I'm more than the sum of my parts - a minor rant


If I typed up 20 words off the top of my head that have been used to describe me (as in the graphic above) - what does that really tell you about me? Without context, not a whole lot. One of the things we lose from childhood to grownassness is the ability to just take people as they come. That whole 'play with you at recess so we're friends for life' thing? It fades as we get older. We start getting more caught up in appearance and class and clothes and things that really tell you nothing about the true character of someone else. Here begins a rant-

I distinctly remember a gathering with an ex where there were a lot of pro athletes. I was the only woman over a size 8 in the place. I was used to it and secure enough with myself and dude that I smiled and proceeded to get my party on. I went on about my evening, laughing, dancing, joking and drinking when one of the guys (now a Hall of Famer) walked over to announce, "You have the biggest most amazing breasts I've ever seen." I glanced down to make sure they were still covered (they were) and then blinked twice. Because seriously, what do you SAY to something like that? "I know, right?" is egotistical. "Thank you" is far too passive. "You must be joking?" is too confrontational. I settled on, "Um. Interesting." He said, "It's a compliment, I usually don't look at larger women. But you're beautiful. There's something about you."

Le Huge Damn Sigh. If I had a dime for every time someone told me how beautiful I was and then added or implied the "for a plus size girl" quantifier on there, I'd be (what is it I always say?) typing this from my own Caribbean island with a cabana boy named Raul serving me champagne and lobster. My favorite of these stories (and why I really dislike another well known soon to be Hall of Famer) took place at the Pro Bowl in Hawaii. Said dude stepped on the elevator, glanced at me, away and back before saying, "You are a thick sexy thing. I would do you if I didn't respect the dude you were here with so much." He also proceeded to tell me I would be sexier if I flashed my boobs at him.  :-/

I had another less icky experience this weekend when I decided to pop out to a concert at the last minute. During intermission, the guy I went with left for a minute and his friend came to sit with me. "You're not his usual type, I mean, you're more curvy than expected but I get it. You're sexy as hell, gorgeous really. I approve." My mouth dropped open. He APPROVED?! For real tho?

These are NOT compliments. At all. Not the least bit flattering. I don't mind being told I'm full of figure. Yes, I know. I have mirrors and scales and life-long angst over calories and fat grams. But I rarely sit about dwelling on it unless it's specifically brought to my attention. I've always been healthy, able to attract and keep (for the most part) the men that I've wanted and look good in my clothes. (Maybe out of them too, I don't know. No complaints so far). I work out, cook the right things and drink lots of water just to maintain where I am right now. As you might have noticed from this blog, I suffer no self-esteem problems. [Bless my parents. They consistently told us we were the best and brightest, diamonds amongst a sea of dust and we believed them.]

I don't mind being told I'm pretty. It's nice to hear though I had very little to with it. [Thanks gene pool!] But I guess I'm of an age where I want to be more than the sum of my various parts. Where I'd like to be considered as more than my waist to hip (or in my case chest to hip) ratio and ability to slick on flattering lipstick and work a flat iron.

I'm saying that "pretty" and "curvy" don't define me. They are but two descriptors that make up all the Micheleness. I know, I know. The world is a superficial place. No one can see how witty and smart I am from across the room. At first glance, I'm LSLHBB (Light Skin, Long Hair, Big Boobs) I get it. But every now and then, I'm SOOO tempted to snap. "What did you score on your SAT? Oh really? Then I approve!" Or "How did you vote in the last election? Really? You're not my type." What if I told men, "You know you're not as tall, rich, cute, smart, insert quality here as I usually date, but you'll do." I can't imagine that going over well. But I'm supposed to flattered to be "approved of" in spite of my body type?

Not to exclude my Skinny Minnie sisters. They are forever telling me they catch hell for not being "thick" enough. Guys catch wreck for not being tall enough or buff enough - perhaps if we just kept our preferences to ourselves and just said, "Nice to meet you" and kept it moving? I don't know.

Most of you are aware that Paul Carrick Brunson, the Modern-Day Matchmaker, is kicking off his 2011 tour by co-hosting an event with me here in Dallas. He says that if he could remove the height qualifier from a woman's must-have list and the weight qualifier from a man's must-have list, he'd have people matched up in no time flat. 

I recall my eHarmony days and how you had to sum yourself up in sound bites that you hoped were intriguing to the other person. Let's try a variation on that today.

So what say you? If you had to describe yourself in ten words or less? Could you do it? 
Me? "Witty Southern writer with bougie tendencies and sense of humor." 

If you had describe your mate (the one you have or the one the want) in ten words or less... could you do it? Mine? "Godfearing man. Character with ambition, charm and conversation; into me." [Whew that's hard] 

Whatcha got? Thoughts, insights, comments? The floor is yours.