Friday, June 29, 2012

On Feeling Ugly | On Being Miserable

On Feeling Ugly

I have been feeling rather ugly for sometime now. I just don't talk about this, because it is simply impossible to say that I feel ugly without having my friends jump right in trying to convince me it is not true. Well, as friends, we are pretty much scripted to do exactly that. If any of my friends broke this code and said, well, nothing, I'd probably be even more heart-broken. 

Then there are the others, who would exhort me to seek comfort in some notion of inner beauty. At the moment, I could not care less. I am sure they are well-meaning, but I don't think I need it right now. 

Under intoxication, however, an acquaintance of mine managed to break free of the limits of civility and tell me she wouldn't dance with me, only with "one of the handsome gay boys." Had I not been swooning under the influence of a kiss that a much younger man had planted on my lips barely ten minutes before that, I would have fallen apart. I'd been dancing happily with him when he leaned over close and said, very sweetly, "Can I kiss you?" I had said yes before he had the time to change his mind. 

Of course, when I have guys wanting to kiss me, my feeling of ugliness must be entirely unfounded, right? Yes. So? If you can give me such evidences to disprove my ugliness as a fact, I can come up with twice as many to prove it. It is to circumvent this exercise that I have chosen to speak in terms of my feelings. They seem to exist per se. 

I have seen that even the most stunningly goodlooking people have some body-image issue going on. So then it all must be crazily subjective, tweaked only by varying degrees of self-obsession? I am not so sure. Not everyone who hates the way they look are invisible, are passed over in silence in everyday parades of eye candies. 
I thought I could write interestingly about feeling ugly. But it only comes out as pathetic whining. Note that I still do not say I AM ugly. I have to keep saying I FEEL ugly, resorting to the slightly assuaging perspective that it might only be my feeling, not reality. 

I am sure there is some radical perspective that claims a rightful place for ugliness in this world. Until I find that, I should perhaps disable comments for this post and put my friends out of misery! But what I cannot avoid is the utter discomfort of having them look at me closely next time, their eyes tracing the contours of my face, trying to find in it the ugliness I feel, or looking for what would help them prove me wrong. 

On Being Miserable

This only partly follows from feelings of ugliness. At this stage of overall miserableness, everything gets enmeshed in a chicken-and-egg conundrum. 

I might cope better if I relinquish my exacting notions of living, which demand that I live with gusto all the time, that I live life to the fullest, throw myself in it one hundred percent. Whenever I go through phases where I simply cope with life rather than live it, I feel like an utter failure. 

The other day I went to meet an older friend of mine. When I entered her home, she was sitting with a few other friends of hers, and I was shocked by how disheveled she looked. Not one to ever present herself in human company with even a string of hair out of place, she shocked me with her sweat-stained face; faded, old saree; and dark circles ambushing her lovely eyes. In addition to all these departures from her usual image of being on top of things, she broke down in the middle of the conversation, held her head in her hands, and shook in sobs that came with the force of things held back for too long. Through her crying, she said she was finding it hard to cope. 

Even as I put my arm around her, let me confess, I found some tight knot getting undone in my heart. I was relieved to see that it was alright to just cope; that even she, whom I had thought would always be in control of things, was merely coping. I felt less alone. 

P.S. I am still trying to figure out how to disable comments!