Thursday, 28 September 2017

Shame, sin and a strap

I am walking in the neighbourhood park.
Not for pleasure, but exercise.
I am striding along, trying not to puff and pant.
Thinking of those damn 10,000-steps-a-day that I never seem to do.
Thinking that I must get my cardio rate up, get those endorphins going.
Walking and trying to avoid the others on the path.
The burqa-clad women around me talk noisily,
Some are there to walk seriously, but most are not.
They sit there, like beady-eyed beetles, watching, looking, and to my mind, judging.
So do the men.
No, let me rephrase that.
Many people in the park are there simply because they have nothing else to do.
Or perhaps this is where they see life pass them by.
Where they see what ifs and what might have beens.
Where they see happiness that could have been theirs.
Where they see lives shaped by both circumstance and choice.

In the park, the ones who are not walking desultorily, chat and hang around.
The serious runners impatiently overtake the rest of  us slower mortals.
Suddenly, a voice rings out: Excuse me!
A burqa-clad woman, sitting on a bench.
She looks at me meaningfully, fingers pointing.
What on earth, I wonder. Then I look down at my right shoulder.
My bra strap is showing.
Just a little bit.
My exercise bra is also showing.
But perhaps that is not such a terrible thing.
I stop. I am humiliated, I admit.
This woman has been sitting there, looking me up and down, and she has noticed my BRA STRAP!
Thank you, I tell her quietly.
And quickly slip my strap under my long, loose t-shirt.

I walk away from her, as fast as I can.
In my head, I am furious with myself.
Why didn't I say, "My strap doesn't bother me, the way it obviously bothers you".
Why didn't I ignore her?
Why didn't I just walk on?
I should have, but I didn't.
She made me feel all gauche, not grown up.
Like I did something wrong.
Like I was in the wrong.

No matter. I am going back to that park.
Wearing something tighter, shorter.
I hope my straps will show. 
And I hope that woman will see. 

Friday, 16 December 2016

Faking it on Facebook

Ever get the feeling that you're faking it?
I feel that most days. In fact, I know I am. Being fake, I mean.
Especially on social media.
Which, in itself, is an oxymoron, come to think of it. To me, at least.
Because we are not really all likeable and loveable and sociable.
In real life, it is not humanly possible to be friends or friendly, all the time.
Rather, we diss and dissect. We gossip and bitch, about each other.
But we continue to fake it, online.
And social media lets us. 

The other day, I was depressed and down in the dumps.
Seeing all the happy-awesome posts in my Facebook feed, made things infinitely worse.
So I lost it, after seeing a 'friend' upload a couple of 100 pictures (okay, I exaggerate) in a matter of minutes, from her fabulous break.
So well, I bitched about that to a group of friends on WhatsApp.
And nobody reacted or agreed with me. 
Naturally, I felt awful. Wicked. Like a total bitch.
To make matters worse, the next day, the person I originally bitched about proceeded to 'like' one of my own posts on FB.
I felt even more evil, after that.

The problem is, there is no depth, no real feeling, no real connecting or reaching out, on social media.
It's all on the surface. It's all so so superficial.
But guess what, now I've learnt my lesson.
When the superficiality of it all gets to me.
All I have to do is post some random pseudo-deep stuff, pretending those are my innermost insights (yeah, repetitive, but I like it).
And the world will 'like' it and share.
And hopefully, I will feel better.