Welcome to the Singlution!

No more desperate dating, pitiful pining and wahhhh-wahhhh-waiting!

New to the Singlution? Check out the Singlution FAQ.

Spread the Singlution LOVE! If this blog tickles your fancy, post a link to singlutionary.com on your facebook, myspace, twitter, forehead or just email all your Singlutionaries. Become a follower! Subscribe to the Singlution!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

My Singlutionary Admiration

I have an admirer and I like it.

Most of the admiration that I have received in my life was not really all that welcome. As a young teenager I was building a set for a Shakespeare play I was performing in when I heard a noise. I looked up and right on the other side of the fence was a man masturbating while staring at me. I was 13. Granted, we were building the set on the grounds of a mental institution but this guy was NOT locked up. He was one of the ones who was free to range and had a pass into the real world on Saturdays. I tried to tell my hot 20 year old co-actor about it but I stalled when I came to the masturbation part. I didn't know which words to use. I was so embarrassed. And while I had a deep puppy love crush on the hot 20 year old male co star, he was so freaked out by having to kiss with me in the play that he could hardly stand talking to me for more than 1 minute. During that summer he hooked up with an opera singer his own mothers age and then freaked out when he found out how old she was. But that is another story entirely.

After high school I gained a lot of weight and for most of my adult life I've been a little plump. When I began slimming down, I realized that I didn't want to be slender again. The extra weight had reduced the cat calls, the guys driving by in their cars doing the blow job hand motion and the dopey sweet-but-annoying types who used to follow me around campus like little puppies talking about their Dungeons and Dragons victories. Being heavy also made me -- literally -- harder to move. Shortly after college I had been walking in my own neighborhood (the one I grew up in) and had been suddenly grabbed in a bear hug by some guy. I started yelling but nobody on this quiet residential street took any notice or came to my defense. I did yell loud enough to startle him into letting go. I ran across the street where a neighbor boy was sitting on the front steps. He seemed unconcerned and seemed annoyed that I was bothering him when I explained to him what had happened. Since I wasn't getting any sympathy or offers to walk me back to my house, I decided to just make a run for it although I was sure the man was still watching me from the shadows. The man grabbed me again in my own driveway at which time my parents heard my screaming and came to my rescue. He fled. None of the neighbors ever inquired as to my well being although they must have heard me screaming. Did they think I was just mentally imbalanced? At the time there was another Shakespeare actor staying at my parent's house. He was completely uncomfortable with witnessing this experience, said it was just like "West Side Story" (huh?) and went out with (common) friends and didn't invite me. I hate my hometown but that is another story entirely.

So, you can see why I've never really thought much of being admired. Aside from perverts, I've been also admired by men and women for all the wrong reasons, for reasons that had little to do with me: I had a car, was educated, was a liberal, was an activist, wasn't an activist, didn't smoke pot, was educated by hippies, had a swing set, knew how to use email, knew so-and-so, had long hair, had short hair, liked hiking, wasn't their girlfriend, etc. 

Admiration sucked. 

Until now. 

At the new job I have a few admirers. There are many people who live at the apartment complex where I work who are sane and interesting. There are also the Dungeons and Dragon types but as they've matured they've picked up other topics of conversation with which to impress the ladies. And there are a few harmless nut jobs. 

My new admirers are cute. They're smart and not socially disabled and they will come into the office to talk. They come by now more than they did before and that was my first hint that they have little crushes on me. I have one in particular who is my favorite. He knows how to fix cars and doesn't talk down to me because I'm female. So I get to talk about cars and straw bale houses and alternative fuel sources with him and he talks to me like, well, a peer. Its good to be admired by respectable folk. And its good to be admired for the right reasons and to have someone see value in me beyond what I can give them. Its good to be respected AND admired. And its a new experience for me, in a way. I'm soaking it up. I never thought admiration could be so light hearted and simple. But this is. And at this moment, it is absolutely perfect.

This new experience is a result of becoming Singlutionary. Being entirely satisfied with my single life has resulted in a new confidence. Crazy people leave me alone because I am untouchable; I want for nothing. And folks who are also Singlutionary seem to recognize their own. How wonderful is it to find Singlutionary friends in my offline life as well as in my virtual one?


Clever Elsie said...

This post invites comment on so many things--the sometimes blurry line between flirtation and harassment, sexual objectification, violence against women, body image issues, and the role of poor self-esteem in abusive relations. I think what sticks with and disturbs me the most is the tolerance of abuse so evident in the insouciant reactions of the men around you! Their refusal to acknowledge or assist you makes them complicit in that abuse. And I really do think that the incidents you're describing are abuse, not admiration.

Girls and women shouldn't have to be ashamed or afraid of ridicule if they alert someone to abuse. They also shouldn't have to worry that they'll be harassed for looking healthy and attractive. Yet the tragedy of our society is that even as it preaches equality, it shrugs its shoulders at the statistic that one in four women will be sexually assaulted at some point in her life.

It's really encouraging to know that these frightening encounters haven't stopped you from becoming the independent single you are today. While anyone can become a target of an abuser, it's true that a healthy sense of self-esteem sends out a message that you will actively resist anyone who oversteps your boundaries.

When you've had a number of run-ins with abusers, it can be hard to distinguish positive attention from threatening attention. It's really great to hear that you're experiencing positive attention now and learning how to enjoy it! Everyone likes to know they're valued and appreciated, and there's nothing wrong with that.

Courtney said...

I love your blog! It's never boring, that's for sure.

I feel as though I'm right on the verge of having a workspace that compliments me; you are constantly giving me little sneak peaks at what I really hope is my near future!

Please keep writing :D

Welsh Girl said...

Life has been eventful for you up to now so I love that things are finally falling into place. Hurrah. The posse of sane admirers sound lovely - real, sane, interesting people who want to talk to you should always be encouraged! I'm rather horrified by the non reaction of your neighbourhood to bear hugging crazy people. Did you know that the advice now is to shout 'fire' if you want people to come to your aid. Apparently it is the only thing that works without fail. That says something about human nature, I'm just not sure what.

Special K said...

I have so much to say (surprise, surprise!) but I guess what matters most is: what you are (plump, too skinny, an apartment owner, a single gal) is not ever as crucial as who you are (thoughtful, intelligent...).
I admire you. Completely. Hands Down.
Thanks for entering my giveaway!

The Singlutionary said...

Clever Elsie: Thank you for making so many great points. It is nice to finally be able to relax into myself and enjoy the reward of simply being me. I agree that the negative experiences I cited were definitely NOT admiration in the real sense of the word but I was certainly schooled by life from an early age that being a small, young female made me a target for ickyness. I don't know why the boys and men in my hometown were to unwilling to assist me. As I gain distance and perspective from the situation, I think it is in some part the insular conformity of small-town-thinking, in some part their own youth and immaturity and in some part racism. When I told my then-pseudo-boyfriend about the bear hugging man, he was more concerned about the race of that individual than my well being. I come from a town where you're either white or your mexican. I'm neither but could pass for either. So, I think that on some level, it was OK that I was being attacked because it was merely a dispute amongst the "lower classes".

Courtney! Thank you for reading! Please keep commenting, I'd love to hear more about you and your workspace!

Welsh Girl: Yes, I do know to shout fire. And I would do it now after all of that. At the time, I do not think I shouted "help" until I was in my parent's driveway. I couldn't find any words. I just screamed as loud and long as I could. I don't know what the whole "fire" thing says about human nature either. Not a positive note for humanity.

Special K: Thank you so much! I admire you too! And I especially admire your willingness to move to a far away land and to cut off all your hair and run marathons or whatever is next on your list!

Anonymous said...

Once again, another great thought :-)

But if you have a think about it, isn't this what friends are for? Shouldn't friends treat you the same way; shouldn't we have friends that you can feel the same way with when you talk to them as you feel when you talk to these other people?

Just a thought ....


bobbyboy said...

You have to be comfortable with yourself in all aspects. I learned this the hard way myself when I was a lad. I can tell you this, I absolutely admire you through the words you so eloquently portray here at your blog! You're intelligent, cheery, fun and your posts are well thought out and interesting. They also inspire. What's not to admire?

As to the lack of concern that people have sometimes in jumping in to another human beings defense, well it's not only disgusting, but should be against the law! I've had my butt well beaten many times in aiding those who had no defense (I grew up at a rough time in NYC). I don't regret any of it because it was the right thing to do and always will be.

It took me many years to become comfortable with myself, but I finally realized that I'm in charge of my life and the direction I want it to go. It seems that you're going down that same path too-well done and more power to you!

You deserve good things in life, go get 'em! :)

The Singlutionary said...

Iol: Thank you! Yes, our friends should build us up just as we build them up and it should all be natural.

Bobby: You are awesome! I admire you too. You are always standing up for people, offering support. Your entire blog is about helping people to make their relationships better and to better their relationship with themselves. Thank you for standing up for folks with your words and with your physical presence. It is good to know that there are grown up men out there!