a garble of mixed thoughts; it's been too long
January 7, 2002 08:06 AM

No one has ever mistaken me for fragile.

Thing is, sometimes I have been. When it comes to marketing and stereotypes and such things directed at me, I am. On the road back from Atlanta, I started thinking about my complete lack of opinion about my body.

Really. I don't own opinions about my body. I have a store of borrowed opinions of various ages, but I've never made my own. Some of them are very very old. Old enough that I just assume they're mine.

But here's a thought. I do not need to remember having a babysitter tell me I was "pudgy" or "porky" when I was five years old. This is not a valid perspective on me. Really, the only perspective worth having is mine.

And I don't have one.

That. Is going to change.

If I made new year resolutions (which, as a matter of principle, I did not), I would have resolved to see myself in an untinted unbent mirror.

Speaking of the new year, it was another lovely holiday. I bought shoes. We changed our minds about what was essentially a giant fraternity party around a styrofoam bas relief peach and instead giggled with relations and snuggled under a blanket to watch the ringing in on television. Satisfying and warm.

And we had a soiree last weekend. A quiet and relaxed little gathering with lots of wine. It failed to produce the meeting of two friends I had hoped for when one came and left early and the other came and left late. But I drank enough to know I needed to eat and to still feel gently dehydrated, which means the whole affair must have gone swimmingly.

There was a conversation that made me think about sex, whether that's an inextricable part of love [modern love] or no. And I don't know; I don't feel entirely qualified to speak on the subject, having more experience of the former than the latter. I remember feeling almost-in-love with people I would never possibly have seen sexually. The affection of their touches, could it have substituted for other contact that never satisfied? Maybe. Lacking another option at the time, and even refusing that option when it was extended...

I confess I don't entirely understand the weight placed on virginity and the notion of chastity as abstinence [versus the notion of chastity as respect, a more considered idea which explains my enduring affection for Catholicism - the rationality and thoughtfulness and adaptability of those who serve the church (if not those who dictate its stances or subscribe blindly to them)] and the idea that sex and love are one. They are two. Two separate entities.

There is a boy somewhere who likes to pretend he has no emotions and always manages to say the wrong thing. I barked at him via email a long time ago. But lately I surprised myself in hearing a subtext under his words repeated to me. Secondhand, not trustworthy subtext, but anyway. I heard it. Maybe I understand people more. Maybe I can empathise. Like I couldn't then.

Maybe I'm different. Maybe better.

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