Love letters, part three

“You’re beautiful.” A friend of mine recently told me that the men in her life say that to apologize for something they’ve done, or are about to do. “You’re beautiful” = “I’m sorry I’m going to have sex with you, because I’ve been told that it’s dirty and wrong. I’m sorry I’m going to destroy all that is pure and holy about you. You look just like an angel is supposed to look, and I am going to bring you down to earth and ravage you while re-living a hellfire & brimstone sermon inside out . And possibly not even call you later.”

Maybe it’s just me, but I think that starting off by telling a woman that she’s beautiful can have some strange consequences. Perhaps this is only a feature of my character.

In our early “courtship” (I love this word – what does it mean exactly nowadays?) you used to turn on my bedside lamp after walking back to the dorm in the dark and say: “in this light, you don’t even look ugly.” You told me you would take me out to dance if I wore a bag over my head. You had me at that crack about my village-peasant nose.

[tangent] Why does everyone like “Jerry Maguire”? Is there some sort of conspiracy? A secret society that brings you to the front of every DMV line and pays you a stipend, if you regularly proclaim your love of “Jerry Maguire” to the known universe? Why can’t we just admit that, while not brain-splittingly horrible, it nevertheless wasn’t that great of a movie? That “Almost Famous” is to “Jerry Maguire” as the Beatles are to David Hasselhoff? That, and you’ll love me for this, “ELIZABETHTOWN” was more enjoyable despite the ending? Huh? Huh? [/tangent]

I’d like to think that when I’m old, and warming my brittle bones by a log-fire (civilization having been wiped out and electricity having become a myth alongside Atlantis), I will look back on my youth and say that I enjoyed it. That I didn’t run screaming about TEH MALE GAZE each time you twisted a lock of my hair around your guitarist finger and called me beautiful… after you had gotten me to trust the fact that you weren’t just worshipping me so the act of tearing me down would be that much sweeter, that is.

[tangent]You know, a friend told me this story: There was once a girl with long, wheat-like hair, and one day, she grew out of it. She didn’t miss it. A group of boys had held her down and tried to set the hair on fire. She didn’t hate her hair for this, or cut it off, or hide it under a hat or scarf, but she let it go easily. She didn’t use it to weave ropes to connect her with a past she did not particularly care about. But she did keep pictures.[/tangent]

But what I will keep the closest to my withered breast will be our “ugly” times. The time when you were nearly struck with a bolt of lightning for not believing me when I told you that if a summer storm passes through the South, you take it seriously and respect its authorit-ah and stay the bloody hell indoors. The time you forgave me for the incident on the stairs.

[tangent] Why do so many people conflate “ugly” and “noble”? For the same reason that dramas win Oscars and comedies don’t? I mean, I don’t think the two are mutually exclusive, but neither are they attached at the hip (or more intimate places, for that matter). Am I horribly wrong in this? [/tangent]

My weapon against our life’s uglies is my special FEMALE GAZE*!!! It is, in theory, selective, like a smart missile. The one that runs up and down the footballer’s legs of yours (and no wife, ha ha, with bleached teeth to go with them, mind you). It does this because life needs equilibrium, or a shadow of it. Because tomorrow we die. Because when I looked at you for the first time, unruly hair in a war of attrition with the baseball hat, it wasn’t your awesome personality (but something deeper and darker) that I saw in those few seconds that passed between us and ticked away by the universe’s great cuckoo-clock (otherwise known as space-time), sending us toward our future.

With a future where the only real certainty is corporeal decay and higher taxes, it’s good to have the world’s advance apologies in form of accidental beauty.

    * – Classic Hedonistic Pleasureseeker (not really a fan of muscles, but this one was so preciously innocent, so languid, so… so… Victorian, minus clothes and plus a Y chromosome!)

18 thoughts on “Love letters, part three

  1. Natalia, Natalia. How is it you reveal so much and yet so little? Would you ever consider converting to Islam? I like Islam’s secretive women…

  2. Does your man know how lucky he is? I hope so 🙂

    And DD, this is one of Islam’s “secretive women” wondering whether your creepiness is intentional.

  3. I assume that Natalia’s post “Love Letters, Part Three,” is meant to be appreciated by the women who post on this blog and not by men. The only way I myself can make sense of this post is by assuming that it must be a parody of something, which is why Natalia tags it under “I Make Funny.” Otherwise I must not be part of the target audience for this post.

    Natalia’s response to “D.D.” is consistent with her response dated October 24 to my apology dated which is listed under “Fruit of Thy Womb” (posted on October 18), in which response she says that she herself has the right to objectify men without allowing men to objectify her — and that’s absolutely true, since everyone has the right to set his or her own boundaries. Still, given Natalia’s fairly straightforward language in her post “Love Letters, Part Three,” her schoolmarmish attitude toward D.D.’s predictable response is almost hilarious. It’s true that Natalia has the right to respond by reprimanding D.D. But since, in her own post, Natalia’s language goes a considerable way toward revealing how she responds to her boyfriend, it’s almost comical how sternly she reprimands D.D. for responding to Natalia’s post in a similar fashion. Natalia clearly has the right to reprimand D.D. for objectifying her. But considering the language of her own post, it’s hilarious how she turns around and acts like somebody’s Sunday School teacher in reprimanding D.D. But that’s clearly her right, because it’s everybody’s right. But it’s still comical.

  4. James, look up up the definition of the word “stereotype” sometime. In conjuction to that, look up DD’s history of posting on this here blog. Maybe then you’ll understand why DD is getting called out on the creep-factor.

  5. I am capable of appreciating a real schoolmarm, James. Although I have not encountered many Sunday School teachers who swear at their charges.

    For all of the contrarian commentary I leave on this blog, Natalia, I will also say that the above was very well-written. It is personal and at the same time addressing a wider audience. Don’t pay attention to anyone who tells you otherwise.

    I worry for you, and yes I am patronizing, my old habits die hard, but I am an admirer of yours as well.

  6. >But since, in her own post, Natalia’s language goes a considerable way toward revealing how she responds to her boyfriend, it’s almost comical how sternly she reprimands D.D. for responding to Natalia’s post in a similar fashion.>

    Right, because it’s -totally appropriate- for a total stranger to respond to someone with the same sort of intimacy she’s just written about her boyfriend. Hey, she shouldn’t have been wearing that short prose!


  7. and of course, the part about, hey! someone has beautiful hair like wheat and a bunch of boys try to hold her down and set it on fire! -whoosh- point missed. except…maybe not.

    “oh, well, who wouldn’t want to do that? except i wouldn’t -do- that to you, of course, unlike all those scary scary others out there, despite my very normal identification with such things, because i -care- about you, total stranger. Say! i have this nice cozy little crawlspace under the house; you’d be safe there…”

  8. You know, having reflected on this a bit, “You’re beautiful” also becomes a threat. Think of one of our darling trolls and the comment that he discounts the intelligence of attractive women. “You’re beautiful” is also “You are for looking, not for listening too.”

    Also, beauty is a transient thing, especially in people. I can’t count the number of times “beautiful” has become “ugly bitch” once the word “no” surfaced.

    And then there’s the implied second-rate of women who are not “beautiful”, who should be grateful for the attention they get, and that attempt to turn us against us – beauty against less. It’s a continuation of the same sick hierarchy that poisons modern societies around the world.

  9. I wish I’d posted what Deoridhe said.

    I spent too much time in the past looking for validation as “beautiful” which also meant “of value.”

  10. Lisa: I don’t think valuing beauty is bad. I do think that modern society tends to value women solely for their decorative appearance, whereas beauty is a much greater thing than simply the physical appearance of a person, male, female or other.

    But calling people beautiful has often been used as a bludgeoning tool, and this renders the act of calling someone beautiful into an act of ugliness.

  11. Yeah, I didn’t mean that valuing beauty was bad, I meant that I was buying into the idea that my physical appearance defined my value.

    Plus, the bludgeoning thing, and what Natalia says about kicking someone off a pedestal.

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