Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Square Pegs

New Guy Dean: Unlike you, I'm still a square peg trying to force myself into a round hole...

Me: It's okay. I'm a square peg wondering why holes are necessary.

This happened earlier today. Here. It's odd how comfortable I am with that concept, and then I get all uncomfortable because I should feel discomfort, and do not, and then I get pissed because I just consciously scared myself into thinking I had to fit somewhere.

The mind is a tricky little bitch. Or a shady feeble dick.

After all, we're about equality here. Nothing like snapping stereotypes in half by painting duplicitous women and impotent men. Because no one's ever done that before*.

I've decided that instead of searching for an existing idea or belief to fit inside, it's far easier just to start a new one. Religion, feminism. I take issue with some schools of feminism. We don't need women to be more like men, we need women to be confident in being themselves, whether they are highly feminine, exceedingly masculine, or a various mix of the two.

I'm obsessed with watching Tough Love on VH1, (cable? I shake my fist at you) and I sit there in fury at the fuck-off creators of this show, convincing women that they need to get married to be happy, and that they'll never value themselves until they're loved by a man**. Shouldn't the show focus more on building the assurance that these women are capable and strong with or without a relationship? I know, that's not what the show's about. The show is about desperate women going crazy without a stable guy to keep them grounded.

The problem is, I start believing it. Oh, well yeah, that makes sense. I should try to hide that about myself until someone is ready to handle it, this guy knows what he's talking about. And then I get all bitchcrazy, because it's all, yeah, why don't I have a boyfriend?

And I have to remind myself that I am stronger than fucking VH1.

So yeah. I am subject to that lapse of nonsense, and I feel inferior for giving in, even if it's just for five minutes. Because I can't give in. It would be easier, maybe, if I started with the make-up and the stylish clothes, if I worked out once in awhile, if I tried to look like everyone else and stopped talking about Teen Wolf and nudey touch***.

But I don't have to, and I don't want to, and I'm confused, because I feel like I should want to, so there's something wrong with me when I don't. And I feel that pressure, and push back even harder, because fuck you, I don't need that, stop trying to convince me otherwise. But look at how happy she is. What if I do need it, and I don't realize it? No. I'm fine just the way I am, where is this coming from? I haven't always been happy, remember? But that was self-pity because nothing was happening. So you happened, remember? You fixed it. Your head is healthier now. No it's not, because that fear is back, the fear of dormancy, what if I tricked myself into the wrong answer?**** Fucking summer. Screw it. Start acting.

Who wants to go for a bike ride?

Pah. Nevermind. I do not need someone to go with me. It is all right to ride my bike alone.


* Please catch the sarcasm. I don't want another issue on my hands like when I said I was going to buy a rug from Pottery Barn so I could be original and everyone had to point out that Pottery Barn was the exact opposite of original. Duh. I know. That's why I said it, jerks.

** What about lesbians?

*** I know exactly what you're going to say: "whatever, I love Teen Wolf and nudey touch, it's what makes you awesome and/or is totally normal." And that's why I like having you guys around. Perhaps you'll say that I can talk about Teen Wolf and nudey touch AND wear the make-up and styley clothes. But that's not me, you see.

**** There is no deep dark secret here. I just used to be extremely self-loathing and depressed, and wondered why nothing ever happened to me, good or bad. It was just this string of sameness and boredom, and I thought that I needed just someone to help me out of it, until it occurred to me that "someone" was unnecessary, because I was "someone."



~Mountain Lover~ said...

I've been struggling with this too. I just don't fit into the standard. And I was relaying all this to my therapist of offered drugs (I may have to fire her). I said, "Wait, I'm not upset that I don't fit in. I'm THRILLED I don't fit in. I'm pissed that "everyone" is too stupid and boxed in to want anything other than the standard."

Because the standard? If I had it, I would be bored to tears.

Sorry- I keep talking about me, I just emphatically want to shout a "HELL YEAH!" to this post.

~Mountain Lover~ said...

crap. Apparently I don't know how to proof read either. Sorry! my therapist who offered drugs.

Trouble said...

I'm both happy you already know this shit at age what, 26? And I'm sad that it took me until I was age 42 to realize that I didn't need someone by my side to live my life happily.

MoLinder said...

meh - why should you care what vh1 is selling you? this is the station that has brought us deep, thought provoking shows like "i love money" and "flava of love". heeding advice from vh1 is like downing some sliders - seems like a good idea at the time but you always feel like shit later.
and besides, you still have that kick ass dowry to entice some guy into marriage. never forget that. boom. yummy.

Rassles said...


Trouble: I'm technically still learning it. Everyone lapses sometimes, you know?

MoL: It's not about VH1. It's about all of it. Besides, isn't that exactly what I just said? That VH1 is stupid and I catch myself caring, and it pisses me off, because I usually don't?

Rassles said...

And - sorry, I'm on a fucking roll right now - it's not just about ME, either, although I'm the example I'm using. It's about every single person who watches those shows and thinks, "Wow, this guy's got it right." It's about...damn near brainwashing people into believing your concept of success. And it's infuriating that it exists.

Rassles said...

Aaaaaaannnd...that? Right there? Was me being overly sensitive, and failing to recognize sarcasm.

Gwen said...

I think you are amazing as you are. I don't need to meet you physically because I can tell from your writing that you are a kick-ass individual. Anyone can go to the gym and wear stylish clothes and makeup. You have a gift with words. You honor that gift by writing daily and sharing yourself with all of us. I am grateful for it, and for you.

I'm a submissive person by nature. That's just who I am. So I've always depended on others to make me feel valid and worthwhile. That's not a healthy perspective. I bought into our bullshit culture that told me I was nothing if I didn't have a man, or if I didn't weigh 90 pounds. I'm trying to turn it around. I believe in human beings fulfilling their potential and being happy and comfortable in their own skin, no matter what it looks like. That isn't me right now but I'm working on it. I want to know that if I were suddenly alone with myself in the world that I would be OK. I hope so. I hope I get there. And I hope you do too. Although, I think you're a little further on the journey to self-acceptance than I am (and I'm 7 years older than you!)

American in Sydney said...

Make up and marriage and religion... even if you have all of them and more, there'll still be plenty of places to not fit in, and in the end fitting in is bullshit. You only fit in until you don't anymore, or until you realize fitting in isn't all it's cracked up to be. Better to be a non-fitter.

Even believing in Jesus wouldn't make me fit in.

Did any of that even make sense?

A Free Man said...

I would have gone on a bike ride with you. I could use a good bike ride. I'm all angsty and ithcy and I can't fucking spell ITHCY. ITCHY, you damned dyslexic.

I don't know shit about feminism, but I know I don't care about what sex my boss is or what sex my underling is.

And I'm glad I don't have cable because I'm not stronger than VH1.

Anonymous said...

I'm with MoLinder on this one - VH1 is the cable equivalent of all you can eat nite at Pizza Hut. I always hate myself the next day.

And sadly? Who the hell would be good enough for you? And I'm not blowing smoke up your ass - quite seriously, I have a hard time imagining the dude who could match you.

Del-V said...

You crack me up! I want to watch Teen Wolf with you.

Red said...


I still need to watch Teen Wolf and at some point this year, I will.

When I was your age (sorry, sorry, but it's true) I had gotten to a place where I felt pretty good being single. I had a strong sense of self. But I wanted someone. Not because society told me to but because it was what I had always wanted and while I'm a happy person, there was a sad place inside.

I met EG a little over four years ago; I was just shy of my 28th birthday. A relationship isn't the answer for everyone, maybe, but this particular relationship has been a huge boon to me (though it's certainly had its ups and downs, including when we broke up for over a year). I don't know if I would even be reading blogs if it weren't for him. He's one of a number of people close to me who've dealt with depression. It's a tough row to hoe. You go, girl.

You are an awesome person and you'll either find someone who appreciates that or you'll be one of those single women I know who everyone thinks is just too kick-ass for any guy they know.

But seriously? Giving up cable and joining a gym are both FABULOUS.

Red said...

Okay, two things:

1) I didn't mean to imply that his introducing me to blogs was EG's biggest contribution to my life, though it is a positive.

2) I used to be really superstitious about the number 13 and I almost emailed you that instead of commenting 'cause it was the 13th one. But this is also the Year of Red Giving up Superstition.

Bluestreak said...

Rassles, I want to go for a bike ride too.

Bike riding solo is cool. Bike riding with others is only cool if they let you ride ahead if you want to, you know, you wouldn´t have to ride all slow just cause they can´t keep up. And if they ride next to you, they aren´t riding all stupid, like all close and practically getting their spokes tangled up in yours. Fuck, I need space when I bike ride. And if you slam on your breaks and you fly over the handle bars, they don´t get all pissy cause they have to stop and help. They don´t act like you´ve just fucked up their beautiful Saturday at the park just cause you broke your leg and then the stupid bike riding trip just turned into hanging out in the waiting room at the hospital and it´s all buzzkill n shit.

It´s really not all that easy to have harmonious bike riding.

What the fuck am I talking about? Whatever, you get it.

~Mountain Lover~ said...

Rassles, I just wanted to tell you I love this post, and it really struck a chord on stuff I've been wrestling with for the past few years, and particularly now as I approach "old maidhood" at 32. (thanks for that grandma).

I'm never going to pretend to be stupid, to be interested in things I find boring, to be weak because people find my height intimidating, to morph into something I'm not in hopes some guy will like me. To be a round peg.

And I refuse to be made to feel "less than" because I'm trying to be my authentic self, and not some copy of a copy of a copy because the formula works.

Gypsy said...

This was so good, Rass.

There are some things about myself that are maybe outside the norm that I'm really very ok with: my taste in music, books, movies, clothes, TV, friends; my writing; my education; my chocolate obsession; my horniness; etc.

But there are others, especially since moving back to my hometown, that I struggle with: weight, appearance, wealth, success.

And the homogeneous twaddle on TV about who we are supposed to be and where we're supposed to be in our lives by a certain point and what we're supposed to care about can always throw me for a loop.

Gypsy said...

I'm with you Mountain Lover. What good is pretending to be something you're not? It's all going to come out sooner or later. Might as well be upfront about it, otherwise one or both of you will be in for a rude awakening.

Although, granted, I haven't had to be out there dating in 12 years (which might be changing, god help me), but still. It just seems counter intuitive. I don't want someone who doesn't like the real me.

renalfailure said...

Have you been hanging out with Ninja Vicki?

I write a blog about a half-cyborg cat, a Wiccan Pimp, and a paraplegic superhero. I've accepted there's a very small sliver of the single female population who is going to dig a guy who does that.

Also it helps when you've got a core of single friends with the same problem.

Dean said...

This kinda reminds me of a fav line from Trainspotting,

"In a thousand years, there will be no men and women, just wankers, and that's fine by me."

It'll be fine by me too. The best we can hope for is to grow up a realist. To be happy, safe and secure pleasuring ourselves on whatever cocktail of religion, sexuality and bullshit we deem worthy of consuming! I have a long way to go. It sounds like you are pretty close. Not that I'm calling you a wanker (but I am, of course) - not there's anything wrong with being a wanker. I can barely see because of this nagging squint...

Dean said...

On this concept of success:

This so so true. I have the big desk, the office with a window and whole load of other stuff and bullshit. Do I feel successful? Fuck No. Am I happy? No. Do I feel duped? Oh yes.

The sad thing about all of this is that I'm pushing my kids through the same system.

Love Bites said...

Stop fucking apologizing. I mean it. Stop it right now.

Rassles said...

Gwen: I don't think there's anything wrong with being submissive, as long as it's within your comfort zone. But if submission makes you feel shitty, then it's a problem. Some people are perfectly comfortable in that role, and there's nothing wrong with that. It's a good thing.

Flora: That is, in a nutshell, exactly what I was trying to say.

Freeman: VH1 has crazy muscles, and they're not afraid to flex them. But I am way more stubborn then they could ever imagine.

Ginny: I know, right? Fuck VH1

VH1: No, really, I don't mean that, and I promise, promise, promise I'm going to watch Tough Love online once I get the chance, but don't tell anyone.

Del-V: You're a dick. The good kind, but you're still a dick.

Red: I don't go through, "Why don't I have a boyfriend" stints very often. Basically, it's only when I'm watching VH1. Oh, and beat that superstition with a bag of ham.

Blues: I am slow at riding bikes. I like to chill along. I walk slow, too. Drives people nuts.

ML: I can't imagine you trying to be stupid, but this? "I refuse to be made to feel less than because I'm trying to be my authentic self?" is the most perfect sentence ever.

Gypsy: Exactly. Even the most self-assured, in regards to their opinions and beliefs, can feel the pressure from time to time that other areas of their life aren't up to par, when they probably are and we're just trained to look at it differently.

RF: Whatever, I dig you and you know it.

Dean: It's only sad if you let it be so...

LB: Sorry. DAMMIT.

Kitty said...

Rassles. Teen Wolf double feature on DVD. Target. Five bucks.

i'm hearing they're going to do a remake, too.