Butterfly Cauldron

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Green Eyed Monster

I'm trying to remember if I've ever been jealous of another woman. I'm sure I have, but the way I remember it, it wasn't so much the women themselves I've been jealous of, but of the reactions people had to them.

I'm not jealous of women who are conventionally attractive. I am, however, jealous and really pissed off at how many doors that looks can get opened for them. It's patentedly unfair, and yet there it is. I know that, all things being equal, a conventionally pretty girl is more likely to get a job than I am. Or to get asked out on a date. Or get waited on faster in a restaurant. Or get more help on a sales floor. And I'm not an ugly person. I'm rather cute and certainly not a shy wilting flower. And yet, I'm still likely to be overlooked for a traditionally pretty person.

It's not their fault, and that's why I don't hold it against them personally. I mean, if they were born with good genes, they can't help that, can they? They can't help that society responds to them as it does, anymore than I can. And if they spend hours a day in a gym to get their body and tone? Well, more power to them. I'm just not willing to spend that kind of time in a gym. So, it's not the people themselves that can provoke feelings of jealousy.

And I don't really consider other women competition. That doesn't make sense to me. What are we competing for? Mates? I thought there were enough people in the world to go around, frankly. If I don't hook up with that particular person, well there's gonna be someone else for me later on, so why get crazy over it?

I sometimes want to shake those girls I know who have it easier, looks-wise. I have a friend who is just beautiful. She's got really flawless skin, crazy beautiful naturally red hair, very outgoing and bubbly. And she's got dates all the freaking time. Usually, she's dating two or three guys at a time, always looking for the right one. And she doesn't understand why I'm not doing the same thing. On one hand, I love her for that because as far as she's concerned, there's no reason someone wouldn't want to be with me. On the other, I just want to shake her because she doesn't realize how incredibly lucky she is. Seriously, one time she went into a gay bar to go dancing and hooked up with the only straight man in the place. She's a magnet. And that's cool. I'm not jealous of her for that ability. I'm annoyed she doesn't realize she's not the norm. (Or at least, not the norm for most of the people I know anyway.)

And if I were inclined to be jealous of her, I'd just remind myself that she dates a lot, but she's also completely wrapped up in finding a Boyfriend. You know, The One. She's 32 and she's so very impatient. She wants to be in love and loved back Right. Now. That committment demand has messed up lots of relationships for her -- in that she expects committment a lot earlier than most guys are willing to give it and so, she assumes things she should not. Which ends up getting her hurt, over and over. And I have to remind her that she's still young, she's got a great job, a great place to live, she loves her pets and her friends and hey, it's gonna be okay.

So, no. I don't think I get jealous of other women. Of the reactions they can provoke? Yeah. That I'll cope to being jealous of, but that's about it.
posted by Zan at 6:00 PM

1 Comments:

Oh, Zan, you're the patriarchy's Holy Grail! Those evil bastards are working double-time to try to sell you on female competition. There's other men in the world? What?! Did you miss school the day they taught there's only one man for you, and you need him and he needs you and you'll stop at nothing to make him see that and not even his wife can stand in your way? (Rinse and repeat, often.) Perhaps your self-esteem can be used to create a vaccine against women's magazines and ads of all sorts.

I feel I've been living an alternate reality. I haven't noticed people getting by on their looks, but I have seen people give breaks to those they pity (your co-worker benefits from this). Also, I've been on the receiving end of attempted manipulation, usually based on alleged charm. It sours me toward the person, especially since it's entirely unnecessary. If I've decided against you, you can't win me over, but if I was going to help you or whatever, putting the "ooze" in "schmooze" will make me change my mind.

I like that your friend doesn't see why others don't see you the way she does. But I'm biased: I have a thing for redheads.

5:36 PM  

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