Ace Ventura: Beard Detective

Is it terrible to make someone your beard without telling them? Is there any situation in which it isn’t totally unethical to basically use someone to protect yourself?

I’m dating someone I don’t want to date to keep my parents off my back about getting married and protect myself from being exposed as a flaming asexual. The Ace gene can’t be spilled to an Arab family.

That’s therapy. Immediately.

Well, full disclosure, I’m technically engaged to him, and he has no clue that I have no interest in marrying him or that he’s just a beard. He thinks he’s in a hopeless love story, and I want him the way he wants me.

I know how awful it sounds, but aren’t there exceptions? I mean this guy isn’t exactly great. He’s basically thousand dollars in debt and just keeps taking out more loans to pay back those loans and then doesn’t pay those back either. He’s taken money from me and my father and hasn’t returned it. He has a job, but doesn’t go. He’s stubborn, a loose cannon, and immature. And also, my friends hate him.

I would feel horrible making anyone else a beard.

Him, not so much.

Is that so wrong?

Baby We Had a Good Thing Going

There are some days in which standing up for yourself is almost entirely impossible, in which being who you are outwardly is unacceptable in your most basic moral code, in which you find yourself in the presence of people who can strip you of every powerful wall you’ve built between yourself and reality.

I went to visit an old woman who I love just as I love my own grandmother. She is among the kindest and most well-intentioned people in my life, and for this reason, I held my tongue and let her say whatever she wanted to say, even though I was having a nervous breakdown inside.

I recently broke up with a guy who is a close family friend to both hers and my own family. I finally ended the relationship, as I should have a very long time ago, but it hasn’t sat well with anyone around me. According to them, I was throwing away a blessing. How could I just let someone who was so in love with me go?

And I watched her as she went on and on about how I might not get another shot at someone like this, and how I could have control over him and what he does if I just take him back. She told me that I might not find anyone, and then eventually end up with someone abusive. She noted that I was not perfect, and should never expect to find someone who is.

Now, how do you tell someone who has no concept of asexuality that you are ar-ace? You can’t. Instead, you listen to her tell you all the different reasons you screwed up. Instead, you let everyone in the room tell you that you’re throwing your life away. Instead, you sit down, shut up, and wish you had an explanation anyone would accept.

Instead, you wait until you go home to think about how goddamn selfish you were to date him to begin with.

He’ll Want a White Dress on the Wrong Girl

It’s out. Two of my friends officially know. I can talk about it, now. Sure, this information still very down below on the jigga down low, but I’m not being forced to fake it constantly, anymore. I am still treading very softly and restricting how much I talk about it, because I don’t want to make it a burden on anyone or a big deal, but at least I no longer have to lie. At least they know. I will keep the discussion about it at a minimal level, just as a common courtesy to other people. I would be self-centered to the nth degree.

I am, however, a horrendous human being for how I treat men in order to keep the secret locked up in my head.

The guy I’m with told me that he loves me, last night. I should have told him. I should have said something, but I am a true coward. I said nothing. I said nothing at all, save for “goodnight,” and I didn’t even spell it out.

But how do you tell someone whom you’ve been with on and off for years that you’re aro-ace? That would probably hurt him even more than not responding with the three little words he’s dying to hear. It is basically telling him that, despite how much heart he put into the relationship, I couldn’t love him. That’s terrible.

It is getting increasingly difficult to pretend things are normal. He continues to work on making it work and I continue to hope it doesn’t. I can’t even explain why I stay with him. I just do. I’m marking time, with him. He doesn’t truly matter to me, but I pretend so well that he has no idea.

He wants to wed the wrong girl. He thinks he knows who’s wearing the wedding dress in his head, but that person doesn’t really exist. She isn’t here. She just pretends to be.

And that is the worst thing of all.

I Heard it’s the Longest Thing Ever

Who ever said life is short? Life is not short. Life is long. There is literally nothing longer than life. It just passes all too quickly. Time is not a variable, but it isn’t as long as it feels. For example, I can remember my 22nd birthday like it was yesterday.

That may actually be because it was the worst day of my life, but all the same.

I am turning 25 in two months. A quarter of a century has passed me by, somehow. I am, for all intents and purposes, an adult. Kind of. I guess maturity will catch up to me soon enough. I hope not.

I am not writing this to advocate seizing the day. We should take advantage of our time, but I am not going to convince anyone to grab life by the zonkers and own it.

My grandmother is really sick. I’ve been in the hospital with her since last night, and it made me realize something extremely important: Life passes by far too quickly for us to keep up false pretenses.

You do not have time to put it off. All we do is stall. We are going to die, but we’re pushing that date as far down the line as we can. The fact is, it will come when it comes. We cannot truly control it.

Don’t be one of those people laying on their death bed wishing they had plucked up the courage to openly be who they are.

So, my personal goal is drop the facade I have been living my entire life. I’m going to stop faking it. No more talking about how hot some guy is or how I want any kind of physical interaction with a man I claim to be attracted to.

No more. I am aromantic. I am on the asexuality spectrum in some ways. I am not sexuality attracted to people, male or female.

I’m not going to run around announcing it to the world due to extenuating circumstances in my life, but I’m done keeping up the charade. If asked, I will be 100% honest, no matter who I am talking to. When I am in a hospital, fighting for my life, none of my regrets will include lying about who I really am.

I whole-heartedly encourage everyone to do the same. You are who you are. There is nothing wrong with that, and people who tell you that there is are either delusional or simply unable to do it themselves. Misery loves company, you know.

Life is legitimately lengthy, but don’t let it pass you by. Time stops for no one.

Cracking Open the Closet Door: Being Aro-Ace and Muslim

I am not entirely sure how to start this. Introductions are high on my list of horrors, finding themselves ranked above my pesky pigeon plight and just under the frankly fearsome fate of failing if I try to publish, again.

Forgive me. I resort to humor when I am uncomfortable. Allow me to turn off my taciturnity toward this tediously troublesome topic and return readily to my rattling rhetoric.

Okay. That was my last one. Promise. I’ll just get right to it.

This is my personal tell-all on how I pretended not to be aromantic and gray-asexual for the entirety of my life, displayed on the internet for all who do not know me to see.

Because no one I know goes on my website. Ever. This is our little secret, internet.

Just a little background on what aromantic and gray-asexual mean–at least in my case. As an aromantic, I have no desire to be in a romantic relationship. As a gray-asexual, I have no sexual attraction to people, regardless of gender. I can be sexually aroused, but not by someone else. People who are gray-asexual are considered to be on the asexuality spectrum.

I was raised by Muslim, Middle Eastern parents. My entire life, I was told that my future consisted primarily of three things: going to school, making something of myself, and starting a family of my own–kids, husband, the works. That last one was not an afterthought. It was important both culturally and religiously, and I never doubted that.

I still do not.

On a trip down memory lane, one could see little me growing up completely different than literally everyone else. I was weird. People commented on it openly. They said it to me; They said it to my parents; They said it to almost everyone who knew me. It was never a positive thing.

My parents were very loving and supportive. I was their daughter and that was me, and they loved me. I have always been absolutely terrified of disappointing them, because everything I have, they gave me without a second thought.

Growing up, I had a ton of friends, but I felt extremely isolated. I didn’t fit in. I didn’t get the things other girls liked and they didn’t get the things that I liked. I was weird, and everyone knew it. I couldn’t control that, and it was hard. You try being one of those kids who know that they are complete deviations from the norm, all by their lonesome, not really sure what to do about it. So, I clung to at least one thing that would make me the same as everyone else: crushes.

I had crushes on the most random boys; I had nothing in common with them at all, but all I needed was to fit in, so anyone fit the bill. I had to start faking it since elementary school, and I got very, very good at it as I grew older. I even had myself convinced:

“This is normal. This is what I am supposed to want, so this is what I want.”

It became a sort of mantra. I stopped wanting to fit in very early on, but I now understood that it was extremely important in my most basic belief system. I had to get over it. I had to get over not wanting to be with someone at all, because I had to do it eventually.

Then, I hit college, and I “fell for” my best friend at school. We hung out all the time, and I thought, “Okay. This is good. This is okay. I can deal with this.” I completely convinced myself that I had fallen for him, but the second it was about to get real, I couldn’t take it. I ran. I screwed up and did some idiotic things. I remained attached to him because I was still obsessing about my screw ups. In my head, I figured, “This is obviously love, right? It has to be.”

It wasn’t. It was me, once again trying to convince myself that I was just like everyone else. I wanted this. I wanted him, so clearly I did not have an aversion to having a relationship. I even had my friends convinced that I was truly into him, and the lie got so out of control that I had to tell even more lies to cover up that lie. I couldn’t admit it, but I was too terrified to even contemplate the possibility of the truth, let alone tell someone else.

After that, I went through guy after guy. It became a cycle. I’ll give him the time of day, I’ll have “won” him, and then I’ll come up with any reason to high-tail it out of the relationship as if my feet were on fire.

I had–and still have–everyone completely convinced that it isn’t that I don’t want a romantic relationship of some kind, but rather, I have too tangled a mess of commitment issues to stick to one guy. I welcomed that label. It was served to me on a silver platter. I was not aromantic or gray-asexual. I was afraid of commitment. It was perfect.

I have lied so many times to so many people, because I couldn’t let one soul know that I was this much of an anomaly. I have always known that stepping out from under my fairly comfortable invisibility cloak would go one of three ways: people would think I’m either lying, completely screwed up beyond human comprehension or that I still haven’t met “the right person.”

Not one of those possibilities was appealing in any way.

And I was right. I told someone very close to me, and I regret it whole-heartedly. I am positive that she thinks I am confused or lying.

It might not seem like a big deal, but I struggled with this for the vast majority of my life.Being aromantic and Muslim is several degrees of hard, because even though there is nothing that mandates that I must get married or “I’m going to get it,” marriage is too fundamental to just ignore.

I am a girl who will get married because she has to get married, not because she wants to.

I will stay in my tiny little closet, making no noise and pretending I don’t exist.

That is my burden to bear.

Immediately regret telling her. I think she thinks I’m lying or that it isn’t a big deal.
It is a big deal. It’s a huge deal. I’m Arab and Muslim. The concept of marriage–regardless of who the person is–is a HUGE deal. You have to get married. That’s it. Being aromantic is horrible when you haven’t got a choice.
What the hell was I thinking, telling someone? Never again.

I opened the closet door just a crack and told my friend that I’m aromantic, today. Sure, I bitched out and just threw it in the middle of conversation and moved on to the subject of pizza to avoid talking about it, but I did it, didn’t I?

Don’t you judge my pansiness.
Don’t take away my victory.
At least I said it.