Thursday, November 15, 2012

Mind Clouds

Things that have been floating around in my head:

1. My friend told me today about the difficulty her peers had accepting her relationship with her last boyfriend because of their disparate heights and different cultural backgrounds, many of them considering him a much better match to a mutual friend who looked more like him. Really. More recently there was a widespread assumption that she was seeing a friend (with whom she had spent less time than other guys, whom she actually had been seeing at different times) because they are of the same ethnicity, and similar height. I started to What The Fuck, and then remembered times it's happened to me; the most notable occasion being the first time I met a friend of Vincent's, when a friend of mine was with me, and he assumed she was his wife. The most notable physical difference between us? She's white, like Vincent, and I'm not.

I'm sure people who haven't had a similar experience would agree these assumptions need to be challenged, but I don't know if many can understand how upsetting it is to have the person you love assigned to somebody that isn't you. It's easy to say what people think doesn't matter, but that really isn't how it feels. When you love someone, you want people to know that you belong to each other, and to recognise the fit you feel. This feeling is even more acute when you're married; part of choosing to marry is wanting to make the public declaration that you are a unit. So when someone assumes you are with someone else, or your person is with someone else, it feels like they're saying you don't look like you should be together; that there is someone else who looks like they would be better for you/them than they/you. I used to get really hurt when I was little and people didn't know my mum belonged to me when she would come to collect me, because she doesn't look very Samoan. I was so proud of her, and I wanted people to know she was mine, and I was hers. It's the same feeling now, but it makes me angry as well as hurt, because there is no reason why a couple should look anything alike, whereas it's understandable to expect a child might look like their parent. Why would I want to be with someone who looks like me? I don't know; that just seems gross and narcissistic, as well as potentially incestuous. Why would anyone assume someone was with someone else simply because they look like them? Apart from latent racism, I don't know that either.

2. Things Emma Thompson answered in a recent Harper's Bazaar q&a:

Beauty is... dependent entirely on what's going on underneath it.
Style is... not always necessary.
Success is... often useless.
Genius is... mostly hard work.

I would love to hear what she has to say about everything. Lady is awesome.

3. Boobs. We watched Melancholia last night and Martha Marcy May Marlene on Tuesday, and while they both gave me lots of other things to think about, what's really been on my mind today is/are the women's girls. I don't know how to elaborate... it's just quite interesting seeing other people's when you're used to seeing your own.

4. A group of men in suits stood outside my work laughing at that volume usually reserved for teenage girls or people at arthouse movies who want you to know they got that obtuse joke. What could any of them possibly have come up with that was that funny?

5. Since the eclipse yesterday, I've had the original of this song on my mind. The proper video has been taken down so now we have to have the cat, but it's still excellent.

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