a friend who read my previous blog congratulated me for my good fortune and asked, "how can you not know when you are treated wrong?"
i had to explain-- it is not so much in the big wrongs that i have trouble knowing about, but in the little, supposed to be "harmless" wrongs that does more damage in the long run... little white lies, inconsideration, insensitive remarks and little actions... stuff like that, which, when added together, form a bunch of actions which belie those overused words, "i love you."
i don't think it's just me; i think it's a common blind spot among women. raised to always look out for others yet not looking out for one's self in the first place, we tend to be so other-focused that we even interpret other's lack of respect, consideration and sensitivity as something that reflects on our lack of worth ("is there something wrong with me? maybe if i do more, love more, give more, he'll learn to appreciate me and be more considerate and sensitive of me too?").
i am learning now that if there's anything at all "wrong" (i think we are perfect, just as we are!) with us women, it's that we don't give ourselves enough credit, sacrificing self-respect and integrity for so-called "love" and connection. it seems anathema to a woman's total concept that she can actually enjoy her self and her life, without guilt, with or without a man.
this point was further emphasized to me last night when my daughter Thea and I watched "Down with Love" starring Renee Zellweiger and that male lead star in Moulin Rouge (i forgot his name). we laughed at many parts of the film, because we could identify ourselves and our foibles in it (well, for me at least; im not sure my 12 year old has enough experience of her own to appreciate them, although she did nod emphatically when i pointed out some parts to her and what they could mean...).
basically, the female lead star (Renee, playing writer Barbara Novak) wrote a book, "Down with Love", which became a hit among women in the 1960s. that book was supposed to be THE bible for women's empowerment.
the book's thesis is "down with love", essentially telling women to take off their rose-colored glasses and see things for what they are, which is not to equate sex with love, like men do. sex is sex and love is love and that's that. some rare times, they meet up but oftentimes, they don't. so get on with it, get moving with your life, pleasure your self in what ever way you can, with or without "love" from a man. there is so much more to life than a romantic relationship with a man.
still, in the end, though, true love wins. in the film, the male and female leads eventually fall in love and marry, despite their protestations and struggle with themselves and each other.
i guess the film also pointed out that when you take off your rose-colored glasses and see things for what they are, when the real thing comes along, you finally recognize it for the rare thing that it is too, and not get it mixed up with the fancy but empty baubles you have met along your journey.
i think i've overcome my blind spot now.
i KNOW i have overcome my blind spot now.