In Taddeo’s Three Women, she pens: “One inheritance of living under the male gaze for centuries is that heterosexual women often look at other women the way a man would.”
Though my relationship is coming to an end, I still find myself scanning every room for someone more beautiful, more alluring, better dressed. My eyes will first find the blondes in the crowd. And if there are none, the young woman with the most exposed and biggest breasts. Or maybe the one with the longest legs lacking any trace of cellulite. If I settle on a woman who would capture his attentions and stir his arousal, I imagine their chance encounter days, weeks, months after our final separation. It plays out like a poorly-written movie script.
The meet. The instant attraction. The: “You were there, too? What a small world.” The happily ever after.
Rarely do I imagine my own happily ever after with such rose-colored glasses. But when I see an older woman, alone, looking as if she’s lived a terribly rough life–that’s she’s survived something tragic and just barely so–my heart seizes. Please don’t let that be me.
Yesterday, my counselor suggested I practice more gratitude toward my body. Thank it for what it’s accomplished, he urged.
This morning, I woke up and felt the smoothness of my cheek with my fingertips. Thank you, Body, for waking up today, I thought. I laughed at myself. This seems like Cognitive Dissonance at its finest: talking to my body as if it’s another person.
And here’s your Crazy Card, my dear.
But then I went for a run and I found myself thanking my thick thighs for carrying me down the road.
And I ran further.