Dateland: The Allure of Adorable Victims

By Jennifer Parello June 27, 2013

Categories: Dating & Relationships, Our Lives

Like most people who spend way too much time searching for baby animal photos on the World Wide Internets, I have become obsessed with baby sloths. If you have not yet been sucked into the sloth vortex, put down this magazine immediately and type “sloth” into your browser.

If you did as I instructed you above, you have just returned to this column after wasting several hours cooing over sloth photos and videos. Although, is willfully showering yourself in adorableness really a true waste of time? It certainly beats my former practice of cuddling up to much less captivating creatures in bars and in my boudoir.

I have donated a substantial amount of money to sloth societies in the past year. Just enough money for people to question my sanity. I generally do this when drinking wine and reading sad stories about orphaned sloths. Since donating money, my exposure to orphaned sloth stories has multiplied exponentially. I’m now on every sloth mailing list and they wisely blast orphan sloth stories during the prime wine drinking hours of between 7 p.m. and the time you crawl sloth-like into your bed.

The stories typically begin like this: “Tootsie didn’t deserve this to happen to her.” This is followed by a horrible description of what happened to Tootsie’s mother in the jungles of Costa Rica.

Recently, while weeping over little Tootsie’s plight and sending another $100 donation via PayPal, it suddenly occurred to me that sloths don’t own the market on not deserving the bad things that happen to them. They just happen to be the cutest victims in the world. And when things are cute, you want to give them money and cuddle them.

This explains so many of my relationships. I’ve always been attracted to cute victims. Pretty, fragile girls who need to be saved from something dreadful—either real or imagined. I swoop in and buy them things they didn’t get in their childhood and avenge past wrongs. I cuddle them and protect them. And, then, I grow tired of their relentless whining and their inability to take control to their own lives. I shake my head in disgust as these grown women cling to past hurts like security blankets.

I tell them to “grow up!” and “get over it!” but they never do. Instead, they add me to the long list of things that have wounded and betrayed them. And I toss my hands in the air, walk away, and find a new adorable victim to coo over until she, too, starts to irritate me with her neediness.

I realize that this makes me a monster. The worst thing you can do in this world is to turn on a weaker creature that you have promised to protect. I would never think of betraying an animal in my care. But I have a long, terrifying history of coldly dismissing a vulnerable lover’s issues after initially sucking her in by caring too much.

In my dotage, I am trying to change behaviors that have caused people pain. I’ve considered opening a sanctuary to provide succor to my victims. But each time I think of making amends to former lovers for my many wrongs, I just get annoyed yet again at their collective passivity and merrily embrace my utter badness. And, then, I turn to baby animal photos on the internet to mine my dark soul for slivers of tenderness and I feel less like a monster.

So, while I warn all doe-eyed human creatures to keep their distance, I welcome sloths and their adorable ilk to my heart and my bank account.

(If you’re interested in learning more about saving sloths, please visit the Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica at http://www.slothsanctuary.com.)

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