Today a guy in the sauna at the rec center said to me, “Putting a tattoo on a good-looking girl is like putting an Obama sticker on a Porsche. It just ain’t right!” This was after he asked if I got my tattoo in prison and if I was part of a motorcycle gang. Here’s a visual of the offending artwork.
Beautiful really, and quite well done by a talented artist named Karen Glass. I love it.
Some very nice people will insist he was comparing me to a Porsche (while wearing a bathing suit no less!). Others will say he must not like Obama or that some people are just assholes. I take it to be this: “You would be pretty if . . .”
That’s something I’ve heard a lot in my life, even from my closest girlfriends. You would pretty if . . . you wore a little make-up . . . if you put on a dress . . . if you smiled more . . . etc. etc.
Over the years I’ve changed exactly one of these things. I smile a lot more. Because I’m happy though, not because I’m interested in making you think I’m pretty. However, if I’m truly going to unearth my Wild Woman, that defensiveness and aggression need to go.
So I’m giving myself a pat on the back for approaching this sauna situation differently than I would have in the past. I didn’t bitch him out for calling me a girl (one of my biggest pet peeves). I didn’t voice my opinion about doing whatever I want, whenever I want, however I want (masculine). Instead I laughed gently at his first two questions (feminine) and let the final comment go as soon as he said it.
We all reach a point where we have to move forward on something even though it’s not panning out exactly as we’d hoped or planned. I have to continue to repress my masculine instincts even though that sometimes makes me feel needlessly abused and sad. I have to arrive on time with a smile on my face for yet another OKCupid coffee/tea date, even though most of them are duds. I have to hold back my deeply ingrained need to stick up for myself even though the feminine approach doesn’t usually feel comfortable to me.
Thankfully Clarissa Pinkola Estés, PhD. chimes in to prod me forward.
“There is usually no sense waiting till we feel strong enough to trust because that day will never come.”
I do trust this process but there are days when it’s really hard. I thought this was supposed to feel like “I’m going to take a leap of faith even though I’m scared,” which I’m totally fine with. That’s actually my comfort zone. But on the difficult days it feels more like “I have to settle for something mediocre even though that crushes my heart and soul.”
Estés is right there to push me further.
“To find this eminent life and love adviser, one only need to stop running, do some untangling, face the wound and one’s own yearning with compassion, give one’s entire heart to the process.”
OK then. I will go on my OKCupid dates. I will enjoy the good ones (scratch cooked dinner, salsa dancing, hiking) and I will make great conversation through the bad ones even though I’d rather be anywhere else in the world. I will constantly remind myself that my mission has changed. It’s no longer imperative that I prove to the world I can do anything I put my mind to. I’ve done that. That case is closed. My mission now is to find a relationship with an amazing man, one that will sustain me for the rest of my life.
I have two dates lined up for this weekend with two men who I expect to be lovely and . . . that’s it. That’s all I expect from them. There is no sense that either of them is going to knock my socks off in anyway but I will still show up and make the best of it, even though.
The point is not to settle, but to just get out there and make the search public. My king is searching for me (his queen) too, so what use would it be to stay hidden and make it harder on him?
Rather than ruminate on the drama, I will focus on tiny progressions and seek gratitude. So thank you to the idiot in the sauna for spurring my creative juices! I haven’t written a blog in over a week and you got me back to the page. Thank you also for the opportunity to showcase Karen Glass’ immeasurable talent.
Seriously, if you’re in the market for a tattoo do yourself a favor and check out her work. Then wait six months for an appointment and say Hello to all my friends in New York City while you’re there!
Love and light! ❤