Selections from the ‘Colorado State Monologues’

This year I was once again privileged to take part in the Colorado State Monologues, a rendition of The Vagina Monologues (but more inclusive). The show consists of mostly original monologues and skits by CSU students about issues of feminism and intersectionality.

Below are my two pieces:

Text:

“I’m not like other guys,” you tell me, smooth as the liquor over the ice in your drink. “You’ve clearly never met a nice guy before.”

Nice. That so-called safe, non-threatening word that suggests, “Trust me. I won’t hurt you. I’ll treat you with the respect you deserve.” But will you really? What does “respect” even mean to you? Do you know what it means to me? Did you ask?

“Respect” isn’t thinking that you know my desires better than I do, that like a child insisting she hates fish when she’s never even tried it, I can be persuaded to try something new in bed with just a little coaxing, a little gentle persuasion, a subtle, “Please, can you try it?”

I’ve seen this played out before. You, the quintessential Nice Guy, think you understand what it is that all women want. You whisper it in my ear so coyly, daring me to think, “Wow, you’re so clever. You read my mind. How on earth did you know?”

There you go with the assumptions again. You assumed I’d be flattered by having my mind read. Maybe all I wanted was for you to ask me what I’m thinking instead, but you never did. And when I tried to let you know, you, Mr. Nice guy, waved my concerns away: “No, really, I think you’ll like this. You’ve never had fish cooked like this before. You’ve had it cooked for you by other people, but never by me.”

And that’s where you lose me. You, Mr. Nice Guy, the one who’s supposed to be different – the one who’s supposed to prove me wrong about all men being douchebags who only want to coerce me into doing what they want without explicitly asking permission, because there’s a chance I might say no – you’re actually not that nice. You simply don’t want to hear that I don’t care for fish.

I don’t care how much you love it. I don’t care how many fish haters you’ve won over in the past with your unique recipe that no one else knows. I don’t care that your recipe is different than any I’ve ever had before. I only care that your first response wasn’t “Okay, that’s fine,” the moment I told you that no, I don’t want any damn fish!

“Nice guy” is nothing but a cover-up. There are genuine ones out there, that I know. But you, sir, are not him.

*

I was able to reconnect with my high school voice coach via Skype (don’t try to do the math to figure out how long it’s been!) and was able to perform this without doing any shots beforehand – typically the only condition to get me to sing in public. I have this very strange habit where I only sing really really good when no one else is around to hear. Funny, that.

I don’t share Kelly Clarkson’s background of a broken family, but the song Piece by Piece moved me so much, I knew I had to rewrite it to make the lyrics about my own life. The timing of the show could not have been better (or worse, depending on how you look at it), since last March marked the nine-year ‘anniversary’ of the first time my ex raped me in his dorm room.

So I may have performed sober, but as for not breaking down in tears in the middle, I credit Xanax 🙂

Lyrics:

And all I remember is your back

As you walked down the sidewalk, purposely walking too fast

I asked you several dozen times to be seen

Begged you to tell me why I’m a secret that you keep

 

But piece by piece, he unburdened me

Of all the things that you despised in me, and

Piece by piece he healed the sores

That you left on me

After I said “no,” and now

 

He loves to hold my hand

And tell the world he knows me

And I don’t feel afraid when he holds me

 

Piece by piece he restored my faith

That love can feel right, and a partner can be safe.

 

And all of your words fall flat

I finally took a stand, and that made you so mad

Your love was never real, it was a means to an end

I couldn’t give you what you needed, and so you just took it.

 

But piece by piece, he unburdened me

Of all the things that you despised in me, and

Piece by piece he healed the sores

That you left on me

After I said “no,” and now

 

He loves to hold my hand

And tell the world he knows me

And I don’t feel afraid when he holds me

Piece by piece he restored my faith

That love can feel right, and a partner can be safe.

 

Piece by piece, I am far out of reach

I will never hurt him like you hurt me, and

I don’t ever have to question my worth, because

Unlike you, he respects my word

He never holds me down

Or tries to change my mind

He doesn’t own me

He loves me

 

Piece by piece, he restores my faith

That a man can be kind, and a husband should be great.

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About Beth Caplin

Just an author, blogger, and editor working hard so my cats can have a better life.
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