I lied

Not technically, I know I said I was on revision mood. But for some reason over the week since I’ve been off from work (spring break) I’ve been in a real creative mood. Now, when that happens you have to take full advantage. In my head for the last two weeks I had a sentence starter that I would constantly repeat in my head over and over, “It starts in middle school.” I knew I had to sit down so I can actually finish that thought. And well that thought became a thought! Wrote another vignette, it’s rough and it needs some love. I’m not sure if I fully love it yet (especially the ending) but feedback is appreciated. I might even want to read this for the Spring Symposium. Regardless, here is a new vignette.

Comparison is the Theft of joy

It starts in the middle school playground. You line up next to your classmates during recess as you prepare to head back into class. A time you take a moment to catch your breath as you were busy running around playing with friends. But it’s also a time the boys take a moment to rank the hottest girls in the class. Nervously, you avoid eye contact because you know you’ll never be picked. And just as you’re about to walk back inside, your friend turns around to tell you that you won second place. Second to her of course. You put your head down with shame as she is overgleed that she won first place. You look at her with admiration because you see what the boys see, but you also look at her confused, how did I even make the list? She resinsures you not to be upset about winning second but in the same breath she tells you to hike up your skirt more, wear some blush, and to start holding your books to class more differently. Because maybe just then you’ll appear more attractive and less geeky.  

It continues in high school, when the boys you like entertain you because you have a fully developed body like a twenty five year old. But then comes the fast sixteen year old girl, and the boy you thought liked you for you was gone walking another girl to class. She is a fast one, but you don’t see that. Instead you see a girl who is prettier than you. But still you continued to move slowly, a late bloomer as society would call it. That phrase never had a positive connotation about it. Not for men and certainly not for women. Because if you were a late bloomer you probably were never going to get a boyfriend and boys probably wouldn’t like you, but you would make your parents proud. But if you were a fast one, well then you were for the streets. And no man wants to wife up a hoe. And all that finding a nice guy who will like you for you is bullshit. Because I didn’t find him at the coffee shop or at the library. So that was a waste of a membership. 

It doesn’t end when you reach your twenties. Because now women have money for BBL and you are constantly reminded of all the competition you now have. Middle school ranking doesn’t seem that bad after all. These women can be found at the bars, clubs, targets, and in your man’s following. And so now you’re looking into surgeons in Miami, but you don’t have Miami money. So instead you’ll pick a fight. An internal one. A fight that you’ll never stop having with yourself because why weren’t you picked first place in middle school and why can’t you now have the perfect body and face? 

I believe it continues after your forties. Because as lines start to become more and more visible and skin starts to move with gravity, there is this overwhelming urgency that it needs to be stopped. Because even though those lines show that life has been lived, others can not know that. We still need to be beautiful so we can look good for our age. Probably still want to be beautiful even after death, because I’m sure there are still more women to compare to in the afterlife.  

I don’t think comparison is something we voluntarily implement for ourselves. But it is something that is the most difficult to stop. Because sure there are self help books that teach you to love yourself as you are, but there are also books that teach you the reason a man cheated on you was because you lacked something. Women spend their lives on a voyage quest to find what it is that they are lacking. Because only then, they will be able to fully love themselves. It goes over our heads, because what we truly lack is our sense of self. But if you stay too busy looking in all the wrong places, you never find it.