Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Pinching Things

So I'm kind of sad tonight.

You query "How on earth can you possibly be sad when you get to spend the bulk of your day with a brand new baby? A miracle in the workings even?"

The truth is that I am a very selfish person. Amid all this lovely I'm kind of weepy and ready to cash in my chips on this civilization thing and just walk away, find some nice banana stand somewhere in an area with no cell phones and just pass my days there.

Why you say? Well I have never been more aware of how single I am than I have these last 2 weeks.

One, because I'm staying with a nauseatingly married couple, two, because they just had a baby and three, I'm in Utah; Land of the happy couple, litters of adorable children and enough pheromones to choke a rhino at 20 paces.

Its one thing to deal with every kind of couple possible holding hands and being cute in every car around you at every stop light. Even tragic looking couples have managed to find each other and be having a better day than me.

Then to deal with staying with a fairly newly married couple and hearing "oh you'll find your eternal companion soon" and "Oh I was *just* like that right before I met my husband" almost all the time.

Then to see that adorable baby and all those families being so happy everywhere - man. Its enough to shatter a single girl's pieced together and tattered self worth.

THEN tonight on the way home from the hospital the conversation turned to some fatherly conversations my SIL has had with her dad and how he literally took her aside after she packed on some pounds after being married and pretty much told her that "men like slim women. Men will not be interested in you, married or not, if you're not slim and you husband will step out on you if you're not." and had said such things to her her whole life.

This made me angry for a few reasons.
1 - A FATHER said this to his DAUGHTER. The one female in the world that he shouldn't judge at all and just support. He is responsible for instilling an unimpeachable self confidence in her. That's his JOB. Paternal FAIL!

2- How much more objectified can a woman become? Like men can/don't/won't fall in love with any other part of a woman than her measurements?

and 3 - because hes right. That's how men think, that's how they are and that's how they work and despite all the ranting and disappointed women in the world they haven't changed and they won't. And you know what that means? I don't have anyone to hold hands with at a stoplight and probably never will at this point.

I've been throwing this idea around with a few friends and just dealing with this ugly fact that people are actually really shallow and quite mean. Like even the people that love us. I feel horribly judged by people that I'm close to, that I respect. They don't ever dare tell me as much but their censure is as palpable as rain. They think loudly and I know them too well.

You know, I really wonder if gay members of the Church feel the same way as women over 25 who aren't a size 2 in Mormon world. I had a rather heart wrenching discussion with a few amazing gals about the Prop 8 tar pit of misery and how we live in this Romantic church. Its a man and a woman. Together forever. If you deviate from that then you are outside The Plan apparently. There is no room for you. You get consolation happiness and a fisher price chair for the concert. Yay you.

I think that tonight, where I am, that I am going to assert that single women over 25 and not a size 2 in the church are kind of in ranks with every gay member of the church. We are an Other, someone outside the norm to be considered and sighed about and tisked over and given sideways half hearted assurances from walking paper dolls that "it will all work out".

I've struggled all of my life with the Other factor. It just seems to be my lot despite my longing for cogency. Even now, among my amazing friends I still feel like the other, to token chubby one to make them look better and prove that they're not shallow. I don't doubt that my friends love me either and that a good portion of that label is self inflicted but that doesn't make it any less of a struggle for me.

I realize that all this comes kind of close to my birthday and truth be told, its never much of a happy time for me and pretty much every corner of my life is arrested at the moment. Its hard not to feel a bit useless.

And at the same time simply saying so seems so ungrateful because I have such a caring family and so many good things to be grateful for.

And on the whole I am OK. I'm great even, but tonight I'm exhausted and alone and I just need to cry.


Liz W. said...

When you get back to Cali, we should talk...

Rachel said...

I would like to say:

1.) I know exactly how you feel,
2.) I think it's a very real problem,
3.) I love you and hope that things brighten up soon,
4.) I disagree about the whole "other" notion in the church. Other people can make you feel like you're on the outside but only you can put yourself there.
5.) Did I mention that I love you?
6.) And can I be part of the conversation when you get home?
7.) I want to punch people in the face when they say, "Don't worry. You're find him soon."

Jennette said...

Liz!! You're so awesome! I've had moments like those as well (especially those longing for hand-holding-at-the-stoplight with-a-kiss-on-the-hand-type moments). No doubt this past year I've been asked if I have kids more times than I've been asked if I was married or dating someone. And military culture doesn't make it easier.
You are loved. Never forget that.

Oh, and get out of Utah.

Quixotic Healer said...

Go ahead, cry it all out. I'm a big believer in that.

I know you know I love you, but just so you know, "I love you!"

Also, I'm curious ladies, is this problem a Mormon BOY thing, or a White guy thing?

Hurry back from "Happy Valley"!

P.S. I like this blog: http://studyitonline.com/g4g/
Don't go read it yet, wait till you're in a more clinical mood:

"Increasingly, children are not being raised within a stable culture, or by active, attachment oriented parents or relatives. They’re being placed in front of televisions, and media-land becomes the teacher of their values, and what they should like or dislike. This is not limited to female beauty....

So instead of growing up to prefer women who look like their mother and other women in their lives who were good to them, as would happen in a strong culture, boys grow up preferring women who look like what the corporations told them a woman should look like. Since these women are few and far between, they seek out mates who look as much like the corporate/media ideal as they can get.

Of course this isn’t true in all cases, because some men did have strong parents and low exposure to corporate programming. However, they will still prefer what whoever else programmed them told them to prefer, in the vast majority of cases."

Mr. Hall said...

Thanks for sharing your honest feelings on the matter. While I do not agree with all of your thoughts, your feelings are certainly valid. I do not pretend to understand the female perspective on the matter, but I sympathize with how frustrating I imagine that it must feel. I'd say that I would like to be a part of the conversation when you get home too, but something tells me this is not a conversation for men. . . :)

Tracy said...

I'm with Jeanette... get out of Utah.

Come to the midwest!