Somewhere, underneath dirty tank tops, pairs of Chucks, and copies of poetry collections I've been meaning to read, are the last remnants of my self-dignity. I've decided this is as good a time as any to pick it up off the floor, run it through the delicate cycle, and let it air dry. Granted it may not fit like it used to; but at least it'll cover the necessities. And like my favorite hoodie from high school, I'll keep wearing it till the zipper breaks and that shoestring thingie falls out.
We are all allowed periods of utter stupidity. Mine lasted many, many months after I got divorced. Like an episode of mono, my wretched bout with asininity just hung around. It's amazing how much stupidity can feel like superiority when you're at your weakest. I was sleeping with men whose intelligence level was so far below mine that I may as well have been making love to damp beach towels. The conversation would have been better anyway. I've now come to realize I was only seeking to feel a sense of normalcy and to fill a need for being desired. And on my way to this conclusion I have been down every emotional road possible. I like to think of myself as a Kia - functional, but oddly unpopular. People see a Kia trucking along and think, "Huh. Wonder
how long that thing is going to hold up; maybe I should just rear end it now and put it out of its' misery."
I know I'm a creature of comfort with a disturbing need for someone (anyone) else's approval. Learning to feel self-sufficient alone is a trying and enlightening venture. I'm beginning to wonder how many times I'm going to have to claw my way out of a trash bag before I realize that I don't need to be validated by a man. One would conclude that in twenty-nine years an individual would have "found" themselves. I don't even know where to start looking.
Here's how it works when Rebecca consorts with the opposite sex:
Say I meet a man I like. A nice man. An attractive man. A witty man. A "god help me if he likes punk rock and bacon half as much as I do" man. Like the Olympic winner I am, I manage to foul it up in a matter of weeks. My inability to maintain a sense of decorum; paired with my coarse humor and stout drinking mentality, leads to an inevitable Death Star-like explosion. Nerding out might factor in as well. It's like an out of body experience. I watch myself sabotage what might be a damn fine little fling. The whole while, I keep trying to stop myself. But to no avail, I am waving my arms like a possessed nun screaming obscenities at the more stupid side of myself.
I look back on my idiocy, and as I approach turning thirty I feel less apologetic about my personality. I effing love punk rock, I write better than I speak, I'm a recovered anorexic who loves cured meats, I like to scrap fight and get bruised up, I've got a filthy mouth and a scarred ankle. I read. A lot. Maybe if I embrace that aspect of myself more instead of trying to be something beautiful and tame; I will be less likely to feel like the bottom of a shoe after a night in a Wrigleyville bar. It sometimes seems I'm not a lady
worth keeping around to some, and that is okay. I'm beginning to understand that concept. It sucks epically, but I'm still alright. I don't starve myself anymore to make amends for what I can't be or to make myself as physically unappealing as I feel.
With these words I realize I am indeed the smartest idiot I know. I am simultaneously brilliant and utterly stupid when it comes to men. I suppose if they weren't so damned attractive I might have better luck maintaining my sensibilities.