So earlier this week, someone I’d just met started telling me about a fat, ugly, horrible, boring, yet rich man who spends a lot of his time on one of the popular dating sites. It seems he has told this woman repeatedly about these other women who were simply unacceptable, as they weighed 160 pounds, far too heavy to consider having on his arm. Now, I’m not surprised by that of course, I’ve encountered these types far too much just by existing in this town, or any other town. Men who are desperate for a lifelong female companion but not desperate enough to consider being seen with someone not possessing an impressive thigh gap. This gets sadder as we age, because, well, either you know, or you’ll find out. Either way, it’s amazing to me what some men will say to women about other women and their bodies. And it’s almost never the guys that actually look that great either… Just, you know, saying.
So no, that topic in itself wasn’t much worse than any other day. What got to me, what is still getting to me really, is the woman’s reaction. She was outraged. Yay, I thought. Nooo, I learned. Her outrage was over his classification scheme, not that he had one. She was desperate to show me pictures of one of these maligned women, whom she actually knew, to prove to me that they were, in fact, beautiful, and not at all the fat pigs this man was saying they were. Look at her, she’s LOVELY! That guy is such an ass. How could he say such things about her, I mean look at her!
Well, damn. See, what’s going on there is she pretty much agreed with him that women are to be sorted into groups labeled Fat and Acceptable, and of course Perfect/Photoshopped. Where she disagreed with him, apparently, was just in where to draw the line. And she was telling all this to me, the decidedly unskinny, awkwardly tall woman who clearly can’t even be bothered enough by what men think to put on the pinchy shoes and drop that extra 25 (okay maybe 35 by her standards). And as her outrage grew, I found myself wanting to start a fight. No, listen, I wanted to seriously just go off. Visions of delightful rants were exploding in my head like fireworks. But the margarita I had wisely purchased and finished while waiting for these fashionably-late-but-always-worth-it-in-their-own-minds folks was doing nice things to my head space, and I was imagining my happy place, which is basically anyplace people aren’t and dogs are… So I just sat and took it. I nodded like an idiot.
The group of women she was with were the kind of women I tend to prejudge based on just how much effort they put into looking like magazine covers (a lot, a lot of effort). I may be emotionally high-maintenance, but I have no patience for this stuff. I hate shopping, I hate hair-braiding parties, I hate squealing over shoes, and while I respect the rights of those who care to submit themselves to fat-freezing and boob jobs, I retain my own right to judge. I know, I am a hypocrite. You can bitch about me on your own blog, I’d love it, actually. In the meantime, I’m just going to keep going…
So the conversation was basically all about “boys” just like I remember eavesdropping on in high school, with my eyes rolling full-circle in my head. I haven’t changed much I suppose, in spite of all the changing. I have learned to stop the eye-rolling, sometimes, but if you know me, you’ll always see it. I’ve just never understood this type of person, and that may be because my first reaction is loathing, and a distinct unwillingness to even try to understand them. It’s like looking at a sibling and thinking how in the HELL did we come from the same people? Who told these girls that boys were that important in the first place? I mean, I love men, but seriously, talking about them in a group is kind of like talking about which shade of white to paint the kitchen, and I hate white kitchens.
Later that night, I ended up next to one of this group at a concert, and was honestly overwhelmingly distracted by her constant hair flipping (yes, it hit me EVERY SINGLE TIME, and her non-stop texting. With a BOY. Yes, I did read over her shoulder, all night, because she deserved it, and I’m not sorry, because I am so going to use all that crap I read in a book someplace, and if I couldn’t enjoy the music in the dark the way concerts were intended to be enjoyed, then I might as well just go with it. I hope the date they took almost 2 hours to set up works out well for her. No, I mean that. We do have to have one another’s backs, we women, right?
Carl Jung is often quoted as saying: “Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” I don’t get it. No seriously. I think the point is supposed to be we see ourselves in those things, but dude… I don’t secretly wish I was like those women, I don’t secretly wish to belong to their club, I don’t secretly wish to give so little damn about other people that I can just stick my stupid smart phone in their face and convince myself that they wish they were like me and are graced to be in my presence. Help me Carl, I don’t know how this is supposed to help me understand myself.
This irritation does, though, help me to see that I actually like myself as a person. I like the way I notice other people. I like the way I think for myself. I don’t think I can go so far as to say I like my current weight, but if the price I have to pay for beauty is that high, I can at least live in peace with myself as I am. I may sometimes feel like I don’t have a tribe of my own, but I do have some amazing friends, and I honestly adore my own company. I can be left alone for days and have wonderful conversations, and never flip my hair a single time in my own face. I mean, it’s really short…