Monday, September 13, 2010

When It Comes to Long Smooth Stretches of Thought, I Always Go Off Road

There's no part of me that wants to say I'm different, but it's true. Of course, everyone says they are different. Everyone thinks they're special.

But the problem lies in their understanding of the concept of different, because if everyone who believes they are different gives the exact same fucking reasons, all we got are packs of liars. Their version of different has been defined by romantic comedies and crappy novels, where people are different because the author says so.

People, by the way, fucking love to tell me all about how different they are. They all roll their eyes hide their face with their hands and howl some bullshit about wanting to be normal, about how they're different because they haven't found A Job or The One, they do not Have Children or even Want Children, they have No Direction, they just Want To Travel and because of these things they feel like they Don't Belong. Then they get all frustrated with me when I laugh at them, because being different isn't the same thing as being unhappy. Idiots. Everyone feels those things at one point.

Of course, I'm reasoning from the perspective of a girl on the brink of thirty (problem: I still consider myself a 'girl' because 'woman' sounds dumb and 'lady' sounds silly) and I'm examining people that more or less fit snugly into my demographic, because it's what I know. Or at least they jigsaw niche-ly around my demographic.

And you, the readers, have levels of insight, evidence, and intimacy that I will never grow into, and I just hope you don't say things along the lines of, "you're young" or "it never goes away" or "don't worry, you'll get there" because these are very general terms of semi-encouragement that really help no one, that people use when they want to respond and they can't think of anything else to say because they're honest lies that stem from misunderstanding the problem in the first place and assuming that the answers are mysteriously evident when the problem is this:

Everything inside of me wants to scream out my differences, but I'm afraid. What if they just make me more of the same, and even typing this sentence makes me more of the same and you tell me everyone feels this way?

But I know I'm different from other people: whenever I let out something true, something honest, I'm countered with either the aforementioned general terms of semi-encouragement, or pause and confusion. Nothing is more frustrating than having people you trust trivialize and blunder over your supreme honesty.

Sometimes, though, they cast their eyes down and I can smell their guilt and embarrassment, and I'm met with some variety of, "you shouldn't feel that way" or "I didn't expect you to say that" or "why do you always have to be bizarre" or "snap out of this, because I don't know how to deal with it." Welcome to my fucking dimension, asshole. And I mean every word I write. Please believe this, and do not misunderstand.


Someone was shocked by me last weekend (surprise!), and I got that bullshit "I've never met a chick who appreciates the importance of fucking blahgiddy blahgiddy blahgiddy damn that is so hot why can't more women whatever" line, the line I get all the time, the one that is usually followed up by "how are you single? when are we getting married?" which is another bullshit line, and in the two seconds following that sentence my brain knotted and unraveled into annoyed understanding, because all at once Jeff was knocking women, specifically his wife, for not reading the right books; he insinuated that I, as a woman, can only offer sex appeal and that the highest compliment he could pay to me was offering marriage because that's what women desire; he lied about his feelings toward a woman's place, because if he wanted more women to be like me he wouldn't have married one that isn't (and she is definitely not); and he implied that something was secretly wrong with me because I am not in a relationship.

So I laughed at him, and explained why I wouldn't marry him for the reasons above.

And he laughed, and said, "Okay, that's why you're single."

"No, most of my options are idiots who think like you."

"See, you're thinking about it too much. I wouldn't have said anything if I knew you were going to go all bitch femi-nazi."

Now that makes me scoff and smile and walk away. "Dude, your brain? Is a fucking mess."

That's the kick, right there. I think too much. I am overreacting because I think too much. How am I overreacting by logically evaluating the implications of his words? It's not like I sat around an obsessed over it for two hours. He spoke, I reacted immediately. I wasn't angry about it, just kind of annoyed, like when someone takes too long at a cash register.

I told an acquaintance the story. She agreed with Jeff the Married Guy. "Well, he's right. This is why you're single. If you stopped getting mad about stupid little things--"

"Dude. Stop." I smiled at her. "The issue here is not me being single. The issue is the fact that this guy is an idiot and the conversation didn't make sense because--"

"But you know, I mean, if you just stopped thinking so much--"

And then she went on to talk about trying to find a boyfriend or something.

Do you see what makes me different? No one believes me, because conversations always digress into this. Always. And I am rarely the person to bring it up. Except for on the internet, because this is my place to vent about bullshit that my friends don't want to hear.

Are any of you single? I don't think so.

Not all single women are jonesin' to be in a relationship. But for everyone I have ever met ever, any problem I have has to boil down to a relationship, all the time, because I am single. Because I'm the type of person that comes up with a bajillion examples for everything and if one of them relates to having a boyfriend, that's the one they focus on. They don't focus on my lack of confidence in doing my job or trying to start a writing career. They read subtext that isn't there, like when I say, "let's go out and get a beer and talk to strangers" that doesn't mean "let's pick up dudes." I say what I fucking mean. I am not a girl with a dubious agenda.

Even if I don't bring it up, or if I mention that I'm horny or that some guy is hot or that I don't feel like working, everyone's response is that "you need to find a boyfriend because there is something wrong with you if you don't." Everyone's response, when I say something smart or funny, is like, "I don't know why you are single" or "I don't know why some man hasn't snatched you up." I asked a friend why no one would see Machete with me last week, and she laughed and said, "You need a boyfriend."

I just don't fucking understand why everyone tries to relate to me in respect to whether or not I have an Other since I never asked to be evaluated that way.

Now, see, people assume that because I'm talking about this it means that I secretly want a man and I can't wait to put my wifey shoes on and get to baby-makin' on the train to Husband Town or something. And it's like: of course I woudn't mind having a guy in my life, I'm not made of stone. But it is so much more important for me to keep on churning and reasoning and learning, and I'm fucking sick of no one getting that, and I'm sick of no one talking with me about it and breaking it down into logical statements about motivation, I'm sick of it being dismissed as thinking too much just because I'm thinking about shit they don't care about.

They think I'm thinking it just to be different. No. I'm different because I want to talk about stuff I think about.

Drives me fucking nuts.


  1. For some reason my patterns of thinking always (and I'm not kidding about this) end with me thinking about how much I like and nice, big, greasy, pepperoni infested, double cheesy, massively thick crusted pizza.

  2. the single best thing about turning thirty (for me and most of my friends)?

    you stop giving a Flying Fuck.

    you stop being a girl, because suddenly it's *girl* that sounds silly. you are a woman - you own it.

    and yeah, you're different (women unafraid to use their brains and speak their minds usually are!) - but suddenly being different isn't that important anymore. nor is being single. nor is everyone else being in a relationship.

    the shit falls away - i swear to god, it felt like a magic wand had been waved. maybe that won't be true for you, but i'd be surprised if it wasn't.

    so i won't tell you you're too young, and i won't tell you that people will ever stop evaluating you by someone's else's shadow (or absence thereof). but i will tell you it'll stop bothering you that they do.

    and i swear, if it doesn't, i'll buy you a beer and we can hang out and talk to strangers.

  3. (and really, that wasn't meant as a "you'll get there" pep-talk. hope it didn't come across that way.)

  4. I went through a thing like that at 30 as well - just didn't give a fuck. Now, at 44, I can see that it is highly likely that my give a fuck is going to be so far gone by the time I'm 70 that I will probably walking around naked and offering to cook dinner for and then fuck the brains out of 25-year-old boys. (I will, of course, be cooking them a giant and greasy pizza!)

  5. I remember in third grade being devasted because I didn't have the same notebook and paper as my much cooler friend. I threw a fit because in third grade the last thing you want to be is different.

    The older I got, the more "different" appealed to me. It's why I shunned sororities and, heaven forbid, turned down the junior league four times.

    Different is what gets noticed. Different is what gets remembered.

    Besides, I don't think of you as different. I think of you as original.

    Damn MG got me wanting pizza, so I have to go make a phone call now.

    P.S. You want to start a writing career? Email me. I've been doing it for 30 years.

  6. Rass, get out of my brain.

    You handled that douche a lot better than I would have. I've had that exact same conversation with dudes. I just end up using big words and concepts they obviously don't understand, to make them feel inferior since that's how they're treating me. Then they get uncomfortable and don't want to talk to me anymore.

    But on the inside, I'm seething and want to punch them in the fucking face.

  7. "mad about stupid little things"? Like the whole way someone sees the world and relates to it? I love this post, Rassles. More power to you.

  8. Rass - I am 47 and single. I date guys and usually run them off before the appetizers are done. If they can't keep up with my line of thinking or my interests or at least make me laugh, then fuck 'em. NEXT!

    These are the changes you will start to see evolving over the next decade or your life. You will come into your true power and recognize these unique qualities of yours were given to you for a reason. Thus far, they have kept you from marrying beneath you. God, how I wish I would have been that smart at your age.

    Keep busting their balls. I hope one day you meet a guy or a friend or hopefully one in the same who hears you, gets you and renders you speechless, even if for a moment.

  9. ps - to The Elder - can I email you about a writing career?

  10. Mongo, sometimes I feel like every substantial conversation I've ever had in my life eventually focuses on food. So I super-agree with you.

    Jen, that is a very good point. And I'm going to choose to misinterpret your words and pretend they mean something like, "Someday everyone around you will reach your higher plane of existence so you can stop getting frustrated at them for not keeping up." Even though a higher existence would probably lend me some more understanding and tolerance. Which I have, in spades, for everything except stupidity. Beer sounds good.

    Elder, you are my favorite person in the world right now because you called me original. I have major originality issues. I think I was trying to avoid saying it throughout the entire post but I was thinking it and I didn't want to come across as that arrogant know. Whatever. Ima gonna email you too, don't you worry.

    Chammy: I knew you would get this. Does it ever happen to you, where you get all fired up in an argument with some douchebag and your friends misinterpret your frustration for lust BECAUSE THEY WATCH TOO MANY ROMANTIC COMEDIES? Because I hate that shit. It's always, "dude, I bet that guy is your soulmate" and you're just completely offended because he's a biggotty pill?

    Cat: Oh, thank you.

    ZM: That would be nice, meeting that guy. But until then, I feel like I first have to be completely comfortable with being who I am, because I'm still incredibly unsure if its worth it. Sometimes I feel like I should just give in and deal with things because I'm supposed, and then I kind of slap myself awake because I'm being a sucker by telling myself to hold back on being ME just for the sake of weak people who can't handle my shit.

  11. Guys are freaking lazy. You are stimulating and intelligent and they can't be arsed with that. Sucks to be them. That is why you have us.

    You scare me a little but that what makes you so cool.

    A friend of mine who is also super smart and sassy like yourself, decided that she would date people she was attracted to. Turns out that next person was a female colleague. Both didn't identify as gay. I just thought that was minded and cool. Not saying you need to date ladies...shit. Am I being all tactless and insulting here and I don't even realize it?

    Um, so yeah. You rock.