A Rant. Oh, Goodie.

Hey guys.  I know I wrote a small post last week but before that, I was absent for a while.  Nothing’s wrong.  I just didn’t have anything to say.  I know it is difficult to believe, but it does happen.  Now, however, I have something to say and that something is a direct result of two things I recently did. 

  1. I watched television.
  2. I read a magazine.

 “Ooh,” I can hear you saying.  “Racy. How adventurous of you.” Let me explain. 

There’s a back story for the television part. It is important so pay attention.  This will surprise some of you and some of you will recognize this as old news but I don’t have a television.  I grew up without one for the most part.  (Not for any weird religious reason.  I mention that because it is my most often asked question as to why. My mom simply wanted us to go outside and play. So we did.)  In my adult life, I’ve owned a television but a few years ago, I realized that when I turned it on, I became a zombie and was completely unproductive.  I cancelled the cable, moved the t.v. to the garage and only got it out to watch the occasional dvd, but soon that got old too, so I donated all that stuff to Goodwill. 

Now because I’m not really used to watching television anymore, I find that I am easily fascinated when one is on near me, like at the gym or at a friend’s house.  I’ll catch myself staring with my mouth open, ignoring people that are talking to me.  Also, because I’m not used to televisions, especially the newer technology ones, I sometimes find myself in a position of not knowing how they work or more importantly, how to turn it off. 

It was this position I recently found myself in at the gym, on the treadmill.  Someone before me had not turned the treadmill television off.  I couldn’t hear anything but I did watch the morning news and all the commercials that come with it while I listened to my iPod on my three mile trek.  That explains thing one, sort of. 

Here’s thing two.  My neighbor, Luke, asked me to pick up his mail for him while he spent the week in Hawaii. (He’s a sorry dog and I don’t want to talk about how jealous of him I am.)  One day I gathered his mail and happened to notice that he gets Men’s Journal.  I also happened to notice that this month’s featured artist is Mark Wahlberg and while I agree that his 9/11 comments were way out of line and deserved an apology, I’ve often admired his arms, so I read the magazine.   

Wow.  Men’s magazines are very different than women’s magazines.  Oh, I couldn’t make fun of it enough!  There were ads in there for bean bag chairs in “righteous” colors that you could “groove” on.  All the food ads were for some kind of red meat (grunt, grunt) and there was at least one bone poking out of every piece of meat on every plate pictured.  The testosterone fairly oozed off the pages.

It was when I saw the ad in the back of the magazine for testosterone supplements that something in me clicked and started a slow burn.  The ad used words that were jumbled and jargoned and scientific-sounding but it felt like they had no real back up or meaning.  I imagine that they leave every man feeling slightly stupid and more than a little weak and like they are getting way less sex than every other man out there.  A second ad all but stated that men are to add pheromones to their cologne because obviously they cannot lure in the ladies with their personality alone.  The question loomed – why in the world would a woman want you for you?   

I got mad.  Really mad. 

You know what pisses me off? What happened to real people?  Where are they?  Where are the wrinkles that are not strategically placed but real?  Where are the people with hair that is just hair and not some glossy horse tail woven out of twinkly lights and sparkles?  Can we stop with the photo shopping and the sex in everything? 

You want to know why we have all of these self esteem issues?  We define ourselves the wrong way.  Everything we see on television and in magazines and on billboards and in music videos is fake.  It is glorified and glamorized and tweaked and snipped past the point of recognition.  We are not seeing reality.  We are seeing fantasy but that fantasy is promised to be your reality if you just buy this dog food or eat that square of chocolate or pay for this nice home gym equipment.  So we do.  We shell out our hard earned dough and place our hopes in a dream that someone else gave us.  When our reality does not change because of what we bought or did or ate, we feel defeated and somehow less.

You know what?  I don’t want my cats so refined that they only eat parboiled shrimp out of a crystal serving bowl.  I don’t want them to delicately dance with a butterfly in a rainforest.  I want them to be cats who sleep most of the time and occasionally play in a frenzy with the bathroom rug (or Christmas tree).     

You know what else I don’t want?  I don’t want my man to be so cut that I could shred paper on his hip bone.  I don’t mind if he only has to shave once a day instead of five because his testosterone levels are through the roof.  I want him to be human with human skin that is going to wrinkle and droop like mine will. I want him to age like I’m going to age.  I don’t want him to feel less because we don’t have sex like rabbits until we both keel over from old age like it seems we are supposed to do.  I don’t want to feel less because I am never thin enough, fresh enough, have long enough hair, know enough sexual tricks or because I can’t frost a cake right.  Also, I have cellulite so you might as well just shoot me now.  It’s exhausting.

Also, I’m sorry, but if you have a cactus growing out of your butt, a tiny tube of Preparation H is not going to help you.  You have got bigger problems. 

I began this min-rant at work.  I said all of this to my co-workers in probably a voice that was too loud.  I was upset and it was on my mind.  I yelled out, “Food is not magical!” among my other rants and the guy who sits next to me, usually quiet and unassuming, piped up.  He said plaintively, “My wife’s food is magical.”  He was sincere and sweet and defending her honor.  And that right there? That is what we should look for.  A normal human man, loving a normal human woman and praising her for cooking in a way he likes to eat.  I could have hugged his neck. 

I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  I am here for a purpose.  I am loved beyond all measure. How about I define myself that way from now on instead of by what’s on the newsstand this week.  You in with me?    

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Auntie Anne
    Jan 23, 2012 @ 08:48:51

    Very Nice Rant! I do agree. Though I haven’t looked at a magazine just for men in a very long time, the ones aimed at women aren’t any better. Since aging is inevitable, it’s way best to relax into what’s good about it–and much, so far, thanks be, is. XO


    • jimmiesworld
      Jan 23, 2012 @ 10:37:42

      I love that you say that. My favorite birthday cards are the ones where you tell me what to expect in my 36s, 39s, 40s, 50s, etc. I want to look forward to it, not lament it. Work in progress . . .


  2. Madre
    Jan 23, 2012 @ 12:12:50

    Its nice to be happy in your own skin…..I am. Rant on Gir’frien, you are right but advertising agencies have to make a living….its our option to ignore them. xoxoxo


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