“Not Like Other Girls”

I hate this phrase with a burning passion.

Apparently, we’ve come full circle. It seems this phrase is a rebellion against shaming girls for being “too feminine”. That is, if you’re tomboyish – or at least, less feminine than stereotyped – you’re a faker because no real woman wouldn’t have some feminine traits or preferences. Whereas in the past, the shame would be for not being feminine enough, which is probably where “tomboy” came from to begin with.

Does no one realize the only reason this crap exists is due to stereotypes in the first place?

This discussion came up on a Reddit thread about engagement rings. Those threads usually lead to a lot of people saying they don’t want or care for expensive rings. I’m one of those people. I don’t particularly like rings, but even if I did, I’d kick my boyfriend’s behind to the moon with Princess Luna if he ever spent hundreds, or thousands, on an engagement ring. If it’s for himself, fine, but if it’s for me, I don’t want it. I’d actually question marrying him if he did that because I cannot justify so much spent on something that has no function beyond prettiness. At the very least, it would tell me not to combine our finances (Also, what the heck is the idea of wearing one particular piece of jewelry for as long as you live? That’s weird to me) because I’d view that spending as irresponsible. Yeah, it’d be his money and he can do what he wants, and I can think he’s crazy.

I didn’t say all of that on the thread, but many people were vocal about their opinions. Cue a hoard of offended people with engagement rings screaming how everyone who doesn’t care for expensive rings is essentially a “holier-than-thou” “not like other girls” poser trying to be cool. Or maybe some people really don’t like rings and were just expressing themselves? Isn’t that what Reddit is for? More so, how is shaming people for not liking rings any better than supposedly being shamed for liking rings? They did the same thing they accused the first commenters of.

The easier solution seems to not abide by stereotypes at all, but that would require us as a society to admit we created some screwed-up ideas and, well, we as people don’t do that.

Speaking of stereotypes, I will say this: I do understand why some people care a lot about rings. There are people who judge someone’s partner by the amount of money they have, and I don’t put it past some people to assume an inexpensive ring is a sign of poverty or poor finances. Being blatantly honest, there are still people who believe men are supposed to be the breadwinner (I wonder if not caring who makes more money is also “not like other girls”), and consider it shameful if he’s not.

The bottom line is people should be able to have preferences without being stereotyped as “not like other girls” or “like every other girl”.

And the reason the thread sparked so much emotion? The opening post was a screenshot of someone jealous her sister had a bigger ring than she did, and wanting her husband-to-be to exchange the ring he bought for a bigger one because of said jealousy. She was asking how to approach him about the subject.

I don’t care how “not like other girls” it makes me. That’s petty as heck.

No Relationships

Recently, something crossed my mind. There are no good relationships in my family.

Out of my immediate family, there were only two marriages and they were both bad. One was my aunt’s (paternal grandmother’s sister) and it ended because the man was abusive. The other was the one between my paternal grandparents, which became bad in the few years before my grandmother died. After her death, I discovered my grandfather had been cheating on her and even had children with a different woman.

Besides those marriages, there have never been any long-term relationships. None of the children in my family were planned. Most of them were born when their parents weren’t together. I myself was the consequence of a one-night stand.

I’m starting to wonder if the lack of stable relationships I saw growing up may had an influence on my perspective of them. I view marriage as being chained to somebody for life, an idea that doesn’t appeal to me. Divorce exists, but it’s a pain in the rear to deal with and if I marry, I only want to marry once. One and done. Yes, I know you choose the person you marry, but what if you choose the wrong person? I’d be too afraid of choosing the wrong person a second time. I’m already a little afraid that giving a certain person a second chance could be a mistake, despite that person seeming to prove it isn’t.

A lot of my family members have a long list of past relationships. While I have nothing against that, I don’t want to a long list for myself, whether they failed or were never serious. In fact, if I were to marry, I wouldn’t want to until I was at least thirty so I could have some of my life to myself. At the minute, my family doesn’t want me dating anyone, but I’m sure their tune will change in a few years and instead, they’ll be bugging me about when I’m getting married or whether I’m dating someone.

Truthfully, I think I’d be happier with a long-term, steady boyfriend or girlfriend for life than a marriage because of my need for having much of my own space. I do not live well with other people. I believe I’d even tire of my friends sooner or later if we had to live together, despite that I care very much for them. That said, compatibility probably counts a lot here. I’d, of course, try not to be demanding or overbearing, but if there could be some kind of understanding between, it might work out.

There’s also the possibility I may never have a serious, steady relationship at all and that’s perfectly fine with me as well. Finding and keeping a relationship is an experience I genuinely want to have, but it’s not high on my priority list. It’s not something I’m dedicating all of my time too.

On The Fence

On my other blog, I just finished writing a rather long article about how I’m on the fence about getting married. Please read it or, at least, skim. I would also really appreciate others’ opinion, so if you can think of something to say, don’t hesitate to leave a comment:

http://childfreeforlife.blogspot.com/2012/07/marriage-on-fence.html

Thank you. 🙂