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In which I navel gaze less than usual and ramble about cute toes - Tactical Ninja

Feb. 13th, 2013

09:08 am - In which I navel gaze less than usual and ramble about cute toes

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Today I was going to write a long and rambly introspective post about why it is that I think being mistaken for someone I admire on a regular basis can be bad for my self-esteem rather than the more logical response of being flattered.

But it's simple really. Take these factors and combine:

1. Most women are trained from a pretty early age to compare/compete with other women. I am no exception. Despite my self-awareness and effort, I still sometimes catch myself doing this comparison. I'm not proud of it, but I am aware of it, and each time it happens it gets easier to set aside. But it still happens. When I'm mistaken for someone else it sets it up to happen.

2. Being the Smart Pommy New Kid in 7 different schools, each of which had its own culturally-accepted way of hazing/ostracising those who were different. Especially fun was the one where the kids would form a 'club', then invite you, then when you turned up hoping to make friends they'd be all "Oh we didn't really mean you" and go off without you to have their fun. Woot! One giant inferiority complex, coming right up! As an adult, again I'm aware of this, but I also sometimes catch myself wondering when this wonderful group of cool kids that form my social group will turn around and abandon me because I'm not good enough. And then I tell myself it's silly, but it still happens sometimes.

Most of the time neither of these things affect me unduly, but in my weak/unwary moments, being mistaken for someone I admire brings on the combination of almost-unconscious comparison and inferiority complex, and adds up to feeling pretty stink about myself for a while. I get over it pretty quickly and it's happening less and less, but it still happens.

I don't actually think I'm that unusual in this.


Last night when Dr Wheel got home, he looked like this:



I think that "What the fuck is that?" is a fair response, and once I stopped laughing, that's exactly what I asked him. So he demonstrated:



Yes, it's a pillow that's designed for sleeping face-down on your desk. It has holes for your hands and one for your face, and it's filled with those little beans which cushion your forehead and chin so you can sleep comfortably in this position.

It's a Kickstarter thing, and it's called an Ostrich Pillow. Also, when it's just sitting on the shelf it looks kind of like an alien. *ahem*

So, following from that, without further ado, here is a list of Five Things I Love About Dr Wheel.

1. He's silly. See above for an example.

2. When he laughs, his shoulders shake like Precious Pup or Muttley.

3. His big toes point up like elf toes and the rest of them curl up like happy cat toes, and the combination is the cutest set of toes ever.

4. He uses words in a way that is a wonderful combination of archaic, intelligent and amusing. I can't explain this in grammatical terms but it gets me every time.

5. He has the courage to put himself forward and ask for what he wants.

None of these things are things that exist in relation to me. These are things that are about him, that I personally find hugely attractive. There are loads of things about Dr Wheel in relation to me that are also awesome, but those things above? Those are purely his things, and that I get to witness them makes me happy. <3


So what's all this slop then? Valentine's Day isn't till tomorrow!

Well, I dunno. Tomorrow is tomorrow, and I thought of this today, brought on by the Ostrich Pillow Incident, and the many other similar incidents that make me go "This man is awesome!" on a regular basis. I don't need to wait till tomorrow to say it, do I?

So, um, what do you think is awesome about someone in your life, that has nothing to do with you?

Also, I'm at the work conference all day today. I'm wearing corporate clothing and trying not to fidget in it. This is harder than you'd think.

Comments:

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From:m_danson
Date:February 12th, 2013 08:45 pm (UTC)
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I love that so many people in my life have passions. It's all sorts of awesome to watch them get excited over them and put energy into them that pays off.
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From:tatjna
Date:February 13th, 2013 07:22 pm (UTC)
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Yes! Although, one of my friends has a passion for building tesla coils and sometimes* the payoff from that is fried gadgets and explosions...

* Where sometimes really means 'often'. ;-)
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From:tatjna
Date:February 12th, 2013 09:06 pm (UTC)
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Sadly, I am being herded towards a bus right now, and won't be freed until some time later this evening for perusal and commentary on those linke.

So just pretend I said something really intelligent here, and at some future time I most likely will.

Meanwhile, I've never thought love was about ownership, and I've experienced the worst of what can happen when someone does think that. It kind of colours your perspective. Also, Dr Wheel really does have cute toes.
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From:tatjna
Date:February 13th, 2013 08:04 pm (UTC)
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Right then.

They are definitely two radically different ways of saying the same thing. I thought it was interesting that while the second explicitly refers to poly groups (as in groups of people who are poly, rather than a specific poly relationship), the first one only mentions groups right at the start and from then the list is based around individual interactions.

I think that's interesting because it crystallises something that's long bothered me about poly groups. I'm sure it makes finding partners easier, but as the second writer says, it seems to focus it on fucking, making that the purpose of gathering together. Almost as if once you've decided you're poly, anyone will do, and these groups exist for finding 'someone' to be poly with. Which is.. not how I view it.

Like this: "If we happen to be heterosexual, we choose to wait for someone that we consider an ally who is worthy of having a relationship with us, and these men are hard to find."

To which I go "Unh?"

Now, I know my personal leanings are somewhat libertarian and that probably influences my view of this, but the radical feminist perspective, while being right in its basic assumptions about the political nature of poly interactions in that context (and of interactions between genders and sexuality in general), has quite a lot in I disagree with simply because to me, 'poly' isn't something you join a group for as if you're stamp collecting.

I would not feel safe in that environment for the reasons the author states. But I would never be in that environment, because to me, poly is something that comes after self-actualisation in sexuality/relationships, and is not focused on fucking. And in the absence of that context, I wouldn't be able to get interested, so for me, joining a poly group would be kind of pointless.

Which is a very longwinded way of saying, interesting read. Not sure I agree entirely, but I think that first one should be compulsory reading.
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From:Will Marshall
Date:February 15th, 2013 05:20 am (UTC)
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Like any alternative lifestyle, poly is something that is easier to pursue from within a culture that's supportive and understanding. I'd argue it's akin to identifying as a "burner" - you've got membership in a tribal group that A: implicitly understands what you're doing, and B: makes it easier to pursue the sorts of experiences you're looking for.

Realistically, I think most people *need* a badge and a community in order to be comfortable deviating from social norms. There's also a layer of inculturation and education that comes with community membership it's hard to find outside it.
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From:tatjna
Date:February 18th, 2013 10:54 pm (UTC)
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That's a good point, and I think the difference for me is that I don't necessarily identify as poly or not, because where I am on that continuum is fluid and very context-dependent. Thus, seeking out the company of people who identify as poly (ie, adopting the identity and the context) doesn't make any sense for me.
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From:guaparella
Date:February 12th, 2013 11:16 pm (UTC)
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I can't stop laughing at these pictures.

I am bookmarking that article because this is a HUGE thing for me and as I get older, I find I do it more and more often. I JUST did it, OMG so & so is over 10 years younger than I am can you believe it? I need to calm down and give myself and everyone else a break. Which really means myself, because no one else knows or cares that I'm doing it.
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From:tatjna
Date:February 13th, 2013 07:06 pm (UTC)
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I like that article because it has stuff in there about what creates that environment of comparison and competition, rather than just being a rant about what happens. And you're right, I think we're all influenced by it to a degree, and it's the kind of thing that can sneak up on you despite your best efforts.
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From:pixiebelle
Date:February 13th, 2013 12:13 am (UTC)
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Oh kids... I was bullied so much as a kid, and to this day, I still see the effects from it. I have trouble trusting that people really like me. And most groups tend to not accept me anyway. I still don't have a group of friends and usually I'd assume it's because I'm not good enough... but I am trying to tell myself that it's their issues, not mine and they're missing out by not giving me a chance.

Haha well I'm trying at least.

Oh that pillow is pretty nifty though! I was like WTF when I first saw it, but that's pretty cool and silly. I loved reading the reasons you love him :)
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From:tatjna
Date:February 13th, 2013 07:21 pm (UTC)
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He is pretty lovable. ;-)

And it's kind of eye-opening reading about how many people experience bullying and ostracism as kids, and end up unable to trust as adults because of it. Schools are supposedly social training institutions, but I'm not sure that is the sort of training that's intended eh?
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From:decemberthirty
Date:February 13th, 2013 02:51 am (UTC)
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So, um, what do you think is awesome about someone in your life, that has nothing to do with you?

My girlfriend is a teacher, and she is so dedicated and works so hard at her job. I've spent the last ten years watching her do everything she can to continually get better at what she does, to try new things, to educate herself and push herself, and it's amazing!

I love your list too. :)
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From:tatjna
Date:February 13th, 2013 07:14 pm (UTC)
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Knowing someone for so long and seeing them grow and change and expand is utterly awesome. Go you two! ;-)
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From:meathiel
Date:February 13th, 2013 06:30 am (UTC)
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That pillow is ... weird!!!

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From:tatjna
Date:February 13th, 2013 07:18 pm (UTC)
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But apparently effective! ;-)
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From:brynhilda
Date:February 13th, 2013 09:44 am (UTC)
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OMG...I need an Ostrich pillow, hahahaha...and by the way I just love Dr. Wheel's t-shirt:).
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From:tatjna
Date:February 13th, 2013 07:04 pm (UTC)
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The caption under the picture on his shirt says "CTRL Z" which works on Windows or Linux and makes it even better I reckon. ;-)
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From:brynhilda
Date:February 14th, 2013 09:22 am (UTC)
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Oh yes, awesome!!
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From:pundigrion
Date:February 13th, 2013 07:02 pm (UTC)
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Everything has something to do with me because I am that awesome.

Actually I was bullied too and still have constant outsider syndrome. On the bright side, I've figured out that it wasn't all me. Sometimes people just suck. Oddly, this helped my self esteem a great deal!

That pillow looks hilarious!
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From:tatjna
Date:February 13th, 2013 07:17 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, now I'm older I'm a bit more discerning and realise I probably wouldn't want such fickle people in my life anyway, but at the time I just wanted friends, and anybody would do. I've also realised that approval-seeking behaviour generally has the opposite effect. So progress has been made and I'm glad to say that it's only in weak moments that this stuff sneaks up on me these days.
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