Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Deep Thoughts on a Wednesday Night

There is so much that I could write about, but to be honest, I can't write about the "so much" because it's ultimately too much. But I'm sitting here thinking. Thinking and having a restorative glass of wine. And I want to write about some of what I'm thinking about.

Here's the thing about me. I have a much harder time talking about things than writing about them. By translating things into writing, I get a hold on them, and I can be more honest than I can be when put on the spot in conversation. Especially if we're talking about in-person conversation. If we wanted to put levels of "truth" on the various kinds of communications in which Crazy participates, they would have to be as follows, from most (1) to least (5) truthful:

  1. In writing.
  2. On the phone.
  3. In the car, if Crazy is driving.
  4. In the car, if Crazy is a passenger.
  5. Face to face while not mobile.
It's not that I'm dishonest in level 5 situations, but I feel put on the spot, and I get defensive, and I don't feel like I have the time really to think before I speak. In levels 2-4, I'm still defensive, but sometimes I can feel more comfortable because I'm not actually looking at the other person. In writing, I'm the person in control of what goes out, and I've got the time to think about what I'm putting out for consumption by another person or people. I can be more sure of myself. Perhaps what I'm talking about is less about "truth" than about certainty. I'm least certain at level 5 and most certain at level 1.

And then that brings me to the defensiveness. Another thing about me is that I'm a girl who plays the "cool girl" card. You know the "cool girl" - she's ok with whatever and doesn't make demands and takes things for what they are and doesn't question or have expectations or hopes or, good god no, feelings. Now, as Medusa and I have discussed at length, the "cool girl" is really the oppressed girl. The whole "cool girl" pose is just that: a pose. And that pose is really fucked up. Why? Because nobody's that cool. The only way one is that cool is if one doesn't give a shit about the other person. (And yes, I've been the don't-give-a-shit "cool girl" so I know that this is true.) But so anyway, if one is really not "cool" or even lukewarm, what ultimately happens is freaking out after the other person thinks that one is "cool." And then one has two choices: to revert to the "cool girl" pose (my traditional M.O.), or to reveal what's really going on (a dangerous enterprise.)

So let's imagine that somebody says to Crazy, "But you don't like me." My response would, playing the "cool girl" card, would be "I like you... but I don't LIKE you." And then if the person follows up with "I think I'm unlovable," Cool Girl Crazy would say, "No you're not unlovable - clearly people have loved you in the past." Crazy would not say, because she is so fucking "cool," "well, you're a person I could love under the right conditions," which is actually what the truth is. Similarly, when a person says to her, "well, you don't really want something to happen from this," Cool Girl Crazy would say "well, obviously not," and this is the "truth" because it's not that she DOES want something to happen, but she in real life would be OPEN to the possibility, even if that possibility is logistically impossible, or if not impossible, impractical. The problem is one of admitting (in all senses of the word) the possibility. So it's not that I'm dishonest, exactly, it's that I'm too fucking scared to admit to things that would potentially fuck my whole world up. Or fuck up the world of others. And so this is where the "cool girl" thing means that I'm oppressed.

So I'm "cool." And the "cool" pose, while it does stop one from making an ass of oneself, potentially does close off certain options.

Your question may be, why am I ruminating on these things - the levels of certainty and the status of the "cool girl" - on this Wednesday night? Well, over the past three days, let's just say that I've been working in the medium of the Levels and I've been operating with the techniques of a "Cool Girl." I'm not saying I never deviated - I did - but at the end of the day, I think that these things are informing my life at this moment. These things are informing my life not only because of my own inherent fucked-up-ness or commitmentphobia or whatever, but also because they've been inspired by the casual and cavalier pose of another, and it's awfully hard to move beyond one's normal operating procedures when one feels radically insecure. But so, I'll leave the country. There will be ample time for reflection and consideration. And I could come back and this situation will be magically resolved and all things will be clear. Or, I could come back, and things could continue to be... complex. At the end of the day, though, nothing's complex, because I've decided that this is a person in my life, and this is a person who is my true friend. And so there's no need to ruminate. Except I'd rather if that weren't the ultimate outcome - at least without some more in the middle.


MaggieMay said...

Great description of the cool girl pose... and how it is ultimately not cool but oppressive. In the past, that's been my MO as well. (I would like to think I don't resort to that as often now, but who's to say?)

AcadeMama said...

I always failed miserably at being the Cool Girl. I would occasionally try and have a minor victory here and there. But I realized that it's much easier to be Temporary Cool Girl. This pose requires one to be Cool Girl for a while, the Introductory Period, if you will, in which one must protect ones self. Then, when the coast is fairly clear, the Cool Girl can transition ever so delicately into Let Me Tell You How It Is Girl, who just lays her cards on the table.

life_of_a_fool said...

This post is reassuring to me -- I aspire (falsely, I think) to be the Cool Girl, am really bad at it, and so on. So it's nice to hear someone else(s) lay it out as the oppressive pose that it is (for me, at least, if not everyone). And I totally LOVE academama's Let Me Tell You How It Is girl. That is awesome -- she's who I now aspire to be (though I wonder if I could ever be so certain).

(and I share your relative ease of communication in different contexts).