I grew up Gen X in the UK. The posters on my wall were Duran Duran and U2, The Cure and Adam Ant. The American music we heard on the radio was random, rare and limited to the occasional Bruce Springsteen track or power ballad (Foreigner’s ‘I Wanna Know What Love Is’ was the ‘slow dance’ of my middle school years). But one song I like to think left me with more. One song taught me about the conflict of being a woman. Of the hurt and sacrifice that is love. Of not knowing what’s wrong or what’s right. And above all, the knowledge that yes, love is a battlefield. Love will leave you scarred and beaten, rarely bleeding but always breathless. And while you might be not be sure which side you’re fighting for, Pat Benetar’s 1983 anthem of advice, Love is a Battlefield, speaks to every would be warrior about the theater of war… that we call love.
Break out your big hair and lacy gloves ladies…Here we go;
We are young, heartache to heartache we stand
So true Pat. I might have grey hairs and wrinkles, I might need to be in bed by 9.30, but yes, I am young at heart, and yes, I’ve had my share of heartaches. Stand me next to anyone over the age of 35 and yes, we’re a all little battered. Is that why we need the lace gloves?
No promises, no demands
Pat, so so wise. You foresaw the future in your words. A time when we make no promises when we date, when we love, when we mate. We don’t say ‘Yamo be there’ (screw Michael Macdonald). We don’t make demands (that’s a one way street to Lonely-ville my friend) and hey, if you call – great, if you don’t – clenched teeth ‘great’. I was gonna be checking my messages and texts compulsively anyway.
Love Is A Battlefield
Yes. Yes it’s a war out there Pat. And those bullets hurt. Those bullets render me senseless with rage when I don’t get a call after our 3rd date or when you decide that ‘I’m just not feelin’ it after 3 months’. So yes Pat, I’m on your side of this battle. Just remind me who’s on the other side…is it all guys, or one in particular? (you know, cos I’d actually like some of them left standing if you know what I mean?)
We are strong, no one can tell us we’re wrong
We sure are. I did 70 burpees just last Thursday Pat, and I deadlifted 125lbs. Strong you say? I’m crushing it. And no, its not wrong. Its called Crossfit. Its not a cult. Its not an obsession, even if we are all wearing the same brand of shoes and speaking a weird language that no-one else understands (amiright AMRAP? or amiright?). Yes I’m freakishly strong for a small person who’s diet consists of 60% chocolate but no, that’s not wrong, that’s my battle fuel Pat. Battle fuel.
Searchin’ our hearts for so long, both of us knowing
I’ve been searching Pat, searching for so long that Google now autofills ‘dating advice’ whenever I type in ‘da’. I’ve been looking high (eHarmony, Jdate) and low (OkCupid, Sputnik on a Friday).. but I’m not findin’ Pat. I’m not findin’ Jack (though I am finding a lot of Johns and Davids). You say that ‘both of us’ but I’m not sure who that is Pat.. tell me, who’s the other half of this equation? Was it the special forces guy I never got around to meeting in person? Was he the someone I was meant to meet? Or was it that stiff bore I ate lunch with while I fantasized about my f-buddy. Tell me Pat… I need to know. Who’s searching for me? Who?
Love Is A Battlefield
Yes, you already said that Pat. I get it. Its tough going out there. There are land mines (that fry cook who claimed to be an executive chef for one) and unexploded bombs (that very angry lawyer springs to mind) all around. But Pat, I need more direction.. who, who is on the other side of this battle? Cos if its that short dude with a Napoleon complex from this spring, I think I’m going to have to stage a retreat. The dude was scary even if he did drive a Prius.
You’re beggin’ me to go, you’re makin’ me stay
Pat, I’m seriously beginning to question whether I’m getting my messages. No one has begged me to go or stay in quite some time. Let me check my Junk mail to see if I’ve missed something….
Why do you hurt me so bad?
To be honest, no-one has hurt me (without me asking) for quite some time, but maybe I missed a message in my junk mail folder. Hang on a sec…
It would help me to know
I totally agree Pat, I would help me too. I mean if there’s someone out there who’s hurting for me, I kinda want to know? I don’t like the idea of hurting someone unintentionally, and to be honest if its going to be some kind of ‘you hurt me, I hurt you’ S&M flip thing, I probably need to know about it before it happens? You know, safety word and all that.
Do I stand in your way, or am I the best thing you’ve had?
Hey Pat, I’m not standing in anyone’s way. I mean I’ve made no promises, I’ve made no demands. If someone thinks that I’m standing in the way or that I’m the best thing, well I really want to remember who that was. Was it that guy from that one time in the spring? Cos honestly its been a really dry year and there’s not many options. Can you give me a hint?
Believe me, believe me, I can’t tell you why
Why not Pat? This is sort of getting a bit annoying. If there’s someone out there looking and in pain because of me Pat, I really want to know. That lace and frilly skirt isn’t fooling anyone.. I could take you.. tell me bitch.
But I’m trapped by your love, and I’m chained to your side
Oh so it is one of those crazy S&M things. Now you’re talking Pat. So, any hints? What type of scenario are we talking here? And who’s the guy? I mean I saw those dancers in your video and they all looked kind of sadistic and ripped up. Chains you say? Hmmm.. thats new to me, but hey, if he’s into it, who am I to complain? It might be a bit of a challenge to walk the dog though?
We’re losing control
Actually no Pat, we have a safety word for that. There will be no accidental auto asphyxiation on my watch. Someone’s always in control, so sorry if that doesn’t jive with your battlefield tactics there Pat. But come on, safety first! And any hints on the dude? This is killing me…and these lacy gloves are starting to itch.
Will you turn me away or touch me deep inside?
Pat, this is getting a bit graphic for day time, even for me. And I don’t even know who this guy is yet. Can we skip the detailed instructions and get a name, an email address, something?
And before this gets old, will it still feel the same?
Gets old? Is that some kind of ageist slur Pat? Because I might be 40ish but I’ve been told I’m only as old as I feel. Which I’m told is pretty young. So, hey, lets just skip past the jibes here. I still got it. And yes, it does still feel the same (or so I’m told). Now we were getting to a name…?
There’s no way this will die
Again with the death Pat. I said, safety first. Role play doesn’t have to result in injury you know. I think you’ve been taking that 50 Shades of Grey crap a little too seriously. I can assure you, no-one is dying on any of my dates (though I’ve been known to die of boredom on more than a few).
But if we get much closer, I could lose control
I don’t know about you Pat, but I kinda need him to get a little closer if anyone is losing control of anything. Unless this guy is hiding in my closet, I’m not seeing how anyone is losing anything anytime soon. He’s not hiding in my closet is he? Cos thats just weird and creepy.
And if your heart surrenders, you’ll need me to hold
Surrenders? Oh shit, he is hiding in my closet isn’t he Pat? You’ve been talking about this fabulous guy who’s all into me and can’t live without me, who wants to tie me up and lose control and you’re talking about a psycho who’s currently hidden behind my DVF satin slipdress. Shit Pat, that’s not funny.. that’s twisted.
Love Is A Battlefield
No shit Pat, and you play dirty. Well I need to go call the police now so I suggest that you move your battlefield somewhere else. This chick isn’t that desperate and to be honest, I’m really not into fighting.
Consider this battlefield Switzerland from here on out.