“I don’t think you think deep thoughts.”
I remember I was chopping something. I remember freezing as the words washed over me.
Why weren’t the next words out of my mouth “get the fuck out of my house”? Or a simple and elegant “no”?
I looked down, went back to chopping. Clean slice after clean slice. There’s a comfort in moving, especially when your mind has whirled to a stop.
I offered no stunning retort, no rebuke, no wrath. Nothing that was merited. How embarrassing. I am embarrassed at myself in retrospect.
I, I who love words so much, was speechless. Who says that to someone? Someone with whom they’re supposedly friends?
I chopped and chopped said that I was currently thinking about the various waves of feminism and wondering about intersectional feminism’s relationship to the third wave. He was confused by the word “intersectional.” I explained. I listened to some bullshit about feminism and inequality which revolved around inequality being bad and very little being said of substance. I listened to him talk, because he wanted to talk, not because he had anything to say worth hearing in that moment. A bit of the underinformed man-splaining to which all women are routinely subjected as a price for existing.
Chop. Chop. Chop.
I remember my heart falling. This was never going to be a real friendship. I was both adored and belittled. At the root of both lies comparison, comparisons that say you are both greater and lesser than other people. It is having expectations thrust upon you, expectations for which you never asked.
It is tiring being a woman. You talk too much, too little, think too much, too little. There is no just right. “Just right” is the great lie told in children’s stories. Goldilocks is a fairy tale not because of anthropomorphic bears, but because of the idea that a woman could choose something that would be just right. Women can’t get something just right. I’m surprised a man didn’t appear in the cottage and go “NO! You’re sitting in that chair improperly. How can you judge its merits with your feminine ass?”
I police my words as if they might run away. Sentences could turn against me.
I stopped writing. What if the words were wrong? What if the thoughts were wrong? Was Tinder Buttons just a sea of shallow thoughts into which I pull other people?
Well fuck that. My thoughts of varying depths and I are back. And you’re cordially invited to wade in with me.