Do you ever wonder how the "world" perceives you? What it is other people see when they look at you? Do you think others see the same things you are trying to project? I have no idea why I am wondering these things, my mind tends to go where ever it wants to, and I just go along for the ride. And believe you me, there have been some dooseys :) As I was getting ready for work, which involves looking in the mirror, I wondered if what I was seeing is what others see. I don't think it is.
To begin with, let's look at my perception of me physically. Like many people, my weight tends to fluctuate, I have been as heavy as 190, when pregnant, and as low as 130 (many, many, many moons ago, when I was still dancing, working physically every day). But no matter what my weight, when I look in the mirror, I don't really see myself as fat - even when I am lol. Yes, I said fat. I'm really not big on being politically correct, as you know if you've read my past posts. But really, if you're 5'5" ( I am) and you weigh 176 ( I did) face it, no matter how "well-proportioned" or evenly distributed it may be, you're FAT (I was). But I didn't see it when I looked in a mirror. It was glaringly obvious in pictures, but when getting dressed / made-up, I truly didn't see it. I did know I was "big", I was wearing size 16, some 18, but I still didn't look fat to myself. My hunny, bless his big 'ol heart, tells me constantly that it doesn't matter if I weigh 125 or 250, he still loves me as I am. I believe him. Why? Well, actions speak louder than words, and after almost 10 years, the man's sex drive has, if anything, increased.
Now, I can't decide if this mis-perception is good or bad. I mean, as a plus, it implies a positive self-image. But on the other hand it implies self-delusion. I wonder what I really "look like"..?
I have since lost weight, I now wear anywhere from a 7 to an 11, depending on the mfg. But I don't really look that different to me. I dunno, it's weird. There are other things, too. Things like age. How old do I look? How old should I look? Public figures, particularly movie types, seem to not age much. You see a woman who is 60 years old, and she "looks" somewhere between 35-40. Yet in the real world, many of the people I know look much older than they are. I've been told I don't look my age, quite often, but what does a 41 year old mother-of-three-grandmother-of two look like? I don't fell like I imagine a mother-of-three-grandmother-of-two should feel. At least not usually. I do have some issues, but I deal with them. I remember babysitting for a neighbor when I was about 14-going-on-40. She was 21, and to my thoughts, she was ANCIENT. It doesn't seem like that was almost 30 years ago...I used to joke that I would never wear "40 year old's jeans", referring to what I now call "Mom jeans" - high-waisted, wide hipped, narrow at the bottom and usually at least an inch or two too short. I still don't wear them, and don't think I ever will, but you notice the change in terminology..? Yeah, 'cuz I'm a 40 year old ( and then some). I've been thrilled since low-rise, bootcut has come back in style, and I imagine I will wear them even if they go back out. I'm ill-bilt, as we say in these parts, and the usual women's styles just don't work for me. Really. If they are long enough, the waist sits just under my boobs. If the waist is even close to where it should be, they will be at a minimum 4 inches too short, probably closer to 6. Does that mean that low-rise, bootcut is the new "40-year-olds-jeans"..?
I got an email from one of my cousins in Wisconsin the other day title "The 40 Year Old's Dress-code" which included the following advice :
1. A nose ring and bifocals don't go together.2. Spiked hair and bald spots are a bad combination.3. A pierced tongue and dentures shouldn't be in the same mouth.4. Miniskirts and support hose, not flattering.5. Ankle bracelets and corn pads, bad idea.6. Speedo’s and cellulite, not user friendly.7. A belly button ring and a gall bladder surgery scar, not complimentary to each other8. Unbuttoned disco shirts and a heart monitor shouldn't be worn together9. Midriff shirts and a midriff bulge, also not viewer friendly.
10. Bikinis and liver spots don't go there.
11. Short shorts and varicose veins, don't go there, either.12. Inline skates and a cane don't work well together.And last, but not least . . .13. Thongs and Depends, what were you thinking?
Now why would she go there? you are wondering to yourselves...Well lemme tell ya, I happen to be guilty, an aficionado of, a wearer of, uhhh, some of that is stuff that refers to me. Like the pierced tongue/dentures remark..? I happen to have both ( and lemme tell ya, Hunny is a big fan of both, if you know what I mean...). And the bellyring/gallbladder remark? Well, it just so happens I have both of those,too. Kinda. I definately have the gallbladder scar. And it's not one of those dainty little, three-one-inch-cuts scar either. It's the real deal. It starts just under my ribs on the right side, and is somewhere between 10 and 12 inches long. It's been there for 24 years. Yep, you read that right, 24 years...I got that scar 3 weeks after my 17th birthday. Then I got pregnant again, and had my oldest boy 10 months to the day after the surgery. I can't remember it ever really bothering me, appearance-wise. I've never striven to keep it covered (kinda hard to do when you dance nekkid, or nearly so for a living...). I wear short shirts, bikinis, etc... So, I take a bit of offense at that list - or at least fell like I should, truly it doesn't bother me a bit. I should care..? Not!
Hmmmm... this isn't really where I meant to go...see? my mind just goes where it will, LOL.
What I had in mind was more along the lines of perception, personality, not so much physical appearance. How am I perceived? Do I come across as I am..? No. I know I don't...well, I do, kinda. To begin with, apparently I am pretty intimidating. Not intentional. Usually. *looking innocent* I think it is a combination of self-assurance, intelligence, and a large vocabulary. I'm really not that imposing physically, 5'5", about 140ish now, but I do have pretty good posture. My shoulders are wider than the average woman's from years of pole work & upside down push-ups, but not to the point of looking too manly. I do have long legs, which translates to long strides, and apparently I don't walk, I strut. I used to have girls tell me they wished they could "strut like you do".
I think a lot of it is attitude. Unlike many females, I don't fear. Well, I fear a lot of things, but not in such a way that anyone would know it. I once had an ex tell me he hated walking into a bar with me, because I walked in like I owned the place. Yeah, and....? What's the problem with that..? Do you see a problem with that? How should I walk into a bar? Should I lower my eyes and hunch into myself..? Hide the $250 pool cue I'm carrying..? What..? Not happening! I tend to walk with head up, eyes watching all around, and taking long strides. I'm not afraid of eye contact, and I'll speak, as long as you aren't a drunk jackass thinking you're God's gift and that I should fall at your feet in worship. That'll NEVER happen.
The tattoos don't hurt. Well, they hurt a little to get...but they add to the intimidation factor, I'm sure. There's a dragon on one arm, and a dragon & pentacle on the other. I have more, but those are the ones most likely to be visible. But as a rule, I don't set out with the intention to intimidate people. I'm friendly, mostly. I'm considerate, I'll help someone load groceries into their car, if they look like they need help. I carry heavy bags for elderly or handicapped people, I will grab stuff off the top shelf for someone in a wheelchair, most of all I NOTICE these types of things. Whereas the majority of the population would just go about their merry way, not even acknowledging that someone other than themselves might not only exist, but actually need a little assistance. You know who these people are. They live next door, drive SUVs & sportscars, and minivans. They are the "average american family" John & Jane Doe and their 2.5 kids - who they are teaching the same blindness and self-absorption to. And that is what it is - learned blindness & selfishness.
And yet, I'm still the scary one. The intimidating one. I once had a little girl (okay, she wasn't so little, she was like 16 or 17 at the time) tell me I terrified her until she saw me interact with my son. Because I am self-confident, tattooed, not shy about speaking my mind (without resorting to cussing, screaming or yelling), will look you in the eye, practice witchcraft, of which I am not a bit ashamed, love my husband without a need to belittle him to others, and numerous other things, I'm the scary one.
Hmmmm.....well it looks like I'm not going to actually get to write about what I wanted to, because apparently my mind has other things on it's...well...it's mind.
Reading back over this, it seems a bit rambly, but I guess it says what I need to say. Not necessarily what I wanted to sit down and write about but there it is...
Gotta go back to work....ugh!
See ya laterzzzzzzzzzz!
50 years on: Growing up the hard way
3 days ago