Personally? Peer envy.

Personally? I try not to take it personally if someone seems to be actively avoiding me.

Maybe they’re mad at me, maybe they heard something about me and don’t know how to approach it, or…maybe they’re envious of me.

Envy is typically seen as a negative emotion, and I won’t argue to the contrary. It does have its motivational properties, but that’s beside the point. That point being that it exists in nearly, if not all of us. Someone who is envious of you may not think poorly of you, and may even see you as a wonderful human…who they don’t want to spend time around, simply because of the feelings elicited in your presence.

There are countless things of which someone can be envious. A higher paying job, a desirable body type, a dream relationship, popularity, the list goes on. Sometimes you don’t even realize there is anything about you worthy of envy. But there may be something about your life that makes someone else feel bad about themselves, or even less than. Is it your fault? Probably not, unless you actively screwed someone over to get what they wanted. We’re going to assume you didn’t. Is it an ideal scenario? Of course not, but neither is life, for the vast majority of humans.

You might want to talk it out with the envious person, clear the air, and become better friends, because you might also live in a fairytale. I, on the other hand, try to give that person the space they need, because I remember needing that same space. I remember feeling a gut punch whenever someone who had exactly what I never got was around. I remember wishing I didn’t feel this way, but also knowing there was little to be done about it, especially regarding the object of my envy. It was something I need to work out myself.

My suggestion is to continue being your (hopefully) wonderful self, and let them sort out their feelings.

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Personally? Swapping spit.

Personally? I’m not into swapping spit with just anyone. No, I don’t mean making out with someone. I’m talking about eating and drinking from someone else’s utensils and glasses. It looks to me like most of society doesn’t really care, but it happens to be a pretty big deal to me. I can remember feeling this way at 5-years-old; it’s ingrained in me.
I can’t count how many times someone has come up to me and asked for a sip of my drink. People I barely know, people I’ve met once or twice. My problem is NOT the sharing part; I do think of myself as a generous person. My problem is the part where the liquid that ALMOST made it down your throat is now mixed in with my drink. Gross. I’d rather just give it to you, if you need it that badly, and get another drink for myself.
A friend who agrees with me explained, “I’ll go DOWN on you before I drink off of you.” Yep, that about sums it up for me. I don’t consider myself a germaphobe, but telling people I am tends to get the point across without severely offending them. Bottom line, if I offer you a bite or a sip of what I’m having, you can consider yourself pretty special in my eyes.

 

Personally? Not my president.

Personally? When I say #notmypresident, I don’t mean that he’s not legally the president of the United States, although, I’m not even too sure of that, to be perfectly honest. I don’t think I won some kind of lottery that allows me to keep Obama as my own personal president. What I mean is that he is not a president who cares about the well-being of the MANY marginalized groups I belong to. I am not even a blip on his radar when he thinks about the people he looks to serve and care for. I am in that group of citizens he must merely tolerate, as a result of inheriting this country.

I know; no president can do what everyone in the country wants. But a president SHOULD make sure that everyone is at least safe and treated like an actual human. That’s the very least a president should do, and that is not what this one intends to do. So please don’t “well actually” me when I say #notmypresident. #fucktrump

Personally? Fantasies.

Personally? In the time between when I close my eyes at night and when I actually fall asleep, I have my most dreamiest of daydreams. They’re high in fantasy, low in reality. To clarify, 90% of these daydreams are completely non-sexual. I fantasize about landing my dream role in Hamilton, people who are 100% wrong coming to confess to me about how right I am, becoming best friends with my favorite celebrities, finding out that people who have died didn’t really die at all, relationships that will never actually happen, fantastic vacations to beautiful locations, a Trump-less America, those kinds of fantasies.

Sometimes my brain tries to halt these daydreams and tells me “There’s no way this could actually happen!” I then shush my brain, and tell it “Of course not, but I’m within my right to play this out in my own mind. As you were.”

It’s my own private utopia.

However…

Sometimes I go the opposite direction and play out what I can only call an antifantasy. I imagine a terrible scenario; a devastating earthquake, the death of a loved one, losing all my earthly possessions, being stranded in a desert, etc. Not because I want it to happen, but because I want to know how I’d hypothetically handle it. Or maybe because my brain just can’t help it.

Personally? Body Hair.

Personally? I see my body hair the way some men see their facial hair – sometimes I have it, sometimes I don’t.

Sometimes I shave my armpits and legs, sometimes I let it grow out. Sometimes I have a full manicured bush, sometimes it’s waxed completely bald. I honestly like it both ways for different reasons.

As a woman, I want the same freedom as men to have as much or as little hair as I want. I also want men to feel comfortable shaving or waxing THEIR body hair as well. Stop making everything men do for their bodies gay, and while we’re at it, stop thinking of  gay as an insult.

Personally? Motorcyclists.

Personally? I think motorcyclists (henceforth referred to as bikers) put too much responsibility on car drivers when it comes to road safety and accidents. Every time I hear about a car and a motorcycle colliding, I also hear “Drivers, be more aware of motorcycles. This could have been prevented if the driver had been more careful.”

Wayment.

These accidents are NEVER the fault of the biker? I absolutely understand that bikers are at much more risk of being injured or killed, but that doesn’t mean they can just run rampant all over the road and assume zero responsibility over what could happen as a result. Aren’t you, as a driver, more careful around a big semi truck? I know I am. I make sure I’m not doing anything that can cause an accident between me and this monster vehicle that can kill me.

In essence, vehicle operators have the propensity to suck no matter WHAT they’re operating. I’ve seen cars weaving in and out of lanes. I’ve seen bikers popping wheelies. I’ve seen drivers cut people off. I’ve seen bikers doing 90 mph. I’ve seen a car swerve, lose control, and hit an embankment with no one near him. I’ve seen a biker swerve, lose control and drop his bike with no one near him.

EVERYBODY needs to slow down and be more aware.

Personally? Me Too.

Psst…hey guys…it almost ALWAYS starts with non-verbal communication…

Let me tell you a little story. A few years ago I decided to go on my dream trip and spend one glorious month in Italy. As I was going to be spending an entire month there, I decided to save some money on lodging by using Couchsurfing dot com (it’s like AirBnB, but free and, well…couches instead of guest rooms, generally).
I should have taken the severe lack of women using the website as a red flag, but hey, sometimes I can be dense.
There was one particular couchsurfing host in Rome who is the focus of this story. I don’t remember his name. What I do remember are his sexual advances that started all of 30 minutes after I arrived at his apartment. His first advance was a “sympathetic” kiss on the shoulder as he was walking by me (I was nursing an exorbitant amount of mosquito bites). I froze momentarily, and then told myself that it was just him being “Italian” and ignored it.
*****Right here. This was the non-verbal “no”, the fact that I ignored this advance. The fact that I did not reciprocate. The fact that I pretended it hadn’t even happened.*****
He then continued by telling me how beautiful I was multiple times, and then decided to move in for a kiss on the mouth. Mind you, I’d only met this man about 45 minutes prior. I, of course, dodged away and said “Whoa, I’m not kissing you.”
*****Guys, in case you’re unclear, THIS is where the sexual advances definitely should have stopped. I clearly stated that did not want to be sexual with him.*****
I decided to try to convince him to take me somewhere (public) and show me around, like he’d said he would. But he claimed it was still too early in the day, and therefore too hot. So I tried to steer the conversation to the most non-sexual things I could think of. We settled on the topic of music, but the whole time we were talking, he continued to leer at me with a creepy smile on his face.
When it was finally time to venture out, I made the mistake of mentioning how sore my legs were from walking around so much the past few days. He offered to give me a massage when we got back. I tactfully stated that I didn’t really like massages. He saw right through that and called me out, saying I just didn’t want him to touch me. LOL, you think?
Once we were out and walking around, the sexuality of the situation went down. I was actually starting to think that he was going to behave himself for the rest of the day. Except when it got late, and we decided to head back, he made this joke:
“I’m going to bite you when you’re sleeping tonight.”
This could have meant one of two things. Either he was making a joke about following the mosquitoes’ lead (seriously, I had about 25 bites after only 2 days in Italy), or he was flat out joking about sexually biting me. Either way, my response was “And if you do, I’m going to punch you.” Then I figured as long as we were talking about it, I might as well add the caveat, “And there won’t be any cuddling, either.” (I guess now is a good time to mention this: The couchsurfing website has a “shared bed” option for hosts who live in studio apartments and don’t have couches.) He pretended he didn’t know what cuddling was, so I had to “explain” it to him, and ended with the reiteration that that would NOT be happening.
*****Guys, here was my calm and matter-of-fact statement of zero sexual interest. In case that cue was somehow missed.*****
We got back to his place, and got ready for bed. I crammed myself as close to the wall as possible, and he took the outer edge of the bed. The good thing about Italian beds is that they’re extra wide. At a certain point, I thought he was drifting off to sleep, but then he lazily rolled over and put his arm around me. I immediately threw his arm off and said “NO!” He sleepily apologized and rolled back over. Sleep finally came for both of us.
We had agreed to wake up at 9 a.m., and at 9 on the dot, he woke me up. As I was laying there, trying to fully wake up, he rolled over and put his LEG around me. I turned, looked at him in disbelief and said “What are you doing? Go back to your side!” That’s right, I ordered him back to his side of his own bed.
It was at this point that I decided to look for my next host. I got my phone, sat at the foot of the bed and fired up the website. He sat at the head of the bed and stared at me. After about a minute, he said “You’re so beautiful.” I pretended he wasn’t even there. When he stood up, I thought he was going to head to the kitchen, but instead, he inserted his head between my face and my phone, Trying. To Kiss Me. Again.
*****THIS is when I finally lost it and started yelling at him. Do you guys see how long that took? Do you see how many chances I gave him to be a decent human being before I had to become a “bitch” about it?*****
I started yelling “I am not your girlfriend!”, “I said no!” and “What is wrong with you?!”
His responses were “I’m sorry!” and “I was just trying to get closer to you.”
So I asked him “Did you ask me if I wanted to get closer to YOU?” No answer, so I answered for him, “No, you didn’t.”
Now, let’s stop for a moment and understand that I was completely alone in another country. Standing up for myself was such a risky move. Not one person knew where I was. This could have turned violent fast, and also, I hadn’t figured out how Italian doors worked (they’re permanently locked with a big old key sticking out of a keyhole). I couldn’t get out unless he opened the door for me, which he did.
Now, anyone who know me, knows I’m on the less timid end of any personality spectrum, but please, PLEASE realize that not everyone is as strong minded or able-bodied as I am. While my solution would have been to go down fighting (if it came to that), there are so many people out there, women especially, who, after having their non-verbal cues and less assertive no’s ignored, have decide to just let it happen in order to avoid being hurt or killed. It doesn’t make these encounters ANY. LESS. WRONG.
#metoo