I like to go on music/lyrics videos on YouTube and read people’s stories about how the song reminds them of their family member or friend or sweetheart, or someone special to them who has passed on. or sometimes their comment is a message for that one person. I love that kind of thing.
I don’t think the only thing in the world to ever get excited about is other people. of course your relationships with them are important, and they are important to who you are and what you do. but can you really live without living for something that matters to you? your nation, your degree, your beliefs? can you really just sit idly by when things that affect you, directly or indirectly, are changing and being challenged? I understand the need to accept where you are and how things are, and I do believe that there are some things that cannot be changed. but if you never get upset about anything — that is, you don’t feel strongly enough about anything to get upset about it — then how will you ever be enthralled by anything? I believe that a healthy amount of fury (directed at some party that goes against something you go for) is good to have. I think it’s one way to maintain your condition of not being dead inside.
Rejection is an old friend of mine.
I have been rejected by one romantic prospect after another in the last couple years with varying degrees of discretion. Some simply ignore my advances (or, well, me); others tell me outright that they are not interested. And you would think that I’d learn to stay away from guys whom I know are not interested, but as it has turned out, guys who are not interested are exactly my type.
One guy in particular turned me down in my sophomore year of college with such insulting passiveness that I went back for more. It was as if his indirect rejection wasn’t good enough for me. If I were going to be rejected, I wanted all the bells and whistles, damn it. None of this non-confrontational sparing-your-feelings-not-owning-up-to-anything crap. Tell me explicitly that you don’t like me that way, otherwise I will assume the benefit of the doubt.
As you may have guessed, this didn’t work out for me very well. At least not if I were hoping for any progress. I don’t know if it’s correct to say it this way, but if anything, we progressed backwards. Sporadic flirtation turned into awkward somewhat conversation turned into occasional cryptic text messages. Eventually, our interaction became limited to chance meetings about campus, and we never talked for more than a few minutes.
Having someone else in my life right now, this doesn’t bother me like it used to. But one cannot deny that there’s a certain guilty pleasure to knowing that someone you used to strive to impress is aware that you are currently striving to impress (and succeeding to impress) someone else. We can’t (and by “we can’t” I mean “I can’t”) deny that there’s a certain satisfaction in imagining that little twinge of regret that that person might feel when they hear that you’ve moved on.
This satisfaction is not, I think, a psychological indicator of you not having completely gotten over the old flame — though many people would argue that it is. Personally, I believe that it’s just another one of those little victories that we find comfort in: the fact that someone out there is feeling sorry that they didn’t try to keep us in their lives when we once upon a time made them such an important part of ours.
I don’t know whether or not he’s heard of this new person I’m involved with, but in my head, there’s a scenario with him and our mutual friend that goes like this:
MutualFriend: I saw K (me) with this guy earlier today; I hear they’re together.
M: Yeah. Didn’t you used to have a thing?
H: She wasn’t really my type,
although she was incredibly beautiful and talented and smart,so I wasn’t really into it at the time. Nothing happened, really.
M: That’s too bad.
H: It is. I guess I didn’t realize back then how
awesome great amazing[insert positive adjective of your choice here] she was.
Give or take a few slang words and awkward fillers. And that’s if the dialogue were in English. But you get the gist of it.
This imagined scenario also involves a lot of body language indicating stress and/or remorse. And maybe a few tears, but that would probably be pushing it.
In actuality, the conversation — assuming the topic would’ve been breached at all — would more likely have gone like this:
MutualFriend: I saw K (me) with this guy earlier today; I hear they’re together.
Him: Really? Huh. So what are we eating for lunch?
I’ll leave the rest to your imagination. But I’m pretty sure my name won’t come up again, much less the current state of my love life. Why? Because, as I failed to realize in those days that I pined for him, he doesn’t care. Or he does, but only as a good friend. (Not as a sister. Even now, when we are comfortably detached and not at all romantic, I would never think of him like he were a brother to me. That’s just wrong.)
And the thing about rejection is that, ultimately, it’s not just about someone turning you down. Once you get past the awful feeling of not being good enough, you realize that what’s important isn’t that that person didn’t want you, but that you still want yourself. It’s sad when you first think about it, yes. But just because someone else told you “no” doesn’t mean that you can’t tell yourself “yes”. Not in the sense that you could make them want you regardless, but in that you believe there was value in all your efforts. Because it really isn’t true that you weren’t good enough. It just so happened that you weren’t exactly what they want.
You make up and take up and give up yourself to be the best you can be. But not everybody can appreciate how hard you’re trying. Sometimes, they only see that what you have to offer is not what they’re looking for.
And sometimes we just need to have faith in the very real possibility of, for every dozen rejections, one person who will love (or do their best to love) everything about us. And finding that absolute acceptance is only a matter of time, stalking, social protocol and — despite everything — persistence.
am I the only one who has noticed that all the ugly self-proclaimed bitches** on facebook are all over each other’s walls and comments like “hey girl, stay pretty/hot!” and “hello gorgeous/sexy/whatever”?
and on the topic of ugly people, the ones who are always pointing out how attractive they are? they’re the ones who slowly become uglier to me over time. I don’t know. I guess I think more along the lines of, if you really are beautiful and you believe it, you wouldn’t have to be constantly reminding everyone. confidence is great; there’s nothing wrong with being confident and comfortable in your own skin. but to bluntly post all over the internet things like “I’m so cute” and “the camera loves me” and whatnot - that’s just vain.
(I use the word “vain” knowing its actual definition, by the way. because most of facebook seems to believe that “vain” exclusively describes people who take many pictures of themselves. not so. there are hundreds of ways to express vanity. and what the word boils down to is basically “in love with oneself”. no one gets that anymore.)
when it comes to friendship, I don’t believe it’s necessary to let your friends know that they’re physically appealing to show affection. I don’t have a problem with the act itself — admittedly, in fact, I myself do like being called pretty or any variation thereof — but wouldn’t you feel even more gratified by someone close to you calling you their brilliant friend or something as simple as their sweet friend?
good looks are good to have, and it’s all good to praise them in others. but good looks don’t always come with a good personality, or for that matter a good mind and good intentions. those are the things that I want my friends, my intelligent, kind, considerate, witty, and yes, beautiful, friends, to acknowledge me for.
** the “bitch” rant is for another time. I have a lot of thoughts on that word and the use of it too. maybe on Thing I Wouldn’t Say on Facebook #4.
Slip of the Tongue: “What’s your ethnic make up?” A young man makes a pass at a beautiful stranger and gets an eye-opening schooling on race and gender.