Monday, December 5, 2011

Mirror, Mirror

Last Thursday after derby practice, a most gorgeous and wonderful derby sister (you know who you are) said, "Reckless, I wanted to ask you a question."

Well, I, of course, immediately thought we were about to venture into a conversation about all things derby.  You know--wheels, plates, pads, hits, chips, dips, chains, whips.  Average derby repartee.

Instead, she told me that I'm radiant.  And I was stunned.  She said that she loved me but that she hated me because I glow (I knew what she meant about the hating part.).  She wanted to know what I use on my face to get that look.  She wondered if I use sake' (which I might try now that I know about it...).  I told her that I really don't use anything special.  I occasionally get a facial.

She went on to say that I can pass for someone in my twenties when I get all dolled up.   


I thanked her but told her I thought she must need a new prescription because I'm not kidding myself thinking I might pass for a girl my twenties (I cannot remember the last time I got carded and I do go places where one would be carded, so....). 

She continued insisting that I am radiant.  And each time she paid me a compliment, I killed it.  I'm a compliment killer.  I slaughter them. I'd like to say I graciously accept compliments about my appearance, but I don't.  I appreciate the words, but I don't know how to deal with them from most people.  And in general, it's because I don't agree.  I just don't see it this way.  I don't think I'm especially ugly; I just think I'm extremely average.  So, if people say otherwise, I get an urge to argue with them and get them to restate their words in a way that is more inline with my view of myself.  Usually, I am able to suppress this urge and simply say, "Thank you" (and then do an internal eye roll), but at times I verbally disagree with the praise.   The only compliment she gave me that I readily agreed with was that my husband is smokin' hot.  He's totally eye candy.  I can agree with that because that is really a compliment about him (And, yeah, he gets them all the time.  Ask him about the woman who stalked him and gushed over his eyes in The Krogert yesterday.  In front of the children.).            

This whole exchange with my derby sister caught me completely off guard, and leaving the rink I literally felt off-kilter.  I stumbled through the doorway of the rink, knocked my bag over twice in the parking lot, and about fell over when I hoisted my bag up into the truck. I thought about her comments the whole drive home and then relayed them to Mr. Incredible when I arrived there.

And, of course, Mr. Incredible told me that her words were spot on.  But, he's my husband, and he gets paid piles of cash to say that.  And there I go again.

I continue to work on the impulse to talk my way out of a good word.

So, I've spent the last couple of days pondering about and ruminating on my penchant for murdering kind utterances about my appearance and my abilities and things people like or admire about me.

You see, I still have to try very hard to ignore and turn off all the little tape reels that have constantly played in my head since I was a teenager.  The mixed tapes that say I'm not good enough or pretty enough or smart enough.  Because I'm very quick to agree with anyone who is critical of me (especially me), even if the criticism is only perceived in a tone or a look or is entirely untrue or undeserved.  And if I agree with the mixed tapes, then they were right all along, and that's a lie.

Now, at the same time I'm not going to jump all the way over to the other extreme of overly confident and having an inflated view of myself either.  That's not me.  That's not the answer either. 

I'm trying to pinpoint the balancing point between being proud of one's self and joining the ranks of the ascetics. 

Does anyone know where that location is and how to live there consistently?  Five dollars cash money for the first of you who produces a map.  


  1. ha! Crazy how some of our words are exactly the same! ( I really do like you. I'm going to stick around your site AND I'm going to send a link to this particular post to a woman I know that I've had a similar conversation with just this week!

  2. Hi Alana,

    Thanks for visiting my blog! Aw, I like you, too. Your writing is lovely. Yes, crazy that our words were practically identical; our similar thoughts support the idea that if you are feeling something, someone else probably is too. When we try to hide behind the mask of "I've got this all figured out" we are doing everyone a disservice.

    I'm going to take your "25 Things I Love About Me" challenge. Don't be surprised that my list will have something about me rocking the high heels, too. I've been known to walk into roller derby practice wearing workout shorts with 5" heels because I was going from practice to church. I'll be sure to link it up in your comments when I'm finished.