He pressed his mouth to my ear and pulled out flower stems with his teeth. In between laughs he said, “It’s such a shame you need so much work. You’d think the ones before me would weeded before handing you to me.” I looked down and smiled as he continued to pluck the flowers I’d spent months watering, until all of my internal blossoms were nothing but petals at his feet. When he was through, he told me, “Don’t look so sad. I’m fine. I like fix-me-uppers.”
Before I met his mother, he put his hand on my thigh and told me that she always told him that a girl should be a quiet little rose, waiting to be plucked. I thought about all of the times he had complained that his parents hadn’t raised him right. Still, he bit my lip and said, “God, weeds like you need to be picked. Otherwise, you’ll disperse your dandelion insides into every boys’ mouth.” Then he slid his hand up my dress and said, “Isn’t that right, baby?” “Sure,” I said, as I hesitantly sprinkled my recycled seeds into his mouth.
I should have known he wasn’t right for me the first day he came over, when he tromped over my mother’s daffodils to get to my front door.I should have known that his tongue was a pair of garden shears and my insides, something to prune. I should have known he would shove his hand down my throat and try to prune me, that he would see any ugly plant growing inside of me as unnecessary. I should have known that the only flowers he’d allow to grow in me would be ones that bloomed from the thought of him. I should have known.
But now, my mouth is filled with dirt and half-chewed flower seeds. There is nothing left in me but flowers I forgot to water because I was too busy pouring myself out to him. He left complaining that kissing me felt more like standing in a graveyard than a garden. I wish I had told him then that he carelessly tried to pull out my weeds and ended up getting rid of everything. I wish I had said that my tendency to blossom is not ugly. That I exist in more than wilted petals and weeds and have a stomach full of dandelions that demands to be set free. That if he only wanted me when I was hollow, he should have left me alone to grow. Because there is more inside me than he could ever swallow."
It sucks when someone you have feelings for doesn’t share those feelings; it happens to women all the time, too. We hear “I just want to be friends” and “you’re like one of the guys” and “you’re like a sister to me” just as often. But you’ll never hear a woman complain that guys just don’t appreciate a Nice Girl because we’re taught it’s our own fucking fault when we’re rejected—we aren’t pretty enough or thin enough or sexy enough, we weren’t sexual enough or were too sexual, we put out too much or too little or too soon or not soon enough, we didn’t wear our hair the right way or our skirt the right length, we’re “too tomboyish” or “too butch” or “too feminine”, or we’re “not their type”, or we’re otherwise not good enough in various ways to entice the man to grace us with his affection.
But when we’re not interested in someone, we’re vilified. We’re the bitch that lead them on, the bitch who let them buy us dinner but didn’t want to date them, the bitch who doesn’t appreciate a nice guy, the bitch they were nice to and then got nothing in return from.
And, frankly, fuck those people. Showing interest in me, being friendly with me, getting close to me, or eating a meal with me (even if they paid for it) doesn’t obligate me to open my heart or my legs. And anyone who doesn’t appreciate my friendship sure as hell doesn’t deserve my love or my pussy."