Amy’s cool girl rant was one of the many pieces that made me think Flynn was using Amy as this awesome tool to make (exaggerated) observations about the contemporary dating scene and what modern relationships look like. However, it wasn’t the most interesting piece to me at all. In class it seemed like the general stance was. “Yep. We see what she did there, we came, we understood, we conquered, moving on–”
But then just a 1/2 hour ago I was suddenly faced with the cool-girl standard, in my own (usually rather uninteresting) dating life. Forgive the over share, but my partner wants an open relationship. And I had this sudden surge of guilt and panic when I realized; that I didn’t want one, not at all.
I felt guilty because I have done so much reading and defending of polyamorous relationships and lifestyles and here I was, face to face with it, and I couldn’t be comfortable with it. I haven’t had the need to say no to my partner about anything yet, we get along fine. It’s still a pretty new relationship, so I guess we both still have our good masks on, at least if Flynn were writing our story. All of a sudden I was trapped between being the cool girl, whose open minded and (usually) well informed –and being honest about what I was comfortable with and wanted out of a relationship.
There’s such a tangible feeling of needing to say yes, of needing to be the cool girl. And there is such a guilty aftertaste after you say no, put your foot down and let your mask slide off to reveal yourself as a flawed human with insecurities and needs. After finishing the whole novel, I considered the ending tones of dread and settling down with a monster because you know how that monster is a monster to be Flynn’s biggest parting message. However, in retrospect of suddenly understanding what Amy was on about, I give new props and authority to how that character called society out on that phenomena.
It’s not that there aren’t girls who are totally happy being in an open relationship, it’s not that there aren’t girls who love drinking beer and football and eating chips and dip, it’s not that there aren’t girls who enjoy spending their time and energy on having a picture perfect physique –the “cool girl theory” is that there is not a girl who is capable of putting their partner’s needs and desires above everything else, be the perfect girlfriend, and still be comfortable and satisfied. Humans aren’t engineered that way, you can find people who come close matching everything that you want, but no healthy relationship is going to have someone who is COMPLETELY perfect –or cool.