Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Little Ol' Me?

When people call me scary or intimidating I always want to take it as a compliment.  Because that implies a degree of power, right?  And being a powerful person is a good thing.  right?  It's certainly not because I look especially scary.  I mean, the only fashion "looks" I can pull off are Beach Prep, Cocktail Party or maybe Naively Dressed Nice for Jury Duty.  None of those seems all that scary at first glance. 

In high school once, I tried on my sister's black leather jacket.  The one with all the zippers that went perfect with her Doc Martens and multicolored hair.  My father laughed in my face.  It was confirmed in that moment that Halloween aside, Aggressively Rebellious is not a look I can maintain.  So it isn't that I look scary or intimidating but I get pegged as scary more often than I know quite what to do with.

I have a hard time reconciling that assessment.  Even Betty says I'm scary.  or intimidating.  maybe both.  and I have to figure out how that's a good thing.  And how I can use it to my advantage.  Now, it comes in handy when dealing with my outlaws/former in-laws/X's parents/whatever you want to call them.  And the occasional Assistant Principal.  And obviously with the petri dish of pre-puberty that swirls around the neighbor kids.  But otherwise?  Socially?  Do I come off as too standoffish?

This could be one of the reasons I don't get asked out.  People I used to babysit for when I was a teenager would ask me, "Why's a girl like you available to babysit on a Saturday night?"  I'd smile and shrug.  "The boys must be intimidated by you," they'd say.  I'd smile and shrug again.  heh.  Because it felt like kind of a bullshit compliment to me at the time.  But I haven't stopped hearing it since.

On one hand, I'm "nice" but then the pendulum swings all the way over to the other side I get labeled as "scary."   It's off-putting really and like I said, I don't know how to handle it.  Like when my friend said I reminded him of a Venus Fly Trap. Implying fascinating but lethal and therefore kind of sexy.  and, y'know...I don't want to shut down either side but I think I need to find the volume controls for both.  Because it's very much less attractive when the lethal part outweighs the fascinating.  I know this.  I've been on the receiving end of a vibe where everything seems fine on the surface but you feel as if the person with whom you're interacting would just as soon backhand you across the room. 

That to me smacks of unresolved rage issues, and...well...yeah, I got those.  But I would hate for people to feel like that around me all the time.  I should probably redeem that massage gift certificate I got for my birthday.


TwoBusy said...

Personally, I didn't find you scary in NY. That said, I'm also not terribly perceptive. I probably just missed it.

Silver said...

TB, your perception of scary may be skewed by prolonged exposure to RHNJ. It's like this: on a scale of Jacqueline to Danielle...I'm probably a Carolyn.

Plus, I was too awestruck by meeting you in person to be scary in NY.