Underneath my yellow skin

The refinement of me by the decade

I’ve had many big realizations throughout my life. They started when I was in my twenties and have continued throughout my fifties. Actually, they started when I was a kid, but they were more incoherent back then. And more in the vein of realizing what I didn’t want rather than what I did want–which is very much my M.O. Such as not liking dolls. I rarely played with them and I especially did not like the realistic crying, pooping, eating ones. I had a few Barbies (plus a Dorothy Hamill doll and a Oscar Goldman from The Six Million Dollar Man/The Bionic Woman). I hacked the hair of my Barbies and used black shoe polish to make their hair darker. I had them have sex with each other, which was  my extent of playing with dolls. I much preferred plushies which I could squoosh and cuddle.

I was taught many sexist beliefs by my parents throughout my childhood. One, that my main purpose was to marry and have children. Yes, I had to go to college and have a career, but that was a distant second to the whole breeding bit.

Side Note: My niece decided to not go straight to college after graduating high school. My mom wanted me to talk to her and convince her to go because we’re close. First of all, that’s my mother who saw her maybe once a year and had no day-to-day interaction with her. Second, I really resented being made to feel like I had to go to college right after high school, so, no, I wasn’t going to do that.

This was several years ago. This year, my nephew, her brother, is a senior in high school. He does not want to go to college because he thinks he’s too smart for it. Which is funny, but beside the point. My mom told me she emailed him with all the reasons why he should go to college, but he didn’t answer. Which, of course he wouldn’t. He has even less a connection with her than my niece does and what a boundary break that email is. And it shows her narcissism that she thought this was a reasonable thing to do.

Anyway, I realized when I was in my early twenties that I was Asian and that racism existed. That was followed quickly by the discovery that sexism was a thing. Then, that I did not want to have kids. Which is still the best decision of my life. Then, I realized I was bi, but put that on the shelf because, frankly, I could not deal with biphobia as well as sexism and racism.

This was all in my early twenties. Then, I declared that I did not want to be in a relationship while desperately wanting to be in one. Followed by my slut years in which I learned a lot about myself (including how much I love sex). Oh, when I first had sex, that’s when I found out Christianity was a big ol’ lie and I never trusted it again. So my twenties was a time of big changes, several of them.

Then, in my thirties, I realized I did not want to get married. It’s funny how many things are baked into you because of what society/family teaches you and how you have to unlearn these things. I just assumed I’d get married and have kids, of course, because that’s what everyone does. But what if you don’t? That’s the question I finally started asking, and I never received a good answer to it. It’s like when someone in my youth group asked our youth pastor about sex and dating. He said that hand-holding led to sex and it was better not to do the former. Which, even as an inexperienced teenager, I saw was unmitigated bullshit. There are so many steps between holding hands and sex, that was such a brush-off answer. I mean, he’s technically right, but fear-mongering is not the best way to deal with these nuanced issues.

One of my traits (not sure if it’s a flaw or an asset–maybe both) is that I demand the truth and lose respect for people if I don’t get it. Not in social situations with lies such as ‘nice haircut’, of course, but with things like the above example. Or people telling me that I would feel differently about children if they were my own (when there are millions of children who are abused). I can handle a “I don’t know” or a “You got me”, but I cannot tolerate a glib or incorrect answer. I may not say anything, but it will be a mark against that person in my mind.

Because it’s so easy for me to see it’s not true, so why the fuck would they say it?

My mom used to tell me that it was my duty to have children because I was a woman. It didn’t matter if I wanted them or not, by the way. I had to have them. It’s one of the reasons I started questioning my gender. Fifteen years of her pushing me to have kids plus so many other women telling me how I fell short as a woman. or how I acted/thought/believed was not what a true woman acted/thought/believed. At some point, I was thought, “I’m not a real woman? Fine. Count me out of womanhood, then.”

Back to my timeline.

Once I stepped back from thinking I had to accept the norms of society, especially when it comes to sex and romance, a whole new world opened up to me. In my forties, I started questioning if I wanted a long-term relationship as all. My preferred default status is alone with my cat snoozing on my legs as he is now. He’s dang adorable, by the way. There are many reasons why I don’t like always being around another person (some positive and some negative), and I came to realize that this was ok. I didn’t HAVE to be half a pair, no matter what society said.

I have to give credit to my BFF, K, because she always championed doing relationships in non-normative ways. Her favorite suggestion was side-by-side duplexes, which I found charming. I once read an article, I think it was The New York Times, about couples who were married, but lived in different abodes. The point being that even if I were in the mindset of being monogamous and getting married, it could still be different than what I saw being presented to me, especially since I don’t have kids.

In my forties, I started questioning if I wanted a long-term relationship at all. And I  came up with, I don’t think so? Basically, it’s just too much work. I don’t want to put that much energy into one person. But, I don’t see myself as polyamorous because more than one relationship sounds like even more work. I know I want to have sex again. I love sex. A lot. Sex is wonderful and joyful, and it’s life-affirming. So I’m definitely not asexual. But do I want to date? I’m not sure I do. I went through a period of thinking I was aromantic, but I’m not sure that’s really it, either. Right now, I want someone(s) to Netflix and chill with.

When I hit my fifties, I, well, I went through a medical trauma that killed me. Twice. And I said, “Nah, I’m good” and came back stronger than ever. Now, this decade’s realizations are on a bigger scale. One, my body is STRONK. It got me through hell and it’s fucking amazing. Two, I’m cute AF and anyone who doesn’t think so can kiss my yellow ass (and I definitely do have an ass now!) All my body issues have disappeared (though, to be fair, that started five or six years ago, with the help of Taiji), and it’s glorious.


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