Notes from a LiteraryVixen

Snarks and Randoms for Your Enlightenment.

In My Defense . . . May 24, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — theliteraryvixen @ 9:11 pm

When I was in middle school, I was a tough cookie. Had to be; prepubescent boys are pricks. And, me being who I am, wearing my personal brand of issues on my sleeve (or in my size, as it were), I must have made an easy target. After all, fat chicks don’t have feelings, right? Nah.

But middle school was a long time ago. And some of those carefully-constructed walls I built around my surprisingly tender little heart, left up unnoticed, I have been working slowly and diligently to remove. After all, keeping everyone out means keeping out the good as well as the bad.

However, the other night once again proved to me that while some people age, they do not necessarily “grow up”. Once again, I was put into the position of ignoring a slight or standing up for myself. And I, not being ashamed of who I am, chose the latter.

I am torn about this. I’m not sure if letting the remark that was made (unintended for my ears) slip by would have been the more adult response. After all, this is not someone who I know or whose opinion I value. I should be able to just let such things roll off my back. But that’s not something I have yet been able to master. Had I done nothing, I know the moment would have festered, rife with “should have dones” and “if onlys”.

In the end, my action (pulling the offender aside, letting him know – calmly, if not gently – that I had heard his remark and that if he felt the need to insult me again, I would damage his nether-regions) resulted in the best-possible outcome, I suppose. I gained an apology, which I accepted (along with a drink which I skillfully guilted him into purchasing). And, in the end, I think I can let this go.

What does still bother me is the fact that I should have to make this decision. That I should have to either apologize for who I am or confront those who degrade me to make them recant. It’s not fair.

The one thing that singles me out in a crowd, before people bother to hear me, is my weight. My food issues.

Well, honey, I hate to break this to you, but we ALL have them.

Ironically, I spent the hours before the aforementioned incident with a friend whose own weight struggles have been, in comparison, extremely mild. At her heaviest, she was the size of (and a bit smaller, even) than the average American woman. She worked hard to reduce that to her current size, and was upset at the gain of less than three pounds. The next morning, I met with another friend who is actively working to control an eating disorder – working hard to GAIN weight and feel good about it.

I understand these struggles, though they are not my own.

In this society, where food is abundant and where the survival instinct is squashed to all but nothing (as most of us do not – indeed, may not ever – live with the realities of constant life-and-death struggles), we turn our focus to trivial things. Aesthetics. We are surrounded by the constant marketing of both instant pleasures and of personal beauty. The last frontier that we face is the struggle of the urges for consumption and for rigorous self-denial.

Whereas in ancient civilizations, when food was scarce and labor was strenuous, fat was an indication of wealth and power. Today, the opposite extreme is true. It is the ability to deny the base instincts of ones appetite that reflect ones status.

Which puts me pretty far down in the social scale.

Which means that this will not be the last time that I am forced to choose between rising above or confronting those who judge me without merit.

And, in the end, I guess I choose to fight.

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EXTREME Intolerance. May 12, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — theliteraryvixen @ 9:27 pm

I got my oil changed today. I was long overdue for it. In fact, I was SO overdue, that I’d really prefer to think of it as just a titch early for my next oil change.

Procrastinate anything long enough, and it’s bound to come around again, right?

But I suppose that’s what the people who neglect to take their Christmas decorations say in October. It’s time to stop justifying and come to terms.

Because, you see, the 5,800-mile oil change is not just an oil change. It’s really a snapshot of a defining character flaw within me – one that permeates my life.

I used to just characterize myself as lazy, but I think that this wasn’t quite the situation. Rather, I think that I’m incredibly short-sighted. You would think ONE of my myriad pairs of glasses would compensate for that, but apparently near-sighted and short-sighted are completely separate issues. Who knew?

I must remember that, though I strive to not be high-maintenance as a person, low-maintenance is NOT the opposite of high-maintenance. NO maintenance is the opposite of high-maintenance. And no maintenance burns out your engine. [And, yes, of course that is a metaphor.] Opposites are extremes; extremes are impossible and unhealthy to maintain.

No maintenance leads to pile-ups of things. Like dishes. Or issues. Or work. Nothing is going to simply go away. They just build and build until the eventual chore is messier or more tedious or more expensive than facing things head-on would have been. And how can I, with my inherently practical nature, bear to sign myself up for that?

It’s at odds with my nature. And it’s time to remedy this.

So, here I go.

[If you will excuse me, I have some chores piling up.]

 

Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most. May 8, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — theliteraryvixen @ 9:11 pm

What is it about spring that’s so ungodly depressing?

I’m sure that, to many of you, this seems like a strange statement. Spring is, after all, the season in which the grays make way for vivid greens; when the melodic chirps of the birds return from their warmer climes; when we can finally leave the confines of our cabins and enjoy the great world beyond.

But . . . for as long as I can remember, spring has not just been the harginger of green. It’s also been the bearer of the blues.

I’m sure there’s some terrible Freudian theory about repression or about the awareness of my own mortality to be unearthed there. [Oh, wait. If it were Freud it would have to be about pooping or sex, n’est-ce pas?] I really don’t know what it is. My birthday? The end of the school year? The Ghost of Christmas Past?

Whatever it is, I’m glad to note that I’m back on the upswing of things again. And, now that I’m aware of the pattern, maybe I can just up my meds for the season.

Or something.