Sunday, July 16, 2006

Nothing Much...?

I'm having a "nothing much" day. As in, I'm down; thinking I'm nothing all that much. I feel invisible. It's sort of that "that's just Joe over there" feeling I mentioned yesterday. And along with that, also feeling as if no one will ever find me attractive, and I will never feel in love, or that someone wants me ever, ever again.

I've always kind of done this. Even in the best of times, I've always thought no one saw me as anything particularly special. I've written about it before, here. I'm not sure what I've been basing this on. I guess on some level of mistreatment/devaluation that I've experienced with certain boyfriends/lovers. I make a list: this one cheated, this one lied...put it all together, and it all leads up to proof of "not good enough; not exciting enough; not pretty or interesting or cool or artistic or (fill in the blank here) enough."

And I was driving around today feeling sorry for myself in this way. And then for some reason, I remembered a story I was telling a friend earlier this week about a guy I once kissed in a weak moment, and then I started making up another list around that, and it really just jolted me. Here is this list.

Over the course of my life (in no particular order):
  • I have received a series of anonymous love letters in the mail.
  • I have had two men travel across oceans just to meet me.
  • I have had one man I only knew marginally when I lived overseas (friend of a friend) track down my number once I moved back to the US and then call me regularly from another country just so he could talk to me.
  • I was once told by an ex-boyfriend that if I didn't do him a favor and go out with a friend of his, he was going to be forced to go insane listening to the guy go on and on and on about my eyes and how beautiful I was.
  • Actually, similar events to the last item above have happened several times with other male friends
  • When I suddenly had to switch universities mid-undergrad degree, one man who had lived in the same dorm as me my freshman year (and whom I didn't know well and barely saw through sophomore year, except at a few parties), somehow tracked down my new address and started sending me long letters and gifts.
  • Along with the above situation, I have had other men who were not old friends or current lovers (and some who were) buy me presents, sometimes sent over long distances, just to make me smile.
  • I have had male friends of roommates phone our house when they specifically knew my roommates were out and I was in, in hopes that I'd stay on the phone and talk to them (they didn't tell me this, I found out through the roommates later).
  • In a moment of weakness, in a dark, hidden location, I kissed a man I shouldn't have. And he called me constantly for a year after that, saying he had never experienced such a passionate kiss before and he just couldn't stop thinking about it or let it go without having more (which never happened).
  • I have had rock stars (and slightly lesser known indie musicians) choose me out of a crowd to talk to
  • For more than two years, a man traveled regularly across the entire country so that he could see me.
  • A different man moved across the country when I moved, just so that he could be near me.
  • I have had at least two adult men mobilize their friends to perform massive public relations campaigns for them in hopes I would go out with them ("Do you know how much ________ likes you? He's a great guy. You should go out with him. Are you interested?")
  • I have had someone call me as a result of merely having a conversation with me in an elevator
  • I have been asked out by men while we're filling up our cars at gas stations.
  • I have had multiple men tell me that they've dreamed (and daydreamed) about me
  • I have had men write me poetry and erotica.
  • I have had men I was not with tell me they longed for me.
  • I have had men call me beautiful to my face (as opposed to it being shouted at me on the street, which doesn't count).
  • I have had men I was with tell me that I have no idea how beautiful and/or hot I am/
  • I have had men tell me that being with me was the best time in their lives and that they don't expect anything in future to match up.
  • I have been told by men (in retrospect, when they stood to gain nothing anymore by the info) that I was the best sexual experience they ever had.
This next reaction is going to sound fake, because most of you don't know me. But those of you who do will know I'm being genuine.

I have just put this together for the first time. I've never seen it in a list. And I am genuinely shocked. If some other woman showed me this list, even if she gave me all the disclaimers I could give to counterbalance each item, I wouldn't be able to come to any other conclusion except one.

So, it's freaking me out, but I'm looking at this for the first time and I think this may actually mean that I'm...god, I can't even say it...(covering my face)...

hot. (?!?)

Or is this kind of list above the norm for most women? I really have no fucking idea. Somebody tell me.

Update: NotCarrie's comment below made me realize I should probably qualify. I didn't solely mean "hot" in terms of physical appearance, though I did mean that, too. I more meant hot in *all* aspects of the word, put together.


Blogger The Retropolitan said...

I think you're hot, Miss Syl, even if I only know your writing.

You have beautiful i's.

7/16/2006 9:22 PM  
Blogger NotCarrie said...

I, obviously, can't comment on the hottness, but I'm sure there's a lot more to it than that to result in an impressive list like that.

7/16/2006 9:44 PM  
Blogger Miss Syl said...

Retropolitan: Say, mister, what's a classy swell like you doing in a joint like this?

Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce the very hard(boiled) Retropolitan, my Private Dick of the Week.

7/16/2006 9:50 PM  
Blogger Miss Syl said...

NotCarrie: Thanks much, honeygirl.

I guess I meant "hot" more in the spiritual sense, rather than mere physical hotness, but maybe that's not coming across. Might need to stick in an addendum there...

7/16/2006 9:51 PM  
Anonymous Hiromi said...

Hey, coincidence! I was about to start the "21 positive things" series of posts you mentioned another blogger made.

And you're not "hott," you're "HAHT."

7/17/2006 10:38 AM  
Blogger Miss Syl said...

Hiromi: Well, you know I'm starting to become convinced we share a brain. And HAHTness, too, of course.

7/17/2006 2:26 PM  
Blogger ducklet said...

i've always thought 'hot.' and i keep holding out hope that you'll give lessons.

7/18/2006 12:29 AM  
Blogger Miss Syl said...

Brandon: Ducky, you of all people need no lessons in hotness, and you know it.

Now do another Martha Stewart pose for me. Oooh baby.

7/18/2006 12:37 AM  
Blogger Ellie said...

Why am I such crap at finding blogger's emails on their sites??? My first impulse was to send this comment via mail because I didn't want something that could be easily misinterpreted to be so public. My second impulse was not to comment. But, as you so often do, Miss Syl, you got me to thinking. I don't know if you're physcially hot. But, you are (to quote you of others) 'sizzling' in so many other ways.

Nonetheless, your post made me a little sad.

It's just another reminder that women - even smart, savvy, HAHT women such as you - all too often use the attention of men as a measuring stick for self worth.

I suspect (know!) it's not the only measuring stick you use ... so please don't take this comment as a slam. I do it too. It just makes me sad.

7/18/2006 10:43 PM  
Blogger Miss Syl said...

Point well made, Ellie, and nothing wrong with saying it in comments.

Yes, there are many ways in which I value myself and many qualities of mine I know are good. (Though I will also cop that my self-esteem hits many road bumps--I was taught from early on that others' opinions about me mattered more than my own, so it is not easy for me. But by "others," I mean EVERYONE, not just males. Still not a good measuring stick, regardless, and I continue to be affected by that, though I'm working on it.)

In this *particular* post, however, I was not talking about my self worth, so much as my relative hotness out in the world (in terms of attraction/appeal to others). And to some extent, the only way to measure one's own attractiveness is by assessing how attracted to you others appear to be.

I'm hetero, so for me, measuring one's attractiveness means assessing how attracted the gender I want to attract (male) is attracted to me.

Simple as that. A small portion of a much bigger overall picture.

If I'd chosen to define my overall value by what men think, my life would look very different than it does right now, I assure you.

7/18/2006 11:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe you to be very beautiful in many ways. I've enjoyed reading your blog so much. You've inspired a new way to look at everything in a different light. That to me makes you very hot, sizzling to be exact. grins

7/19/2006 6:29 AM  
Blogger bollocks said...

I only know what I see as a peeping tom at your site, but I can see how hot you are.

7/19/2006 10:03 AM  
Blogger Ellie said...

Look at me: projecting my own insecurities onto your written word. Your explanations vindicates you! x, e

ps - do you have your email on your site somewhere? am i like a man looking in the fridge for the milk which is right there on the top shelf?

7/19/2006 12:51 PM  
Blogger Molly said...

ugh. your list has only reminded me how pathetic my love life is. thanks. i sincerely hope that is not the norm. otherwise, excuse while i go kill myself. i don't see how you ever doubted yourself. oh well.

7/19/2006 6:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ellie...go look at her complete profile...she gives a hint. smiles wide

7/19/2006 11:38 PM  
Blogger Miss Syl said...

Anonymous: Thanks much for the complimenet.

Bollocks: Feel free to peep in any time. (oooh, bad pun)

Ellie: Trust me, I'm not entirely immune to such insecurites, either. I think most straight women fall prey to them at one time or another--they're constantly barraged with messages that they should think this way. You have to stay very conscious to fight it all the time, and that's not easy.

Molly: no no no! Write your own list, you'll see. Catalog every nice thing or attraction-type behavior the gender you like has done or said to you. It's more than you think. I was feeling exactly the same as you before I did it.

Anon: Not a hint, clear directions. But for some reason lots of people miss it. I primarily did it that way to avoid spammers.

7/20/2006 12:51 AM  
Blogger Cherrie said...

I'm late to this party, but having read your blog off and on for several months I find you a fascinating, attractive person whom I would like to know better. And that, to me, is the ultimate measure of "hot."

Maybe men aren't as stupid as we all think they are from time to time.

7/22/2006 11:36 PM  
Blogger NotCarrie said...

I know what you mean. Hottness is a package. It's why it's two "T"s:)

10/16/2006 5:25 PM  

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