Monthly Archives: July 2007
burnt their bras. donned leggings and in some cases the pants in the family.
picked up swords and knives and eventually guns. also ploughs. and pens. and hammers.
went to work. demanded a vote. ran for politics. were good leaders. and bad ones.
learnt maths and science and accounts. flew aircrafts. then rockets.
threw hand grenades. wrote poetry. and scandalous literature.
walked out of marriages. said “I’m not ready for commitment”.
There are still far more women willingly taking to behavior, clothes and roles that are supposed to be ‘masculine‘ than men doing the same to that which is considered ‘feminine‘. Remember that the next time someone talks about insecurity.
* Please do note the italics. The definitions of ‘masculinity’ and ‘feminity’ are fluid.
**A version is posted at Yahoo! Real Beauty.
So the mommies starts to murmer on marriage again. Thus far I’ve managed to avoid the issue for awhile after having survived a torrent of eligible bachelors (EB) awhile back. Steadied it to a light drizzle and then just a few drips (hmph, all men are!). But now, the Magic Mummy radar senses a break in daughter’s otherwise jam-packed schedule and jumps in promptly to fill it up with more EBs.
I sigh and lay down my wearied defenses and set out to interview prospects again. All the while ruminating on a thought that struck me in the shower last week (don’t all brilliant ideas come to you then? I also get some when I’m brushing my teeth in the morning).
We all know that an average girl child’s brain is injected with the marriage virus very early on in life and everything else we do in life from our choice of career, our grades, our dressing, personality, friends, social calendar are all supposed to be in preparation of the big M word. Why do men get married? Let’s see:
- Because they are in love (HAHAHAHA…alright I’ll shut my cynical self up a bit)
- Because they seek companionship (I don’t really believe it but I’m bored with the ‘man-hater’ title)
- Because they want free and regular sex (dare deny that one, anyone?)
- Because they want a housemaid/cook/nurse-for-ageing-parents (phooey to the US-returned types)
- Because their family wants them to get married (Yes, mama!)
- Because their ex- broke up with them and they want to show her up (with all due apologies to the women that are being now made miserable by my ex-es)
Now let’s look at them. 1 and 2 are really rare and when those exist, the man has quickly turned around and married her in his early 20s itself. 3 and 4 are most common of all and if you don’t believe me, ask ANY woman who is being subjected to the marriage market….we’ve all met a few specimens. 5 and 6 get to be more and more hard to avoid as the years pass…both make their life’s major decisions based on someone else’s whims and words.
Where does that leave us then? With men who are certainly not interested in marriage and only feed us the lines hoping to impress us and get a little fun in the process. Or the No.s 3, 4, 5 and 6 and they’re hardly prime cuts as far as marriage prospects go, never mind their degrees and dollars.
(Click to see full comic on a new page)
Oh and there’s always the specimen that doesn’t even know why he’s getting married. But then again, “I don’t know” is an answer I hear frequently. Oh men of intelligence and higher understanding, where art thou? *Sigh* And at the end of it, all I’ll have is a shiny needle.
Oh! Men who need us, need need NEEEEED screaming need us all the f#@$ing time! From cradle to tomb it looks like all you are is one gaping mouth waiting to be filled. Time, love, attention, care, sacrifice, devotion, ego-massages, sex, admiration, validation, romance, support, encouragement…..the list just goes on and on and on and on. For gawdssakes, can’t you ever function as an independent human being?? I’ve lost count of the times I’ve said
I do not exist for your sake. I’m not here on this planet for the sole purpose of entertaining you or for the supreme honour of serving you.
Seriously, how hard is that to understand? I’m severing the bloody metaphorical umblical cord…whew, no wonder I’d rather be a genderless being than a womanly woman. If being the constant provider of all needs, small and big for a man…is the job description for a woman, I goddamn it…I want to quit!!!!
I’m mighty annoyed with half of the world’s population. Stay OUT of my space for awhile…christ, I need some room to breathe and time to think!
I have a weakness for men in spectacles.
Maybe I associate that with intelligence. Maybe its my own Electra Syndrome playing out. But every single man I’ve ever dated has worn spectacles.
Does that mean I only attract men with poor sight? Sheesh…wonders that does to my ego, but I’ll shrug that off, I only said I’m attracted to these men…those who find me attractive may be a different breed altogether (which may explain the disasters in my love life).
Let’s think…were they all near-sighted or far-sighted? Haw…my internal cynic guffaws, they were all self-sighted…with a universe that stopped a few milimeteres from their noses. But seriously…I have no clue. Perhaps I should find out? Let’s see, I could probably compose a mail…
Dearly beloved Ex-
We are gathered here today to celebrate the death of a relationship that never should have been in the first place….errrm….
How are you doing? Are you as annoying as ever or have you managed to land a girl as yet? On second thoughts, don’t answer that.
Do you still wear spectacles? Or did I manage to cure you of whatever sight defects you had then? Or…horror of horrors…have you defected to those bizarre things called contact lenses? Yurrrgggh…I don’t even want to acknowledge you then, stranger.
But wait, come back and tell me…were you short-sighted or long-sighted when we were together? Huh? Huh? Huh?
Only a little nostalgic,
Yes, that might get them all started on a drive to mail me to the loony-bin. And then again, my madness never deterred anyone from dating me. (One guy used to introduce me as “This is Ideasmith; she’s mad.”)
I guess the bespectacled ones do like my madness. It’s probably a case of a mad professor and his beautiful alien. 🙂
I’ve thought long and hard about this and find that I have almost nothing to say about this that hasn’t already been said before. And yet, I write about it…it seems imperative somehow. In a blog about men and women and shifting gender roles and relationships, how can the issue of jealousy not raise its hypnotic, mercurial head?
Jealousy – good or bad? That’s over-simplification.
Anyone who says they have never been jealous is lying.
Anyone who says that they have never wanted someone to be at least a little jealous of them, for them is also lying.
We’re insecure, we all are. Life is excruciatingly complex and changeable. Security is really a myth…a fairytale illusion that every single one of us wants and tries hard to bring into our life in some way. We feel the need to cling to that which we hold dear and it also makes us feel good (whether we admit it or not) to be held close by other people.
Now to begin with, let’s define jealousy and possessiveness clearly.
Jealousy is rather martial, a desire to keep one’s territory untouched by others, an emotional “Back off! This is mine!” signboard. It is primitive, illogical, selfish, aggressive, very fearful of loss.
Possessiveness is on the other hand, pride in one’s own. It’s rather difficult to explain this well in words. In Hindi, people one feels close to, a connection with are described as ‘apne‘ as opposed to ‘paraye‘…which denotes stranger but also something more….people one does not relate to, one does not feel a kinship with. It isn’t about ownership as much as it is about relationship. Possessiveness then, is an assertion, a recognition, a declaration of one’s ‘apnapan‘ with another. It doesn’t need bluster (though it might need expression sometimes)…it exists confident in the knowledge of its own existance.
It is the difference between
You belong to me.
We belong together.
In my most moralistic moments I think of jealousy as an obvious, shallow, base emotion while possessiveness is deeper, subtler and richer. But that’s only when I’m sermonizing which I try not to.
I never thought of myself as a jealous person while growing up. I never felt the need to dictate anyone’s behaviour. On the other hand, I always had a strict code of attitude and emotion, trespassing which, would mean automatic severing of the relationship. Has it been arrogance? Perhaps. Combined with a degree of security. Or ego perhaps.
I had a good friend who had a habit of dropping in often and was besotted by my father. I understood that she was yearning for a father figure for various reasons I won’t go into and at the same time her own mixed-up adolescence made her friend’s father seem highly appealing. It never bothered me. One time she stayed over and the conversation laughingly turned to the thought that my parents could ‘adopt’ her. She grinned at me cheekily and said,
But won’t IdeaSmith mind? Sharing her parents, her room, her things, her life?
I nonchalantly tossed,
Nope. Stay as long as you like as long as you keep out of my books.
It was a redundant conversation, a game of which everyone knew the outcome. I knew no matter how much my parents fussed over my friends, nothing would ever change the fact that I was..am..their only offspring. As for the books, my friend wasn’t much of a reader anyway. All three of them knew that I wouldn’t openly express deep concern over a relationship. But she did it to needle me, for fun. And I said it to make her feel like her needling had some effect on me.
Sometimes people give you their jealousy as a gift, to reveal the secret of what they hold dear to them. She was asking for mine and I was letting her have some scraps.
When J and I drifted apart, someone said that I was just jealous because she had found a boyfriend who was taking up all her time. I’ve thought about that often over the years. But no, it wasn’t. Because she always had a life far outside me, a different college, a different set, the church group, family, friends. I was angry with her but it wasn’t jealousy. But yes, it was possessiveness. She didn’t feel like one of my own kin anymore since she went off to be a ‘good catholic girlfriend/housewife’. It hurt that a relationship that we both took so much pride in…didn’t exist anymore. As proof of my non-jealousy, her then-boyfriend/now-husband is also a good friend, a man I very much respect and admire and makes me very happy by virtue of the fact that he fell in love with my friend.
Possessiveness might well be the reluctance to vanquish that which one holds dear. That’s jealousy too I suppose but jealousy is so destructive while possessiveness, in contrast is willing to make some compromises just so long as the relationship is kept alive. Jealousy is momentary while possessiveness is older, wiser, slower. To take hold of and to let go.
In college I bonded closely with another girl. We became friends very quickly and for two years after that were almost never seen without the other. People started to whisper that we were lesbians which made me scream with laughter and her, look at them contemptuously. I knew the feeling. They just didn’t understand. I still think of her. No one, friend, family, lover has ever made me feel as completely, utterly loved as she did. She just understood what it was like to be me. And I knew her within. I guess that really was the problem.
It was deeply thrilling but also fairly disconcerting to feel such a connection with another human being. Somewhere she sensed my restlessness and it seemed to turn foul inside her. She started to get…clingy. It was awful but after awhile I hated being in her presence and would find ways to go out with other people, knowing fully well it hurt her…in defiance, in rage, in pain. It was awful. And then one day before my birthday (and two days before hers) I told her I never wanted to see her again. That was probably the hardest thing for me to do, ever. I was younger then, far more restless, less tolerant of other people’s behaviour and far less emphatic of their feelings than I should have been. But then, I was only seventeen.
I well understood that her jealousy showed her desperation but I couldn’t bear to be needed so much. Then again…it is a potent poison….that feeling of being needed, utterly desired in your entireity. I have to say, I don’t think a man is capable of feeling this particular shade of emotion, whether it is jealousy or possessiveness…it just is too deep, too vulnerable, too raw. Jealousy that is expressed is touching.
And finally there was the boyfriend from hell whose torturous treatment of me with the control games, the manipulation, the relentless emotional blackmail and abuse were all designed to hide and assuage deep jealousy. He didn’t like knowing that he wasn’t the only thing in my life and for as long as he could he stifled every other relationship, every other interest I had. Looking back, I know it could only have been deep insecurity, terrible weakness..and that perhaps he was much more afraid of losing me than I was of him. I wish I could forgive him…I almost do but some wounds run too deep and the best I can do is tell myself that I need not think of any revenge for the pain he gave me – just living his life must be torture enough.
I feel vindicated when I realise that I have no desire to hold on to him, not even the thought of hurting him…that’s how little jealous, how little possessive, how little connected I feel to him. Jealousy is love warped and contorted on itself and he is not going to have even that from me.
It might still have been simple really if life had continued just like that, with other people being jealous/possessive of me while I serenely (or not) carried on with my own way. But life it may seem, has had other plans. I’ve been put on the other side and god, it’s awful. It’s terrible knowing that you shouldn’t be saying the things you are, doing what you are. It is awful seeing yourself as weak when everyone (including yourself) expects you to be a strong, ‘good’ person. It is truly terrible to be afflicted by jealousy.
And yet….what to do, there are just some situations and some people, with whom you can’t help yourself. All rationale and dignity goes out of the window. Somewhere in each of us is a primitive Neanderthal that screams BLOOD when its territory is trespassed. And in all the maniacal clawing and seething, sometimes we lash out and draw blood from the very thing that we are fighting for. I’ve been on the other side, suppressing that monster within instead of fighting it in another. Its like being…or feeling….really poor and hungry and clawing frantically, desperately because you’re out of your mind with starvation. You’ll kill for food but you know all along its wrong and hate yourself for your wretchedness…and somewhere hope for some mercy, some compassion reciprocated from the object of your affection. And at some point of time, even that makes you so angry that you just want to tear up the the whole picture that is your life…anything to stop feeling this way…but then you can’t really ever hurt someone you care enough to be jealous about. Not without drawing your own blood anyway.
I wish you all the very best, then. I hope you find kindness and even if you don’t, I hope you remember to be kind to yourself and to the monster within, which, ugly as it is, is still very much a part of you.
I was dreaming of the past.
And my heart was beating fast,
I began to lose control,
I began to lose control,
I didn’t mean to hurt you,
I’m sorry that I made you cry,
I didn’t want to hurt you,
I’m just a jealous guy,
I was feeling insecure,
You night not love me any more,
I was shivering inside,
I was shivering inside,
I was trying to catch your eyes,
Thought that you were trying to hide,
I was swallowing my pain,
I was swallowing my pain.
– John Lennon
Anyone who thinks that being predictable is the same as being reliable is either an ass or a man.
Either we are dumb or we are ‘plain evil’.
I found this in Readers’ Digest:
A male driver and a female driver were involved in a horrific car collision. As they crawled out of the wreck, the man noticed that the woman was blonde and beautiful. She said,
We both survived a certain death! It must mean something – that we were meant to be together!
He nodded his agreement (but of course…!) Then she said,
Oh, look! A bottle of wine even survived intact! This is a sign too – let’s drink to celebrate our being together!
So he downed half the bottle and handed it back to her saying,
She smiled and said,
No, thanks. I think I’ll just wait for the cops to get here. 🙂
You can call me a bimbo now. 😉