Wednesday, April 11, 2012

I Have Feelings

The above statement is probably a surprise to many people. Yep, I have feelings. You wouldn't think it, since I am a "big" woman of darker complexion. Yes, I am 5'6 1/4 inches tall and weigh over 165 pounds (although I don't look THAT fat, but I do look fat; I like to think I carry it well, but no longer wish to carry it at all). I mention that because in the past few weeks, I have been truly insulted.

Let's not bother to mention the obnoxious skating children who think of me as "the help". Screw them. I'm talking about adults. And I'm not just talking about skating adults.

Yesterday, in school, another student brought her dog with her. It's was a cute dog, a small dog and I like dogs. I prefer cats, but I like dogs. During a break, I was playing with the dog, who, surprise, surprise, liked me. One of my classmates signed, "It's so strange to see your softer side." Huh? She went on to explain that because I don't like children, she assumed I didn't like animals and it was so nice to see me being kind to something.


But it didn't stop there, oh no. She had more to say: Since I didn't have any children and expressed no interest in getting married, it was nice to see that I had a softer, kinder side and that I should show that more often and that I might find a nice guy and start a family.

I think my face cracked at that point.

For the record: I love babies. They are sweet and cute and they (usually) smell wonderful. Everything is new and exciting to them. That is wonderful. I actually like kids until they're about 7 and then don't want to be around them until they're about 17, unless they are spoiled and then I never want to be around them. I spent three years teaching skating to little girls. My last class left such a bad taste in my mouth that kids and I really just don't gel. How old were my students? Between 10-16: the annoying ages.

As for a husband, I have been dumped more times than I care to count. And it hurts; a lot. I give my heart freely and love deeply and when the last three guys you dated tell you that the sight of your face makes them want to vomit, well, you close yourself off to relationships. Also, I fell hopelessly in love in college and when he disappeared, I waited years for him to come back. By accident, I found him on Facebook. He's happily married with two kids. He doesn't remember ever dating me. That really hurts, a lot.

So to be told that showing my "softer side" will get me a man and a couple of kids and believing I wouldn't be insulted or hurt by that comment... Surprise. I have feelings too.

Staying on the school theme, I asked my instructor if she'd write me a letter of recommendation because I want to apply to the Interpreters program at a local college. While she didn't say no, she did insist that I just try to take classes at the college and NOT apply to the Interpreters program. For the record, I want to see what they have to say about my signing since they don't know me and would be more impartial than others. I'd be surprised if I got into the program. Thrilled, but surprised. In short, my instructor didn't think I was ready nor that I had the skill. There's another woman in my class who's signing is a little "muddy" for lack of another word. Everybody thinks her signing is wonderful. I sometimes have trouble understanding her because her favorite sign is "whatever" and she signs it all the time. As in after every other sentence. Perhaps it's jealously, but I have met others whose signing is better, but according to all the instructors at this particular school, her signing is perfect.

I don't think of myself as being anywhere near great, but I didn't think I'd have to convince my instructor to write the damn letter. Color me: hurt.

Amy will not be at the rink this week and next week I will be out of town. Tonight, I will go and practice and there is a 99.9% chance that someone will ask me to watch them do something if I stop for more than 3 seconds. Watch me! Watch me!! Watch me!!! And if I do, I always, always give positive reinforcement. I think it works better than saying "you suck". But what do I get? "Wow, I thought you'd be better than that." "You STILL can't land that?" "What was that supposed to be?" And my favorite, "You were trying to do X? Let me show you what it's SUPPOSED to look like" followed by eight attempts of X and each one proceeded with the comment: Look at me!

I am a pretty good spinner and a pretty good jumper. Yet, every week as I step into a spin or go up for a jump, there is a woman who sees what I'm doing and does the exact same thing, and gets in my way. She never backs off. I've come very close to taking her down on more than one occasion, but I know what she's doing. She is trying to show me "the right way to do it." How do I know this? She has told me. First I am asked what I supposed to be doing, followed by the question "really?" then she shows me how it's supposed to look.

I do not skate for exercise; I compete. I am not "big boned" since there is no such thing. I am just fat, but thank you for pointing it out to me; I guess I never noticed. Thank you so much for saying it to me every time I show up at the rink. It hurts when you say that.

My sister/roommate has more mood swings than the pendulum of a clock. She constantly tells me what to do; not make suggestions, tells me, almost a demand. I have been called names that I won't bother to repeat and I say nothing. She sees nothing wrong with her actions. Why? I don't have feelings, or if I do, they are only slightly important. I am trying not to start an argument, so I keep quiet. I also repeat myself because I will get cut off at the knees. Still, I have feelings.

My other sister doesn't pay attention to what I say long enough to actually hear it. She is in her own work world and it is all encompassing for her. Between the two of them, I occasionally have the chance to finish a thought or comment. However, if I talk too much about skating, school or work I can see their eyes glaze over, I can hear the sign in their voices. I stop talking and ask about them. I have feelings too.

At work, I'm always wrong. I don't fall into my boss' "chosen" category of white, Irish-Catholic. I'm Catholic; one out of three ain't bad. But no. And so, I never get to finish a sentence. And when I start one; I'm wrong. (Side bar: my boss has to read everything aloud. Do you know how annoying that is? Think about it for a minute.) At a meeting, my boss said the division secretary was just a wonderful person who does so much and gets so many things done. The division owes everything to this woman (who is almost always on the phone with personal calls) and she is so knowledgeable about the business thanks to emails and phone calls where she funnels information through. And oh, my boss added, there was also me. Considering the amount of work I do, color me: hurt.

I am not petite. I have recently been told that I'm not pretty. Still, this over-weight woman has feelings. And those feelings are constantly hurt.

Maybe I'm too sensitive; I always have been. I go out of my way NOT to hurt anyone's feelings. Couldn't someone do that for me?

Friday, April 6, 2012

A Brief Intermission...

I have injured my wrists (along with my rotor cuffs) doing who knows what. The end result is forced rest with no typing or signing for several days. I can't turn a door knob, open a bottle or carry anything heavy, or even light.

With that in mind, I want to temporarily leave you with this: Sometimes courage is saying "I will try again tomorrow".

Until "tomorrow"....

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

If I Only Knew...

I have been battling a really bad sore throat on and off for a month and a half. It comes, makes it almost impossible to swallow and quietly goes away. I've been trying to get to my doctor to have her look at it, but it disappears before I can be seen.

It is a plot to drive me insane! MORE INSANE!

I was recently told that, since I was grandfathered into the Silver level of adult skating that I could compete in Silver at Adult Nationals. REALLY!!! No one could have told me this sooner? I could have been preparing for AN, even if I couldn't go because of work, but at least ready? I could have competed in the non-qualifying portion of Regionals?

Couldn't someone have told me sooner?!?!

It's okay; it's something to strive for.

Before I go to bed, I must mention that "Sebastian" is embarking on a new adventure: storm chasing. I wish I had his spirit for adventure. He is amazing!

It's late. Good night.