So there is the debate out there in the expat blog world regarding whether or not an advert on a carton of eggs is misogynistic. I’m not going to get into that – other than to say, no, it’s not – BUT this lead Sparky and I into a long discussion.
The basics – Everyone sees life through a variety of experiences that create our perspective. Yada Yada Yada. Okay. Given. But, we tend to see the world through the experiences that have wounded us the most or left us the most vulnerable. This is a function, I think, of evolution. For the most part, it works for us.
The problem comes in when our “X”-colored glasses color our every experience and where we force this view upon others via confrontation or in an aggressive manner when it isn’t really necessary. Sometimes people do this to “educate” others, but all it does is piss people off and push them away and sooner or later you end up with no social circle or friends who think as homogeneous as you do. In the end, your message gets lost in the delivery.
I am currently overweight. But this is a vast improvement. I’m Kylie skinny as compared to how I used to be. I have been horribly, severely fuck-up-your-health overweight. I was for a very long time. Being that heavy changed the way I see the world. My instinctual worldview comes through fat-colored glasses. Whenever I look at a chair or an elevator I wonder if I’ll fit or if I’ll be too heavy. When shopping I wonder if I’ll fit down isles and all that jazz. When I buy clothes I still look for the size I wore at my heaviest because I cannot see myself any other way instinctually. I have to work at it.
Sparky asked me on our first date why I was fat just as our dinner was delivered to our table. Yes, I found it rude, but not nearly as rude as I the behaviour I’ve dealt with in everyday life. I asked him why he was an asshole and the conversation continued. A few years ago, before I lost almost 200 pounds, Sparky took the time to see life through my fat colored glasses. I would point out the people staring at me, the guys at the gym making fun of me, the neighbors looking through my groceries as I walked up the stairs or the neighbor who asked me to sit on a different chair because she was worried I would break the one I was poised to use, in front of 15 people. Or when I lost the weight and at a community BBQ, the community wondered if I had a great deal of loose skin. OUT LOUD. To my husband because I stopped going to common events after the chair incident.
He had never noticed before, because whereas he was aware of my weight, I was more than just my weight. He saw me (that is not an avatar reference, nerd).
I rarely confronted or tried to educate anyone about it because frankly, they wouldn’t care and I would end up alienating people I might actually want to be friends with.
We all have our own set of glasses, a few pairs of those glasses actually. One of my pair are fat-colored. I travelled with a friend of mine who is dark skinned. He told me that we should just get through the passport control and wait for him on the other side because at every border crossing, his passport was examined with the utmost scrutiny. He was right. I saw life through dark skinned glasses for a short time.
My point is that even though we all have these glasses, we have the choice to take them off. We have the ability to see a cigar as a cigar and not an instrument of death or a sex toy or a symbol of power or age or all the other connotations. And we need to take those glasses off occasionally or we end up alone and depressed because no one wants to be forced to see through other glasses all the time. We need a break. We need commonality. And for god’s sake, isn’t it just so exhausting?
So come on people. Take off your glasses and enjoy what you see because there is no enjoyment behind them.