He Said I Was High Maintenance

I have been called many names in my 26 years on this planet; not all of them nice. I have been mocked for being lighter skinned, for speaking like I understand basic grammar, for liking video games and manga, for my taste in music, clothes, and literally anything else one could think of. But never has any of it bothered me more than being mocked for taking care of myself. My ex crossed the line with me when he opened his mouth on more than one occasion and said I was "high maintenance".

Pause for replication of confused white guy gif.

What's worse is after confronting him more than once, in more than one tone, about how it was not only untrue but hurtful, HE CONTINUED TO SAY IT. It took me a moment since our breakup to realize that this complete lack of regard for my feelings stemmed from a personal problem of his own. But this isn't really about my relationship; it's about women everywhere handling their own and having to cross with men who don't know to deal. It's really not our fault you're broke and out of touch with basic self-care.

Let me say now that I don't believe no woman anywhere is high maintenance, they exist for sure, but they are a small subset of women. Not to bash those women and their choices, but the true "high maintenance" type of girl is VASTLY different to a woman who does and buys for herself and by herself. For starters, the men who misuse the word could never even bag a true HM woman. My ex for example, could barely take me on a date, let alone maintain a relationship with me if I was constantly demanding to go out. At the most, and at the very end, I showed my distaste in having not been taken to a movie in a whole summer while he allowed his friends to pay for his ticket every time; going out to see what I wanted to see without me. (it was the principle of the thing) Something about never having any money...

The thing I caught onto though was that this slur (as I feel it was being used) was thrown whenever I referred to basic etiquette and self care. 

I was raised in a middle class home with a single mother. I attended a nice, well blended, public school for elementary and spent the rest of my education in private schools. My family dressed up near formal for Easter and Christmas, I wore frilly dresses and ribbons to church, I was raised knowing proper table placements, how to properly order food (by not pointing to food in the menu and saying "I want this/that"), I put my napkin in my lap, I speak as clear and concise as possible and growing up I was not allowed to use slang. I dressed age appropriately until I could by clothes for myself when I turned 16; even then, I stayed as "in my lane" as possible. I WAS NOT RICH. I did not get everything I asked for, I did not ask for much of anything.

As a woman living on her own I keep to many of the things ingrained in me growing up. Hair is always neat, clothes are appropriate to the occasion, speech is carefully catered to my audience without losing clarity. I developed an obsession with my skin after being horrendously bullied for having acne. So as an adult I like to think I learned to carry myself highly. To some men (or boys rather) like my ex, these are the makings of a HM girl. Despite the fact that I cooked, cleaned, paid for meals, and never once asked to be taken shopping or put my hand out for money. But excuse me if not wanting to leave the house before I look presentable is too much...

One thing my mother told me about men that really stuck was to "never let a man put you in something you can't afford for yourself". Basically meaning "don't ever give a man the power to say I bought/did all this for you" and give him the ability to snatch it all away as he pleases. This drove me, with my like and want for nice things, to constantly strive to get myself where I can get it for myself. So being called HM was an attack on who I am and what I've worked for. It's a slap in the face actually, to all the woman who expect a degree of class that matches their own. Just as a put together man wouldn't want to be seen with a messy or sloppy woman; a put together woman feels the same. 

I was made to feel like I was too much to handle, or being unnecessary, for simply being myself. For making sure I was dressed, hair done, skin as fresh as possible. Things men are attracted to but seemingly have no patience for once they bag a woman. 

I am writing this to set the record straight. Guys, don't ever crack your face to say a woman is high maintenance when she is simply out of your league. You can either choose to better yourself alone, with her help, or stay away from her. Ladies, just don't settle for less. No one should be able to make you question your success or what you enjoy just because they can't comprehend it. 

Too often are we disrespected, told we are intimidating, spoiled, and too much to handle when in truth it's on them to grow the f*ck up. 

Chelsea ReddingComment