided and antiquated fairytale in my head that convinced me I could show these young women how a "good" guy treats a girl and that would turn them into my dream girl(s). Seriously, I was Richard Gere, and they were all Julia Roberts. Don't get me wrong, everyone needs love. But some people aren't ready for it quite yet.

Almost always, what I got for my trouble was dumped. Inevitably, the ones I dated were fine for a few weeks. They ate up the attention. But then they began to squirm under the figurative hot spotlight of good treatment. And eventually they'd slink back to the abusive boyfriends, acknowledging along the way that they were likely to be mistreated again. But they just loved the abusive guy so much that it wasn't fair to not give him second third fourth fifth as many chances as it took to do the right thing.

I eventually learned my lesson by doing the math on one young woman in particular. I'd spent a month doting on her. I showed her a good time. I demonstrated care. She ate it up, or appeared to. But in the end she went back to her boyfriend, who before the school year was over beat her into the hospital. At the end of that adventure, it struck me like the voice that struck the Apostle Paul on the Road to Damascus: I had nothing in common with this woman. Our only common ground was physical attraction. I was trying to "save" her, to make her into my dream girl. And she was resisting, because being dream girl didn't interest her.

That was the last time I answered to Cap'n. I resigned my commission and returned to the real world of screwed up relationships - those "old fashioned" relationships marred by simple things like bickering and cheating and what not. I'm kidding. I just grew up...and today am happily married.

Anyway, to recap, The Cowboy Code says seek a mate who is already on your level or on a higher plane, some place you'd like to be. If you spend all your time trying to rescue your significant other and pull them up from some muck, you will inevitably lose ground and slip into some bad habits.


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The Sarcasticynic

"But then they began to squirm under the figurative hot spotlight of good treatment."

A little presumptuous today, are we? Perhaps some over-interpreting our own charm? Could it be that they were squirming under the microscope of an ambitious savior-wannabe?

Ha ha ha! But seriously, guys such as your friend, (and perhaps yourself, in your youth,) do risk finding a good mate if they're constantly seeking needy partners. I hope he takes a lesson from you on how to find a 'keeper' after (if?) he matures somewhat.


Unfortunately, it doesn't matter how many times the savior hears the message. I see it all the time in women, too, and for the life of me, I don't get it. Who actually goes looking to find that kind of crap to put in their lives?

I realize I'm probably too far in the opposite direction, because I cut people (men) off quick if I see any hint of bullshit. But too hell with dealing with other people's problems, or making their problems your own. Life's too short.

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