Dear Girsl. Do your best to be lazy.

 

I’m exhausted and I so feel like an old ass broad. I can barely sit sup, barely type. Did I just say “sup”? Yeah. Oops. Up.

Too much work to back space.

Today I saw some lady online who has a blog and she’s got like at least 1000 words bitching about all these many many young women sporting “I can’t adult today” tees and posters and whatever.

I didn’t have the energy to post a comment… well I alsmot did but then half way through the tome she’s quoting and buch of patronizing crap from the bible and she lost me there. back button.

Spelling, yay.

Anyway her whole entire argument can be summed up as “girls need to get off their asses and get back to work, not lounge areound drinking wine on the couch all day. Dear girsl: BE AWESOME!! “

Suddenly I don’t regret neglecting to comment. There’s no point in arguing with somebody who is quoting scripture. They’ve already made up their mind so there is no debate.

“Wow be your awesome selves, look what you can do, girls, you can be/do ANYTHING !!!! “

Give me a break.

Women have been working their asses off for CENTURIES. Are you really this pissed that your daughter might consider taking… a personal day???

After all, she does specify “today,” doesn’t it? Does she say, every day? No. Can’t adult today. didn’t think about that, did ya?

Here’s what I think “Can’t adult Today” really means. Because we’re not in the dark ages any more. We’re just not. And when you lament

“And I hear [I can’t adult today] loudest…

from women.” (direct quote)

maybe there’s a really great reason for that.

Maybe these lazy ass insensible carefree wine-swilling women are telling us “you know what, how about somebody else do this shit. I don’t want to. I’m tired. You know what, I want to sit on the couch. Like my boyfriend, dad, brothers, etc. do without question. I want to relax and not think about… taking care of everything and everyone. How’s that? Hm. I’m tired of being responsible for all the troubles and cares. I’m tired of doing all this labor. The emotional labor too. What if I don’t want labor running my damn life.

And why should I overachieve endlessly while nobody else complains when some guy, maybe my brother or whoever gets to… I don’t know… maybe play video games, hang out on the computer, smoke and do whatever he wants unchecked? You’re not writing articles about him. Girls are going to college more than ever, earning top grades, etc, and we still rarely get the best jobs. Why don’t you tell HIM what to do and what to be on a public platform, why don’t you tell him what you think he’s doing wrong???? I”m tired.

We’ve had enough of not being good enough for your standards. The whole world is demanding too many things from us, too much too much. What do you want from us now???

Make no mistake. The blog post is something we’re quite familiar with: it’s a good old-fashioned GUILT TRIP. The author says we don’t need to be perfect, but it’s not believable. Cause she somehow misses the point that “I Can’t Adult Today” actually supports the freedom to be imperfect. Instead, the mom interprets it this way:

“I want to grow up to Not be able to ADULT. or “My Life Goal is to lay around and drink wine all day…Im a HOT MESS.” with a cautionary “The hot mess you claim is the hot mess you become. It’s a fact.” (direct quote)

Right. So basically she just lept straight from taking a personal day to…. a hot mess? life goals over? Yeah ,exactly. This is exactly the stuff that needs to go away. One false move, girls, and suddenly your a fuckin g failure. One flaw. Who knows, maybe one personal day is all it takes! you could be on the couch with wine for the rest of your life !!! one day and you’re out of the game, everybody will forget you, you’ll be left behind, your life will be over, and everyone will blame you for everything.

And you’ll never get a man. And your parents will reject you. And you won’t be … good. You won’t be a good girl. You’ll be a fuckin loser. And you’ll disappoint my expectations.

Right. If you don’t like “I can’t adult today”, well how about this. How about DON’T PUT THAT SHIT ON ME !!!!

Stop telling me to be the best everywhere I turn. I HATE having to be the best at everything !!! I’m not the best and that’s okay!!!

Just because we’ve been screwed over in history or whatever. It’s not my job to make up for that. NOT MY JOB

 

 

 

 

It’s official I only trust the love of cats

We were on the couch watching tv, I think it was some kind of entertainment awards show.

I wasn’t paying too much attention, I think I was drawing. Until somebody said something that sounded like a cigarette on skin.

One of the men, I think it was one of the actors — wealthy, famous, older, with a golden permanent tan, a bit weathered — typical – was asked a question about his life challenges or something. He joked,

“Try keeping a marriage together when 22 is still on the table.”

I looked up and saw his bright white grin flash as the audience laughed. My lover snickered too. It’s so easy to turn a deaf ear to statements like these on the market value of women.

Months later, I’ve forgotten the program and the people on it. But their laughter sticks with me, and my lover’s chuckle, and that man’s totally oblivious, carefree smile.

 

 

Don’t stay quietly

This morning I went to a get-together where it turned out that the ratio of men to women was about 12:1. Not a big deal normally, except I felt a bit of a bad vibe with this particular group. My creep radar went off. Super casual and I wasn’t anything special in jeans and tee, but some of the men were staring a bit much. I moved away, positioning myself more towards the women.

We’d only just arrived. I was engaged in a conversation with a fairly large group of people I didn’t know. One of the men in the group said he went for a hike with his friend the other day, and that he was experiencing envy.

Because, he said emphatically, “My friend has….

A REALLY YOUNG WIFE.”

Oh great, here it comes, I’m thinking. Same old shit.

He said that his friend was this many years younger than him, and his friend’s wife is THIS many years younger than his friend, and she is THIS!! many years younger than him …

I wasn’t following all of it as I darted through options in my mind about what to do next, but I think the number 10 came up, and definitely the number 20 did. I registered how impressed he was with the age difference in the tone of his voice.

And then, he actually said the following words to all of us,

“…And I was thinking, man, I WISH I could wake up next to someone WHO LOOKS LIKE THAT!”

After a brief pause, an awkward chuckle from the group perforated his next couple of sentences about his struggle to overcome envy. Hm. Surely it must be painful.

And then the next noise was me, not by my words as it wouldn’t have been worth it, but by movement.  Swiftly, bruskly scooping up my bags, coffee, and sweater from the floor by my feet as fast as I could and racing the fuck out of there on the spot, right past them all.   There’s no need to continue standing for this, for the sake of politeness and silently excusing such idiotic crap.  I didn’t say a word and didn’t need to, as they all stopped to watch with question marks hanging out of their mouths. I could kinda feel some of them half open as if to speak, but I didn’t give it a chance.  

Just outside the front door, I was already in the car before anyone could react. Off to do something better with my day, hopefully in more enlightened company.

 

 

 

…but you’re thin and beautiful, why do you care?

Let’s not kid ourselves. Or should I say, let’s not let them kid us anymore. Try as we might to promote body positivity and wellness, there’s a deeper trouble: at the end of the day it hardly matters what type of body we have, what kind of face, it’s not going to be good enough. It’s not supposed to be good enough, because if it were, then we wouldn’t need to continue bankrupting all our resources to keep up. As in all the money, time, and energy spent on appearances in hopes our experience of this world might improve, that we might be judged more kindly, treated better, valued higher.

Let’s consider the energy expenditure. The precious resource of energy. The mental, the physical, the emotional. This stuff is such a drain. The amount of junk to process is a drain.

The fact is that there is always a manufactured problem with our bodies, no matter the size or type. Let’s just get through this somewhat banal point before we get to the juice, because it seems it still hasn’t sunk in. If you’re not skinny, then you’re overweight. Then you need to be on so many diets. Shamed in subtle ways if you’re average, or in obvious ways if you’re fat. If you’re thin, that’s another problem. Then you need bigger boobs, a bigger butt. Then you have to contend with “real women have curves” as if you’re not real when in fact women of all sizes have curves in all different proportions. But it’s like the only way for any body to exist and get its fifteen minutes is by devaluing another body. But that’s all just the tip of the iceberg. Size and shape are only the beginning of the problem.

Maybe you’re “not beautiful” because you’re “not healthy” enough and so you need to invest in fancy cleanses and fringe diets and unforgiving exercise regimes. Maybe your hair is too curly, too straight, too frizzy, too flat, too boring, too thin, too long or short, too blah. Your face is fading, sinking, shrinking, sagging. You’re too pale, too dark, too mixed. Too plain. Too spotty. Too short in this situation, too tall in another, too muscular or not buff enough. Too…. old. It’s all fucked up.

No matter what you do, you’re too much of one thing and therefore not enough of another. You can never win. And that’s why I have to question whether or not we are really so free as we think we are. If freedom is nothing more than being able to buy whatever appearance we want within our socioeconomic means to feel less inadequate and defective, well that’s a hole that can never be filled and I’d say it’s rather depressing and unacceptable.

I want us to be really free to not even have to think about this empty, over-hyped, overrated body competition circus and anti-aging nonsense, much less worry about it. At this time the plastic surgery and injections industry is probably the ultimate symbol of our second class citizenship, and it’s growing more than ever before.  We are not allowed to be as we are without a fight – I think, not without an all-out loud ass rebellion. We are not allowed to age as men do because aging women are not seen as beautiful as they are because we as a society do not allow aging women to exist as a form of beauty. Now it seems we don’t even want them to exist at all. I posit that we are very beautiful as we age – in a different way than we are when very young – and we ought to demand that this is seen by making it so. Provided that our creativity and intelligence don’t get totally wasted on all this other bullshit. But at this point, aging among women is so taboo that it’s damn near impossible to appreciate it. Just like being “fat” used to be the most totally taboo offense until we started to reject it, now they’ve moved on to another trap: now it is the wrinkle. It is the shadow. It is the sun spot.

The injections marketing is so effective you’d think that botox and fillers are cutting-edge, hip, and par for the course. Instead of what they really are, which is just another ball-and-chain. The procedures, along with the outrageously priced creams and all the rest, seem to become less and less elective. Which is to be expected, when your appearance is the primary marker of your worth and value. You could say that our culture has never been more superficial.

To a lesser extent men are also affected by these pressures, but let’s be honest about who are the real bread-and-butter consumers of the diet, anti-aging and cosmetic industries. For men at least, plastic surgery still remains largely elective. As for the rest of us, I question how much “personal choice” there really is to participate in the new standard. Just as we “advance” beyond the pay gap, basic rights, and sexual harassment issues — well we now also “advance” to a more sophisticated brand of mainstream misogeny and sexism. A closeted brand that’s less about the amount of money coming in, and more about the outgoing expenditures required to keep up with the demands and pressures. It’s a brand we can buy into. For now.

Is this freedom? This struggle to project the perfectly crafted, composed, polished, “fresh” specimens of ourselves? We are hardly encouraged to be as we are in any kind of way, which is at the very heart of our impoverishment, and the crux of our updated role. And I argue that there is such a role. In the demand for youth and perfection on every level, we are asked to serve as a representation. We are asked to take on all of culture’s discomfort with the mortality, pain, and suffering endemic in real life. We are asked to take on its rejection of the full range of emotions, limiting our expressions to that which is most pleasant and pleasing. We are asked to blind ourselves and others to that which makes us all most human, including our vulnerabilities and our “flaws.” We are asked to use our own bodies and faces to uphold and validate cultural intolerances, asked to symbolize ever-changing cultural fantasies at every turn, asked to blithely ignore, dismiss, and bypass our own socioeconomic realities. How can we possibly celebrate our own lives in the truest and most authentic sense, without feeling invited to bring and assert our whole selves? All under the guise of “fun” and “self-expression,” we are asked to reject parts of ourselves, to micromanage what elements of life and of ourselves are seen, known, appreciated, and it’s at our own expense. And it’s so tiring. There’s always something to be done to become more desirable, but it is a losing battle.

Why not call this battle what it really is, because it sure isn’t progress. It’s a scam. Like all good scams, this one preys on the most vulnerable. And like all good scams, it really doesn’t look like a scam, but it is, of the most insidious variety. You think you get what you pay for. But the real cost is so much more more than the sticker price.

Yes we are beautiful. But we don’t need all this stuff to be beautiful. We don’t need all this stuffing either. We don’t need anything.

I know this is the truth.