“The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.”

― Coco Chanel

REFLECTIONS:

Thank God for this Blogmoir. It became readily apparent to me over the course of this week that I would never have taken a step away from the comfort of Mother Mary towards Mary Magdalene, if I had not committed to it in Week 15’s post. In rereading Week 15, I nearly fell asleep… it was so wordy…full of intellectualizing gobbledygook. Obviously I’m more comfortable talking about becoming The Other Woman than being her.

Here is a quick synopsis of my progression towards my first virtual chat with a new man!

On Wednesday, the day I arrived back home in BC,  I chose a dating Website. The light and humorous site, Plenty of Fish had an appealing ring. I didn’t want a site that cost money or sounded too serious. On Thursday I began to fill out the questionnaire…where do I live,what is my age, ethnicity and hair colour…irrefutable facts… but then I stopped. I shut down my computer when I was required to create a minimum 100 word profile describing myself and my desires. Before I could do this I had to have a little cry and admit that this meant I was moving away from the dream of spending the rest of my life with ‘He Who Will Remain Nameless’. I felt defeated, as though I had received a failing grade in my ability to elicit love from the man I love.

Eventually though, I had an epiphany…I recalled a 15th Century Arthurian Ballad read to me by my analyst in 2005, called Sir Gawain and the Lady Ragnell. To save his life, King Arthur must be able to articulate “The one thing all women most desire.” A wonderful story unfolds, ending with King Arthur and Sir Gawain realizing that women want, above all else, sovereignty over their own life …the freedom to be self-determining. Taking this 500 year old advice, I too can be self determining. I now have the opportunity to arrange my life with my likes and dislikes at the forefront. For example, I can clearly voice my desire to be loved, and then find a man who willingly wants to fulfill this desire. It will no longer be enough for me to fulfill his desires, if mine are deemed less important, and remain unfulfilled.

15th Century Text from Bodleian Library-Oxford

Sir Gawain and The Lady Ragnell-The Loathly Lady

This version of the tale is not the best but it gives you a quick synopsis.  http://www.silver-branch.org/ssbcreations/GawainLL.html

In the past I attempted to compile an itemized list of men’s needs and desires, based on societal norms of desirability(tall, emaciated with a vapid expression)coupled with the characteristics gleaned from a close scrutiny of the man I was attempting to entice. I surreptitiously noted female traits that ‘he’ reacted to, and attempted to transmogrify into this bizarre creation. In a patriarchal society, women’s desires are often cloaked in niceties or seductions. My requests of men were prefaced by the placating “Would it be okay with you if I…” or ” When you get a minute, it would be so nice if you…”

Emaciated and Vacant-the Price of being Society’s Muse

Although unaware of this, I must have felt my needs and desires were onerous, unpleasant and/or unimportant vis a vis the man’s. As asking for what I wanted seemed forward and therefore unladylike, I hoped men would intuit what I needed, just as I intuited their needs. Feeling perilously unfulfilled by men throughout my life, leads me to believe that the men I knew either lacked intuitiveness or believed the fulfillment of my needs was not their responsibility!

Once this revelation was upon me,  I put on my new lipstick, drank a cup of tea from my pretty cup, and began to write about myself and my desires…boldly and from my heart. I did not deemphasize or devalue my intelligence nor my interests. I actually said that although I find people intriguing, I enjoy spending time with those who are self aware!. My closing statement of desire says…I would love to spend time with a man who has enough time and resources to share in some of my passions and introduce me to some of his!

REACTIONS FROM  the first 3 MEN using Goldilocks’s Scale

#1 TOO HOT  “Would you like to meet for lunch tomorrow (Sunday) in Qualicum? Afterwards, there is a piano concert there (Debussy, sp.?), but I don’t know how many tickets remain. It’s at The Old School House at 2:30 p.m. We could have lunch before the concert.”

#2 TOO COLD “BORING”

#3 JUST RIGHT  “Welcome to the Island!!! I live in the Comox Valley just north of you. Quaint little spot…Bowser. I know it fairly well and have friends living there. Also, welcome to POF…not as easy as it looks…Should you see anything in my profile that resonates with you I’d love to hear from you and if not…wishing you much success on your fishing expedition!!!”

ASPIRATIONS FOR WEEK 16 OF 52

CHANGING FROM BEING THE OBJECT OF A MAN’S DESIRE

I felt both empowered and vulnerable in clearly describing some of my strengths and desires. The virtual world is a perfect place to begin the practice of being myself. Face to face I might be tempted to put his needs first, the second I noticed his interest wan. Or I might be tempted to shift my opinion, ever so slightly, if I felt what I’d said hadn’t resonated with him.

In these efforts to please myself, I must be strong enough to be rejected(90 men looked at my profile 10 responded)…to be told I am ‘BORING’ and still be confident enough to CONTINUE being me.To not be tempted to read any man’s interests and tweak mine a tad in hopes of attracting him!

I CANNOT BELIEVE THIS IS HOW I HAVE LIVED MY LIFE WITH MEN

So for Week 16 of 52, I will state my desires in a straightforward and direct manner, so that I will be known for who I truly am. I will stop being the object of any man’s desires and instead find a mutually agreed upon meeting ground for our minds and hearts.

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