Sunday, April 15, 2012

A month of texts with my mother

The following is approximately a months worth of texts from my mother. I'm clearing out my phone and need to get rid of this loooooooong conversation chain, but as I went to delete them, I couldn't bear to not record the absurdity of the way we communicate for posterity. [Feel free to skip this one, dear readers!]

Saturday, April 14, 2012

On Beauty

(Note: This post isn't about my lesbian exploits, and is instead about a bit of a revelation I had last week. It was weighty, and I therefore felt the need to write about it, so bear with me as I work some stuff out in this one.)

Last week, my new, but very dear friend A, along with another co-worker of mine, randomly started talking together, in my presence, about how beautiful they thought I was. They went on about it for a good 5 minutes, and I did NOT like it. It made me want to hide my face behind my scarf (which I think I actually did do) and go hide under my desk until they left me alone. I did actually run away in a sense, quickly leaving the common area of the office, where they were waxing poetic, and retreating into my own office, away from their complimentary gaze.

My reaction probably doesn't make much sense to you. But I need you to understand-I HATED that attention. I hated that they were saying such nice things to me. It made me EXTREMELY uncomfortable. I didn't understand my reaction either, but it is not a new one.

I've always had a hard time with compliments, especially about my physical appearance. I thought, up until last week, that this discomfort was due to my disbelief--"You can't possibly think I'm pretty! I'm...not!" I've always thought that my own negative view of myself was why I hated being told I looked nice, beautiful, etc. But then, A asked me later that night, as we had a few drinks to unwind from the day, why I had such a strong reaction to their admiration. And as I thought about how to answer her, the answer came to me, sudden and clear and absolute.

My mother.

I hate that it comes back to her. Such a cliche, right? But it's true. As I sat in that bar, the memories flooded in: my mother putting me in beauty pageants, but never telling me she thought I was beautiful, even when I was dolled up and perfect-looking, and winning those pageants. My mother taking us on surprise detours by her job when I was home visiting from college, so that her co-workers could "see" me. I would stand there sheepishly, in front of women I'd never heard of, who had no true interest in me, as they said to my mother "oh, she's so pretty! Oh, how lovely." My mother would smile and look proud, nod in agreement, and then we would leave. We would drive home, me feeling like little more than a show dog, well-behaved and quiet with its shiny coat, my mother feeling like she'd won some sort of prize.

And yet, even on my wedding day, the only indication I got that I was acceptable to her was when I asked, "do I look ok?" She might have said I looked beautiful then. I don't even remember.

So, then, why do I hate being told I am beautiful? As I sat with A last week, and remembered these things, and cried, it hit me: I hate it because that seems to be the one thing my mother admires in me that doesn't also hurt her (as does, for example, my assertiveness). That one shallow, surface thing, she can feel proud of and good about, and yet she has never even given me that one compliment willingly, and out loud.

But that's not the worst part. Yes, it hurts that others tell me I'm beautiful when my own mother never has, but the worse sting comes in all of the other ways people see me, know me, appreciate me, in ways that my mother never will. When a friend tells me that I'm nice, giving, smart, funny, it hurts. Because somewhere deep inside, as my ears hear praise and compliments, my heart says, "...and your mother doesn't even know."

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

SM update

Okay!  Let's catch up on the weirdness that is my "relationship" with SM! Yaaaaaay!

Alright, so that Friday night, I was super exhausted b/c I'd just gone to see the Hunger Games movie at midnight the night before (sidebar: doing that was unfortunately ill-advised and not worth it, and it took me like 4 days to recover, but I digress).

Anyway, I get home from work Friday, after arranging with SM that she'll bring the wine (clearly the most important aspect of the planning), and then I don't hear from at all and I look at my phone and it's like, 8:30. I think I told her she could come over anytime after...7? And she gave no indication that she wouldn't come around then. So I'm literally trying to send a text to my friend about how I am DONE with her and this is ridiculous and WHAT THE FUCK, but it's not going through and I'm confused because I have "bars" and it should be working. So I give up and start watching Big Bang Theory and pour myself some wine and am planning to fall asleep in the next 30 minutes. 

Then, my doorbell rings. Like, MY doorbell. Like, the door of my apartment.  Not even the door to the building. MY DOOR.

I open the door, and it's her. I was baffled and sputtering and ever-so-slightly annoyed to see her standing there. I say, "Oh! I was getting worried about you!" She says, "I texted you that I was on my way? and then I couldn't remember where you lived exactly, and I got off at the wrong stop, and I couldn't remember your apartment number, so I was out there buzzing for awhile and finally someone let me in..."

Oh.

So she comes in, we sit at the table to talk, order some food and...I don't know. It was kind of awkward.  We didn't acknowledge much that it'd been so long since we'd talked, that there was so much that we weren't saying. Which I hate, of course.

Eventually we move to my tiny couch to watch a movie (The Change Up. I don't recommend it. We got through about 20 minutes of it. Blegh.)  We then switch to Dirty Dancing (ahhhh, much better) and at some point I move to touch her thigh as I'm emphasizing a point and I...don't. My hand screeches to a halt an inch above her leg and she looks at me and says, "You can touch my leg, you know!" I look at her skeptically. "Can I? I don't know what I can do with you anymore!" It's said half jokingly but the truth in it is clear.  She rolls her eyes and says "You can."

Huh.

So from that point on we get a little more cuddly, with her ultimately laying with her head in my lap.  It was nice, cozy, familiar. But there was no kissing. No, um...sexy touching. Just comfortable.

She slept over that night, but I was sooooooo exhausted, we just slept, though we slept topless. (I mean, come on, why waste the chance to cuddle up nice, you know?)

The next morning, she started kissing my back and making it pretty clear that she wanted to fool around so we...fooled around. It was....okay. I was sleepy, what can I say?

I remember telling her that she's beautiful (she is), she thanked me for having her over, I walked her to the door, we kissed goodbye, and she told me we'd talk soon (we haven't).

As I finish writing this long overdue post, it's been...almost 3 weeks since that night. We had achieved nice, hearty radio silence, and then on Easter sunday, she facebooks me "Happy Easter." Um....okay? I am not religious at all, and she knows that, so...I don't really know what that was about.

Anyway. That's that.