Monday, September 22, 2008

A smattering of nattering.

My brain’s all over the joint so, as a result, this post will probably cover 18 katrillion topics and I’m not 100 percent sure it will make any sense, let alone come to any sort of point. But hey, Monday's almost over. Let’s roll the dice and see what comes out of my idiot head.

I’ve been ruminating on this comment I read over at Jezebel a couple of weeks ago: we ever tell single men to just suck it up and be happy alone? To me, it seems like we just want these older single women to shut up because there aren't any solutions.

It rang my bell something fierce, and since then, I’ve been paying slightly closer attention to the various message boards and whatnots that I peruse and it really is rather striking how older single fellows bemoaning their single status are given the “keep yer chin up, buddy, she’s out there/don’t give up, man, Ms. Right’s right around the corner!!” platitudes and rah-rahing, but us older single women…yeah, why don’t we shut our traps and be happy with what we have, huh? Be grateful that you have friends/family/a roof over your head/a job to go to/two legs to stand on/two eyeballs to see out of/the sun shines/the wind blows etc. etc. etc. and fucking on and on. You don’t NEED a relationship, you know. So BE GRATEFUL, and you’d damn well better keep any of those stupid thoughts about how it pretty much sucks being the third wheel/ignored/alone to yourself so the rest of us aren’t bummed out.

If I sound bitter, it’s because I am. Bitter and kind of furious at times, actually. I know I trot out this song-and-dance more often than anyone really gives a rat’s ass about, but as I’m preparing to embark on one last ridonk attempt at online dateage, perhaps I’m trying to pump out the last remnants of bitterness from the lower decks of my very large failboat, the U.S.S. Chunky-n-Doom’d in order to embark upon this project with some semblance of optimism. Or, at least, the ability to put on a convincing show of it. But I think we all have that moment of “bwuh!!!” when someone tells us of a double-standard and then we see it in practice for ourselves. And mercy, am I bwuhing my ass off lately. I think it’s the most hurtful when it comes from people who you’re close to, be they family or friends. When my mother trots out the old saw about “Life Lessons” and “Everything happens for a reason”, I would like to put her in the shed because I’m waaaaaaaaaaay over Life Lessons Happening For a Reason. I’m at the point in my life where I would much rather just be presented with a list of all the Reasons the Life Lessons are happening and what I could do in order to pass the next exam. Someone tell me where I can pick up the Cliff’s Notes and I’ll study up something fucking fierce.


I had this thought many times today: JUST FUCKING EAT FUCKING EAT FUCKING EAAAAAAT. No, not directed at myself, but overhearing co-workers getting tight over calorie counts and dress sizes and being "disgusting" and "pigs" and the usual foorahrah, accompanied by oohing and aahing over a co-worker just back from maternity leave. The same woman that insisted I'd lost weight while I was overseas was borderline frothing as she told New Mom she'd lost weight ohyesyouhavethebabyweight'salmostallgoneohmygoodness! I really loathe how diet conversation has become a lo-cal substitute (har har) for CONVERSATION. That discussing one's diet/exercise regimen and how many calories are consumed and what "bad" things you avoid eating and how "bad" you've been if you had a cookie is considered interesting chat while at work or out with friends. Not that I'm looking to have a deep, philosophical chat with my co-workers, but good gravy, could it be chatter that isn't a competition to see who can come up with the most colorfully hatey ways to deride oneself? I suspect I may be repeating myself, but it's appalling to me that self-loathing has become a rite of passage. It's absolutely acceptable for a person to participate in a conversation that consists primarily of which body parts of ours we find to be horrifically disgusting and how we HAVE to get in shape (the only appropriate shape being thin) and coveting bodies that it is downright scientifically impossible to have. I think about Dara Torres, the 41-year-old Olympic swimmer that made so many headlines because she was coming back to compete at *gasp* the ancient age of 41 AND *super-mega-gasp* after having had a BABY! You know goddamned well millions of women saw the photographs of her and her washboard abs and muscular thighs and immediately thought themselves shitty because they didn't have those abs and muscular thighs--never mind the fact that Dara Torres' being a SWIMMER. She spends $100,000 a year on a head coach, a sprint coach, two stretchers, two masseuses, a chiropractor, and a nanny. That's why she's got friggin' washboard abs and muscular thighs--because she can devote every friggin' free moment to flopping around in the friggin' pool, friends. But that kind of logic doesn't penetrate our brains because we are so caught up in the magic being sold to us each and every day that our lives will practically turn into a never-ending utopia of awesome and unicorns if we could just stop being such out-of-control hogbeasts and GET. THIN. Oh, I mean, GET IN SHAPE.


Lastly, I do wish to report I'm in love with something shiny, pretty, and with a blinky light. I bought a 500GB hard drive tonight and it''s a delight, frankly. A couple of years ago, I had a massive hard drive implosion that ate much of my writing, including 15 or so completed screenplays. Yep, a LIFE LESSON if there ever was one. Not that I've been able to write shit since then, but I suddenly came over all "must have external hard drive now" this evening and trotted out to pick myself up my new best friend. We'll just overlook the large amount of surge-protecting power strips I have in my Bachelorette Lair (a.k.a. my room in my parents' house) *cough* because it's important that my bass amp be at the ready at all times in case I feel a need to jam, or it only take mere seconds for my PC to leap to life because dammit, I NEED TO KNOW WHERE CHRIS MAKEPEACE IS.


Victoria said...

you can get an AMEN! from me regarding the absurd double standard re: dating.

I think another part of the problem is that at our age (I'm 34), men can date down to 22 and get high-fives, or up to 40 without question. It's also my experience that a lot of single 35 y/o guys are still dating aimlessly because THEY CAN! I met a guy on Craigslist (yes, I know, it's the cesspool of online dating) who had lined up dates with 10 women, and yet was still posting and scheduling dates. He claims it wasn't for sex, but an earnest search for lasting love. He also wears spandex regularly, so I should have already known he was a tool, but anyway...

yeah, I get a lot of 'don't be so choosey, a woman your age/size doesn't have that many options left', which makes me just sick.
I know no man has ever heard that line.
And we do have the option to stop listening to such crap, which is really very helpful.

April D said...

"it's appalling to me that self-loathing has become a rite of passage."

Oh my goodness yes. It is as though coming up with the best, newest derogatory slam against your own body is the affirming behavoir necessary to enter the social circle of co-workers (or others of course). Gah. How about we all talk about feeling awesome for a change? Or how we love our hair/legs/tummies, etc? It is as though any positive self-thought is not only discouraged but avoided at all costs. You know, cause heaven forbide we should feel good about ourselves for any reason for a few seconds.

Anonymous said...

I would place a quote of what I liked best about your article, but the whole thing would be on here.

You are not alone with the ideas about the double standard. I am not old but sometimes I feel like it, why? because I am still single. I tend to add years to myself because that is the added time for the life that I want. I mean it would take at least a year to fall in love with someone and trust them, then another year of honeymoon time, and then another 9 months before I become a Mom, so you see I am already three years older than I was a few minutes ago. But I have come to the conclusion that I don't want a man, just children...but I dont want to be a single mom, so thats one of my many problems.

You also touched on the subject of being chubby and dating. Why are women so hard on each other, but so forgiving on what our men should look like?? You don't see very many only slightly overweight men on these comedy shows talking about how or what they ate...which brings me to another point...If I remain fat then I can always make a living by telling fat jokes, its not funny when a skinny person tells a fat joke, that's just wrong.
Sorry I took over your comment sectoin. Really I am, but I just got so worked up...

Jez244 said...

Jane, I'd send you a hug and tell you once again how wonderful I think you are but I'm afraid you'd get pissed.Oh, screw it. I think you are wonderful. I send you hugs. I hate being fat but more than that I hate hating being fat. It's a major time suck and I'm getting too fucking old for it.
Please don't hit me!
: )