I play myself off as confident, but I’m really not. I am actually very insecure, especially about the way I look. I have always been this way. It started young when kids made fun of the size of my lips– I was coined Nipsey Russell in grade school. Then in middle school, Dave Satula made me feel bad about my body. When I made the cheerleading squad, he used to make whale sounds every time he passed me. It shouldn’t be a surprise that I learned how to make myself throw up before I was fourteen.
I broke myself of bulimia in my early twenties. I knew it was unhealthy and wrong, and I had a handle on my self-esteem (sort of). I had turned into an exerciser, and much of the baby fat and the teenage chunk had faded away. I got as comfortable as I could in my skin– however, I second guessed every comment, every look, and every situation, always feeling that all the other girls were prettier, skinnier, and more attractive.
Now, I have been married for almost fifteen years and my husband makes me feel pretty. On most going-out occasions, he compliments me on my outfit. He often tells me I am pretty. He makes me feel good about myself to such an extent, I forget about how I used to feel, how most of the time, I felt inadequate.
However, last night, I was reminded. Last night, Tom and I attended the 40th birthday party of our very good friend, Scott. Personally, I have known him for about seventeen years. He was in a group of friends who used to come into my parents’ bar on a regular basis. We went from a business relationship– “That’ll be twelve dollars for the round”– to a more personal relationship– “Tom and I are getting married in Las Vegas, I hope you can make it.” Yes, we have been friends for a number of years.
Anyway, many of the people at the party were people I knew from “The Gazette Days.” I happened to walk up on a conversation between two of the men nostalgically discussing those years.
(Names have been changed to protect my friends.)
“Dude, you dated Victoria, right? I dated Victoria after you.”
“Yeah, I remember. I moved on to Brittany.”
“Dude, she was sooooooo hot. You lucked out with her.”
“Yeah, we were together for a while. What about Cindy? I thought she was smoking hot.”
“Yeah. I forgot about her. I think I hooked up with her one night.”
“God, there were so many good-looking girls back then. We were lucky.”
I stood behind this conversation and listened. All of my friends from fifteen years ago were mentioned. They were all “hot” and “cool” and “sexy”.
The unconfident-self surfaced. What about me? I was in the same group of friends as every girl they mentioned. I know that they kissed almost everyone in the group. But never once was I hit on. Never once, did they think of me in that way.
At some point, a girl can only think that she cannot and does not measure up to the other girls. “Always a bridesmaid and never the bride.”
15+ years later, these boys are my friends. They do not have relationships with any of the other women, I know this to be true. But just once, I wish they would have made a move, just so that I could feel like I was someone attractive and not just the girl they liked to drink beer and throw darts with.