Saturday, August 20, 2005

Another Day, Another Zit

“You look so beautiful!” Madelene says, as I step out of the bathroom all ready to go out to dinner.
“Are you crazy? I look like sh*t, my hair is awful, and I had nothing else to wear because I haven’t had time to go shopping for nice clothes!” I replied, ranting like a lunatic.
“Well you never listen to me. You don’t believe anything I say. Nothing I say matters, does it?” Madelene asked.
I didn’t say anything in return; I went back in the bathroom to fix my hair a third time around. In my head, my partner was just trying to make me feel better about myself. She had to have noticed the extra ten pounds I put on, she couldn’t have missed the huge zit near my chin—which the cover-up couldn’t even hide, and she had to have seen the three grays that stuck out like a sore thumb. I looked hideous (in my eyes). Why would she even want to take me out the house looking like a sack of potatoes with an acne problem? My self-esteem had a lot to be desired. It still does. Why do we put ourselves through this constant self-torture of not loving ourselves? I think most people do this, and it’s sad, because why should we care about what other people think of us? Does it matter what I think of you? Does it matter what you think of me? Of course not. What matters is; what you think of yourself. When you ‘believe’ that you look good, your demeanor has this certain glow. People will pick this ‘good vibe’ signal up, and automatically flock to you.

Positive energy holds a certain power. People are drawn to other people who have positive attitudes, a fun-loving personality and a good sense of self-esteem. As humans, we all have our good days, as well as our bad days. When I’m feeling really crappy about myself, I tend to get a little introverted and shy. Sometimes, I become a royal b*tch, making you feel as though you’re the only reason for my madness. Self-esteem has a lot to do with how we treat other people around us. If someone doesn’t feel good about themselves, they’re certainly not going to try to make you feel good. Think about it.

I remember this girl Jamie in high-school. She was a funny girl who told a lot of jokes. She was different; she possessed features that weren’t the same as your average school girl. She had a few characteristics that made one think, “Hmm, was she born that way? Is something wrong with her?” Now I say this, because she did have deformities of certain degrees, which were from when she was a child. Jamie’s speech was a bit muffled, due to a problem with her mouth, so she talked differently. She was very short, a little heavy, and her facial features showed unique traits, but nobody could figure out what the problem was. She laughed and joked, while others were laughing right along with her. Her jokes mainly focused on ‘making fun of other people’.

I knew way back in high school that she *may be* gay, or had more attractions towards girls. She wore a lot of clothes that were from the 'boy's department' and had interests in boy-related activities... I even realized when she had a crush on one of our art teachers. She was obsessed with this woman. Never, did the word “gay” or “lesbian” spew out of her mouth, unless she was calling ‘you’ that out of anger. “Fricken dyke!” She would go on to say that about someone who wasn’t even gay! The day she found out I was gay, her first words were, “Ew.” Now, this girl had nothing to say “ew” about, because she wasn’t the prettiest flower in the garden, but people liked her because she made others laugh---but at ‘other people’s’ expense. All her jokes were of other people. She never had anything nice to say about others—she would just continue mocking them, so that all of her friends would laugh. This is how she gained friends, but in the end, she lost a lot of them too.

I’ll never forget the day she finally realized what other people really thought of her. I was six-teen years old, and I was at my boyfriend’s house. (Yes I dated boys back then) Jamie called us and asked what we were doing. I told her to come over and hang out with us. Now, my boyfriend and I were watching a video from a party we held the previous week before. We had no clue what was on this video tape. It was fun watching everyone having fun, some not realizing we were taping, and other people grabbing the camera to take videos of other people (which we were clueless about).

Jamie knocks on the door. She comes in, and we were sitting on the couch laughing at the video.
“Jamie! You gotta see this!” I said, chuckling at all the idiots drinking and falling all over one another.
“Ah ha ha ha, what a dork he is!” Jamie says, as she makes fun at some guy trying to slur his words into the camera.
The video then went fuzzy, and then returned with another clip. It wasn’t the party though. It was one of the football players in our school---he was one of the most popular guys, and every girl, including Jamie was in awe of him. The video showed him and another popular guy eating globs of peanut butter, so that when they went home, they wouldn’t smell like liquor when their parents interrogated them. The guy put so much peanut butter in his mouth, he started saying, “WooK! I’m Jamie! Go wout wit me puweeez Craig!”

As these two guys were laughing and making fun of Jamie, my heart sunk. I felt awful. I had no clue that this was going to be on the video. I couldn’t even look at Jamie’s face. I felt her pain so intensely, because it hurt me to see that she was watching this. I never, ever felt bad for Jamie, since she was full of criticism for others, but at that moment, my heart went out to her. I slowly looked over at Jamie, and her eyes were glassy, staring at the television. I didn’t say a word, because I was waiting for her to comment, or leave out of there crying. I didn’t want to ‘console’ her, because that’s just not what you would do for her. She didn’t need consoling, because she was 'tough'; she was the one who destroyed you with her words. I didn’t know how to approach her. I felt like hugging her---but then she would say, “Get off me- you dyke!”

“F*cking a-hole! He should talk! His nose is bigger than his d*ck!” She blurted out, and then started laughing. She lashed out by retaliating with words, instead of giving into her pain. Jamie’s self-defense mechanism kicked in, and she was back to being “Jamie”… But I wonder, if she went home crying that night. I still wonder, even though it’s fifteen years later. Does she keep that in her ‘bad memory’ file? I think everyone has a ‘bad memory’ file we store in our brains. We’re human, it’s only natural.

My point here is, she didn’t have enough self love, in order to make friends, by not making fun of other people. I felt so self-conscious around her, because I knew that at some point, I would be the brunt of her jokes at the lunch table. I probably already have been, and I just don’t know it. I now realize, being in my thirties, that some people criticize others, because they are not happy with themselves.

It’s sometimes hard for us to realize, that people aren’t noticing the flaws that only ‘we’ can see in ourselves. I’ll rant and rave over a zit that I discovered in the morning, when in fact, sometimes other people won’t even have a clue that it’s there. I still go through it. Sometimes I have ‘fat’ days, and other days, I’m the hottest thing going. (ha-ha) JOKE! You know what I mean though, we have our days where we feel so good about ourselves, and others, where we just want to stick our heads in the sand. Those days when you feel good about yourself, take notice of how many people will compliment you. For the days you feel bad about yourself, take notice how many times you criticize someone, or simply, go into a ‘bad mood’…

Judgment is only for God. Don’t worry about what others may think about you, worry about what God thinks of you, as well as what “you” think of yourself.