June 7th, 2005



Dear Editors:

I appreciate your willingness to serve as my own personal cheerleading squad, but your conviction that I will find a home for the story I just sent you is much more, er, convincing when it comes with a contract.

Most sincerely,

(Seriously, I would almost relish a rejection letter that said, "I have no idea who would buy a piece of crap like this," just because it would make a change from all this "I'm sure someone else will buy it" stuff.)

At least this makes sense to me, though: they can believe in a story because they've read it. Generally, I seem to inspire people's belief for no particular reason. I don't understand it. Apparently I exude...um...something. But what? I don't know. People who barely know me tend to become very sure that I'm going to do quite well, and I'm grateful to them. I'm just confused.
good mris pic

Probably a stupid question

I am going up a wall here trying to find where I can get a permanent account. It's supposed to work until midnight, right? So where the heck is it? I know I saw this screen earlier today, but I can't seem to find where.

ETA: Got it. Thanks. Well, they're stuck with me now. But they're also stuck with my money, so I think they'll cope.
good mris pic

Three is all I ask.

I'm going to take a bit of memeage too seriously here and pick on someone from my friendslist. She posted her entry behind friendslock, so I won't say who it is. But the meme was the "three things" meme. Three names you go by, three this, three that. And when she got to, "Three physical things you like about yourself," she listed the same thing thrice. I told her she was cheating and needed two more, and she said that the one was all there was.

Ummm. Let me say here that I know that many of you have had health problems lately and have had various parts of your bodies not playing nice with the rest of your bodies. I don't mean to belittle any of those problems, or to act as though you should always feel positive about your bodies or that you should sometimes feel positive about every aspect of your bodies or anything silly like that. I do not ask you to write cheerful paeans to your left ventricles.

However. Three things. It did not say three ways in which you are the hottest thing in your particular zip code. Hotness, in fact, was not specified at all. And I don't think three things is too many, once you've started that meme in the first place. Try this one: "my arms give good hugs." Or this: "my mousing hand gets me the hell away from memes that make me uncomfortable."

I think we should all be able to list three attractive things about ourselves, and I think we should all be able to list three positive things about our bodies. I don't require that they should be the same things, but they can be. Admit them to yourselves. Find them if it's not a matter of admission. Think hard if you have to. It is okay to see yourself as pretty. It is okay to see yourself as sexy. It is okay not to. There are other positive things bodies can be, strong or dextrous or flexible or capable, talented in more directions than I have time to list.

I don't like to see my friends dismiss and belittle themselves. It was immeasurably good for me when people did not sit still and let me do it, and I will not let you. Several years back, I had one former friend badger me nearly into tears about self-description, trying to get at the most positive adjective I would let her use about me without demur. She got down to "okay" before I sat back, blinked at her, and thought, "This is ridiculous." It was. Don't make someone do it to you.

Maybe it's all newage nonsense, embracing the body you've got and all that. But I think it's also nonsense to act like it's all right to dismiss our bodies entirely, to act like the "real us" is just a brain, like the body has no valid needs of its own, or like the body's needs don't intersect with the brain's. So I think I can afford to be a little squishy on this one, just for balance.

You don't have to share with the class, but it's okay to look off the other kids' papers. I was nice to myself last weekend by asking how I'd react if a certain one of you said the same things about herself on lj. You can do that here: you can see that someone else likes their hands for their skill at music and remember that you, too, have played or sang some pretty cool stuff. You can see that someone else has pretty eyes or great boobs and think, "Hey, mine, too!" It is okay. Nobody will come by and decide that you're a horrible braggart if you look in the mirror and think, "I totally rock these jeans"; nobody will smite you for vanity if you really appreciate having strong shoulders for your loved ones to lean their heads on. I'm really serious about this. It's important to me. Three things. Do it in your head, do it in my comments section or my inbox, do it with your best friend or partner or sibling or whoever. But do it. This is the body you got, and there are at least three things to like about it. I promise.