On Feeling Validated

Standard

It was refreshing a few days ago to have a few different conversations with single women I know about life and love and standards of beauty. It was the first time in a long time that I wasn’t served cold platitudes of “Oh but Gazelle, you are beautiful!” (and what does me or you KNOWING how amazing I am have to do with society’s tendency to pick apart the notion and dump it in a trash heap?)

Or, “You don’t have to be statistic if you don’t want to be, just get out there and try.” (Um, ok. Yeah all I have to do is get out there and keep going at it. Why didn’t I think of that??? Gee, your advise is amazing.. cue the rolled. eyes… ha ha).

or the worst of them all “But so and so is a black woman and she doing just fine.” (Oh, ok so by your logic, we have a black family in the White House, so all black people in America are doing just fine socially, economically and politically, and if their not, then it’s their fault??????)

So conversation one, was with an Asian friend. Whenwe were talking about I was no longer on a dating site (all halal I assure you…ha ha) that she is still plodding through, she at first was very frank with me and told me that she didn’t think I tried enough. We are friends and I get it. I am grateful for her honesty. And even more grateful for the chance she gave me to explain why I just am not all Pollyana about this stuff anymore:

I come from a place where people like me more often than not end up alone, and I have made peace with it. I’m an educated black woman with African features and a curvier (and by no means fat… I am still really confused as to when one became a euphemism for the other… sigh) figure. I don’t know when people who look like me were ever in, but we’re not the “it girls” of today. And Apparently the dating/courting scene is a lot more superficial than I thought when I was younger, fresher and more optimistic. And my younger, fresher, more optimistic about live and love days were when and how I discovered these noble truths (and yes, I realize that they don’t have to be truths for everyone).

And I feel super respected for once

But yes. I am the person least likely to get an OK Cupid Reply. I am more likely to have fewer matches on Tinder.  And the same goes for any other dating site/arrangmeent/set-up in the virtual world or in the real one. I am just not who most people think of when they think of the girl of their dreams. Don’t get me wrong, I am the type to get hits now and then, from way to old pappi picantes and other inconsiderates who haven’t read my profile. Or even worse from random men who think a way to a woman’s heart is through vulgar messages. :-/… but that’s every woman’s lot these days.

Wow check out those figures! Why am I so complacent about being a statistic???? Shame on me, GAzelle …ha ha

Don’t get em wrong I am not a pessimist. But I am damn sure a realist. My predicament is not unusual but it felt good to talk to someone that didn’t judge and didn’t call me a whiner. Instead she just said “oh, I didn’t know. Sorry. I guess I understand a little better now.” She told me not to give up hope (yeah girl, too late… ha ha… And the well just marry a blue collar guy solution is well… meh.. it clashes with compatibility, I think).

Another friend, one whose physical characteristics are closer to mine gave me understanding nods sighs. Can I just say it felt good to be validated. To not even have to explain myself and defend the validity of my own lived experience!

I’m not delusional. I don’t have low self-esteem (I will kick someone to the curb with the quickness!) I don’t have too much self-esteem. I’m just real. and as for her, well she too is trying, putting her best face forward and herself out there being open to love.

Somehow other people here me (complain) about my dating/lackofalovelife woes and ASSSUME I am not proactive or assertive or optimistic at all. WRONG

I understand how things work. And although I wish they were different, there’s but so much I can do to fix where I fall on the totem pole.

Actually Eff the totem pole!

My problem is actually that all of these concerns fly out the window far too quickly when I’m in certain settings and situations.

Sigh. At any rate, I’m just gonna live life and be me. If that means finding and marrying somebody (educated) that I love and who loves me back, and has the same values that I have, similar passions (broadly defined) with whom I share a mutual attraction then great. But Gazelle can do but so much.

Actually, the only thing Gazelle can control is Gazelle. I started this blog with woe is me, will I ever find someone posts. I’ve posted periodically about the fish that had to be thrown back in the sea (and not quite so much about the ones that never too the bait, since I’ve chosen this rather crude analogy… :-/

But it’s been over 8 years and I think I don’t want to spend to much time thinking about what I already know. For now, it’s enough that my experiences and perspectives were validated. Someone out there knows that life for me, is not about trite platitudes doled out as advice or other people’s lives held up as examples for me to follow (without consideration for the privileges we do not share).

My experiences and the viewpoints that have developed as a result are valid.

Now if I could only decide between (re)downloading Tinder onto my blackberry… or signing up for another service….

Or maybe  should just hold my American passport up in a bunch of profile pictures (that should have them rolling in) ha ha… #Youneverknow 😉

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2 thoughts on “On Feeling Validated

  1. TheConfusedPerson

    So you decide to move to the Middle East, a region never known for its love of diversity, and then complain bitterly about being rejecting because of your race?

    Hun, it’s time for you to put to use your college-learned critical thinking skills and evaluate your life right now. If you’re not okay with being a spinster, grab your passport and bags and kiss goodbye to Doha. Move to Washington D.C or Atlanta or a nice, diverse city where plenty of successful people who look like you live. Your chances of finding a compatible match will become much better. And don’t worry, the economy is better now, you’ll find a job with your elite degree.

    If you don’t want to follow this advice, then your second best option is to follow the example of the Arab ladies and smother your face with whitening cream. Try also becoming a chemical blonde. You’ll look like a sideshow freak, but I guarantee the number of interested men will go through the roof. This is the sad world we live in.

    • gazelledusahara

      You know it’s great that your user name is TheConfused Person, because obviously you are confused as to whose blog you came to make comments.

      The racist, ignorant nature of your comment shows that you 1. Don’t read the blog, so you don’t know my background and 2. Don’t know diddly about the Middle East and the racial background of those who make it up. and that’s just for starters.

      I am not in Doha right now. I repeat, I am not in Doha right now. I live in a very international, some might even say cosmopolitan area, with a mix of people from everywhere around the world. My comments regarding validation actually have more to do with being a Black woman in Western society/communities. That’s the dating pool I am dealing with and discussing in the post: European and American Ex-pats as well as dating in the US.

      Although the Middle East/North Africa region has it’s pros and cons (and is indeed a very hospitable and diverse region, and I KNOW THIS because I used my, as you put it, “college-learned critical thinking skills” and have three degrees related to the study of the cultures in the Arab World, have traveled, studied and lived here extensively (again you don’t know this because you obviously have not read the blog). Plus, I am fluent in Arabic and an avid consumer of Arab popular culture. I know I don’t want to date/marry people living in the region right now who have strong ties here, because I want to come back to the States or at least live in the West in the long-run. If I wanted to marry an Arab (which by the way come in every shade and color and race because Arab is an ethnicity so there are plenty of Arabs of African decent— how’s that for diversity) then it would be a different story.

      It’s a human pitfall that we all fall victim to at some point, but I’m not down with stereotyping an entire region (especially when I KNOW the claim to be nonsense).

      Thanks for adding your stamp of the usual b.s. victim-blaming to my happy post about for once feeling validated and not having my intellect, emotional connectedness or sense of self-worth questioned.

      Ugh. I can’t even right now. Sigh. I am just super surprised at how you can read this post, and think that this comment was in anyway constructive. Then again, people write things online that they would say so harshly in real life.

      Oh, and please note that there are other things you wrote that are also problematic wrote, but I’m just done with this. Wow.

      *I typed so fast I had to go back and fix some typos. Probably still more in there. I really had to reply to your ridiculous, flippant comment.

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