Maybe it is just me but in my little corner of the world compliments seem to have ceased to exist. I mean it just doesn’t happen very often. Me, being who I am, miss being told I look nice, that my outfit looks really great or even that a piece I worked on was amazing. I once had a friend tell a mutual acquaintance that I was the last person on earth who required any sort of ego padding but I guess, although I agreed with her at the time, I do need to be complimented occasionally.
Praise comes so rarely that I actually woke up this morning trying to remember the last time someone said something to me that made me feel good. I remember it clearly. I had woken up late one Saturday that I had planned to walk to work. The walk is a little over a mile and I had 45 minutes to get ready and get to work. I wound up putting my make-up on in the bathroom at the library. My hair was in a bun and I had taken a shower that lasted all of three minutes. I felt gross.
Let me tell you about my typical patrons on Saturdays at the library before I get much further. I spend my Saturday mornings with a group of five to twelve kids ranging in age from 5 to 17. I love those kids (most of them). I often refer to my Saturday shift as “Daycare Day” at the library. We read and play games. I joke with them. I mediate their squabbles. It is my favorite day to work.
Later that Saturday, when all of the regular kids were present, I was sitting on a sofa reading to one of my favorite five year old patrons when an older boy asked me if I he could take a picture of me. “Why?” I asked with no small inflection of shock in my voice. I felt gross and was very aware of the fact that I looked as gross as I felt. “Because you look great Teri,” the teenager said. “You look marvelous.” His absolute sincerity made me blush. It was the sweetest thing. “Maybe you can take my picture on a day when I feel marvelous,” I responded. “Okay’” he answered and turned his attention back to the computer he’d been working on. I can’t remember the last time someone else said something even remotely that genuine. Out of the mouths of babes…
I am quick to compliment someone. I always try to say something nice to someone when I see them. I try to compliment them or praise something they have done. I am never dishonest or insincere. This exercise just helps me see the good in someone rather than focusing on the things I may not like. It helps me see people in a better light. I don’t do it with any expectations of reciprocation. I just feel good about myself and who I am and I want other people to feel the same way.
Lately I have been feeling the strain of the absence of ego padding. It may just be an ego thing but damn if I don’t think it sucks. Maybe I just miss my friends. Maybe I am just trolling. It is just feels like maybe we are headed for place where no one sees anything good in anyone else or just feels too superior to acknowledge it.
Has anyone else noticed this?
Posted by trjensen on April 9, 2013
I suppose you all are wondering how my blind dates went, right? I know you are because what else could you possibly have to do besides worry about my personal life. I am kidding of course but I am pretty sure you were still probably wondering just a little bit. It is hard not to become slightly invested in the lives of those who are so willing to overshare. I know this because you bastards have tricked me into being just as invested in your lives. *Waves fist at computer screen.
Surely I haven’t been blogging because I have been so busy having crazy monkey sex with virtual strangers. That is after all one of my favorite pass times. (Really it is. If this comes as a surprise to you, you should go back and read some posts from this time last year.) Surely there is a reason that doesn’t have anything to do with a surprise non-payment of an internet bill and the drama and stress of having guests here for the holidays.
The truth is I have not gone on said blind dates because I am a big chicken shit wuss. I also haven’t had sex in six fucking months because the idea of having sex just to have sex sounds about as appealing to me as having my pubic area waxed one hair at a time. I just can’t bring myself to even fain charm or wit.
Before you go getting all misty eyed and proud of me for being all grown up let me assure you that emotional growth has nothing to do with either of these choices. I have not gone said blind dates for several reasons. The primary reason being, I have absolutely no faith in my casual acquaintances and coworkers’ ability to find me a tolerable dinner (let alone sexual) companion. This is followed closely by my lack of enthusiasm about dating a man “my age.” Age in my estimation is relative and I have no desire to date someone in their late thirties or forties. I do not have my shit together in many areas and while I am striving to mature emotionally I still feel stunted in many aspects. I am attracted to younger men (not Extreme Cougar status) and I enjoy dating guys who are still peak physical specimens. The other issue is that in my community I am what the men in these parts would refer to as a liberal, feminist transplant. This is not appealing to me or perspective dates.
I have had at least two opportunities to have sex with past partners, of both genders and passed both up this month. Recycling just isn’t something I have any interest in doing and the idea of putting in what could be a considerable amount of work(training) to establish a long term FWB situation isn’t something I can muster the energy to do. I refer again to the long and arduous process that would be the most painful, interminable Brazilian ever.
I know I am probably still scared given my gross lapse in judgment and colossal display of poor self-respect that was Guy with the Smile but I also need to just get past it and fucking date already. I need to get my shit together. The longer I go without dating the more cynical and pissy I become when someone actually expresses interest in me. I don’t like being a giant douche- baggy, snotty girl who can’t get laid because her personality just sucks. I want to have fun and socialize and I definitely want to be having sex with someone other than myself. Six months seems so long (and yes this is coming from the girl who abstained for thirteen years.)
Something has to change before I become some old shrew, spinster librarian. Oh yeah! That is already happening.1
1This isn’t even a possibility. This could never and will never happen. I am attempting to be self-deprecating.
Posted by trjensen on January 7, 2013
of Fact or Myth is out. You can visit it by clicking the Fact or Myth link in the sidebar or by following this link. I hope you all take time to read my new piece and comment. Let me know what you think.
And! If you would like me to discuss any misconception you may have about the opposite sex you can leave it in the comments. Maybe it’ll windup in an upcoming column.
Posted by trjensen on December 21, 2012
It really drives me crazy when someone tries to tell me what I think about myself. What I think I do and don’t deserve. Or especially tell me that I am making decisions based to my poor self-esteem. I know exactly who I am. I know what I am worth and I am totally okay with who I am the decisions I make. I am okay with every single one of them. I don’t choose incorrectly and I don’t make a mistakes.
I realize that everyone has an opinion about everybody else and what they are doing with their life. I do it; you do it; everyone does it. What I don’t do is try to offer advice under the assumption that what I think is fact and that I completely understand why you have a behavior or why you are making the decisions you are. People make decisions because it is what is best for them. It may not be the choice you would make but that doesn’t matter because it isn’t your journey.
I know myself very well. I understand why I think the way I think and why I do what I do. I know when I need to work on something and when I need to take a step back and reassess my approach to something. If I need a second opinion or an outsider’s viewpoint I’ll ask. I like asking people what they think because I respect constructive input. Understanding what a situation looks like from the outside is often useful when you need some context or perspective. I appreciate that and often ask for that sort input here. Those conversations often turn into constructive dialogs about relationships in general.
The key is to not presume you know more about a person than they do. I am 100% comfortable with my decisions; where my life is at, who is in it and the road I am currently on. I don’t feel like I am demeaning myself, under valuing myself or doing anything that has to do with what I feel I deserve. I feel like I deserve what I WANT! Sometimes that works out and sometimes it doesn’t. I handle both as I see fit.
I have said a million times before, I won’t fucking settle. If I don’t want someone then I don’t. It isn’t because of financial, social or physical standards. If I can’t see myself with someone then that isn’t going to change and I wouldn’t want it to. I date who I am drawn to and that evolves. It’s changed over the last three years and it will continue to, I am sure. I don’t make choices based on stature. I make choices based on who interests me. What they do for a living or what their history is doesn’t change that. I will let something play out until something happens that inhibits my interest or sense of well-being.
I fucking love myself. That isn’t ego. I have one and it might be overinflated but my self-esteem is exactly where it needs to be. I believe that I deserve something that is good and makes me happy. I am happy. I am in a good place. I make decisions in the pursuit of obtaining things that will make me happier and finding someone who can enhance that. And if what I have tried doesn’t make sense to someone else I DON’T GIVE A FUCK. I am trying to find what I want for me and shit doesn’t all go wrong because I am intentionally choosing anyone who can’t give it to me. I am trying and if it doesn’t work out then I try something else.
But I really despise when someone tells me how I feel about myself or that I make the choices I do because I don’t understand my worth. I understand me. I make choices based on what I believe is BEST for me. I have been growing and making decisions that I believe are making me better version of myself. If you don’t see that or have a different take I don’t care. I can say confidently that I will get where I need to be because I take care of me first (and best). I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Posted by trjensen on October 25, 2012
I spent most of my childhood being hearing that I was ugly, no one loved me, no one would ever love me, I wasn’t smart, I wasn’t good at anything and I would be alone forever. I was told these things by one of the only people in my life that should have loved me unconditionally. I grew up believing, well into adulthood, that these were all basic truths that I had to accept. My dating life in my late teens and early twenties only strengthened my belief that my father was probably right on most accounts.
When I stopped dating and having sex at twenty-four, I found it easy to abstain because with a young son to provide for and bills to pay the screams of the needs drowned out the whines of the wants. That period of my life did afford me some opportunities to challenge what I had known about myself since childhood. It turned out I was good at great deal of things. I was a good writer and I was driven. I found positions in areas that interested me, like television, which I had no experience with at all, and I learned everything I could to make myself an asset to anyone who gave me a shot. Over the course of a ten year period I won three national awards and four regional awards, as a producer and director in video and television.
I realized that I was, in fact, an intelligent young woman who could really do anything she put her mind to. Slowly through the years, the facts my father told me were refuted. The only truths I hadn’t been able to disprove were the ones regarding emotional connection and the more superficial assessments of my physical appearance. I had convinced myself for most of my son’s childhood that I didn’t want a relationship and probably never would.
As my son neared adulthood, I began to ponder what I could and would do. Three things happened that changed everything for me. The first, I had a much higher opinion of myself. There were things I knew I excelled in and stopped letting anyone tell me otherwise. I had developed some self-confidence. The second, I was committed to being more positive about myself and the world around me. I created a list of things I felt needed to change in my life and addressed them. And lastly, I learned to love and really care for myself.
It turned out that one of the side effects of being confident and loving yourself is that you garner a lot more attention. I got a lot of male attention. One more of my father’s truths scratched off the list… not ugly… actually pretty attractive. I began to realize that I didn’t want to be alone after all. I wanted a partner, a companion. I thought a lot about what dating would be like given my circumstances. I thought it would surely be easier to date now that I was older. People my age had surely moved beyond the game playing and drama that filled my romantic life as a younger woman.
So I started dating and quickly discovered that dating was still tricky. I encountered the same problems I did at twenty-four. But finally I found a man I really liked and we began dating. I allowed my value to be depreciated by a man who really just wanted to break my will. When that relationship ended I was kind of lost and pissed. I decided I needed to change my thinking about a few things. I began casually dating and having lots and lots of sex with lots and lots of boys. I realized that it was nice to experience all of the great moments that dating can provide without the emotional pain that often comes with trying to establish a relationship.
I still wanted more than a few nights of fun with a slew of physically attractive men. I really just wanted one. I hadn’t found him yet but I opened myself up to the possibility of trying for something more again. One night at a bar I met a guy who I thought would just be another temporary good time. My plans for a temporary arrangement turned into something a little more significant. After about a month I realized, for the first time, that I actually wanted to be around this person and only this person for a very long time. We were good for a few months then we stopped dating due circumstances I understood and had to accept. After two months we were dating again and everything I felt for him had blossomed into something more intense than I had felt for anyone. I wanted so badly to build a committed relationship. I tried for the better part of six months. In the end it didn’t happen and I had to admit to myself that he just didn’t and never was going to love me.
I love myself and I am proud of everything I have accomplished. But every time I try so hard and everything falls apart, I hear my father’s voice. “No will ever love you; no one will ever want you.” (Not anyone I want anyway.) I know that isn’t the truth but it is hard not to think about when you feel like you’ve given something everything you have and not succeeded.
I guess I am just not used to being bad at something.
At least my ego is still intact.
Posted by trjensen on September 20, 2012
I read an article regarding a recent study saying that women, now more than ever are becoming as narcissistic if not more narcissistic than their male counterparts. It seems the findings of the study were that women have an over inflated sense of awesomeness. Women want and expect more for themselves. They have an unsubstantiated sense of self-worth. They have become more selfish and see themselves in way that is not based in reality.
Men are finding it harder to find women to date because women have become pickier. They want more than they deserve. They want to date “out of their league” and have unrealistic expectations about what they can actually achieve and obtain. I do know some women who seem to have bottomless egos but this is a behavior women have had to deal with in men for… well, forever.
Men my age want to date twenty something year old girls. Men want to have better jobs. Men want play the game while women are merely pieces on the board. This behavior is accepted and often expected in men but when women exhibit any kind of positive (and yes sometimes exaggerated sense of self) it is an issue. I think confidence is important and attractive.
Do we really still live in a time when women are expected to be meek and grateful and not really understand who they are or be proud of what they can do? As with anything, I think the only thing preventing anyone from accomplishing their goals and achieving their dreams is how they feel about themselves. How someone, male or female, sees himself/herself is relative. How someone sees themselves may not be what you see but that doesn’t matter. You are one person and your opinion isn’t the only one out there. Why do we have to cut people who feel good about themselves down to size?
Posted by trjensen on June 4, 2012
For the bulk of my twenties I didn’t date. I was raising my son and didn’t want to complicate a difficult and stressful situation by dating. I was also not very confident about myself. Actually it is probably a fairer statement to say I wasn’t very conscious of myself. When my son turned eighteen that all changed. I focused more on me. I worked on the things I didn’t like. I became comfortable in my own skin and I gained what some might call an overabundance of confidence. People started to identify me as an ego maniac and although most were doing so lovingly, there was some validity to that assessment.
I am awesome. I am attractive. I think people who I spend time with are lucky to have me in their life. I date hot men, some much younger than I am and I have a hard time not showing off pictures to anyone who will look. I also have no problem admitting any of this publicly. I am who I am; take it or leave it.
Although my unashamed pronouncement of love for myself certainly bothers some people the most obvious reaction is the desired one. I get a lot of attention. I get a lot of attention because I am confident and confidence is something people are drawn to. I make no apologies for who I am. I am the first person to admit I am not perfect. I am quick to make a joke at my own expense and share a story if I do something embarrassing/ stupid /crazy.
Even with all my flaws and the continued process of growing and learning I am always right where I need to be. I don’t have regrets. I don’t view any decisions as mistakes. Everything I experience is simply an opportunity to grow and learn. I never feel less amazing even when I stumble. I think everything I do makes me more amazing.
I love myself. People love me because I love myself. I won’t ever change that. People aren’t really wrong when they say I am narcissistic. I am okay with that because if I don’t love me no one else is going to either.
Posted by trjensen on April 15, 2012
Posted by trjensen on March 22, 2012
The only men who ever ask me if the sex we had was okay are the ones who absolutely suck in bed. Not that some other guys weren’t as bad, just the only time I can ever remember being asked, “Was that okay for you?” was by men who were a special kinda’ awful in bed. They know it sucked so why ask? And then I have to lie and say it was alright. I guess I don’t have to lie but it isn’t like he’ll be seeing me naked again anytime soon.
Of course that works the other way too. I have slept with guys who thought they were fantastic in bed and were absolutely terrible. I have slept with guys who thought that because they had a big dick they didn’t need to really do anything, like the size of their cocks would just cause orgasms. I have had guys roll over all proud of themselves when the deed was done, like they’d brought heaven to earth and in my head I am questioning if we had actually had sex with the each other. What are you so proud of? Do I look satisfied? Nope I look confused and annoyed because I just faked an orgasm. And no you can’t spend the night so we can fuck again in the morning. Once was enough for me thank you very much.
The smug ones are worse than the ones who know they suck. Nothing like an inflated ego and absolutely nothing to substantiate it. I have told a few of those guys that they needed work. Most of them just assume it is me. They don’t listen. The only time smug or confident works in bed, is when you are actually good in bed.
I don’t know what made me think of this but I am done with my rant. I hope you all enjoy.
(507): How fortunate humanity is that it need not rely on the female orgasm for procreation – TFLN
Posted by trjensen on March 1, 2012
- My favorite color is purple.
- My second favorite color green.
- I look horrible in purple and green.
- I am brutally honest.
- I am often accused of being a know-it-all.
- I am funny.
- When I started noticing my weight loss, I took at least 100 pictures of myself a day.
- I can always point the problem in the predicament I find myself in. I know exactly how to remedy them but seldom do.
- I have liked more guys whose name starts with “J” than another letter in the alphabet.
- Younger men always seem to be attracted to me.
- I have been out with more men this year than in the first seven years I dated.
- I hate cotton, especially cotton balls. The way it feels makes me clench my teeth.
- I love cinnamon flavored anything.
- I was pregnant in high school.
- “Wind Beneath My Wings” makes me cry every time I hear it.
- I can tell with in the first two minutes of meeting a man whether or not I would ever sleep with him.
- I don’t trust the number 23.
- I have a totally twisted, politically incorrect sense of humor.
- I tried to rewrite the bible in the second grade.
- I have won three national awards for television production.
- I love to write. It is definitely my favorite thing to do. (Almost )
- Getting food poisoning in 2009 was probably the best thing that ever happened to me.
- I am a closet cougar.
- I want a boob job.
- I love looking at myself in the mirror.
- I don’t spend much time at home.
- I am very clumsy.
- I have had two surgeries on my left knee just because I tripped and fell down.
- Autumn is my favorite season.
- I go shopping when I am depressed.
- I want to write a book, then write the screenplay, then direct the movie.
- I would love to live in Sydney for a year.
- I would love to win the lottery but I never buy tickets.
- I love having bad dreams.
- I want to own my own production company.
- My son is named after one of my brothers.
- Sometimes I think I will be single forever.
- I still think about my mom every day.
- I always ask myself how I am doing and answer out loud.
- I have full blown conversations with myself in public.
- I love gangster rap.
- I have an entirely different life in my mind.
- I always go shopping on Black Friday.
- I love Disney World. If I could go every year for the rest of my life I would.
- My son has the quickest sense of humor of any person I know. I love it.
- I attribute everything I have accomplished as an adult to three people.
- I seldom eat meat but bacon is my vice.
- I have naturally curly hair.
- I had seizures until I was six.
- I really want a boyfriend
- I am definitely a cat person.
- I hum and sing Christmas carols when I am in a good mood.
- I love to take baths.
- I want Anthony Bourdain’s job.
- My friends are my family.
- I have been to Disney World three times.
- I am totally OCD.
- I get paid to watch porn.
- I don’t know what I would do without my cellphone.
- I take at least two showers a day.
- I love to cook but never do it.
- I don’t read nearly as much as I would like to.
- I normally get pretty mean when I drink whiskey.
- I like beer more than wine.
- I hate having roommates.
- I find it difficult to write while listening to music.
- I almost never apologize.
- I didn’t really like cartoons as a kid.
- I love sarcasm.
- I am pretty self-obsessed.
- I love spending money on other people.
- I am learning to be patient.
- I love video games.
- I dislike habitual liars.
- I never eat leftovers.
- I would love to live on the east coast for a few years.
- I am perverted.
- I am the loudest person you’ll probably ever meet.
- I always put my movies in alphabetical order.
- I expect people to do what they say they will.
- I believe that everything happens for a reason.
- Punctuality is very important to me.
- I swear a lot.
- I am addicted to Facebook.
- I remember sequences of numbers that aren’t relevant at all.
- It takes me about three hours to fully wake up.
- I hate when people talk to me while I am waking up.
- The first thing I do when I wake up is smoke.
- If I throw up I want be taken to the emergency room immediately. I am a huge baby about vomiting.
- I love going to the movies but listening to people chew in the theater drives me crazy.
- I am on the computer pretty much 24/7.
- I seldom go to bed before 2:00 a.m.
- I could eat Mexican food every day for the rest of my life.
- I am happiest when I am making other people laugh.
- I love to swim but only in pools.
- I rather be too cold than too hot.
- I try really hard not to be cynical.
- I only like dating one man at a time otherwise things get messy.
- It annoys me when people don’t respond to texts.
- I am very fond of myself.
Posted by trjensen on November 23, 2011