Anonymous has sent me the loveliest ask, but I hesitate to reproduce it here in full because it does name names (well, one name anyway), and as some of you know, I can be very critical and contrary sometimes, and I’ve been struggling a lot lately with wanting to speak my mind yet not wanting to offend anyone. I could, of course, respond to Anonymous privately, but she (I’m assuming she’s a she) has brought up some interesting things that I’d really like to address, and those of you who have been following me long enough to know how to read between my lines will understand.
Here is part of her message:
“…I know this ask is totally out of line, but I just have something to bring up, totally in peace. It seems you have some self-image struggles (don’t we all), but since I think you’re great, I wanted to share some things that helped me with my self-image.
”..I know it’s hard to take the advice of someone with differing opinions, but I won’t tell if you won’t.”
First of all, dear Anonymous, you are not being out of line at all. Differing opinions, especially those expressed so nicely, are always welcome on my blog. You are quite correct - I do have major self-image issues, most of which are associated with my advanced age. (Well, “advanced” compared to most people who have blogs like mine.) The thing about old age is that there is nothing, absolutely nothing, that can change or improve it. If you’re young and unhappy with your body, you can diet and exercise. If you’re young and unhappy with your face, there are things you can do to enhance your best features. If you’re young and you fuck something up, you can try again. But if you’re old, there’s simply nothing you can do. The best you can hope for is to be in good health for as long as possible, but there is nothing good about being old. Not one thing. There is only one way to deal with it, and that is to accept it, and that’s where I’m having so much difficulty. Part of my problem is that I greatly prefer the company of younger people, but that’s what younger people tend to prefer too. They might want to hang out with me for a little while, but in the end they’ll want to be with their own kind, and that’s as it should be. I simply cannot compete, and you’re probably thinking, “it’s not a competition.” Oh, but it is.
But enough of that rant. I do very strongly agree with you that it’s important to be good to yourself, so I looked up the daily ritual you recommended for improving self-image - the one you said you had read about on the blog of the person who shall remain nameless. It actually sounds wonderful, but I have to confess I have two problems with it. First, the whole idea of ritual and ceremony is something I often find counter-productive, at least for me. For example, I once attended a very authentic demonstration of a tea ceremony, which I found to be fascinating and stunningly beautiful, but also, I have to say, a little uptight. I’m uptight enough as it is, so I just think that something like a daily ritual, where I’m doing the same thing every day, would, for me, just make things worse. I think I need to learn to be more messy and non-sequitur, if that makes any sense. Second, and I really hope you’ll forgive me here, but the particular ritual to which you refer in your message is supposed to be something like a beauty regimen, and maybe I have a one track mind, but it sounds a whole lot more like masturbation to me. Not that there’s anything wrong with that whatsoever - I’d just prefer to call it what it is.
So, of course, in order to find this blog post I had to scroll down through the other posts of this person who shall remain nameless, which I usually try to avoid doing because it only makes me feel all the more curmudgeonly. I mean, this is a person who actually believes in the possibility of world peace, for heaven’s sake. What cracks me up even more is her belief that not only is world peace possible, but that all we have to do to achieve it is to celebrate our inner goddesses or some such ridiculousness. I don’t know what kind of fantasy land this person is living in, but in my opinion, world peace is only remotely possible if we humans step aside and let some other species take over, like the cockroaches maybe. And even then, as soon as cockroach food becomes scarce, you can best believe there’ll be a cockroach war. The only difference is, humans make war even when food isn’t scarce. Further proof that we don’t deserve this planet.
See? I’m doing it again. Stop, Vicky, stop! Sigh. I’m afraid I’m just a boring old realist, and the reality is that this person I’m criticizing so profusely is probably someone I might actually like if I got to know her. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that if I ever had the opportunity to have lunch with her and her boyfriend, I wouldn’t be surprised if, in the end, it was the boyfriend I found irritating and she and I became best friends. Life is like that sometimes. Or not.
Anyway, Anonymous, you came in peace and I thanked you by going off the deep end, so I do apologize for that. I don’t know if you still think I’m great, but you are most definitely great. Tumblr wouldn’t be anywhere near as therapeutic without you. ♥