A Random Image

Jett Superior laid this on you on || September 23, 2002 || 1:01 pm

“This is how change happens. It happens in the dark, in spurts, to a person who doesn’t want it to happen.”

~ Michael Barrish

Funny that I found that quote today, on the site of one of my favorite writers, while I was turning over in my head what would become this post.

Not too long ago that intellectual blue/green/whatevershadeithappenstobethisweek-haired hunka hunka burnin’ love Matt Rossi had a mouse-over feature to all the links in his sidebar. I was immensely flattered (red-faced, even) at the text that graced mine: “She’s real cool, and real sharp. Kind of like a knife you keep in your freezer.” It happened to coincide with some pondering I was doing on other people’s perceptions of me, especially within the context of my being a female.

As far back as I can recall, I’ve been told how pretty I am. As young as the age of two or three I remember random strangers stopping my parents to comment on the chubby-cheeked blonde girl they had in tow.

“What a beautiful child!”
“My, she’s so pretty!”
“Don’t you ever let her out of your sight….why, someone’d steal her right away!”

To my parents’ credit, I don’t ever remember looks being an issue with them. I don’t think I heard them remark one way or another even once. I was just me: Smart, zealous, bouncy, outgoing, bossy. They fed my ravenous need for knowledge and its application with books and pens and a myriad of learning tools, not the least of which was their time. I was the only kid I’ve ever heard of who begged their mother for flash cards at age three. They made available the tangible aspects of learning as well as the intangible ones.

By intangible I mean just plain life, or (for lack of a better term) experiences. When I was four we went on a whirlwind tour of seven Southern states, hitting the high points of each one. As I grew, I was exposed to a broad range of culture. One month we might go to a truck and tractor pull, the next might bring art and history museums. My mother disliked the opera, so my father took me to my first. My father hated sitting through ballet performances, so my mother accompanied me. From circuses to Cezanne, from rodeos to Rimsky-Korsakov, they covered a lot of ground and gave me a solid foundation to work with in defining my tastes and furthering my self-education. Some years later I marvelled at the precision in this and the forethought (not to mention energy and funding) it entailed. I remarked on this to my mother, whose smooth reply was, “I wanted you to be able to walk into a room of fifty people and have at least one thing to converse about with each person present.” The stark common sense of such an undertaking just blew me away. She went on to explain that with more opportunity for conversation came more chance for learning and expanding. How absolutely cool is that? While some rich, vapid shithead’s parents were socking away for a trust fund, my parents were really investing in their kid’s future.

Oh, and the endless stream of questions they answered!….

But I’m roaming off-topic. So, looks weren’t an issue to my folks. Intellect and experience were. As you might guess or know from your own wanderings, the world is not so inclined.

I heard all the words that are used to compliment a female on her looks. There was pretty, beautiful, gorgeous. I accepted these not with the air of one who is conceited, but with the air of one who is oblivious. I never grew to believe them overmuch, thank God. I was simply unimpressed, because my parents had never made looks a matter of importance. The praise I relished acknowledged my intellect, my quick tongue, my love of words.

Chum and I were talking one time (I think I’ve shared this with Mikey, too) and I ended up sharing with him the tidbit that I befriended and many times took up for (I got into a lot of fistfights with boys when I was in elementary school. Love of frilly dresses or no, if I was morally outraged I was gonna scramble. I didn’t give a shit if my rhumba panties showed) the ‘nerds’ and ‘dorks’ throughout my school career. I was the pretty girl that took up for the geeks. I was their friend. I respected and liked them. They were oftentimes a fuck of a lot more interesting than my fellow jocks. And I always have had a soft spot for the underdog, coupled with a desire to help them.

“He’s sixty pounds lighter than you!! You like someone at a disadvantage, huh? Well pick on ME, motherfucker, I’m a GIRL! You should REAALLLLY love THAT!”

Ahhhh, capricious youth. But I was a friend to the nerds. I was befriended back and enriched by the exchange. I like to believe that a large part of that is due to the fact that my parents didn’t care fuck all about having a pageant queen for a daughter.

I never dated any of the nerds, though (at least not ’til they were grown men). You see, guys have this strange code of behavior they rule themselves by. Perhaps you’ve heard of it? It’s referred to as “Outta My League”. What the fuck? As odd and as fucked-up as most women’s point of views are, I have not EVER, IN MY ENTIRE LIFE, heard one say, “HIM? I can’t go out with HIM! He’s OUTTA MY LEAGUE.” That’s one instance where I can say that womankind does me proud. You can observe some homely, without-prospects girlchild, see that she is fantasizing and romanticizing over the captain of the football team, dreaming of the day that he’ll notice HER, just HER in a hallway full of able-bodied yummy-looking chippies and she will not cap her healthy, happy fantasy off with a gut-checking, “FUCK. That will NEVER happen. He’s OUTTA MY LEAGUE.” No way, man. She will go right on hoping, dreaming, sighing, praying, staring. And that’s how it should be. There shouldn’t be limitations on your fantasies. And eventually, you should have license to bring them to fruition.

So I never dated the nerds until later, when they had the nerve to approach me from behind the bold shield of facial hair and confess their long-checked affections. For the record, nerd boys make pretty men. Stable men. Compassionate men. (Many times) Men of voracious sexual appetites….they didn’t get laid much (if at all) back in high school. Men with good jobs and good educations and a headful of great conversations to offer you. Stop overlooking the nerds, you vapid bitches!

Ahem. I’m off-topic again. So, I heard my whole life every sweet compliment used to get into the pants of chicks dumber than me describe physical attractiveness, delivered in varying degrees of heartfelt sincerity. While thankful for those compliments, they didn’t move me.

The best compliment I’ve ever received from a male? Here it is, in the three varied forms it’s been delivered by, of course, three different males:

“You’re cool.”
“Man, you’re so cool.”
“Hey, you’re pretty cool.”

Yeah! I know how you feel…rocked me back on my heels too.

When I started this blog, there wasn’t a picture of me to be found anywhere. That was for a reason. It was for me, and I knew what I looked like. Then people started reading, and there still weren’t pictures of me attached to it because –let’s face it– people are inherently shallow. I wanted people to keep coming around because I had something worth reading and pondering, not because there were blue eyes and big tits hovering around the sidebar to glom onto. If a person communicated and read for a time, eventually it got around to picture-swapping because I like to see the face attached to the voice I dig. I assumed that others work much in the same manner.

When Seth was setting up the Deca, he asked for a pic to post on the splash page. I hesitated, but sent him a link to a page of photos with instructions to swipe what he needed and he did. One night as we were chatting on AIM, we were shooting photos back and forth of various things and I was all, “HEY, look at THESE ugly things!” and sent him the series of surly, tired pictures snapped one (baddaybaddaybadday) morning in my car last winter. Before I knew it, he had scrapped the original layout idea we’d bandied about in favor of the one you see here. The one with those same ugly pics –dark wedges under eyes and slash of a mouth– perched at the top, pretty as you please. He did it with a great amount of (though not malicious) glee. I consented, because it worked.

“I didn’t want my photos attached to my blog, Seth,” I told him.

“I know that,” he responded and shot me an emoticon with a big, friendly grin. And he knew why I did not. That’s ultimately why the ‘ugly pics’ went up (I realize the whole Dane/Jett logic thing may be screwing you up, but trust me, there’s a weird sort of basic…ohm… to it). They are pictures of me on a bad day, looking less than appealing. Looking tired and out-of-sorts. Looking human.

Seth has a great intellect and a sort of sophisticated sense of humor most of the time (sometimes it leans into kindergarten territory). His incorporating those photos into the layout is another way for him to get in an establishment jab, another way for him to convey a message through some medium other than text: The pretty girls have shit days, too, and there is more to some of them than meets the eye. Look out!

Seth is my digital nerd and I am very fond of him. He pushed me and I didn’t push back, because he was ultimately right.

I want to be a person who is fully worthy of people like Seth (and chum, and Eric, and Rossi, and Delmer “Fuck yeah, I drive a tractor!” Skeets McGee….those who call me ‘friend’) in my life. I want to be a woman of grace and nurturing. I want to posess a wisdom that surpasses understanding. I want to shine intellectually and emotionally; I believe that’s really the only way that the outside will glow and I will truly merit all those adjectives that describe physical attractiveness.

I want to be a woman of beauty from the brain and heart outward.

5 worked it out »

  1. fish 9.24.2002

    I can remember several times as a young girl having women comment to my mother (as if i wasn’t there at all) that i was going to grow up to be a ‘real heartbreaker’.

    They said it like it was a good thing, and to this day i can’t figure out how they could believe that.

    It made me feel that this was the aspiration that i should aspire to, so of course i rebelled.

    I became a hard-headed kid, ferociously low-maintenance with a taste for the dark side. Oh, and of course i was a dyke too.

    Now i revel in being a girl when i feel like it, yet take no pleasure in the compliments of strangers, unless they reference intelligence or compassion. These are the things that seem to matter.

    Yesterday a man approched me and asked if my daughter would be interested in modelling. So i discover there is no escape. Now it’s her turn to learn and unlearn that the world seeks out your surface and avoids the depth. Difference, eccentricity are things to be planed down and removed.

    I’m grateful that people like you continue to happily say “Fuck that!”.

    It makes life far more interesting for the rest of us.

  2. waistdog 9.24.2002

    So Jett?

    You say you don’t have much money?

    Actually….I think you’re really so cool man!

    And I honestly have always liked girls that drive tractors.

  3. delmer 9.24.2002

    overheard in the hallway…

    “That JettS, she is sooo pretty and smart…and kind, and loving…she is like bettie page, madam curie, and mother thersa…all rolled into one person”

  4. The Dane 9.24.2002

    C’mon now, Jetty…. you KNOWS that I gives better compliments than those three on dat dere list :-)

    As an interesting aside, I’ve talked long and hard with one particular girl I know who previous her marriage spoke often of leagues and how she was not in the one for which she would have to acquire membership in order to approach the Dude of her daytime dreamings! Also interesting is the fact that nowadays, I either don’t believe in leagues or have placed myself in the top league, for there is not a single woman alive who I would look at and say “Nope, can’t date her! She’s too good for me!”

    p.s. In retrospect I’m sorry that I made your site in a manner other than that which we had originally decided. But at the same time, I think it gives off this whole freaky surreality because all the words are direct from you but the visuals are direct reflections of you for everything I designed reminded me of you (even Michelle Kwan whom we can change if you really want to *grin*).

  5. laura 9.25.2002

    hey, stay out of my brain! i could have made 3/4 of that post. well, the thoughts anyway, not the exquisite wording.


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