Some of you, like me, have no doubt been following with great interest /u/resolution316's MRP journey. That he tells his stories very well is part of the appeal. It is said that a good fiction writer achieves "suspension of disbelief". A few days after his latest vignette, however, I find my disbelief ever harder to suspend. As a thought exercise, let me tell a different tale, or tell the tale a different way, and ask you to decide which one seems a better interpretation of reality.
Resolutions317: alternate reality, or a true(r) tale?
Once there was a very pretty girl, who grew into the beautiful woman we know of here as Mrs. Resolutions316. She had little else going for her other than her beauty, but like a great many pretty girls, she was spoiled by her parents and indulged by everyone else, and became narcissistic and something of a drama queen. She learned that by acting helpless and sad, men would leap to take care of her; teachers forgave misbehaviors at school; cops let her off without a ticket; smart boys did her homework for her. Being naturally rather passive and lazy, this became her primary means of dealing with any challenges or adversity in life.
As a young woman, she was naturally attracted to the alpha bad boys, and her beauty attracted them. She drifted rather aimlessly through her teens and twenties in a long series of failed relationships, fully expecting one of her Chads to wife her up and take care of her, as men always had. But though her beauty initially attracted attractive men, her passivity, shallowness, and sense of entitlement quickly became tedious, and again and again she ended up back on the cock carousel looking for her knight in shining armor. After yet another tumultuous breakup in her early thirties, she finds herself once again, post-Wall, marooned on the island of Alone.
Emotionally shattered by her latest breakup, despairing of getting a Bad Boy to commit, and really rather alarmed at the prospect of not having a man to take care of her, the future Mrs. Resolutions316 makes a resolution (perhaps even her 316th): she's going to stop dating the alpha Bad Boys she likes who always pump and dump her and leave her emotionally shattered. Instead she'll look for a Nice Guy, the type she has always despised but who now seems like a cool, safe haven in the desert of her life. She'll also date by The Rules this time. Maybe that Nice Guy, Mr. Calmly Calmly Plan (known here as /u/resolutions316) who keeps asking her out, a timid but determinedly pleasant little manlet who damps down all of her emotions like a box of wet cotton and radiates calmness, stability, and a seemingly infinite willingness to take care of her ... in a word, the antithesis of the guys she's normally attracted to who generate the tingles and drama she craves. But in her frazzled emotional state, this feels exactly like what she needs, and he's even kind of cute in a nerdy sort of way. She sends IOIs in his direction.
Mr. Calmly Calmly Plan notices her IOIs and thinks he has won the lottery of life. Fully bought in to the BP/Lean In mantra that after sowing her wild oats on the CC, the hot woman will settle down and actually prefer and desire the steady BB provider, basking in the ego validation, and anyway convinced he's superior to those Bad Boys who stole his lunch money and got all the hot girls in high school, he doesn't question this Beauty and the Nerd fairy tale come true. He courts her, happy to play by The Rules as yet another sign that she has 'matured' into a respectable woman. However, unattracted and bored, she breaks it off and returns to the CC. But after a few more turns on and again crashing off the carousel, and now deeply in post-Wall panic, she grits her teeth and goes back to Mr. Calmly Calmly Plan with the intent to marry him. Like a moth attracted to a flame, he takes her back and marries her, and sets busily about building his perfect life with a house in the suburbs with his always calm and contented SAHM Stepford Wife and 2.7 kids.
His Stepford Wife-to-be represses her vague feelings of dissatisfaction and lack of attraction to her attentive little manlet, which is eased by The Rules not requiring her to put out too much or too enthusiastically, and by her general passivity and dependence on a man to fix her problems (which he'll do by marrying her, right?) The marriage preparations and drama surrounding the wedding bring some welcome emotional excitement into this otherwise bland relationship.
Now she's married to a stable beta provider; safe at last. But wait; this is really tedious and boring; Mr. Calmly Calmly Plan seems terrified of spontaneity or any emotions other than a bland, pastel pleasantness. Maybe being a mother will fill the emotional void. Cue the kids. But she finds that being a housewife and mother involves a lot of tedious work and lacks the kind of emotional drama she craves to add spice and spark to her boring life. Lacking any real self-awareness, she attributes her dissatisfaction to the tedious daily chores and the minor frustrations of parenting; cue the 'helpless and hopeless' complaints to her husband who, also lacking in any real introspection but always willing to take on more, slowly assumes most of the duties for the entire household.
Since this was never the real problem, things just get worse. By now Mrs. Resolutions316 has lost all respect and desire for this bland and now infuriating little man who crushes all spontaneity, emotional excitement, drama, and passion out of her life with steamroller-like efficiency; he's an emotional gaoler locking her spirit in a padded cell. The very thought of sex with this chump is now too sickening to bear, so after becoming pregnant with their second child, she refuses to resume sexual relations. In her frustration and boredom with the mundane challenges and tedium of mothering she continues to turn to the only solution she's ever really known; act helpless and hopeless and let a man come and take care of it.
Meanwhile, Mr. Resolutions316 is viewing his situation with slowly growing alarm. His Stepford Life with his Stepford Wife isn't turning out as he had hoped; she seems permanently discontented, doesn't always follow his many Plans, and most of all she refuses to fuck him! Since she complains about being overwhelmed by the mundane responsibilities of life, he doubles, then triples, then quadruples down on the choreplay until he's essentially doing everything, but she doesn't improve. Always looking for an outside authority to give him answers and to reassure him he's doing the right thing, Mr. Resolutions316 discovers MRP. At last, some confident men seem to have an answer to his problems; if he diligently follows the 12 Steps of Dread program, he'll get his Stepford Life with his Stepford Wife back again!
At first, it seems to work. He develops a tiny bit of frame and manages to stand firm against some minor emotional outbursts from his wife. Finally sensing some steel to strike against in the padded cotton of her husband, the long-lost tingles spark in his wife and she has sex with him three times. But alas, it does not last. As her emotions expand, they once again overwhelm and terrify her timid little manlet, so much so that he retreats in panic again behind the padded walls and questions her very sanity. Egged on by other traumatized men who only hear his side of the story and validate his fears, he seeks professional help to fix her.
Whatever will happen next? Stay tuned at /u/resolutions316.
Gentlemen of AskMRP, is this
alternate reality fan fiction?
a modern-day The Turn of the Screw?
a more accurate interpretation of reality than /u/resolutions316's OPs?
Edit: Changed dating details for consistency with this post.
Added links. Fixed typos.