A couple of months ago I decided I was going to carry out a “What if?” experiment. It struck me that we can choose what stories we tell ourselves about our lives. If we choose a negative script we can feel so unhappy. Maybe it can be as easy as looking at things in different way. Even if we have it wrong does it really matter if we are thinking positively anyway?
This has the potential to be a mortifyingly embarrassing post. It’s another of those that I just going to write and see where it takes me.
Am I attractive to men? All my life I have told myself that I am not remotely of interest to blokes. I am the intelligent one, the non-sporty one, the non-stylish one, the boring one! That had been my script all my life. When I was a teenager, my late mum would point out blokes looking at me with appreciation. I thought she was mad and could never see it myself. I remember one was a fishmonger and one was a butcher – perhaps my mum was just after a discount!
At school, boys seemed to like the ones who went pubbing and clubbing. I was late to this really starting going out at almost 17 when it felt like everyone else had been doing it for year. I was scared to dance and just use to sit there always preferring to talk over most things. Not exactly a young man’s dream.
I went to a male-dominated college where women were very much in the minority. Not only were the other women there super-bright but also incredibly pretty. And then there was me always thinking I was fat and ugly. I look back now of course and see a very obese size 8-10 that I would love to go back to! I had a lovely skin and wavy hair but just did not rate myself on the attractiveness front.
There were no boyfriends for me at college. There were no boyfriends for a long time. I was the forever virgin. I wore it heavily not because I wanted to leap into bed with anyone particularly but because back then it seemed like the worst label you could have.
So let’s change the script for a giggle if nowt else.
What if my mum was right all along? Imagine all the free meat and fish! As I have got older myself, I see things that I did not when I was younger. I see how teens are already looking with interest at my daughter. She has no idea of it at all and would respond as I used to if I mentioned it. Now seeing as everyone says she looks just like me, that can only mean I was attractive too. Also I see women who I think are beautiful denigrating their looks all the time. Perhaps we really do not see ourselves as others do.
If I flick a switch in my brain, I can convince myself that I must have broken a heart or two in my time at college where I was so standoffish with men. After all with so few women around, I must have been considered as potential girlfriend material at least once. I did have male friends. They invited me to events. I found myself in their rooms at their invitation and they called around. So at the very least I had male friends and perhaps some of them were looking for more. Before you shout me down, remember this is just a fun exercise of the what if variety.
When I was in my early twenties, I met a writer who invited me to dinner. I thought this was to discuss writing of course and just panicked when he came in for a kiss. I was always convinced that if a bloke made a move, his mates would be just around the corner and it would be some set-up to make me look like an idiot. As I say, doing the what if exercise at least means I can imagine that hearts were swooning at my very presence lol.
I think my lack of confidence with men led me to getting involved with older and perhaps not entirely the best men in terms of values and so on. I was always too grateful for what I thought was their pity. I think older men are just that much more savvy and know how to break down barriers. I have lived with two men both of whom I think have treated me poorly although they will have their own stories.
Anyway, I find myself in my dotage questioning whether a certain person is interested in me. It’s a bit like being a teenager again as I analyse whatever signs I can come up with both for and against the theory he has a romantic interest in me. A friend told me at the very least I can enjoy the positive attention and I think there is wisdom in that and perhaps this time due to the what if exercise with more belief that I am attractive and the Prince may be just around the corner not that I need him of course as a strong independent woman but hey a little of what you fancy does you good.