The Burden of Beauty

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As I recently wrote, there’s something totally liberating about giving up on disingenuous things. There’s a freedom in surrendering to the truth about ourselves. Being only one person, we can’t be a writer, scientist, adrenaline-junky, botanist, chef, broadcaster, truck driver, actor, entrepreneur and home decorator. We aren’t all thrifty, charismatic, athletic, introspective, organized, detail-oriented, funny and so on (sidenote–people who happen to be all of those things also happen to be annoying). Our differences enable each of us to focus on truer parts of ourselves, and enjoy the things we like and are good at. We discover our likes and abandon our dislikes; we realize our strengths and discard our weaknesses. Typically there is nothing tragic about this process. In fact it’s a critical, enjoyable part of creating our identities.

Andy List

Here is a sample list of things I do and do not do well/enjoy/identify with.

Unfortunately for women, there is one characteristic that we absolutely cannot dismiss from our identity, whether we actually have it or not. And that is beauty.

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Run For Your Like

exhausted-runner

Running is boring. Literally painfully so. In most sports the goal is to earn points, usually with a team, in order to win against an opponent. That’s why people enjoy sports. Sports are competitive, healthy and enjoyable. However, the goal in running is to simply endure it. You just keep running until it’s time to stop. That’s it. And don’t misinterpret me, anyone who can endure the monotony of running for longer than a mile or two does deserve some kind of recognition or trophy. (Then there’s the treadmill. Keep running, but go no where? Sounds like a perfect purgatory.) Unfortunately running is extremely trendy right now, despite the fact that most of us dislike it. (How did we let that happen?) Running is so bad we’ve had to add all these little extras to make it appealing:

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No credit for the end credits

VjDOn

Here is a common situation: I’m sitting in a movie. Completely involved in it. So much that it feels real. The movie ends, just after an intense moment of closure. I prepare to bask in it all.

Suddenly, the credits come up and an awful, totally inappropriate pop song comes on. Wasn’t this a World War II movie? It’s the worst when it’s a movie that only featured beautifully composed, original music throughout and suddenly ends with a song from a Disney channel girl band. Continue reading

Fads I Don’t Get

I’m a conformist. I feel security in aligning with the majority opinion. At least with the more weighty issues of the world such as clothing trends, ways to say “cool,” and movie reviews.

Band wagons I have jumped on throughout my life: Barney, beadie critter keychains, wearing oversized hair scrunchies like a bracelet, switching from skiing to snowboarding, switching from Backstreet Boys to N’Sync, switching from Myspace to Facebook, and wanting a lifted truck (it was a hick town thing). I think it’s safe to say I’m a fad follower.

However, there are a few things I just don’t get. No matter how hard I try I just don’t get it (and seriously I really try to get it because I do not like feeling on the outside). Continue reading

Grown-up Piggies

With 33 nieces and nephews I know children can be sweet, loving, innocent, forgiving, great examples…I know that.

However, as a childless know-it-all, I am quick to perceive the many shortcoming of youth. To name a few: they have no control over their emotions, they are ungrateful, and they expect everyone else to take care of their problems (I know my husband is rolling his eyes at me). Kids can really just turn me off. Continue reading

How do you do?

The other day I was introduced to an older man. Everything appeared normal, I was new, he was new, we knew someone in common, I was relaxed and at ease with the whole, natural process. That all changed as we began to shake hands. He looked me square in the eye, and boldly asked, “How do you do?” Suddenly I snapped into focus and was forced to pay attention to what was going on. Whaa?  Was that a question? What did that mean? I had a mere second to decide. Continue reading