Thursday, February 22, 2007

Day 183

Over the years I have been a long time searcher of "self-help" books. Over the years I have spent vast quantities of miserable time, browsing the lonely and notoriously pathetic, “self-help” aisles in bookshops. I also spend hours searching the Internet for every self-help manual available. My Amazon wish list is about three pages long; most of which include titles that defiantly state they can and will, show me ways to transform my misshapen life.

The problem is, is that when I have actually purchased the books – I never, ever read them. No, no, they just sit piled up on an old table, mocking my lack of commitment to changing my life.

I have been in a quandary; yes, in an actual quandary, about buying the latest one. It is aptly called “Rules of Life” or something to that effect. Apparently a bestseller – so therefore all that is written in it, must be true and good or why would all those people have bought it? Anyway, both in and out of my many counselling sessions, I have constantly remarked that I need someone “just to tell me what to do” and I would do it. Well, c’mon I’m obviously shit at this whole life thing so why not let someone else make up the rules? And lo, here was a book with the rules all laid out. All neatly packaged in a peachy blue, mock croc cover, ready and willing for me to read, suck up and “do”.

I have courted it, and smoothed the cover; I have compared prices in different shops. I have pretty much read the whole thing during my ‘browsing’ time and have thought about purchasing it for, um about three days solid - until today.

I was in Borders, after accompanying my Mama who has been visiting since Monday to the train station, the pile of self-help books wobbling on my knees. I had been doing the dance of doom around the beautiful, blue book for about twenty minutes then I picked up about another six tomes and settled down to muse and peruse with purchase in mind. And then…“He's Just Not That Into You: The No-Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys” by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo.

Sitting on the squishy red armchair, I read and re-read the words; the no-nonsense, statements of truth shining like a beacon of archangel proportions. The few pages I read lifted the brain washing, self imposed, “I’m right about this” blindfold from my bleary, several-times-heartbroken eyes in seconds. In an instant, I looked at the peachy copy of “Rules of Life” that I had previously been wooing and promptly returned it back to the shelf, faster than I’ve ever been dumped in my life. I marched to ‘Please pay here’ and walked out of the shop with my new best friend in tow. I no longer needed someone else’s rules to live by – all I had to do was make up my own – surely? Who else knows me but me? Who else knows my own values and principles that could guide me through my days better than I?

Granted, there hasn’t been much evidence of this cripplingly obvious behavior to date, but when I was marching to the till, with the gospel of truth in my sweaty mitts, all I could see was that I had done everything but actually sit down and think about it. Duh.

I have been reading “He's Just Not That Into You” at every available spare moment today and when I haven’t been laughing my head off, coins have been dropping all over the ship. I think I might have a date with the charity shop and a large bag of unused books tomorrow. But this one I might actually read the whole way through, and then re-read it over and over again until it sinks in and sticks.

I get it – the ex, the ex, ex, the exes before them, they just weren’t that into me. The newsflash is hilarious, possibly tragic but actually, rather simple.

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