Who am i

                                                                                                                                         Image              

Recently i was looking at an old black and white photograph online of a smiling lady from around the 1940’s era. As i stared at it i wondered who she was. What did she do, who did she love and what did she think about. I couldn’t help but wonder if one day, long after i am gone, someone would stumble across a photograph of me and wonder the very same.

Nobody knows me totally you see. There are some things i just never tell anyone. Not because i dont have a someone to tell them to but mostly because i don’t like to admit some things to people and mostly because i dont like to wear a negative persona and bore people. I talk on here quite a lot and i guess i let a lot slip through my thoughts and little anecdotes but i never really confess some of the things i really think and feel.

 

Until now.

What do you see when you look at a picture of me? I look happy right? I’ve mastered the art of looking perfectly smiley in every photograph yet would you be surprised to know i loathe photographs of myself so much that i have to take dozens before i will allow one to be seen. My boyfriend despairs, he has long ceased to try and surprise me with a camera since he knows i will hate every shot and beg him to delete them. I am very unphotogenic which really doesn’t help me like them any better and so i do not very often take any. 

Look a little closer at my photograph, can you tell that i hate myself and cannot bear to look in a mirror? Did you know i used to be fat and that even though im now a size 10 i cannot look in a mirror without focusing on those areas where i still carry that excess weight? I fight an ongoing battle to keep it down and feel a real hatred for myself in those times when my emotional eating wins out over my dieting. I do not think anyone who has always been slim can possibly understand how hard a battle it is to win and even when you do you still have not won the war. Right now is one of those times. I was looking in the mirror today and felt an overwhelming disgust at myself and even calling myself names did not make it better.  I am struggling to lose the few pounds i have gained almost to a point of standstill and this just makes me hate myself more for being greedy and weak. I really envy those people who can eat as they please and never gain a pound whilst i struggle to make my ageing body lose anything at all.

Can you tell from my picture that im a loner? You’d imagine im outgoing and surrounded by friends wouldn’t you and at one point i  really did conform and do the whole friendship circle thing in a bid for acceptance. Strangely i am great in social situations, i’m told i’m very personable and caring and friendly yet oddly i do not often feel the need for the company of others. I am actually one of those people who likes their own company. I honestly think i should be happy if someone asked me to be caretaker of some tiny uninhabited island with only my partner for company. We are by nature social creatures and i know most people find me very odd in my solitary ways. Yet talk to me face to face and i am warm and funny and intelligent and extremely talkative, a pure contradiction in nature. 

Look into my eyes, can you tell i’m a dreamer? Can you tell that i lose myself often in books and films in a bid to find even temporarily those things that are missing in my life? Yet i never watch those happily ever after movies most women seem to love. I cannot bear the sugary tweeness of them and long ago lost the ability to sigh wistfully as some hero goes the extra mile for his girl. I confess in my older years i have become cynical and were it not for the fact that i once experienced that all consuming love i should think it a myth and scornfully dismiss it. Yet dream i do. Of chances missed and paths to take and a world a little better than mine. That i am extremely fortunate in many ways does not elude me and i am mindful to be thankful for what i have whilst quietly allowing myself those moments to dream.

Take another look, can you tell that i had a bad childhood? Would it surprise you to know that i was very unwanted when young and that my parents long ago disappeared from my life? I long ago accepted this and told myself i did not need parents anyway but secretly i confess that sometimes i envy those people with caring parents. Sometimes i wish someone would hug me and say we love you ,are you okay, do you need anything, we miss you. Would you guess that sometimes i just wish someone would miss me and notice that i’m not around. Oh they do, of course they do. When they need something. I channelled all a lifetime of being unwanted into making sure others did not feel the same and became everything for everyone you see and they need me. That’s when they notice. Not because i am me but because they need. Someone did miss me desperately once, i remember so well the feeling. It kind of touches your soul to know that you mean that much to someone that they do not feel complete without you. Between you and me dear readers i miss that, i hate admitting it but if i’m honest i do. It’s so touching to feel wanted. 

So look at me again. What do you imagine that i like? What do you think makes me smile, cry, scared or happy? Would you imagine for one minute that i’m a geek? That i love Tudor and WWII history. Would you guess that i coo over WWII war planes in the same way that i coo over my teddy bear collection? Can you tell that i love sci fi and war films and am totally at odds in interests to my very feminine looks and manner. Could you tell i always wanted a train set when i was young yet never got one or that i love to hike into the hills and watch the world go by especially on windy days? Did you know that i love storms and the rain yet im afraid of deep water and heights. I can watch any amount of surgery on tv even whilst eating my dinner, a fact which disgusts my children and i love to people watch. Would you know that i love all kinds of music from rock to pop yet if i have to choose one piece of music that stirs me i should choose Samuel Barbers Adagio for strings. I love that piece of music, it really gets me every time i listen to it yet nobody would imagine me to be a classical music kind of girl. I guess i have a very old fashioned soul inside that i do not often set free. 

Sometimes i feel guilty when i let little bits of me show. I feel like i am being selfish and should conform a little more to meet their needs rather than mine and so i do. I conform. I only let my happier personality out and keep anything else inside where it is safe and where i do not need to bother people with my thoughts and issues and those quirks that make me different. I guess perhaps i am a casualty of my own solitary nature, you tend to internalise a lot rather than sharing your inner thoughts with others. I know that i am a good person, i am by nature caring and compassionate yet i am whimsical and unusual and i was once told i am very deep.I never did ask what they meant but i should like to think they intended it to mean i have hidden depths.

 I like to help people and i like to feel needed to some degree. It makes me feel like i matter and that people notice i am around, even if not for the ways i would wish it. Perhaps i am too much of a dreamer and i have an unrealistic view of some personal utopia. Always seeming to elude me and forever keeping me dreaming. 

I think too much. Did you know that? Always thinking, always analysing anways practical and i know given the chance i should have made a good counsellor as i hoped i could have been. Still i use my skills on those around me and it makes me feel good to help even if it is only for a little while. 

Look at my photograph. Perhaps some day if you are ever looking at it you shall not need to wonder who i am or what i thought and dreamed. You may never know me but perhaps i shall not be such a stranger after all for i am just me behind a smiling image but i am me and this is just a little glimpse into the girl behind the anecdotes, funny stories and strong opinions.

I’m Amanda and it’s very nice to meet you. 

Just amanda 

 

In the eye of the beholder

We all have our own ideas about that which we consider to be beautiful. That we will all differ in our opinions is a fact but one cannot fail to deny the existence of certain trends that many adhere to in order to perceive ourselves as such. One of the most comical of these in our modern times is the existence of the well known ‘Duck Face’ seen adorning profiles the internet over and considered by those young and aspiring beauties to be the ultimate in appeal. Most amusing of all is the total oblivion to the ridicule this overly exaggerated pose receives and blithely they continue to grimace and gurn in a parody of attractiveness.

Recently dear daughter number 2 and i were discussing the phenomena that is the ‘Duck Face’ and i was more than a little horrified when she related a story to me, showing me a photo to describe the tale. Some days earlier she and a friend had been posing for photographs when the other girls 2 year old sister had wished to be pictured with them. Upon crowding together to take a shot this small child had automatically assumed the potentially provocative ‘Duck Face’ pose and was captured in the shot this way. Now to the child this was merely innocent copying of things that she had seen but i was rather concerned at so one so young falling so naturally into a pose that aimed to be sexy.

Dear daughter also showed me two photographs from a well known networking site. One, a picture of an overly made up teen in an overtly sexy pose with requisite ‘duck Face’ pout had received thousands of ‘likes’ from viewers. The second, of an extremely pretty teenager with a show stopping smile and normal amount of make up had received….3 ‘likes’. Clearly it seems that although this second teen was very genuinely beautiful   she was not the ideal of the time which is the overtly sexy pouty kind. I personally fail to see why pretty young girls would wish to make themselves look as though they had been around the block more times than a New York postman but i guess there is no accounting for the influences of media and society. I freely confess i have the greatest fun doing an amusing send up of the ‘Duck Face’ but should i ever resort to doing impressions of a trout in order to look sexy then please dear readers feel free to have me committed to the local asylum. One can only hope that society will soon make a return to genuine beauty and allow the young to remain so and rely more on other qualities to be popular. 

After all the only thing that should look like a duck…is a duck!!

Distinct Lack of Manners

Well for those of you who don’t know Dear Daughter number 1 is getting married in march. Yes oh boy do i feel old as this in effect makes me mother of the bride, an image that conjures up middle aged woman in mauve two piece skirt suits and fussy hats. I definitely do not feel old enough to be mother of anything let alone mother of the bride and you most certainly will not see me dressed in such a way at the altar!!

Mostly the wedding is fine, all is plodding along nicely until Dear Daughter begins to enlighten me about her soon to be relations who are apparently of the super religious variety. Now don’t get me wrong i have no objection to this and stoutly believe that each to their own and nobody should be subject to derision or prejudice pertaining to their beliefs. What i do object to however are those who forcefully impose their beliefs on others and potential relative being a rather effusive American preacher seems to have a tendency to do just that. 

Even for this i can make allowances for just one day as long as this does not interfere with the choices of the bride and groom whose wedding it happens to be however, judging from dear daughters accounts, the wife of said minister cares little for this, being a dominant controlling character. I could sense Dear Daughters annoyance as, having pre-warned by soon to be mother in law that this woman will try and control the wedding and have things to HER own liking, she related events to me. So this lady first expresses annoyance that their engagement was announced to friends and distant family via facebook (their choice) and that this lady did not receive a personal written notification. My eyebrows raised at this but i remained silent as the tale continued with this lady insistently pushing towards her husband performing the marriage ceremony. 

Now Dear Daughter and Almost Son in Law are getting married in church and seemed to favour a traditional church service held locally and performed by the local vicar but it seems this lady thinks differently and continues to forcefully push her point, regardless of the wishes of the couple. Now my hackles raised slightly at this for this woman is nothing to do with my daughter, has never met her and ultimately will only be an aunt by marriage at the end of it. I do not like pushy people and nobody is going to decide MY daughters wedding except for her Fiance and herself and already the lines of battle are drawn as i am not a person to rile when it comes to those i love.  

As dear daughter continued to inform me of Almost Mother In Laws warnings that soon to be relation would seek to criticise and reorganise every part of the day i had already decided I shall not take to this woman at all. So it was with no surprise that I logged onto Facebook today and clicked on a photograph my daughter had been tagged in by this woman. Now my daughter was not actually IN this picture and was infact a photograph of the preacher but nonetheless she had been tagged to bring it to her attention with the caption underneath stating

He can still do the wedding you know’

Oh Lady carry on for you and i are set to do battle and believe me you shall not win! Perhaps your lord should have seen fit to teach you some manners and decorum for it really is not the done thing to impose your will upon others. Yes hackles are firmly raised and although i shall be very polite and respectful you can be sure that the lady in question will not be gaining the forceful control she seems to be so desirous of.

Sorry dear this time you have met your match!!

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