so tess asks: “What would it take to make you feel ‘visible’ in real life?”
and i think and think. and i do not know if i know. for one thing, i believe that the high school verson and the current version are very different. back then, i felt that way because i was not acknowledged by the ‘popular’ people, and my reaction was twofold: (a) do things, which i thought were unlame, but i was (apparently) wrong about that, because any noticed they got me was never good, and (b) hang out with a batch of similarly socially impaired kids, talking long shit about how we did not care one bit about the popularity. we sneered at the jocks and the rah-rahs. they were shallow hollow fluff, while we were deep and real. this sneering did not stop the longing for recognition.
and today it’s different. today i don’t have a large potential social circle in r/l, just work, and i don’t feel any desire whatsoever to be included in their social stuff. i have a flawless, unbroken record of failing to attend company events. if they have a potluck i forget to bring stuff. the only ones i chatter with at all are really the geeks in the datacom division, because they are geeks, and geeks are interesting. aside from that, the rest of them are all such normal, office-y people, and i know better than to try and integrate myself into any office hierarchy. disaster lies there. it’s best i don’t share my eccentricities with regular folk.
why did i use the term invisible then? it’s an issue of presence. some people have it, and i … well for one thing, i have noticed that with aging (and the fact that, let’s face it, i’ve let myself go. i’m matronly. i don’t wear makeup, my hair’s mousy and usually messy, and i wear the same pair of jeans all the time along with some voluminous shirt), comes less visibility. we look at the young — either with apprehension or appreciation of their youth. we look at beauty — or at deliberate ugly like clowny makeup or spandex on the obese. but, much like my seven year old grey buick, i seem to be flying under the radar of most of the world. i’m meek and unassuming. i’m patient and polite (no really). i don’t make noise or waves. not that i don’t want to, on occasion, but i have that part of my impulse control problem more or less handled. i wish i could unhandle it at times, but no.
so as i move through the world, mild mannered and frumpy, no one looks. i suppose it could be said i do this on purpose, so why do i mind? i don’t. i’m plenty visible right here, moreso than i could ever manage in r/l no matter what effort i put into it. and this, this presence, comes not effortlessly but with much energy and delight. i like this. i can do this.