December 21st, 2006 04:10 EST
Nothin' Wrong With a Little Imperfection
As a young, sophisticated career woman of the 21st century, I have long surpassed the days of wishing I was someone else. No longer do I gaze wistfully at a leggy blond, hating her for an exciting lifestyle I secretly envy.
And if you believe that load of crock, then maybe there still is hope, and Brad and Jen are renewing their vows right now.
I`ll admit it. Heck, I`d even admit it for all women alike if they`d let me tell their secrets. I dress to impress. And more often than not, it`s the women whose mouths I want to drop, not men`s. I`m not gay " I`m just a woman in heels. I have spent hours daily at the gym and at the books, pouring physical and emotional sweat to be the sexy woman who has it all.
I tend to experience a similar flood of emotions each Christmas when my mother insists on waving the annual letter from my aunt under my nose. Each year my three cousins seem to grow more successful and happier. Meanwhile, my career dreams seem to run stagnant at times, and my happiest days are actually just ones of decreased stress. And these are the best times of my life, they say.
Now, God strike me down if I ever admit this to him, but my ex-boyfriend actually perfected (at least, perfect for me) an answer to the deadly question, how do I look? Without giving me so much as the once-over, he would look me dead in the eyes and say something romantic, like, I don`t care. As crude as that may sound out of context...I kinda liked it. Because, I am realizing after each night at the club, I think that, in the end, I really don`t care either.
A revelation that gave me hopes for the future recently struck me the other night, while I was caught between an extra comfy sofa and some late-night munchies nuzzled in my lap. TBS has a new show, My Boys, starring a young girl, P.J. Franklin (Jordana Spiro), whose friends are all guys. Judging from her taut bun, male-inspired button-down shirts, and laid-back `tude, it`s pretty apparent that P.J. not only spends a lot of time with her male friends, but more so that she doesn`t have many girl friends.
In the particular episode I was watching that Friday night (yes, I do spend the occasional Friday night alone), P.J. is confronted by a tall, beautiful blond woman by the name of Dani. Dani has it all, seemingly; connections to the hottest events, famous boyfriends, great legs, great clothes. The whole enchilada, the nine yards, the complete package. Not to mention the fact that every guy at the table is falling over himself to get close to her.
But even perched next to beautiful Dani, I still found P.J. utterly likable. Even favorable, between the two. Now I know she`s the star of the show and I`m just replicating the exact thing TBS wants me to feel, but there was one point in my life, not to far away, when I would have died to be Dani. Literally; for so long I dedicated my life to this flash-in-the-pan, I-want-you-to-want-me look, forking over pieces of a false persona for others` affection. Whereas in previous years I may have lapped up everything she said about clubs and hot guys, eagerly taking notes and wondering where I could get her outfit from, I found myself tuning out Dani as soon as she opened her mouth. Rather than pine after Dani`s life, she made me want to run out and find one of my own.
With my age steadily on the rise, I am unsure that latent frustrations to those who appear more attractive, more successful, and more threatening will ever truly go away. Perhaps maturity is only about channeling them in a different way, one at least less obvious. When a gorgeous woman walks into a room wearing clothes I won`t afford for at least another ten years of saving, catching every man`s eye in the room, I may still be picking apart a lot more than her outfit.
Hey, Rome wasn`t built in a day! But we gotta learn to give ourselves a little break sometimes. Don`t feel bad because your cause-of-envy`s got what you want, but don`t feel bad if you hate her (just a little) for it either. I`d put down good money that the thing that makes Dani-clones so appealing may have a bit to do with something every man or woman could use a heaping dose of: self-love. Spending the next fifteen years of my life party hopping, drinking, flirting sounds like a blast when it`s neatly summed up in a three minute music video, but reality is that, for this Dish, it`s a bit extreme. Not to mention, horribly exhausting.
Maybe I`m maturing. Maybe I`m finally letting that little shy voice inside have a turn. Maybe I`m (gasp?!) starting to like me. Whatever the turn of events going on inside my pattering heart may be, I am on the brink to realization. While a night out with the girls will sometimes always be just what I need, most nights I want nothing more than to be completely unattractive with no makeup, a dirty tee, and yes, fattening popcorn.
So that`s why when Michael, the above-mentioned ex-boyfriend, would express his sincere disinterest in whether or not I wore flats or heels to the supermarket, I would feel a little safer knowing that there is something to this journalist that has more to offer than a completed package. At times, us sophisticated career women are messy - unfinished but interesting products good for the investment. While I cannot promise courtside tickets or a personal one-on-one with Brian Urlacher, I can offer everything that I am; at least, everything I am working on. There is a bit of unpredictability in growing older that surprises even me at times. Chances are that, in the long run, if I explore why I`m not like characters like Dani, I`ll lead a much more exciting life (to me) than if I spend it trying to be them.
And that`s a chance I`m willing to take.
Note: The writer who originally contributed this article is no longer affiliated with theSOP.