Friday, December 28, 2007

Bread and Butter

Gabrielle asked me if she could have a butter sandwich for lunch today.

Now, if it had been Arielle asking, I would have known immediately that she meant peanut butter. Gabrielle hates peanuts and peanut butter, however, so I cast about in my mind and came up with, "Do you mean bread and butter? The yellow butter, sweetie?"

She nodded, and I replied that she certainly could. And then I forgot about it, since both the girls are old enough to make things like that on their own. (Which is wonderful! Wonderful!)

I should have paid attention, though, because I found the remains of her sandwich a while later, abandoned on the table, probably because her poor little body overloaded and screamed, "NOOOOO!!" when she went to take another bite.

When she said "Butter sandwich" she meant a sandwich, not buttered bread. She had taken a slice of bread, slathered margarine a quarter inch thick on it, then folded the bread in half. And she somehow managed to eat a little more than half of the sandwich. It made me feel sick just to look at it.

It reminds me of the time I caught the two of them sitting on the kitchen table, sticking their hands in the margarine tub up to the wrists and sucking it off their fingers.

Would you believe they're actually both rather on the skinny side?


There is something about blogging that gets into your blood, I have found. I haven't posted here for months, but I find myself, nearly daily, taking the events of my life and mentally composing posts.

I feel very conflicted about this blog. The anonymity that started out as a way to help myself feel free to write without risking negative feedback, a way to protect myself from my fear of criticism and thus break through my writer's block, has now become a kind of prison itself. On this blog I've forged another identity, and it's become somewhat of a straitjacket.

That's not to say that this isn't real, that I've made up this blog. I haven't. Everything I've written here has happened to me. There's so much, though, that I haven't written here, so many parts of my personal life that I've left out because I feared coming under attack.

It dawned on me the other day that I'm a terrible perfectionist. Now, this is an excellent quality in a proofreader or copy editor, but not so hot in anything approaching real-life interactions with other people, because the base, the foundation, of my perfectionism is this horrible fear that if I'm less than perfect, if I fail, somehow, to measure up to what everyone else in the world wants me to be, then everything is lost. Everything in my life is a failure if I can't get everyone to like me.

And since I can't be perfect, I tend to not even try. I just give up and don't do anything. I've had so many things I wanted to do, but never dared try, because I was afraid that I would be rejected, laughed at, humiliated. "Who do you think you are? How dare you come here, among us? You loser, you failure, you pathetic excuse for a woman. No-one likes you, no-one loves you, you will never be good enough, you will never be a part of the group. Go away, shrivel up and die, because you are less than worthless. You are a blot on the universe and everyone and everything would be better off without you."

What's the worse that could happen? Not hearing a "No,", but hearing contemptuous laughter.

So I hide - here and in the rest of my life - trying to be perfect, trying to please everyone, so that they won't hate me, won't see past the facade to how much I don't deserve to be among them, won't cast me out and leave me, alone.

Of course, that's not exactly something unique, I do know that. In fact, I believe that's pretty normal. Now if I could only persuade the little voice in my head that keeps ducking under the covers.

Wow - I didn't mean to go off like that, for so long. But then, that's why I need to get back to this, get back to blogging. Because for me, it's my journal, and I need to have this forum. And it's nice to be able to write and have nice people like you all say nice things about it. (Not fishing for compliments, OK?

So, I need to come back to this, which might be complicated because I really do want to still keep it secret from my family and getting time on the computer alone anymore has gotten complicated. People all over the place, reading over my shoulder and loudly stating that they want on, too (so hurry it up and get off already!)

I need this, though. I need to make it work, for my own sake.


Anonymous said...

I like ugly too - it makes people interesting. Like a "beauty mark" in a flawless face.

Jensgalore said...

Hey, Dana! I was surprised to see your comment - I didn't think anyone would see this post. It's been so long since I posted I figured nobody was around anymore. Thanks for the comment. :-)

Anonymous said...

I never erased you from my bloglines! So I am still reading!