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Sunday, July 13, 2008

My Stupid Femininity

Last night after work my housemate and I went to Zam Zam's, and we started talking about dating. Each of us has been doing lots of it, but neither of us can find someone who seems like they're going to stick, though we've been trying to keep the best ones around as friends. My housemate's experience is, I think, typical for men: most of the women he dates eventually wind up wanting something serious and long-term. And though he likes — and is even attracted to — these women, knowing what they want and yet understanding that he'll never really fall for them makes him run the other way. Which, sometimes I wonder if men and women are suited to each other at all.

But that's not the real problem. The real problem is that some of us will never have a romantic partner, just as some of us will never win the lottery or find buried treasure or lose an eye. Yet so many people (my mother, for instance) believe the worst thing that could ever happen to a person is to never get married or find a long-term love. Unfortunately I was raised by her, and in her presence I can't help but feel pretty awful, unlucky, and loser-ish about not having stirred up feelings of romantic love and longing in another human being. But maybe if we could come to accept that love doesn't happen to and for everyone, if despite this we were able to keep busy and maintain lots of friendships, a life alone wouldn't seem so stark. I dunno.



I remember when I was maybe nine and kids at school would pick on me. My dad would always explain that they were just jealous. The thing was, I had a boy's haircut and too many freckles and I wore dumb frilly homemade dresses with matching underwear. I couldn't catch a baseball or ride a skateboard or think of anything clever and mean to say to the clever, mean kids. Jealous of me?! No chance! So during recess I hid out in a tractor tire and made up stories about my fantasy wedding, where someone would love me so much that I'd be able to live in the world without this constant awareness that I wasn't adequately demonstrating my own value. Because here was the horrible truth of it: if value was a purely subjective quality, and if I wasn't valued, there was always the possibility that I had no value in the first place. Not if I wasn't loved deeply by another.

What a mess!

Anyway, today I had my first improv class, and by the end of it I felt okay with being me. Mostly, anyway. The other students are nice people, and I remember almost everyone's name, and I laughed a lot, too.

11 Comments:

Anonymous Pants said...

"I wonder if men and women are suited to each other at all."

I don't remember the last time I read something so true.

10:30 PM

 
Blogger Ren said...

We're suited in as much as "tab A" fits into "slot B", but it does seem that biologically, intellectually, and psychologically, we're on opposite ends of the spectrum. But I propose a different take on this difference... I say that it's some sort of a challenge, an "I don't know what", that has us wake up in the morning and do things all day... It is the reason why you went for a chat with your housemate and wrote this post. A lot like soccer, it's a beautiful game.

5:26 AM

 
Blogger matty said...

These things are all the more elusive as one thinks about them. This love will find you. I know it.

I just do...

Now, you're in a room meditating and KISS cira 1977 walks in the room. Go!

2:05 PM

 
Blogger Sra said...

I think people are so insistent that other people get committed and start having babies already(!) because they want everyone else to be as unhappy as they are. Seriously, do you think anyone ever stays happy in a relationship?

I'm not sure that they do.

Anyway, love, romance, all that stuff -- it's not enough in the end. Relationships are far more complicated than sparks and butterflies in the stomach, and even love.

3:38 PM

 
Blogger Scarlet Hip said...

I'm right there with you. And with no current love life to speak of, I am lavishing all of my love on my new puppy. He's a good cuddler.

My mom swears that my not being married doesn't bother her in the least - she just wants me to be happy. And it would be best if I found that happiness as soon as possible before people start asking her what's wrong with me.

5:39 PM

 
Blogger Angela said...

After watching the cast of The Real World do improv, it looks so fun and funny! Are you going to keep at it? I hope so.

And while I don't think that everyone has a ROMANTIC partner in the world, I think we've all got a partner out there to share our lives with.

12:55 AM

 
Blogger Crystal said...

i am with someone right now, but i am constantly asking myself, is THIS what i am going to have to put up with for the rest of my life?? do i want this?? would i be better alone? the million dollar question.

the grass is always greener on the other side, i suppose.
my brother told me that maybe i need to mow my grass.

you should read the children's book, The Paper Bag Princess. it is very empowering!

6:40 AM

 
Blogger brookem said...

as a single girl sick of the whole scene, i offer up a big AMEN.

1:25 PM

 
Blogger ing said...

Pants:

Yeah, and it's a shame that we seem to be attracted to each other, nevertheless. It's as if we were designed to thwart one another as human beings. Ah, me. Ah, well.

But dogs are nice, aren't they? And fish, and cats, and birds?

________________

ren:

Hmmmm, tabs and slots. . . sounds like paper dolls. Which, when I was a kid and I had trouble getting my arms through the sleeves and there was that point when I had to pull the shirt over my eyes and it was really dark and scary in there? I thought life would be a whole lot easier if we could get dressed by simply folding the tabs through the slots, our clothing just sort of hanging there in front of our flat bodies. But unfortunately, we aren't one-dimensional.

Anyway, yes, it's all fodder for conversation, and I do find attraction oddly motivating right now. In fact, I think attraction has been steadily changing the course of my life for a while now. That, and car accidents.

_________________

Matty:

Some day, love will find you,
break those chains that bind you,
one night will remind you,
though we touched and went our separate ways


Whoops, I got all caught up in a Journey power ballad.

You know, we had to pose as Charlie's Angels on command last week. As usual, nobody could remember Kate Jackson's pose. The world is so full of Farahs and Jaquelines. . .

But I digress. What was I singing? Ah, yes, Journey.

If he ever hurts you.
true love won't desert you. . .


________________

sra:

Well, I think that's my mom's take on it. She seems to think she can simultaneously pity me for not having a husband and bitterly regret having one of her own. It's very confusing, actually.

I figure some people stay happy in a relationship, as a general rule, with a lot of ups and downs in between. I was in a happy relationship for a long time once, and it seemed like it was all about focusing on the positive parts, and not expecting way too much, and knowing that as compared to love, anger is quite temporary.

But I sure do enjoy the romance stage!

_________________

scarlet:

Exactly, a puppy! I'm not allowed to have cats or dogs at my place, but maybe I could cuddle up with a nice potato or something. Maybe glue some eyes on it, paint on a cute little nose and moustache, sing it to sleep, take it beachcombing. . . Ah, the lonely life! It makes one so inventive!

About your moms: that's just it! They recruit other people to back this idea that your problems are really their own problems. Arg. Touch, and go your separate ways!

________________

angela:

Well, the class runs for six weeks. I imagine I'll stick with it for a while, since it's fun & a great way to get to know people.

Do you think we all have a partner, though? Like a brother or sister? Hmmm. That would be reassuring, I guess. If I do have one of those, I hope she or he dies on the same day that I do so neither of us ever has to be all by ourselves in the world.

__________________

crystal:

I've read it, and yes, it's a good book! I wish I would have absorbed that lesson, or something similar, when I was a child. It's a lot tougher to restructure my habitual thought patterns at this point (but I'm working on it).

____________________

Brookem:

Yeah, I go through stages where I date like crazy, and then there are stages when I don't date anyone, and then there are these in-between places where I have too many other things on my mind. I'm vacillating between the "crazy dating" and "preoccupied" modes. . .

How about you? Are you dating right now, or are you on a break?

6:36 PM

 
Blogger matty said...

Oh, man. You know it is getting to a dark moment when one feels the need to quote Journey. But, hey! They've reunited to do a new tour!

I was just watching Charlie's Angels and I suspect that if that show came on today Kate would be the superstar -- the other two angels really are not all that hot. Kate could walk off the screen and still be hot -- while the other two would scare us with their hair and poor fashion sense!

9:46 AM

 
Blogger Mone said...

I think its best not to hurry and look to hard for love and it will show up by itself. To bad I cant say how long it will take sometimes!

7:02 AM

 

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