A guy I was going out with once tried to insult me by saying, “You have your own reality that is entirely your own. No one else shares it with you! You take situations and turn them around somehow so everything is wonderful and great.” It was one of the sweeter insults that’s been sent my way, but yeah. I get how annoying my way of seeing can be for the very literal and the excessively sane. There are times that I tell myself I’m not going to be like this anymore and I try to “pull myself together.” I try to see things as they really are and deal with them in a practical way. I imagine this will make everyone more comfortable, including me. But you know? That always feels as if I’ve taken off my perfectly-tailored blazer that’s a bit shabby but the color and cut suit me perfectly, and put on some trendy little jacket that’s too small in the shoulders.
I generally end up back in the tailored blazer, “stubbornly” seeing things my way. How annoying to be called stubborn! I mean, stubborn why? Because I don’t necessarily change my way of seeing things when it doesn’t suit… whoever? Because I generally prefer to learn through my own mistakes rather than demurely taking others’ advice? I’m trying to remember the last time I referred to someone as stubborn. I can’t recall. I don’t think I ever think that about anyone. And you know why? Because I wouldn’t presume to call a determined, tenacious person “stubborn.”
So, how is it that I see things? Last year on National Book Day I published the following on Facebook:
Cuando quiero rendirme, me acuerdo de Don Quijote, mi gemelo de alma, y la fuerza que hay en ver el mundo mucho más dulce, noble, generoso, mágico, y maravilloso que lo que realmente es. Sí, ignoro la verdadera naturaleza de las cosas. Y qué? Feliz Día Internacional del Libro, amores!
When I feel like giving up, I remember Don Quixote, my soul twin, and the strength there is in believing the world more sweet, noble, generous, magical, and marvelous than it really is. Yes, I ignore the true nature of things. So what? Happy International Book Day, loves!
I think this is what comes of having grown up in a magical place. And having had a magical father. There was really never any way to escape it.
A specific example of this is how I view men and the way I relate to them. My own father was a king of a man, and always very good to me. The boys I knew growing up were respectful and kind. My ex husband was a loving and generous partner. All of the men I’ve ever had anything to do with have been respectful and solicitous, as far as I remember. The only time I can remember encountering some shocking male behavior was when I became single and all these married men started hitting on me. I didn’t expect that. Well, and I guess I’ve written a couple funny posts about men behaving badly, but most of that I found funny or even endearing. I’m never bitter toward men, not in any but the most superficial way.
So, I’m sure I see men as being much better than they really are. My girl friends definitely think so. But I’m sorry, I just can’t help myself. And I know some people are reading this right now thinking, Wha? Because I’ve complained to them about men. Sometimes I complain, but it never changes my fundamental, deep-down belief that men are always good to me and I luvs them. In fact, I probably shouldn’t admit this, but I’m a total flopper. I’m the Danny Ainge of the dating world.
Sometimes a guy will do something I find mildly annoying, or maybe I just want to manipulate a tad. So I say things like, “Ohhh you are so bad to me! You’ve made me feel soooo terrible!” when really I feel fine. I found myself overusing this tactic because it was so incredibly affective. And then of course it loses its power. I don’t recommend it. In fact, if I’m revealing this on the blog it’s because it’s something I think I should probably stop doing.
The point is, I realize that my way of seeing men is not the norm. I realize it possibly makes me vulnerable to being taken advantage of. I suppose I probably have been taken advantage of and I never even noticed! So. What? I don’t know. Does that make me stupid? What I think is that a big reason men treat me so well is that they can feel that I’m predisposed to thinking well of them. They can tell that I luvs them. And it has that Pygmalion effect on them, just like the rats in Rosenthal’s study.