Tag Archives: tattoos

goodbye, good riddance, and get yourself a goddamn furby (or why I’m not a backup chick, you self indulgent jerkface)

I called out Super Intense Tattoo Guy today on the whole badgering me to talk to him text message freakout whilst he has a girlfriend thing. I honestly don’t care about someone seeing/talking to other people besides me. I don’t have any right to give a damn about that after all. And why should I? Unless we agree to see only each other, why would it bother me? I’m a pretty reasonable, sane person.

What does bother me is people not just coming straight out and saying “oh, I got a girlfriend” or “oh, I have something that’s getting serious going on” while still talking to me and trying to keep me on the back burner.

So when I found out Super Intense Tattoo Guy was essentially trying to keep me on reserve by chatting me up (and throwing tantrums when I didn’t respond to his texts quickly enough) whilst he was in a relationship, I got pissed. Here’s how that conversation ended (and note that I generously didn’t compare him to a  “petulant middle school girl” in the first message, as I was tempted to do):

Me: Anyways, good luck with the new girl. And bless her heart, because goodness you seem prone to over reading into communication modes and frequencies and unlikely to give people the benefit of the doubt. Please do lose my number

Guy: I did. And you just don’t know me and what I’ve been through or you might understand better. Some things just don’t communicate well over text. Goodbye

Me: No one magically understands you, and baggage doesn’t excuse poor behavior in the present and future. You’re kind of a self involved (and what’s worse, self indulgent) jerk. Goodbye.

I really do feel bad for this new girl. That was a genuine “bless her heart,” as opposed to the second type of “bless her heart” which is an excuse to gossip/a big old “screw her.” This dude is way too into himself, his baggage, and the idea of what a girl is supposed to be rather than who they are, or at least who I am. I had been content to ignore various red flags because he was nice, but it turns out the red flags were waving for a reason.

Ah, yes, constant communication. So amusing.
Ah, yes, constant communication. So amusing.

Also, I AM NOBODY’S BACKUP CHICK. You wanna keep something as a reserve, go buy some decent wine. You want a toy to keep you amused, buy a goddamn furby. At least that will talk to you constantly, which is what you seem to want.

But here’s what’s the more important issue: we all have baggage. People we’ve dated, people who’ve broken our hearts, people whose hearts we’ve broken, people who’ve cheated on us, people we’ve cheated on, our relationships with our parents, our siblings, our sexual history, emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual violence, religious doctrines, loss, etc. are a part of who we are. They made us who we are.

Hopefully that’s for the better. Hopefully we’re stronger, wiser, bolder, more kind, and more generous for these things. But whether we’re handling them or repressing them, whether we’ve grown or regressed from these things, sometimes they haunt us. As time goes on, we start to dwell on things less, but sometimes they just pop up and force us to deal with them yet again.

It’s okay to give yourself some leeway sometimes when it comes to dealing with your baggage. Sometimes you have a bad day. Sometimes the ghosts are everywhere. Some days you catch a glimpse of what looks like your ex out of the corner of your eye and your day just somehow is never the same. That happens. You can curl up, throw things, rant it out, write it out, hide from the world, whatever. We do what we need to do to get by. That’s human. It’s part of what happens when we leave ourselves vulnerable. As much as it hurts and sucks, even years down the road sometimes, if we don’t give ourselves opportunity to grieve for our past selves, for relationships lost, for futures that might have been, then we’re not sufficiently reflecting on our pasts in order to grow and move forward in our present lives and in our present relationships.

Where this becomes a problem is when we give ourselves leeway because of our baggage to manipulate or hurt other people. There is no excuse for that. Period. “You just don’t know me and what I’ve been through” is not an excuse for acting like a petulant child. It’s not an excuse for trying to guilt someone into feeling bad for having not called you sooner. Sometimes our baggage leads us to hurt others accidentally. That happens. But if you’re well aware that this is an issue and you’re indulging, almost reveling in it, while you use this baggage as an excuse to justify your treating others badly that’s just heartbreaking.

What’s worse, it’s letting somebody who used to be a part of your life, somebody who hurt you, dictate the bounds of your current relationships. If you’re aware you have this baggage and you’re okay with letting it shape your current relationships negatively, that’s not okay, whether said relationship is romantic or platonic. No one gets to determine the boundaries in a relationship except the people in it. It’s unfair to the person you’re currently with as well as to yourself. It’s not giving yourself a chance to start fresh, and it’s falling back into potentially dangerous comfort zones. It’s settling before you even really get started. It’s self indulgent and selfish.

And if that’s okay with you, then I am a-okay with you leaving my life.

Goodbye, good riddance, get yourself a goddamn furby. I recommend the classic over the new. They’re slightly less creepy.

I will die alone in a world of octopuses.

SERIOUSLY SUPER INTENSE TATTOO GUY HAS A GIRLFRIEND. SUPER INTENSE TATTOO GUY. AND I AM ALONE. WHAT. WHAT. UNIVERSE. WHAT. AND JESUS DOESN’T DO MONOGAMY.* WHAT. WHAT. WHAT. Seriously, someone just go out with me and talk with me and be a normal person for a whole three hours. Oh wait, just kidding. THAT ISN’T A THING THAT HAPPENS.

It’s not like I’m looking for anything serious or permanent. I have things to do and adventures to have, and to be perfectly honest I’m not a big believer in true love or lifetime love stories. But one of these days it might be kind of refreshing to have someone only want to hold just my hand, instead of my hand and an indeterminate number of peoples’ hands as well.

It’s like they have Octopus Syndrome. You know, “What did one octopus say to the other?” “I want to hold your hand, hand, hand, hand, hand, hand, hand, hand.” Somehow my hands just don’t seem to be even potentially enough for anybody if we’re already staking the “no monogamy” flag this early on. I’m not saying pick my hand from date 1. I’m saying it’d be nice to have someone potentially be willing to be contented for a while with only my own two dog-bite-scarred, dish-doing, crayon-holding, biscuit-mixing, super moisturized hands.

I’m a really good hand holder, just for the record. Here’s a link for a post entirely devoted to my feelings on hand-holding from a blog I used to run about spooning.

IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH ME?! Jesus Christ Superstar! Oi vey! AUGHHHHH. My mother constantly tells me I am “intimidating” to men. Great. That’s what every little girl wants to be when she grows up: vaguely terrifying.

Cuttlefish are the color- and texture-changing BADASSES OF THE SEA. Suck it, octopuses.
Cuttlefish are the color- and texture-changing BADASSES OF THE SEA. Suck it, octopuses.

Whatever, octopuses. I’mma go find a nice cuttlefish to hangout with. They’re definitely the superior cephalopod. And even if I don’t find a cuttlefish, I’m going to keep being me, and if no one likes it, then I’ll just hold my own hand. Like a boss.

*(Side note, the monogamy thing isn’t actually a huge issue, but I’m not about to invest a lot of emotional energy/time into something that isn’t ever going to be an actual thing. Been there, done that, got better things to do. He says he’d be open to that changing potentially, that seems kind of iffy for wanting all that feelings talk to go down. And I don’t share well.)

When a photo in a leopard print dress changes everything (Tinder meets self-esteem meets Mister Rogers)

He had asked for one body shot and two face shots, “nothing R rated” in his terms. I sent my favorite photo of me goofing off in a leopard print dress that hugs all my curves. I found myself surprised at how nervous I became. This man was ripped, handsome, with a collection of tattoos that made me all but drool and the kind of shoulders that make you want to climb a man like a tree. Would he hate the photo? Would he hate my body? Would all of our conversation be for naught once he saw me?

The response was immediate and unhesitating: “YOU’RE PERFECT. 🙂 We’re so on for tonight!”

He quickly followed up with a “Not to sound shallow or anything. I had just been worried you were too skinny for me.”

I was immediately overcome with shock. WHAT. There were men out there to whom my body wasn’t a concession but rather something to be wholly delighted in? Who were drawn to my body just as I was to theirs? I knew I loved my body, but out there there are other people who do, too! I get to be perfect to someone other than myself!

It was one of the most liberating text message exchanges I’ve ever had, but it called into question a lot of things I believed about myself and my self-esteem. I love my body. I adore the swell of my hips and the curve of my waist, my absolute mane of hair that makes me crazy but that falls like a water fall. I love the freckle on my left shoulder that peeks out of tops and my super high arches in my feet that let me dance like a maniac.  I like me. But I don’t ever expect other people to. I constantly anticipate a battle to justify my self-acceptance.

And if that’s the case, am I really accepting myself? Am I truly loving myself?

Fred Rogers, who is essentially the patron saint of my family to the point that my mother periodically still weeps that he lives among us no longer, tells us that love is an active noun like struggle.

From The World According to Mister Rogers by the ever incredible Fred Rogers

I firmly believe that this doesn’t just apply to loving others but to ourselves and our bodies as well. It’s just as much a struggle to love ourselves the way we are in a moment. Self-esteem isn’t a state of perfect caring. Yes, we can want more for ourselves. We can want stronger, faster bodies while still loving who we are in this moment. And there are moments when we don’t feel so great, when no outfit looks right, when our hair won’t quite stay, when we stand before the mirror questioning ourselves. Those are the moments when I end up with outfits strewn about my room, my third eyeliner attempt still crooked, with no shoe sufficiently sexy and comfortable to merit being worn out for a night of dancing, and I just want to sob. And that moment MATTERS. It is every bit as perfect and normal and beautiful as the days when I walk out the door feeling absolutely fierce and fabulous, if not more so, because it’s a moment in which I have a chance not to love myself in spite of my seeming inadequacies but rather to love myself through them.

We have to let ourselves struggle in these moments. That’s when growth happens. That’s when real love happens. When we know we’re not perfect, but we fight through the self-doubt and choose to love ourselves as we are in that moment, that’s when we’re making progress with our self-esteem. The struggle is where the love happens.

Self-esteem is a constant and continual process, not a pinnacle of achievement. It’s a journey not a prize to be won. It’s okay to have setbacks. It’s okay to keep learning. It’s okay to be surprised at that moment that someone says we’re perfect, so long as we take that surprise and we learn from it.

There’s no such thing as a perfect body. There are only bodies which are perfect to us as individuals, who each have distinctive preferences. We have to leave room for others to accept us and adore us, including our embodiment. And we have to leave room for ourselves to figure these things out and be okay with those moments that surprise and challenge us. We owe ourselves the patience to work through the hard moments, through the revelations, through the days when nothing looks right.

What surprises me is that this revelation came via Tinder. This wouldn’t have happened without me contending with an app that in many senses reduces people to a single image on which you can swipe left or right and make snap judgments based on that photo of whether or not you deem someone worthy to communicate with you. I’m finding myself constantly challenged by this. My family keeps telling me that Tinder can’t be empowering.

I’m going to go ahead and beg to differ on this one.

I’m going to let Tinder keep pushing my buttons, and I’m going to keep pushing back.

Well that escalated quickly.

This afternoon I was talking to a guy I’ve been chatting with for a a few weeks. He’s super nice, but very intense. Here’s a good example of why you shouldn’t totally freak out when someone doesn’t text you back ASAP (For the record, I never text back when I’m doing work things or driving, because (A) Professionalism is important and (B) Safety first). I’m including the time stamps on this one just so you get the full effect of the ridiculousness.

Guy (1:00 pm): So I think I am going to work on getting a full sleeve tattoo. The ones I did in my arm when I was younger just don’t look that good. What do you think?

Me (1:00 pm): Nice! What do the ones you got when you were younger look like?

Guy (1:04 pm): Lol not very good. Some are okay. Just not much to them. I’ll send pics tonight. I did most of them with a home made machine.

Guy (1:04 pm): <sends 2 pictures of tattoos>

Guy (1:05 pm): Hate this one the most of all my ink.

Guy (1:06 pm): I let someone else do it for one.

Guy (1:10 pm): I hate the design. I was 16 when I did most of this.

Guy (1:16): …? Uh oh I scared you off huh?

Guy (1:20): Guess you really don’t like tattoos huh?

Guy (1:29): No closure or anything? You really don’t want to talk to me anymore because of these dumb tattoos? It won’t even look like this in a few months.

Guy (2:03): Okay last message, should I lose your number? I hope you just fell back asleep. Crying Face

Me (2:04): Oh my word I was on the phone with my boss. Jeeze

Me (2:04): I happen to love tattoos.