21 Apr 2009

Does "anal-retentive" have a hyphen? Perfection and other irrationalities

In case you're unsure, the quote that provided the title for this post is from *Alison Bechdel, 1990 Dykes to Watch Out For calendar* So yes folks, I'm back after my weeklong writers block affliction. Along with my dire taste in quotes and lesbian jokes. Please don't be offended all you public-morality/Mary Whitehouse types. Although I doubt there are many of you reading this blog!

I hope you've missed me. My lack of blogging has been pointed out - I have been publicly shamed. Although only a wedding forum, so its not that bad. I've just not had

a) Any genius ideas for stuff to write about on here
b) been busy
c) Had a small and not serious trip to A+E

But I haven't forgotten about you bloggettes (my word for blog fans), and don't think I don't love you anymore. I have LOTS (well some, about 3 really) of new ideas for blog posts. And today's post is NOT about lesbians, and its NOT about quotes. It's about perfection and worrying. As they tend to go perfectly manicured hand in bitten nails hand.

Yes, perfect, that thing we all strive to be. And clearly, I am sooooooooo wayyyyyyy perfect. Not. And that's what I worry about.

No really, I am exhausted. It seems that everywhere currently there seems to be this idea of the perfect woman. And really, you know what, I don't think she exists and you fucking well can't have it all. It's not possible. Not without losing part of yourself and possibly your sanity at the same time.

There are several areas in my life that I worry about being *perfect* in, but I can't carry on like this because firstly I will become even more self-obsessed than i currently am, secondly I'll have a nervous breakdown and thirdly - most importantly - my friends will get bored of me whinging on and on, and then one of the things I worry about (having no friends) will have happened anyway. And breathe........

So, I worry about being a good friend a lot. Have I called so-and-so and checked how they are and what they're up to, have we been for a drink, do I monopolise the conversation with wedding talk, are they happy - am I there for them enough, have I been to their house too many times and is it their turn to come to mine (just reading this makes me think, what? am I 5 years old?!), do I owe them a drink, do I talk over the telly too much (often DVDs to watch with friends are selected on the basis that we can talk over them and not miss the plot)... etc etc on and on ad infinitum. Yes, I know, I think too much. In my defence (cue the violins) I didn't really have any friends at all until I went to uni, was bullied etc etc yadda yadda, so i really value my friends now.

And onto my next source of worrying. Being a perfect/good girlfriend. Yes, anyone who is any kind of feminist is hitting me on the head with a big mallet made of recycled beauty magazines I know - I have read my Germaine Greer and grown in my body hair (on occassion, not currently). I don't know why I have this perfect 1950's girlfriend in my head. But as Jerry Hall famously said * to keep a man, you must be a maid in the living room, a cook in the kitchen and a whore in the bedroom* - and for some reason I can't get this idea out of my head. I want to have a perfect body, be a fantastic (healthy) cook and keep the house looking lovely. Plus doing all my normal stuff like blogging, talking to the people who live in my computer, reading, faffing around, seeing friends, attending the gym (part of the perfection malarkey) oh, and also going to work and sleeping. I am not sure it is possible to do all of this. Or even sensible. I am not entirely sure that SB even cares how toned my bottom is, as long as he is the only person who gets to touch it. But I still want to be perfect.

My quest for the *perfect* body is slightly verging on being a little unhealthy I think. I once saw a quote on a piece of A-Level art coursework (in context, this piece of art was created by a melodramatic teenage student at a private all girls day school in the centre of London - I hasten to add that this student was not me) Anyway the quote said *thin enough is invisible*. I am not sure what that means, but it rings a bell with me.

I like to be thin enough that I can feel my ribcage on my back and on my front. I know that's not entirely normal and/or healthy. And its not a state that my body often exists in. But I don't have any eating disorders (as any IRL friends will testify) and I don't over-exercise. But generally I exist in a state of war with my body. I hate it, it hates me. Occasionally I love it and it shows that it returns my affections by not looking fat in my skinny jeans. I keep reminding myself that my body has functions and uses - it's not just a living breathing oversized coat hanger. But it's hard to remember that given the images of women in the media that we see every day. My ideal body is not mega skinny with huge boobs. It's more of an athlete's body - completely toned and slightly sculpted. But with boobs. Gisele Bundschen's body is perfection to me. As is Liv Tylers. Weirdly, I'm not a Kate Moss fan. She's not sexy, she has the body of a 7 year old girl. With a coke habit. Yuck.

I am not sure I will ever stop being obsessed with my body and how I look. In fact, if I'm really honest, I am dreading being pregnant because I won't be able to pretend I have control over my body shape any longer. And I won't be able to go to the gym with a new born baby and run off all my pregnancy fat. I know, it's not normal and selfish. And it is about control.

To be honest, I am not even sure what would happen if I did achieve my idea of the perfect body. It's not like all my friends or SB would suddenly notice. I'm fairly slim anyway. So what's the point. I'm not going to be on the cover of a magazine, or win model competitions or be asked to post naked for anything. It's a completely pointless aim. But it allows me to retain control over one thing in my life. And for the record I'm a size 10-12, 5"8 and weigh around 10 stone.
I won't get started on how I feel about my face. That's a whole separate post worth of angst.

I'm not so sure this post is that funny anymore. Damn.....I worry also about a mix of the following:

1) Whether I am crap at my job. That's it in a nutshell. For some reason, in my weird + twisted psyche, how good I am at my job is a reflection of how I am as a person. Which I know is complete bollocks. I didn't say I was rational

2) Whether I am just a bit dim. I did a difficult degree, although I achieved a Desmond (aka a party degree). And now I think that my brain is just atrophying. I could translate Homer. Now I can barely decipher a takeaway menu. I completely identify with Bridget Jones and her *chechnyaaaaaaaaaaa* and *throwing matches* moments. I do read the papers, really. And I do know what's happening in the world.

3) If I will ever be able to eat food that normal people consider spicy, instead of oversensitive little me.

4) If I will ever be a tidy and clean person around the house. Surely this gene kicks in once you have children (clutches at straws)

You know what, that's enough self-indulgent tosh for one night. But it was quite cathartic writing all that down. Night-night bloggettes. Thank you and good night.

Stupidgirl has left the building.

1 comment:

  1. SG You have a great figure and a very pretty face, I would kill to have your sculpted arms. You are not dim in any way, but I totally relate to your ethos and I understand the "being in control" aspect of your body/diet/house etc, great blog..... SC251