Of all the sordid, self-destructive things I do on a regular basis – even though I really should know better – the one that is worst for my soul and self-esteem is this: looking up the biographies of women I admire on the internet. Learning the age, education and romantic histories of successful females has never led me down a positive path, mental-health wise. This is because I have been socially conditioned to find other people’s achievements threatening and, as a result – or as an unfortunate coincidence – I am prone to jealousy and bitterness. Emotions I am working hard to eradicate using therapy, religion and books about gratitude. I’m not sure what’ll be left of my personality once all the spite has gone – I’ll probably be just another bland blonde with manicured tootsies benignly congratulating people on their engagements and leaving parties before I cause offence. But still, perhaps I’ll be happy and motivated and engaging in sex with good looking men. Instead of sitting alone in my parents’ house, wearing my mum’s old dressing-gown, watching back to back 30 Rock and wondering why Liz Lemon has both a better career and a more exciting romantic life than I do (answer: because she’s fictional).
This week I have mainly been conducting internet researches into the life and times of Tina Fey and feeling bad about myself in comparison. I want to be her right down to the weight problems and the scar on the face from a childhood trauma (wait! I actually have a scar on my face from a – albeit less dramatic – childhood trauma. I’m already halfway there!). The only thing about being Tina Fey that has caused me consternation – apart from the fact that I am unlikely to achieve a similar level of wealth and success in this lifetime – is her attitude towards men. She is into nice ones – you know, ones that avoid confrontation, tell you the whole truth about where they’ve spent the night, love you in an uncomplicated fashion and have a penchant for cardigans. I cannot get on board with this and I am fairly confident it will lead to my downfall.
As ever, Tina Fey is right (the bitch). There is everything to be said for fancying men who are kind and who will co-pilot your journey through this life without resorting to deliberate cruelty or selfish and wanton acts of lust that are likely to cause heartbreak. It’s just that I cannot fancy nice men, no matter how hard I try. Niceness is not sexy. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for supressed rage, nonchalance and emotional ambiguity.
It’s not my fault. I can’t help finding an air of violence and instability unspeakably sexy. Or liking that bad boys have exactly the right mix of arrogance and insecurity that results in them never making the fatal mistake of telling you what you mean to them. I’m trying to think of other redeeming features – they usually have smouldering good looks, for example – however, I’m finding it difficult. Attraction is more of a chemical thing. I’m drawn to other people’s darkness because, I suppose, I’m overflowing with my own and I need to put it somewhere where it is unlikely to be noticed.
This has not worked out well. As I hope the contents of this blog have made obvious.
Things need to change. I’ve known this for some time and I know it all the more now Tina Fey has reminded me.
Mind you, I forced myself to go on dates with a couple of nice men, before I gave up romantic aspirations to concentrate on writing this blog and my PhD (and, I might as well be honest, so I could stay indoors and watch sitcoms undisturbed), and that didn’t work out particularly well either.
Recently, I’ve been considering nunnery as a viable alternative to romance – because, frankly, I find the idea of devoting my life to a God I’m struggling to believe in one hundred percent more sexy than the thought of shagging a bloke in a cardigan who makes me tea in the morning and tells me I’m beautiful. A period of nunnery* would also liven up my own biography no end.
And I wouldn’t need to worry about bad boys, because, as I understand it, nuns don’t have sex. No matter how smouldering the damaged young men seeking their counsel.
I need to invest in a better therapist.
And, possibly, get out more.
*I’ve used nunnery as a verb here. I don’t know if one can do that, legitimately, and I’m not sure how much I care. I do care that you know that I know I’ve done it though – hence this footnote.
*Image from freedigtalphotos.net