The “right” person won’t come along, folks

Yesterday I was talking to a good friend about my lack of potential for meeting potential romantic partners in this world. (Ha, see what I did there? I love writers’ puns…)

Anyway, before I began explaining my side of the story he informed me to never change who I am, in spite of who I think I should be to garner more attention.

While I agree wholeheartedly that I should not change myself for a man, I disagreed with him on his next point:  He said the “right man” will come along.

My friend meant well, he really did. He could have said, “You’ll never really find anyone to date.” He could have said, “You’re not dating now because ____ is wrong with you.” But I tell myself those things all the time. Why? Well, it may not sound logical to the rest of you, but I firmly believe, deep in the recesses and cavities and holes that life has punctured inside of me, that I do not deserve a boyfriend because of standards and expectations held of women in the United States.

Let me explain: I have noticed this prevailing desire in men to seek women with good hair and skin, who dress well but also suggest attraction (a.k.a. wear makeup and flattering clothing pertaining to whatever body type), who seem “normal” and who are intelligent but also kind, with an edge and a bubbliness and electricity that sometimes lends itself to fast talking and excitement. In the neighborhood I grew up, straight hair and lighter skin is seen as attractive, while the most socially desirable women walk around in tank tops and shorts regardless of their body type (curvy was the most common). The girls, I’ve noticed, talk quickly and have higher pitched voices, playfully giggle and sometimes sport tattoos and piercings. They have an accent I’ve only ever found in first or second-generation Southern California families that instantly makes them relatable, likeable, and friendly to other people, as if through their voices they are opening their hands to others as a white flag.

Beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, colors, genders, ethnicities, religions, in every country of this diverse planet. Yet all my life I have been made to feel ugly because my skin is darker than others’. My unruly hair curls of its own accord and when I straighten it, it puffs out like I’ve been electrocuted. I have a double chin and a camel toe. I hate wearing shorts and instead wear dresses that make my stomach protrude and my thighs shake with every step. I don’t have any tattoos. I am insecure and shy at the worst times, spurned on by years of being discouraged from dating and made to feel uncomfortable by parents who always wanted to see their daughter focus instead on college. My voice is low and monotone, and the volume is sometimes so soft that people talk over me as though what I have to say doesn’t matter. I don’t have the accent most people have; instead, I’ve been told that when I talk, I sound so technical like a robot, or like a stereotypical brainiac who always has the answers, like Dorothy Ann from The Magic School Bus. And according to my research, I have never been asked out on a date except for one awkward time in high school, and even then the individual denies years later that he had ever asked me out to begin with, so for all I know it could have only been a dream. Even my prom was with someone whose family forced him into going with me–a pity date above all else.

So should I change who I am? Certainly not. I have friends who love me for a reason, and people I can rely on who are there for me because of who I am, not what I can give them. That counts for something in this world where not everyone is blessed with good people in their lives. But does this also mean that the “right person” has not come yet? I don’t know what is meant by the “right person.” There are people I’d never consider dating who treat others like crap, or who have deeply ingrained issues that would negatively affect the world. These certainly are not the “right people,” but then again they are not the right people for anybody at this point in their lives.

I am not going to lie: I am okay with being single because I have to be, because I have no other choice. I have tried dating websites and speed dating in public settings. I am a natural extrovert so I have no issues with meeting new people. I have joined a myriad of clubs where I am exposed to new people all the time–people I talk to. The fact that no one’s wanted to date me is insulting, and what’s more insulting is that when I do the asking, they were never interested in me to begin with. What other conclusions, then, can I logically draw? I am an ugly, undesirable, boring person, and no one yet has proved me wrong. And believe me, I want to be proven wrong. But I can only put so much energy, and I have to move on and focus on career goals, my family, writing, art, film, God, the other things in my life worth living for.

Of all the people I have ever crushed on, I think in their own ways they could have all been the “right people.” They tend to be intelligent, charismatic beings who treat others with respect and find common ground with me. They are also vastly different from one another. I cannot possibly fit the “right person” into a neat little box that checks off the “correct” qualities in a partner; that would never allow for that person to grow if they were always constricted to that criteria, nor would such a person ever exist because no one is perfect. Yes, there are people I would get along better with, become more attracted to, but this is also not a guarantee that I have met the “right person.”

In short, I don’t know what the phrase “right person” really means. A better phrase to use would be, “The person who will be mutually attracted to you will come along.” It is a two-way street, after all, regardless of who is “right,” wrong, or ultimately left behind.

The Dangers of Wearing Red Lipstick

Today I bought a tube of red Revlon lipstick.

It was guaranteed to last longer on the lips than the actual lipstick would.

I put some on my lips even though I wasn’t going anywhere for tonight and I wouldn’t be seeing anyone else until morning, at which point the lipstick would have been rubbed off by Kleenex and my lips preserved in chapstick.

Yet I saw that tube of lipstick as not just a tube of Ruby Red; I saw it as a red flag, as a red siren on an ambulance, a red Stop sign imploring me to not go any further.

It was dangerous for me to wear red lipstick.

But it’s just some stupid lipstick, you might say. And yes, I agree with you, it is only a blending of chemicals and pigment designed to make the lips take on an unnatural shade of red. It is just make-up. But it is the effects of the make-up that worry me.

As a girl who seldom wears eyeliner, mascara, blush, or even lipstick, I am used to random passersby ignoring me on the street, pretending I don’t exist in my ordinary shirts and boring jeans. I don’t usually dress to impress. That is not my job; I am just a college student, not an advertisement for a pretty face or a physical object to be admired.

However, recently I began to rethink my whole notion of appearances and looking one’s best. True, I shouldn’t go around wiggling my boobs for strangers or wearing Daisy Dukes to show off my thigh flab or a butt cheek “accidentally”. But I also shouldn’t have to hide under baggy sweatshirts, no matter how bad I think that look that day. Why? Because I only come with one body and I might as well be darn proud of it.

Instead of wearing sweatshirts as was my style before, now I wear more dressed-up blouses paired with tighter jeans and boots or comfortable flats. I am not advertising my body by doing so; I have simply come to realize that my body is pretty fantastic, and therefore I should be proud of it and show off its best features without being vulgar, unacceptable, or desperate for attention. I am merely acknowledging that I am appreciative of who I am on the outside, and that who I am inside is fantastic, too.

So, why is it dangerous to wear red lipstick?

Let me just say that this revelation of confidence in my own body is still relatively new for me. I am still learning how to be kind to myself and how to appreciate myself for what I look like. I am also still quite used to strangers ignoring me, as they continue to do so even with my new wardrobe and with the recent addition of occasional light makeup. Wearing red lipstick would clearly draw attention to my face, and call particular attention to my lips. I am still learning to come out of my shell, but I would need to be able to look the world squarely in the eye before I feel comfortable with strangers being drawn to the sight of my lips. That is still a new thing for me, as naive as it sounds.

For now, I have taken the first step by buying the Revlon Ruby Red. I have applied it to my face and have timidly peered at myself in the mirror. I don’t look half-bad in it.

Tomorrow, I resolve to face the world wearing this minor addition to my appearance. I may not be able to look it square in the eye just yet, but I am proud of myself that I have come this far to let the world look me in the eye–and the mouth–for a change.

World of Warcraft, and the World Outside It

Does anyone on WordPress play World of Warcraft? 

Up until just a few months ago, I’ve heard of this game but it honestly never interested me much. It just seemed like a time waster and I could not understand what was so fascinating about killing plainstalkers and completing quests in cities called Orgrimmar. 

Fast forward a few months, and now I seem to be spending whole days on that game. Just a few weeks ago, I was absolutely shocked to discover that six hours went by that I was glued to the computer. It literally turned from day to night without my knowing it, and my window was open. Now, when I wake up I am more interested in completing my quest than I am in eating breakfast. Warcraft has turned me into a gaming nerd of sorts. 

Lately, I’ve realized that there is an actual world outside the computer. I discovered a new Chinese hot pot place with a good friend today. I drew a picture of an eagle. I saw an ex at a high school reunion on Saturday. Sure, it’s not as fun or adventurous of a life as I used to have in college, but it’s quite nice to know that there is a world outside World of Warcraft. I should never forget to remind myself of this, if I ever hope to enjoy life to the fullest. 

Tomorrow’s big adventure away from the computer: yoga. My life gets more exciting every day. 😉