Detest the Disillusion

Men make me uncomfortable.

  1. I sit at a red light and calmly listen to music until I am overwhelmed with a sense of discomfort and as I look to my left, a man in the turning lane is staring at me with a sinning smile that makes me want to speed through oncoming traffic to escape his eyes.
  2. I drive down the street and my eardrum rings from the acceleration of a little man’s large pickup, somehow wanting to seem attractive or at least grab my attention, and I know this because him AND his male passenger are eyeballing me through the back windows.
  3. I rotate my body in the same direction as men walking into my work, seeming as casual as possible because so many times over, they carelessly and barbarously have their eyes fixed on my butt as they walk away, making me feel dirty and disrespected.
  4. I take a stroll down the neighborhoods and am annoyed and unimpressed by the lack of respect coming from whistles belonging to some “gentleman” with his windows rolled down. So irritated, I no longer bite my tongue, and instead yell as loud as I can as he passes my way.

Men make me uncomfortable.

Women make me uncomfortable.

  1. I step in to a makeup store, asking for help, and the associate automatically assuming I know all these feminine technical terms she uses, giving me a funny stare as she finishes and I hold a confused look to my face. I do not know brands, I do not know brushes, I do not know what the difference between foundation and mineral powder is. I have not read about makeup since I grew out of J-14 magazines.
  2. I sit at the nail salon, enjoying the scrub the man is putting on my damaged heels, and look over to see a woman staring at me. Did I pick the wrong color nail polish? Every woman that passes by makes eye contact and I smile, only to receive a head turn and end of interaction. I feel like a child, like I was not supposed to walk in there without my mother.
  3. Women always notice the hangers you have in your hand, completing your whole style by the clothing items you picked off the rack. I make sure you hide the tank top because they might think I am showing too much skin, and don’t I dare carry a bra around the store where everyone can see because I am not supposed to expose my undergarments.

Children make me uncomfortable.

  1. I go to the grocery store, and with no associate around to help, I step on to the bottom shelf to reach the pop-tarts in the back on the top shelf. Mid grab, I hear a small girl say “Look mommy, she’s short like me.” Already feeling like a child, I quickly do a little hop to make the last couple inches to the box and swerve in to the next aisle, where I hope the rest of my grocery list is stocked closer to the floor.
  2. Having the weak immune system that I do, I constantly have cold sores that are very noticeable. My children at work hold nothing back. The first few minutes the children walk in to the classroom I receive a few “Ms. Jennifer, what’s wrong with your lip?” “Did you get in to a fight?” And being the caring children that I know they are, one girl insisted on letting me use some of her Aquaphor.

“Do you want some of my chapstick Ms. Jennifer?”

“No honey, that’s okay, I have my own.”

“But your lips look chapped.”

“No hon, I’m quite alright thank you.”

“But it works really well, here look.”

“No really, I have my own in my bag.”

“But, Ms. Jennifer…”

“I’m fine, please sit down.”

“But it looks like it’s bleeding!”

“ PLEASE SIT DOWN, I AM ALRIGHT. THANK YOU.”

Children make me uncomfortable.

I make myself uncomfortable.

  1. I ramble when I get nervous, shifting my mind to an anxious hole.
  2. I laugh a little too loud sometimes, exaggerating the joke, repeating the obnoxious cackle in my head.
  3. I focus on my feet when I walk, only to notice halfway to my destination, I’m hunched over, like an old women who sat down too much in her younger years.
  4. I notice that people notice me, and place myself into an imaginary turtle shell, being as still as possible, so as to disappear like HP’s invisibility cloak rests on my shoulders.
  5. I notice my lack of knowledge on what society deems as feminine, not fitting in the the trends of crop tops and high waist shorts, looking like a panda bear after attempting to do winged eyeliner with liquid, being able to rock high heels, but being too comfortable in my workout pants to even consider putting on a skirt. Not fitting regular pants but just too tall to look right in petites. Letting my roots grow and jumping out of the shower without taking a brush to my mane. Wearing my soccer pants at least 3 times a week, only deciding to put on jeans on Sundays because Sunday is church day.

I go out in public uncomfortable in my clothes to acclimate to the care I will soon not have for what you think of me. This disillusion that something is wrong with me will soon flee my mind. For now, I choose to go out in public.