|Menisculis a nightwaif|
So this is something that has come up in my life twice in the last week and it’s bothering me. Both cases are people treating me as an idea not as a person. As if I were some ethereal concept personified through an allegoric quirk of nature.
The first person said to me “you look frightfully perfect and in control” which is the most sterile thing to say. I don’t consider myself to be those things in the slightest and I am sad that she sees me that way because it means she doesn’t know me at all. It’s our imperfections that make us and how we deal with chaos that shows how we really are. I’ve known her for nearly 2 years now and speak regularly about all aspects of each other’s’ lives and apparently we don’t know each other at all. Either I haven’t communicated properly to her or she hasn’t listened properly to me. Potentially it’s both?
The second person I can’t pick a direct quote because it’s not that sort of thing but he also sees me as something I’m not. I think this version of Deb is more dangerous as it has impossibly high expectations which don't align with who I am. He has this mental picture of how his life should be with his house and his wife (who is only ever described as beautiful and nothing else) and kids and dogs I get the impression that he thinks I would be the missing piece of his puzzle and then the rest would perfectly fall into place. John Green put it brilliantly in his recent blog post: But Did You Read the Book? talking about his book and its film adaption Paper Towns. He said: "there’s a line in the beginning of the novel: “Everyone gets a miracle.” The male narrator of the story believes his miracle is Margo Roth Spiegelman,[....] Later in the book, the boy realizes that Margo is not a miracle, that she is just a person, and that his imagining her as a miracle has been terribly hurtful to them both. [.....] we must see people as people, that we must learn to imagine them complexly instead of idealizing them, that the romantic male gaze is limiting and destructive to women. That’s the whole point of the story to me."
Well I’m not perfect or in control, and I’m certainly not a miracle. I would unrestrict John’s statement that it isn’t just the romantic male gaze that is limiting and destructive to relationships, but it is symbolically conceptualising people and not seeing them as people regardless of gender or the element of romance. However, it seems difficult to show someone who you are, as it gets filtered and distorted in delivery, then it’s difficult for them to see who you are, as they distort their interpretation of you into what they want to see. So by extension it’s virtually impossible to understand how someone else sees you as it has then gone through three distortions; since you distort their distortions on your original distorted projection. Still with me? Withstanding that grammatical nightmare; isn’t that sad? Does no one see who we really are? Is that why it’s so rare for people to say – they get me – because so few people actually do? Am I (are we all) doomed to be a waif of misconception detached from the human spectrum and forced into a claustrophobic notion? To be eternally a concept and not a person sounds like a perfectly dreadful way to be.