Friday, December 04, 2009


In adolescence I always took notice of the appearance of other women and girls. Not consciously, mind you, but perhaps in the second or third row of consciousness I would size females up and categorize them -- fat/thin, pretty/not, etc. I don't think it was all about evaluating them independently, but rather trying to ascertain where I sat in the ever-changing ranked list in my head. I was always seemingly sizing myself up in comparison and I was always finding myself lacking.

Thank goodness I never have to be an adolescent again, cuz that kind of thinking is a travesty of self-respect and (at least as important) a highly inefficient use of finite brain power. Think of what I could have learned if I hadn't wasted so much time worrying about the size my butt compared with the next person's! Misspent youth, indeed.

[whisper] I do it now, though...

I size everyone up, but not according to their physical attributes (at least, not always). I am always calculating the level of pretense I must prop up on my shoulders. How okay does this person expect me to be? How deeply must I bury it? At times it feels (and I've used this metaphor before) like a piece of rotting meat that I have to carry and that I have to hide. The few people and places where the pretense of okayness is abated for a time enable me to just put it down. The relief is real. The change is palpable. Because hiding it is hard. It stinks, after all and so the schemes are often elaborate and the effect... odd and odoriferous. Come to think of it, that's me in a nutshell.

It's as exhausting as always believing that you are the fattest and ugliest (....and most broken....) person in a room and always checking to make sure.

1 comment:

  1. I'm smiling with recognition at your piece of rotting meat metaphor. I have also been known to be odd and odoriferous on occasion. xo