I don’t mean in the photography or drawing sense. I mean as in patterning behavior off of people. I do a lot of this. I do a lot of this but I consciously do not do it in order to “blend in” or become “like” other people. I pick a behavior that I like and I try to copy it. I don’t pick up associated beliefs or qualifications because I don’t understand what they are.
For a few days Noah and I have been talking about why I don’t try harder to blend in. I would probably be capable–step one would be no longer telling people I am white trash. But that would eliminate a bunch of useful safety mechanisms for me.
This morning I read a random internet article about how much people hate the Google commute busses. Apparently people would like to firebomb them as symbols of hating people “with power”.
I don’t feel it would be particularly a good idea for me to try to blend in with the upper classes. I don’t understand them. I don’t have their support systems in place. I would be in a lot of trouble if I tried. As long as I announce periodically who and what I am then people have expectations I can meet.
I offend people. Heck I did it at Disneyland. We hooked up with a random home schooling family (yay internet!) and I had the audacity to hotly defend adult men liking movies/television programming “designed for children”. This mother absolutely would not permit any possibility that adult men watching these shows was a reasonable situation. At one point I said, “You are standing in Disneyland! How in the world can you believe that only children should be allowed in?!” She said, “But Disney stuff is for children of all ages. My Little Ponies is not for children of all ages.”
I had to restrain myself from hitting my head on the brick wall.
I did not say, “Can you hear how mentally deficient you sound?” I have tact! See! I HAS TACT!
A few minutes later she told me that her daughter has been molested. That’s why adult men should not watch childrens television shows. Because there are pedophiles and obviously the only kind of men who would watch such shows are pedophiles.
My daddy didn’t watch childrens shows. I’m just sayin’.
Noah asked me why I don’t grease the path for myself. I’m a good mimic. It’s not like random people actually give a shit about me. I could easily go through life playing roles and not get push-back. I could lie and fake being acceptable if I just STOPPED FUCKING TALKING.
Noah can’t blend in as well as I can when I want to. I think he feels some envy. But I can’t really do it forever. I will do it for a while and then something will slip. I will say something inappropriate. Then after a year or three or seven years of being on my best behavior I’m bad and someone doesn’t want to know me any more.
I don’t see a point in trying very hard for people. I try for Noah. I try for my kids. Beyond them I sincerely doubt that anyone will be in my life long enough for me to worry about them. If they don’t like me, fine–go. If you do like me, fine–stay. I can’t be invested. You will do as you like.
I won’t abandon considering myself white trash because I still get a cheap thrill when I see how people react. Because in that moment of repulsion I find out what that person will actually think of someone like me.
I’m told “Oh but you aren’t white trash” occasionally. I do not have all the obvious visible markers these days. All you have to do is cherry pick through my life and you can either decide that I am or am not white trash. As long as I cannot erase my past I will just claim it.
The alternative is trying to come up with alternative “safe” stories to tell in basically every and any situation. That sounds like a lot of work and like it would be hard to keep straight. I don’t wanna. That’s too hard.
After thirty years of being repulsive I think I will just stick with being who I am. I’m used to it. I’m used to how to manage my issues. I’m used to how to manage people no longer wanting to know me. Believe me I am good at understanding how not-important to everyone around me. I will just disappear. I understand that people like me are uncomfortable to have around. I will go. I will not remind you that not everyone has a life like you. I’ll shut up.
Or I won’t. Depends on the day and what I feel like. Some days I really don’t give a shit that you dislike me because I’m not like you. I don’t particularly like you either. I dislike that you do ____ and _______ and ______ and I’m not going to model off those behaviors because frankly I think you are a fucking asshole. I don’t want to be like you.
I’d rather be like me. It’s more comfortable. I’m an asshole too. I’m not pretending otherwise.
Let me be clear that there is no sense of superiority. I’m not better. I’m just me. I’m an asshole. You’re an asshole. You are a different kind of asshole that I can’t be. The reason you are that kind of asshole and I am this kind of asshole is because we have had very different life stress. We have very different support systems.
I like casual relationships. In casual relationships people don’t expect much from me. I don’t expect much from them.
Why don’t I try harder to act normal? Because I’m not normal. And if I try really hard I will sometimes fail. Then I will face ostracism and humiliation after doing everything I can to make other people happy. There really isn’t an upside that makes up for the inevitable ending.
I’m very happy that today I get to stay home and garden. I won’t talk very much. It will be ok that I am broken and difficult. It won’t impact anyones life. No one will be mad at me. I won’t have failed before I even open my stupid mouth.
If a plant dies no one gives a shit. My failures are limited in scope. The farmers market guy told me to stop watering my jasmine so much. That’s the kind of scope of failure I’m looking at right now. It’s pretty comfy and benign.
I understand hating the elite. Believe me I do. I understand feeling like they live in a walled and gated community designed to keep out the lesser people. I will never be interviewed at let alone work at some place like Google. People who know the things I know are not really …. err useful?
I live with someone who probably could scale that ladder if he chose to. He’s weird though. And he has trouble dealing with people so that will always hold him back. We fit so well. We do well enough.
I think we need to change the tax code in this country. I should probably be paying higher taxes. I absolutely know without a doubt that most of my friends who earn tons of money could absorb more taxes. Would they like it? Of course not. They would whine about how the government is stealing from them and it isn’t faiiiiiiiiiiir.
I have different interpretations of fair. As long as children in my neighborhood starve and get an inadequate education because that’s just the breaks then I don’t give a flying fuck if you think you should be able to live in an elite private home with a really expensive car and travel and eating out every night and and and. Bite my ass. We don’t live in a pure capitalist society. If we do then your ass should be paying back the free public education you got. I sincerely doubt that YOUR parents actually paid for it.
We all give and we all take. I’m not all the way to socialism. But I think we have all the resources to make sure that children don’t starve. And we don’t care enough to fix this problem.
We are too busy whining about how not fair it is that you can only live in a 2,000 sq ft home by yourself. It isn’t fair that studio apartments are sooooo expensive.
How do you think the people who don’t have an expensively trained brain feel about it? I can count on one hand the people I know who have done well in the tech industry without going to an expensive college.
All of this succeeding took someone helping you a long time ago. Help that most people don’t get. Yes, I get why people hate you.
Living with Noah has caused me to look very differently at the rich. I’m glad he didn’t tell me he was rich until after he asked me to marry him. I probably would have ran. I still kind of want to run. I don’t want to stand next to this much responsibility. I have not been trained in how to manage it properly–I feel a fraud.
It doesn’t matter. Near as I can tell we are all frauds. We are all playing one game or another. Some people play games on purpose and some people think this is real. I’m not sure what is wrong with them. If you want to change the rules all you have to do is change where you are standing. I promise you that the “elite” in Dayton Ohio bear little resemblance to the elite in San Francisco. Ha.
Why don’t I just try to change so that my life can be easier, better, people like me more… etc? Because I will inevitably change where I am standing soon and then all the rules will change anyway. The only reason to conform like that is if you will still know the same people in five, ten, twenty years and you will benefit from bending your neck to the weight of their expectations.
I sincerely doubt I will know the same people in twenty years. I don’t see a point in bending my neck to the yoke of expectations I do not want to bear. I don’t get the benefit only the downside. Just the neck pain and back pain and knowledge that I didn’t get to act how I wanted to act. What is the upside?
But the alternative is that my life continues on as is. I will be lonely a lot. I will be sad a lot. The thing is, I can’t make other people want to be tolerant of me. I can’t make other people adapt to me.
Noah says I require people to go through a very long process of acculturating to me. He thinks I expect from other people what I am unwilling to do. He’s right and he’s not. I do bend a little to other people. I don’t really expect other people to bend to me. I expect them to leave. I’m going to be as difficult as possible and let you see how hard I am as fast as I can so that you will leave as early as possible so I won’t be stupid enough to spend years and years and years trying hard to be good enough for you. Only to find out that I’m not good enough.
I can’t work hard enough to deserve you. So I have to be alone. It’s all my fault for not conforming enough. For not being tolerant enough. For not being willing to do enough. For not shutting my stupid bitch mouth enough. Don’t I know that no one gives a shit about my opinion?
I’ve been thinking about my mom a lot. Disneyland is like that. I know which benches she likes to sit on and watch the crowds. I sat there with my children eating beignets and I cried. Thankfully the sunglasses hide a lot of that. I’m sorry mommy. I’m sorry I can’t be good enough for you. I’m sorry that I hurt you so much.
Really after you destroy your mother the way I destroyed mine there isn’t a lot of redemption left this lifetime. I don’t have it in me to try to be nice to other people. I know what I did to my mother. I am not going to act like other people deserve better than my mother. Fuck all of you. You do not deserve more effort from me than my mother.
But she doesn’t deserve much. So I end up in this pickle.
Hatred and entitlement and ignorance. Deserving and getting and suffering.
Sometimes when I watch how people interact I think, “What has happened in your life to allow you the scaffolding to get to that behavior? That isn’t a first level behavior. You had to have support in order to get there. How did that happen?”
I don’t ask. It doesn’t matter what they got it isn’t available to me.
Why won’t I stop identifying as white trash? Because I spent my first two decades of life actively prepared to fight at pretty much any minute of the night or day. I am still hostile and nasty. Because I would much rather be mean to you than try to understand where you are coming from. I try not to actually be mean…. but man it is easier.
I try to understand where people are coming from. It is hard because I have this huge chip on my shoulder. I think almost everyone had it better than me and then they want to come and tell me about how haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaard it was. I’m supposed to be nice and supportive and such. I am supposed to bite a fucking hole in my tongue rather than say that I would kill or die to have 1/10 the support they had. It doesn’t matter.
I had some support. I had Auntie. My sister was support when she wasn’t on drugs or engaging in promiscuous sex or telling me how to go out and find sex pre-puberty. My mom was support sometimes when she could manage. Not much.
Today I feel very self-pitying. Why? I think I’m having one of those resent-my-children days. Sometimes I have a hard time with their entitlement and demanding ways. I’m creating these little creatures so I try not to lash out at them.
I am teaching them that they are entitled to being treated well. As a result sometimes they demand better treatment than I strictly speaking want to give them that minute. It’s an interesting dynamic.
I have to support them. I have to give to them. I have to just keep on doing it. I have to meet their needs all day every day. Even if in my head there are all these evil voices whispering about how no one gave a shit about me. No one needs to give a shit about these little brats. Obviously our species doesn’t require as much as these little assholes ask for.
They aren’t brats and they aren’t assholes. They are so polite. They are so kind. They are so gentle. For the life of me I don’t understand where they came from. They are so nice to me. They are kids so they have their moments–but they are genuinely nice to me.
I don’t feel like I deserve their love. Even though I give them love all day every day. I give them all the love I have in my body to give. All the love I couldn’t give my mother or my sister or my brothers or my father. The consequences of my behavior all of a sudden matter.
I don’t have a lot left to give to anyone else. The kids take all I have spare and more.
I can’t pretend to be what I am not with what I have left. There is too little left. I feel worn down to the bone. All I have left is the structure of myself. I am white trash. I am violent. I am mean-spirited. I am harsh. I have an entitlement complex and an asshole because of it. I don’t understand the scope of my own ignorance very well. I’m trying to understand it better, ok that isn’t very white trash. White trash is willful stupidity–not just ignorance.
Do I expect people to change for me? I don’t know. Noah says I do. I think I expect people to just leave. I don’t expect people to change. I expect them to think I am not worth the effort. I sure as fuck don’t think they are worth the effort to completely change for.
I have to make it through my life. I have the coping methods I have because they allow me to keep moving. Everyone is different. I don’t have to make it through anyone else’s life. As much as I don’t expect other people to be in my life other people would be wise not to expect much from me either. I’m not promising anything.
I promise two people that I will be in their lives for another fifteen years. I will get them raised. That is all I can promise. I may be married but I am not sure I actually believe it is permanent. I hope it will be, but I’m not stupid enough to assume. I sure like him. I know it doesn’t matter how much I like people. I like my mom, too.
Time to go move a mini-fridge before I start gardening. Today is a day full of self-serving work. I will be made happier by everything I do. I have a good life. In this space I do not have to pretend I am anything but what I am. I can just exist without artifice or effort. It’s nice.