Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Sweet Is For Candy And Cavities. And, Apparently, Me.

I've been struggling lately with feeling like I failed my gender. (And no, this is not about my love of football, beer, or comics.) I've been grappling with feelings of inadequacy. Like, maybe, if I had been just a little bit sweeter, life would be different right now. Maybe, if I was a little less jaded, I wouldn't be so pissed off. Maybe, if I were more of a people-pleaser, I would have a job right now. Maybe, I need to stop feeling sorry for myself, and kick myself in the ass.

On How To Be Lovely is a-- for better lack of a word-- lovely blog that really encapsulates the essence of perfect femininity; it's a kind, caring, intelligent, easy-on-the-eyes blog. So I was thrilled when I found this post on the difference between "sweet" and "smart" women. I know I'm smart, but "sweet" is something that I struggle with. I can be sweet, and defer, and be laid-back and go with the flow, but I can't be that all the time. I would get nothing done. I would be like a chronic stoner without access to massive amounts of weed. And so, sometimes, I can be a little sharp. I can be a bit demanding. I can be rough around the edges. But it's only because I want the best to get done. I want to be my best. I want to be in the best position possible. I want you to be at your best. So sometimes, I get a little irritated when I see the exact opposite of those things happening. I can't help it-- it's genetic. If you've ever met my mother, you get it.

This paragraph really summed up my struggle with smart versus sweet. "...Because I value my independence and intelligence, I initially have a hard time when a guy says he thinks that sweetness is more important. It makes me think that he just wants someone to fawn on him and tell him how right he is about everything, and I'm not really sure how to feel about that. The word "sweet" seems to imply something saccharine and fake to me... On the other hand, I've met women who didn't want to show their intelligence because they felt like it made them hard or inaccessible, like they were somehow disgracing womanhood if they weren't all sweetness." - On How To Be Lovely.

Am I? Am I disgracing womanhood? It's hard not to feel like it when I'm pretty sure it's the whole smart/sweet debate that usurped me. But then again, like Meg asks, do you really want to be with a guy who prefers the "yes, dear," approach to life over someone who challenges them and says "I think you might be wrong-- so prove it to me?" After all, where would have Antony got without Cleopatra? Napoleon without Josephine? Macbeth without Lady Macbeth? (We'll ignore the fact for a minute that the last example were two despots.) Maybe it just boils down to the fact that for me, exercising my mind and bickering are some of the best forms of foreplay to me, and I just can't understand when other people don't feel the same way. Smart's sexy, just as surely as Victoria's Secret, fuck-me-heels, and Jessica Biel.

But then again, sweet's good, too. Sweet to me is more of a come-and-go mindset then an inherent thing, though. Sweet for me is feeling feminine and tiny and taken care of. Sweet comes included with baking brownies and little gestures. Sweet needs to happen in person, because sweet is really damn hard to be achieved over a phone line. Catch me on the off Tuesday night when I have nothing to do, and I can be real sweet with just a couch and some ordered-in wings and good company.

In the end, I guess I have to come to grips with the realization that I will never be the girl who can always say "whatever" and be fine with it. But I can be, and am, that girl who can say, "I'm down with pretty much anything, but can we agree on it together?" If I can't be "sweet" 24/7, I guess I'll have to settle for the glimpses that I get while I wait to calm the fuck down and be more accepting of it.

In the meantime, anyone know where I can find a dude who likes being verbally upbraided? I kid, I kid...

...But really. Tough love is my specialty.


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