Sex and the Chester: Playing Hangman

By Alyssa Velazquez

Elm Staff Writer

Inevitably you will find yourself bored at numerous instances throughout your life. At a lecture, during a class, at an estranged family reunion, or even on a date, and these uninterested feelings will never change. It is only the instruments we use to distract ourselves that are attuned to the fads of the time.

Today texting on cell phones has become the go-to escape mechanism. A few years before that it was staring into space, and all the way back in middle school I can remember playing a lot of Hangman.

Hangman was one of those games that required limited supplies yet produced an endless array of cryptic messages. Being the creator of the word in Hangman was the ideal role. Not only was your fellow playmate at your mercy, you could also witness them experience sub-sequential states of confusion and anger, all over a stick figure on a piece of paper.

For the “guesser,” letters had never held so much power than when coupled with the will of their opponent. Looking at the basic principles of the game laid out in front of me, Hangman doesn’t seem that different from the phenomenon that happens when a woman’s standards enter into a relationship. Any misstep on the part of their significant other can result in a hanged man.

During the middle of my first relationship I went through a stage of extreme feminism, which has thankfully faded from its original intensity over time.

Unfortunately, my relationship wasn’t as lucky.

Prior to my Wonder Woman complex, my boyfriend would open doors for me, even car doors. If there was a little nip in the air, I would be the one wearing his jacket and if it rained an umbrella would magically appear over my head. Pulling out my chair, respecting personal space, and paying for dates, was all included in my princess treatment package.

However, as my extreme feminist idealism began to snowball, I became disgusted with my Princess Aurora handling. I wanted to be taken as a Joan of Arc, or a Susan B. Anthony, or a Katherine Hepburn instead of an Audrey Hepburn. As the proverbial saying goes, “Be careful what you wish for.”

With the absence of door opening and the pulling out of chairs, I began to feel that our relationship was strictly friend basis, rather than boyfriend and girlfriend. I missed the Breakfast at Tiffany’s days. I began to try to reverse it, set up a new “word,” and despite the change I discovered very quickly it was too late. I had set up my cryptic game of Hangman and my boyfriend couldn’t figure out the letters.

Yet why had I set it up in the first place? Why couldn’t I be both a Katherine and an Audrey?

After the collapse of that relationship I realized that in dating we, as women, must set the standards for treatment in a relationship, whether it be with or against the grain of our significant others characteristics and upbringing.

We must decide prior, and personally if we are an Audrey or Katherine, and if we ultimately want Old School or New School treatment. This is not to say that after dating for a while women can’t offer to pay for the bill, or even drive.

Yet we can’t be constantly changing, right in the middle of the game, the words we want to be defined by. Nor can we acquire an attitude when our boyfriends are only responding to our actions. Ladies … they are actually listening!

Truth be told, we confuse men enough already, and as much as we wish we could understand them fully, we never will. Therefore, explicit answers rather than riddles are always best, because if you’re not careful your relationship could get “hanged up.”

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