Elspeth put up a video where two men are talking to a third man about their experiences of reality – about women of various races, and their priorities. It called to mind some friends of mine who lived really awful childhoods and the girls from FACESS that I’ve interacted with.
The gentleman in question observed that black women asked for sparkles and that white women asked for assistance. I thought about those women (none of whom are black) that I know who had rotten childhoods, all of whom prioritize presents very highly.
See, to me – if I don’t know you, don’t have a relationship with you, a present doesn’t mean anything. I am that girl that will give you all the presents you gave her over a dating relationship back at the end of that relationship, or at least whatever I could find in the course of the hour that I spent thinking about it. I wouldn’t want them without the relationship. I would feel a chain of obligation – and I’m not about to be chained to anyone after the gig is up. (There is actually an old etiquette rule that a lady never accepts expensive gifts from a gentleman to whom she is not related, engaged, or married. The book suggests books or gloves as good courtship presents – gloves might be a bit odd today, perhaps a scarf?)
But why is that? What is the difference? Well, in my reality, in my myth… you can trust people. Your friends and beloveds exist to help you in a mutual net of assistance and obligation. Yes, I’ll bake you a cake for your birthday. Whatever my skills are, are of COURSE at your service if you’re my friend/relative. That’s simply the way things are. And I would expect the same of you – though I’d try not to ask, because I hate to feel beholden.
In the reality that those other women grew up with, people weren’t trustworthy. Friendship was just a word, and love may as well have been an epithet. Sparkle-pretties, on the other hand, were forever. You get what you can from other people. There is no net, there is no future, there is only now.
There is no net, there is no future, there is only now. There is only me. There is only what I can get for myself. Trust no one. I can write those words, and I can shove my brain into intellectually understanding them. But that is not my reality, and not my set of assumptions.
Which reality is real? Both. Let’s be honest – some people live terrible lives in which there is no such thing as trust. And I trust easily for equally good reasons, based on my own experiences. BUT. How do we then shape the rest of our lives? How do we act? What choices do we make, going forward?
Your myths can shape your future, as your actions and attitudes shape the way you respond to the people around you, and how they, in turn, respond to you. Expectations are shaped, and it may be pat and annoying – but it is true that expectations are often realized.
Just sharing my thinking… what does this make you think about?