Thursday, August 31, 2017

How Do You Want People to See You?

As you may have heard, my lovely daughter got married this weekend. It was a beautiful wedding and she was very happy.


 She can write about that on her own website that should be up eventually. That wasn't what I wanted to talk about, or only tangentially.

I met a very brilliant photographer at her wedding and he said he'd like to take my picture. Not right then, though, he wanted me to think about how I would like to be seen. He said,

I want to take a picture that will make you cry.

I laughed at that because he obviously doesn't know me. For me to cry, pretty much, someone close to me has to die, and maybe not even then. When I say things like that, some people get outraged, which puzzles me because really, what's it to them. People I don't even know will say stupid things like,

"You think you're so tough! I bet I could make you cry! You're just an old woman!"

First of all, no, no and yes, what's your point? Why do people think calling me an old woman is an insult? It's just a fact. It's like pointing at me and saying, "You, you - you have ten toes!"

Anyway, I digress, more than this whole blog is usually a digression. In case you are wondering, the reason I don't cry about things is that I learned early on that no one cared. If you are rich or beautiful and you cry people rush to help you. No one was rushing around to help me so I learned to suck it up and figure it out. That's not self-pity, it's just a fact. Actually, sucking it up and figuring it out has a lot to recommend it as a lifestyle.

Would it be nice if I'd had people running around handing me tissues and worrying about my feelings? Yes, probably. I also think it would be nice to have wings and be able to fly over Santa Monica Bay. In either case, I don't spend too much time pondering the lack .

It was an interesting question, though, and I pondered it over the last few days. How would I like people to see me? Does it matter to me how people see me? Do I really want to be understood ? Maybe, sometimes for about a minute when I am talking to my husband about mortality and he responds with a recommendation for a Raspberry Pi book that focuses more on game programming than hardware. We have been married 20 years because I do not smack him at these times and just remind myself of his many positive qualities of which being a good listener is not one.

I'd have to say I am used to being misunderstood and it doesn't bother me. Randomly,  this week, I happened across a thread on the internet that had been up for years with people I had never met ranting about me. There was much vitriol about my conceit, insecurity, demand for attention, etc. because her blog is DR AnnMaria. Can you imagine having DR in your email? She insists everyone call her DR - and on and on for pages. I laughed pretty hard at that.

When I got my first email account, way back when, it was not out of the question to get your actual name - that's how long ago it was. However, AnnMaria was taken, so I went with Dr. AnnMaria which is what my students at the university called me. THIS came about because when the students asked if they should call me AnnMaria or Dr. Rousey I said,

"Call me whatever the hell you want. I don't care."

I found it really funny that people had nothing better to do than speculate about my personality based on my blog name and twitter handle, that were left overs from my aol account from 1990.

What about people that do know me, though? Don't I really want to be understood by them? Don't I want my children or good friends to understand why I made certain decisions or don't cry every time they get on a plane? That would be nice but I'm not sure how possible it is to understand another person 100% , especially if you grew up in a completely different time and situation. Like I said, wings would be nice, too. They know I love them. That's enough.

 It was a really interesting question, though. What about you? If you could have people see you for exactly who you are, what would that look like? And do you care?

I'd still like to have wings.

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Happily Married said...

So Labor Day weekend is the BEST time to get married. Was rendered so 25 years ago and, being the dumb guy of the pair, it is easy to know when it is time to RememBer!
Much Luck to them. Best advice; You stay with someone not because of what they do, but in spite of what they do, when you are committed.( Within reason, of course )

And how you want to be seen; You Dr. Anna are the embodiment of "Free your mind and your Ass will follow ", so, be yourself and that will be a fine legacy. Thank You!

Anonymous said...

I think it's interesting that the photographer said, "I want to take a picture that makes you cry," and the immediate assumption is that he wants to to cry with pain or sadness. I can think of a couple of possibilities that might work for that, but they all do revolve around death.

If you're not interested in crying with sadness, there's certainly other ways you could interpret the photographer's request. What about things that make you cry with happiness or excitement? Or if you've ever experienced something truly miraculous, or tears of relief? I have to imagine you've cried tears of relief at least once over at least one of your children. Really, any emotion taken to the max can result in tears, so maybe think about it that way?

Dr. AnnMaria said...

Nope, anonymous. I'm just not one for crying. Good points, though.

Anonymous said...

" They know I love them. Thats enough". That made my heart for some reason. I can absolutely relate to this post, I don't cry and I get offended when people expect me too. A few years ago when my mom passed I didn't cry at the funeral and got called out on it. They didn't understand that i was deeply saddened and that that is just the way i am. Privately yes I was very depressed but i feel like people want this whole telenovel of a dramatic scene when you go thru hard times. And i suck it up to not give away myself like that- if it makes sense. Who cares, i make sense to myself.