I saw them across the street, walking so closely that my quick glance made me think they were holding hands. Having just left job #2 to go home and finish a project for job #1, my hands were holding a laptop, books and too many notebooks that barely stayed in my arms as I fumbled with my car door.
Truth be told I’m pretty sure they saw me, so I was feeling a blush creep up my neck as I avoided doing a double take. The whole situation stung too much, so once I was safely in my car all I could do was sit there, mortified.
God. I wish I was her.
This isn’t the first time she’s stolen a guy from me.
She’s the perfect girl. She’s thinner than me, probably gentler and more optimistic, a little quieter and mysterious, doesn’t hand out her opinions like candy at a parade, and pulls all of my insecurities out and puts them on a neon display.
And she’s the one on my man’s arm.
Fat Feet in a Glass Slipper
That perfect “her” has become my internal comparison. Every time she snags another one of my men, I see myself in her shadow, and shadows aren’t very flattering.
All of the sudden, I think I’m a fat mess. I don’t have my shit together like I should because if I did I’d obviously be in her place. If I went to the gym as often as she does maybe I’d be holding his hand. If I didn’t have such a loud laugh maybe he’d find me as interesting as he finds her.
And, of course that calls for a complete replay of every conversation and interaction I’ve ever had with him, trying to pinpoint the moment when he started to lose interest. Because of course I assume that from an outside, relatively uninformed perspective, I can really, truly pinpoint the moment when someone loses interest.
At last count, seems that there are at least ten “errors” on my point that made me lose him.
Have you ever seen a movie where a female character is relatively unnoticed by the guy she’s interested in until her friends give her a makeover? My “she” is the version of myself that my fictional movie friends would magically turn me into and then I’d magically get that guy and I’d be the girl on his arm.
She’s Cinderella at the ball and I’m Cinderella singing while I scrub the floors and talk to mice. Who doesn’t want to be Cinderella at the ball? But maybe wanting to be her instead of being me is actually taking a toll. Convincing yourself that every time someone isn’t into you is because you’re Cinderella at the wrong point in the night isn’t at all helpful.
You are not inferior just because the guy/girl you’re into backed away and picked someone else. And no matter how you slice it, someone has to have a lot of power in order to make you feel second-rate.
Magic not required.
One of my exes has a very chatty best friend. A while back, he spilled the beans about the girl that my ex was dating at the time. “Honestly, you’re better person than her,” he said, laughing a little. When I asked him why, I got the strangest feeling. I felt like Cinderella at the ball, because this friend was describing me as though I were the ideal girl.
But you know what? I’m just me. And the “she” that I saw with that guy is also just…her. She’s as human as I am, and so there’s really no competition. He picked her for reasons I won’t ever know and that’s just fine, because if I’d have to change to make him commit to wanting me then I’d rather not be on his arm.
So I started my car, drove away from them, and went on with my imperfect life.