The latest read in my bathroom (yes, I do 75% of reading in the tub. Laugh if you want, but its the one quiet place that neither the dogs or Allen will bother me in. The dogs because they hate water, Allen because he firmly believes, even after 4 years of marriage, that girls do not poop. He does not wish to be proven wrong) is a story that brings a very real problem to light.
No, its not abortion, or meth use, or even eating disorders (which are also very "in" right now, if you like that sort of thing).
Its the problem of "skewed reality", and its infecting women of all ages.
Skew - (as a verb) means to distort; depict unfairly.
As the story goes, a woman moves into a new town. Shes a wife and a mother, but doesn't feel like she's very good at either of those things. Her insecurities come further into play as she meets a woman in town who seems like she has it all - perfect hair, body, husband, kids, ect.
Woman A (the insecure one) decides that she doesn't like Woman B (the perfect one), despite the fact that Woman B has never said so much as an unkind word. In fact, Woman A takes Woman B's friendliness as an insult, saying "She thinks she is so much better than me that she pities me. That's the only reason she even bothers being nice. I KNOW that she actually says horrible things behind my back about what a bad wife and mother I am". Woman A alienates Woman B from her life. Every time Woman B invites Woman A somewhere, or calls her on the phone, Woman A gets angrier at her, deciding that Woman B's continued effort to be her friend is only so Woman B can further make fun of Woman A's ugliness, her lack of parenting skills, and her failures as a wife.
(I hope everyone is still on track with who is who in this story. Lots of letters in play here.)
And then, Woman B is murdered. And Woman A, who is bored with life, decides that she should track the events that lead up to Woman B's death. Woman A is sure shell find out how mean and terrible Woman B really was, and it will validate everything she already suspects.
Of course, we know how this story goes. In the course of interviewing Woman B's family and friends, Woman A finds that, not only is Woman B a perfectly normal person with good things and bad things in her life, but that Woman B actually spoke very highly of Woman A.
Woman A - "I decided to ask outright 'And what did she think of me?'".
Lexi smiled and said "She thought you were a great mother. She always said that she wished she knew you better".
All this was just a long winded and many lettered example of what so many women (and no, its not just women, but we seem to be the ones who suffer from it the most) go through in their lives.
I have to say that I am 100% percent guilty of this.
Like the time when you feel insecure that a friend hasn't called in awhile, and you see them out and they seem distant. So now, my reality is that this friend is upset at me, and they aren't talking to me about it, and they are probably telling all our friends what I did, but not me.
And then, a month or a year down the line you learn that the friend is going through a rough patch in her marriage, or has had trouble getting pregnant, or has a family member who is sick. All of those things were taking up so much thought and time that she hadn't had a second to call. And when I saw her, she had just gotten bad news, and was just trying to smile through the hard time.
I see it happen with the people around me. So many women perceive that they have been "disrespected" (which is the most over-fucking-used word right now, along with "drama" and "fake". I hate those words because no one knows what they mean, they just know that its a reason to throw a hissy fit, or a name to call when they aren't smart enough to think of one. I've got a choice few, feel free to email me if you need those.) by a friend, so they immediately launch the defense sequence.
Case in point:
Jo: "Joanne hasn't called me in awhile. I wonder if shes mad at me. Well, if shes mad at me, then fuck her. I don't have to say I'm sorry for anything, because I haven't done anything wrong. And whatever, if shes pissed then she can go screw herself, because I didn't tell ANYONE when she got that nose job last year, but she doesn't seem to care about that now. Shes so FAKE anyways. Why wouldn't she say shes mad at me? She just wants to cause DRAMA. I hate DRAMA. Shes totally disrespecting me".
Here, Jo's perception is that Joanne is mad at her. So, Jo's reality becomes that Joanne is mad at her. Now, Jo is justifiably defending herself against the attack that has come from Joanne.
When really, Joanne is just hanging out at home, wondering why Jo hasn't called her.
(Next weeks episode will include the girl myth that "if someone wants to talk to me they have to call me, but if they don't call me then Ill be hurt that they don't like me, when in reality if I really wanted to talk to them the GD phone works both ways" ......)
I know its such an elementary way of explaining things; however, I wish I had a dollar for every time I've seen this happen. Its a shame that women, who are the greatest communicators on earth, will lose friendships, relationships, and even jobs because they are defending against imaginary slights. This should also be opened up to the categories of:
1) That's not at all what I said, sorry that's how you took it
2) I'm sorry my success causes you such emotional turmoil
3) You are bored, not angry. Stop confusing the two
4) Speak up, I cant read minds
5) You don't ALWAYS have to have an issue with someone.
I know some people will be offended by this. Because, lets be real, someone is always offended by something. But this isn't born out of anyones actions, nor directed to anyone. I believe I'm guilty of the majority of these offenses. Ideally, Id see a world where woman could get along - or at the least, communicate effectively if they aren't.
Although, as I say that, I can think of next weeks blog titled "We are friends on Facebook, and yet, in real life I don't care to spend any time with you ......".