Husbando took me to a “Open House” night at a tech company near our home last week. God, I didn’t want to go. I didn’t want to play woman; docile, submissive, quiet. I didn’t want people to avert their eyes, horrified by a plain face and combed, clean but un-styled hair. Most people just ignored me, and when I did talk to people, they spent most of their time deferring back to my husband. Like I was mistakenly at a software engineer recruiting event.
I feel like I just must give off some sort of freak vibe. It doesn’t matter how pleasant and open I am.
Because I don’t entertain the eyes, there must be something else to be had from me. The burden is placed: what are you going to do/say to compensate for your face? If your face isn’t pleasant enough for me to look at, maybe I can get money, drinks, food, free labor, whatever from you. What? You won’t? You insist I treat you like a human being without me gaining anything from it?
I feel the surprise when others attempt to manipulate me, subtly and outright, but I flat out refuse. Yes, I’m aware that I look like a doughy simpleton. However could I have figured out your cunning plan? Why weren’t you able to bully me into submission? I may not be able to fight, but I am able to resist. I am a stone wall, not a lump of dough. I will just say no until you grow tired and move on.
I don’t have a lot of hope, faith, or trust in others. “Seems like everybody’s out to test you til they see you break.”
All I want is your kindness and passion. I used to happily give mine to others. Now I understand it makes me a joke. It’s something that’s not returned unless you look and act the right way. I’ve actively deprogrammed myself from seeking out “teh hawt” people to talk to. I try to look for the people no one else is talking to, maybe because their winged liner isn’t “on fleek” enough.
I’ve learned it’s better to not expect anything from anyone, pretty much ever. I’ve learned it’s not always better to give than receive. No one gives a shit if you give and give and give, but they will notice if you don’t.
I’m not some fucking saint, with limitless quantities of love and kindness. I’m not a human Giving Tree. I refuse to sacrifice myself on the pyre of expected womanly behavior. Always giving, never complaining, never wanting anything for myself, fuck that, and fuck anyone that insists a woman should gladly be a slave, emotionally and physically.
Yes, I’m pretty content with just staying at home.
I will have to work again, but damn if I’m going to work in a fucking white collar place. The one where your competency is judged by the pounds of makeup on your face and how high your heels are. I’ll work remotely, or I’ll work at a hippy-dippy place. Of course, I can bend. If the best opportunity is at a white collar place, I’ll play woman. For a while. I managed to do it for six years at my last place of employment.
Thank you, J. Thank you for teaching me an important lesson. Most of the time, no matter how warm and giving you are, people just judge you on how well you fit their notions. People defer to social conditioning rather than think. Rather than try.
I feel lucky sometimes, believe it or not. To have my eyes open. To see the inherent inequity of human interaction. I don’t know if I can call what I do meta cognition or rumination, maybe it’s a little of both. I certainly do examine what I observe about the world. My ability to tolerate what I discover is just lacking, due to years of being fooled into thinking people are better than they are. Time will fix that. I suspect that many people in my life think I must look the way I do because I am less intelligent; don’t I understand that women have to keep themselves perfectly in every way? That’s fine. I can’t change their minds.
And what’s even more important is that I mostly don’t want to, anymore.
That’s where freedom begins.