No one has ever told me that I’m stuck up. I have my bratty moments, sure—but stuck up insinuates a kind of snobby superiority, which is something I never really related to.
I never wanted to be stuck up, either. I liked being approachable: short coffee shop talks got me through my lonely sophomore year of college, and working in retail made rent every month. Being pleasant was always essential to my own mental and financial well-being.
But it was all put on the line with one burning desire I had, which left me questioning—am I stuck up?
The truth is, I want to date an Ivy League man. I confess: I yearned so deeply for this that after my freshman year of college I transferred to an Ivy League. Well, sort of, among other personal reasons—but the point is, this desire has been brewing for quite some time. So much so that I’ve preferred singleness over being in a relationship that doesn’t fit this criteria.
I was content with this, but things got messy when I told my friends. They reacted strongly, to say the least; they encouraged me to be more open, to not limit myself. My personal favorite? They’d point to their significant others and sing their praises, dismissing my wishes and missing the point. By asking me to expand my palate, they suggested that my desire was outlandish and asking too much.
I brooded over this label of being “stuck up.” I wanted to be down to Earth, and so I packed away my desire and dated another non-Ivy guy. It lasted for longer than it should have, as I kept waiting for that spark to fly and waiting for it to feel right. It never did.
I was oddly relieved after the breakup. While relishing in the comfort of being single and no longer compromising my desires, I felt empowered again—which only affirmed my original desire. In a world where we’re constantly being told what to want, me being so steadfast felt like a little revolution. I knew what I wanted. Being single and labeled “stuck up” had never felt better.
If you’ve ever had that feeling, then you know what I mean—sometimes dreamy aspirations grab our attention, with no necessary explanation. This holds true beyond just men; it can be for someone who only wants Blue Bottle Coffee, a job with a starting salary of $150K, a manicure at a bougie nail salon, or a guy with a ginormous dick—and nothing else will do! If you’ve longed for something or someone and nothing else will do, then you know what I mean. It’s rejuvenating and freeing to just lean into wild desire.
None of these desires are hurting or burdening other people—so others’ judgments don’t need to be addressed. This is about me and you not feeling guilty or allowing others to dictate the goals we have for ourselves.
Entertaining ideas that your desires are elitist or classist does nothing. Unless operating from a space of elitism or classism, there is no need to feel guilty. For instance, if you have your own money and choose to spend it at Blue Bottle Coffee, more power to you; you’re not discriminating or campaigning against Dunkin’, or hating those who get coffee there.
This isn’t about being exclusively bougie, either. The same day you might want to buy daisies—and no one is saying “hey, what about the roses; why don’t you want them?” Instead, it’s about taking the stigma of “stuck up” out of the equation when you desire something society deems as so.
Oftentimes, desires aren’t rational, calculated, or earthly—but I don’t think they’re meant to be. We all have wants for a reason; even if they aren’t necessarily rational or don’t make sense to other people, I’ve learned that the best thing I can do for myself is just honor my desires.
Plus, settling—as I know first-hand—is not the way to go. It leaves us feeling unsatisfied and less true to ourselves. It compromises our well-being when we allow others’ opinions to cloud our thoughts, even if they come from a place of love.
One thing that assisted me in understanding my desires is approaching them with the belief that they’re meant to serve me. Maybe I’m meant to date an Ivy man, or maybe not; but maybe this want will get me on a date where I’ll discover my love for French food, which will prompt me to go to culinary school, and then maybe I’ll write a best-selling cookbook. The possibilities are endless. Maybe the person who only desires Blue Bottle will eventually be at the right place at the right time to meet their best friend, or boyfriend, or future employer.
And for anyone else with a “stuck-up” desire, here’s another tip. Next time you have a desire, ask for it “or even better.” For example, “I want an Ivy League man or even better”; “I want a $150K job or even better”; “I want a guy with an enormous dick or even better.” When you put it like that, not only are you validating your own desires, but you’re giving them room to grow, so in the instance that a given desire is supposed to lead you to something else, you are open to receiving it.
All I want is to shake desire-critics and ask them—why do you see something as pure as desire as stuck-up? Slut, gold-digger, attention-seeker, try-hard, the message is the same. A desire is a desire, and it’s meant to be my own: to hold, cherish, and dream about. No longer can anyone else infringe upon the comfort I find in wanting what I want.