So far, it’s just raining a little, but we are only a block outside of the evacuation zone and building management keeps sending these ominous messages that include the phrase “STAY AWAY FROM ALL WINDOWS.” It feels vaguely apocalyptic around here. The subway has shut down, and the buses, and I find myself watching a lone leaf, spiraling helplessly up and up, over the raised heads of the buildings, caught in a long finger of wind. It’s all very poetic and dire. Bear is staying home from work, and we’re waiting for the storm together. We were able to buy some coconut milk from Trader Joe’s and some canned clams, before desperate, scrabbling New Yorkers pulled everything off the shelves. We were trying for almond milk and tuna. Our bathroom ceiling has been creaking all night, I think from the weight of a full bath on the next floor up. Our neighbors must be preparing for a power outage, and I am very careful on the way to the toilet, in case the ceiling should cave in. So that’s the news here, and I’m glad I have this guest post to share with you, from the consistently provocative, thoughtful Bethany, who recently sent it to me. I’ve also published a piece of hers about a little girl who thought she was too fat, and one about being average-sized. She sometimes writes things that make me think, “Why the hell haven’t I written about that?” So then I publish them. And now I’m going to return to looking out the window while absentmindedly eating all of the canned clams. Stay safe, people in Hurricane Sandy’s path! And everyone else, of course! There are other things– wild fires, earthquakes, brimstone? those determined-looking cyclists who go right through the red light on the bike path in central park– they’re going to kill someone one day, seriously. – Kate
“What was she thinking?!”
Have you ever caught yourself wondering that, either aloud or to yourself? Maybe you saw a girl wearing fishnets and crocs. Maybe you saw a very heavy woman wearing booty shorts. Maybe your coworker wore a pair of pants that were just a bit too snug and gave her a serious muffin top.
I’ll admit that I catch myself thinking it a lot. And sometimes I say it out loud and sneak second and third peeks at the offender in question. I’ve seen just about everything: dangerously short skirts, outrageous dye jobs and haircuts, incredibly heavy makeup, and all kinds of bodies in all kinds of revealing clothing. Sometimes, it’s hard not to gawk.
But I want to be a better person. I want to be a person who doesn’t judge so much. I want to be someone who knows and remembers that clothing, haircuts and shoes don’t make a person. And I also want very badly to stop being part of the problem that women struggle with today. My eyes don’t need to be another pair that is looking for flaws and shortcomings.
So I decided that when I catch myself thinking or saying “What was she thinking?” that I might just go ahead and try and answer that question.