Friday, April 27, 2007

Lament of the Thin-Skinned Woman

I've known it for longer than I like to admit: I'm just about too thin-skinned to live.

It's not the physical skin I'm talking about, of course, though everybody's real skin thins with age, men too. So I suppose mine is thinning (and it's the only thing about me that is, so I should be grateful for it).

No, I'm talking about the opposite of whatever it is that defines the word "tough" in this day and age. I am not tough enough for today's world. Period. I've been finding this fact discouraging lately, and so I've been thinking about it quite a bit. When did this start? Have I always been this way? Did something happen when I was a child, or a young woman, or is this something relatively recent? Could it, in fact, have been brought on by changes in the world at large and not so much by changes in me? Are there other women of my certain age who have a similar problem, and they just aren't talking about it?

The summary answer to most of these questions is Yeah, I've pretty much always been un-tough, but I'd have just about died before I'd let anyone see it. Including myself. Until now. Or, well, until about 4 years ago -- the truth has been leaking out slowly for all to see, ever since.

I don't wallow in this stuff for hours and hours, you know, but I have been thinking on it more because I just made a decision (yesterday) to put an end to Diana Bane's existence on DorothyL. [Diana Bane is an old pseudonym of mine, and I've been writing book reviews and posting in that name to DL, largely because I didn't want to invoke the author dynamic that might happen if I used my own name.] People on that list were carping and snarking again about reviewers and finally I realized I was totally sick of being anyplace so full of tedious people. But I hadn't reached that realization until I'd had a brush with some offlist ugliness myself, which I would have kept offlist if someone else hadn't posted about it, and that was when I had to admit -- to myself if not to anyone else -- how thin-skinned I've become. It was time to leave, so I've gone no mail on DorothyL for now and will most likely, in time, resign.

I don't know why this is a big enough deal to blog about, except that I don't want to believe it's just me finding it increasingly difficult to plain and simply live. To get through the days. I'm tired of road rage and tv news where argumentative commentators both talk at the same time so that you can't possibly hear either one of them. I'm tired of commercials for reality shows that I would never watch anyhow, but even the commercials make me uncomfortable for the ways the people are treating each other. I'm tired of more things than I want to take the time to enumerate here.

I want to know: Can't we just all get along?

No comments: