Underneath my yellow skin

Even more alienated than usual

I’m depressed. This is not new or unusual as I’m depressed all the time, but  I’m even more depressed than usual. Why? There are several reasons. One, obviously, Covid-19 and racism. Two, it’s summer. I fucking hate summer. Heat is the absolute worst. Three, I’m spending too much time online. This is my life in general. I tend to take negative opinions too much too heart, and it’s easier to do absence of context. I was reading a question on Ask A Manager, and it was about deliveries not being done correctly. The person asking (OP) wondered if she should go to management. She was very careful to say that she knew it was last resort and she didn’t want to get the person in trouble, but she wasn’t happy with the issues (not wearing masks, demanding she answered the door, etc.). Most people were pragmatic about it–talk to the delivery person through a closed door, put up signs, etc. But a small minority castigated the OP, calling her cruel and said that she was outsourcing her risk to others.

Now, let me be clear. They’re right. She’s paying someone else to take the risk that she isn’t. I know that I’m doing the same thing, and I’m profoundly grateful to the people who do my work for me. I’m not even taking issue with the ‘check your privilege’ attitude because it’s a good thing to recognize where you have privilege in order to decide what to do with it. What bothers me is that by throwing that out there, they are completely shutting down any communication that can be had on the subject. Scolding someone feels good in the moment, but it doesn’t really add to the conversation. I know I’m biased in this case, but I’ve always felt this way. Even when I’m the minority. Yelling at people about how awful they are isn’t going to get them to change their minds. I’m not saying don’t call out the issues, but name-calling and putting others down is not the way to do it. In addition, it can amount to bullying, which I see happening too often online.

In this case, some people pointed out that one person doing the shopping and delivery for a bunch of other people did cut down on the danger in general. They got jumped on, too. Again, I’m not disagreeing about the base point, but it’s more nuanced than that. In addition, the people typing angrily about privilege, well, they have it as well. They have something they are typing on, most likely a cell phone. Which was probably made in China and boxed by people at Amazon or somewhere similar. Places with miserable working conditions, and in some cases, the places had people jumping off the roof to kill themselves so they wouldn’t have to keep working.

My point is that if you live in America, you are to some extent, contributing to the miseries of others. I say this not to paralyze people because we all have to make choices, but to point out that it’s not the coup de grace those people thought it was to hurl out ‘privilege’ like that. In addition, at least in my case, I’m not having food delivered as a lark or because it’s convenient. I have a post coming up about that and my budding agoraphobia, but that’s not my focus right now.

There was a post in the weekend open thread at AAM about a woman whose wife was at high-risk and very content to stay inside whereas she was more ready to go out and do things in a safe way. Their city is in the second phase of opening up, and she showed a graph to her wife about how the cases were slowing down. Her wife flipped her lid, and she ended up apologizing profusely. The thing is, I can see both sides. I’m on the wife’s side as far as my personal behavior, but I agree with the OP that it’s not unreasonable to want to go outside and do things. Again, this is the subject of my next post, but it’s relevant here as well.

I know that I’m a freak. I’ve had that rubbed in my face time and time again. I’ve been thinking about romance lately and why I don’t want to be in a relationship. Most of it is because I don’t want to put in the effort, but there is a not-insignificant part of me that simply doesn’t believe there’s anyone out there for me.

Side note: I love advice columns, but I’ve come to realize that there are certain things I would never write to them about. I mean each specifically. We all have our biases and it’s easy to tell what they are after reading dozens of columns by any one columnists. I would never write to Prudence about money issues if I weren’t dirt poor because he has no compassion towards anyone with any kind of money. In fact, with this one issue, he reminds me of an ex who told me my issues were all minor because I didn’t have to worry about money. Same person who dumped me because he didn’t like my opinion on Pulp Fiction. A movie I knew I wasn’t going to like, said I wasn’t going to like (this was years after it came out), but he wouldn’t believe me. It was one of his favorites, and he insisted on taking me to see it. After it was over, he asked for my opinion, then after I gave it (admittedly, it was a twenty-minute opinion), he said, “I can’t be with someone with that world view.”

He was the reason I refused to watch movies with dates for a long time afterwards. The last guy I dated had a similar investment in the movies he liked, and it was really unpleasant. Yet, he had no problem shitting on the movies I liked. He was a hot mess in so many ways. The one thing I took away from every breakup I’ve had (and it was mostly me being dumped) was how deficient I was as a girlfriend. I’ve fully admitted that I’m a bad girlfriend for several reasons, but there was always a little voice in the back of my head that said, “Wait. You’re no prince/ss charming yourself.”

I have the ability to look at my behavior and dissect what’s wrong with me. It’s a strength, yes, but it also makes it easier for others to pile on. When I was younger, I was willing to accept the blame for everything, whether it was my fault or not. That made it way too easy for my partners to dump on me and not take a hard look at their own behavior. It’s embedded deep in my soul, in part because it was a continuation of my childhood. Everything was always my fault, no matter what.

Plus, there’s a lifetime of me not liking anything mainstream. I don’t care for most movies or TV shows. It’s not my first thing to do when I have spare time. I am not married or have children, nor do I want either. I’m not religious at all, but I’m not an atheist, either. I sit somewhere in the bisexual arena, but I use the term mostly because I don’t like any of the other ones. It’s the same with woman she/her.  I don’t feel much affinity towards any of it, but I don’t feel any towards any of the others. I’m not interested in music much, and literature-wise, I’m mostly down with the mysteries. But still not the mainstream ones, mostly.

Then, let’s talk about food. In an ideal world, I would be able to eat anything and everything. There are very few foods I don’t like–kiwi,water chestnuts, and rice milk are three–but now, there are so many I can’t eat. Dairy and gluten for starters. That’s enough to make eating out difficult. It’s easier these days to find gluten-free options and dairy-free options, but not as easy to find something that is both. Plus, there are other things that don’t sit well, either. I kinda gave up doing FODMAP, but I have figured out a few.

It’s the same with drinking–alcohol, that is. I’m allergic, but even if I weren’t, I don’t like it. I don’t like what it does to people in general, and I’ve realized that most people I’ve dated have had an issue with it. So, I’m pretty hardcore on this issue, which isn’t a popular stance, either.

I know I have a tendency to think of myself in terms of what I’m not or what I don’t like rather than what I am or what I do like. But it’s hard not to see all the obstacles in my way to any kind of relationships. Let’s add that I’m Asian, fat, and old. Then, the fact that I’m not monogamous, but I’m not truly nonmonogamous, either. I don’t want a long-term romantic relationship, but I’m not completely against it, either. I do NOT want to live with someone. I like plenty of space, and I hate having someone else around all the time. Not necessarily because of the other person, but because I’m always aware of the other person. I can’t relax completely even if I enjoy having them around.

What do I have to offer in a relationship? My devotion to bladed weapons? My obsession with FromSoft games (specifically the Dark Souls trilogy)? My sarcastic sense of humor and my ability to ‘well, actually’ everything? My incisive editing skills? I’m not being completely fair to myself because I know that I’m also a good listener with the ability to emphasize, sometimes to my detriment. I can chill and hang out with the best of them, and I’m not pushy in general. I can be controlling when my anxiety gets the best of me, but I have learned to keep most of it to myself. I’m low-key as far as I’ll do whatever for the most part. I mean, I’ll go watch a movie even if I don’t want to. I’ll go to a restaurant, even if I can’t eat much of anything. I’ll bowl, play video games (before I learned to love them), and go to a work party if that’s necessary.

Oh, I forgot to mention my health issues, of course. The fact that I’m allergic to everything under the sun. I get to feel alienated whenever a list of any kind of present-giving thing comes up. Perfume, wine, chocolates, nope. Can’t accept any of those. That’s why I’m a firm believer in cold, hard cash. I’m a goddamn adult. I can buy whatever I want. I know it’s the thought and whatever, but I don’t want to stress someone else out in what’s supposed to be a nice thing.

Anyway, the bottom line is that I don’t know if it’s worth it to even try (to be in a relationship) when I don’t want to be in a ‘real’ one. I’m just not sure it’s worth my time and energy when what I really want is someone to have sex with and who’ll bring me soup when I’m sick. That should be marginally less difficult to find.

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