Red-headed Step Child Syndrome

The other day I was on an ALL MALE shift at work. This is a rarity. Woman outnumber men on my job 3 to 1. This was the first time I got a taste of what they must go through on a nearly daily basis; and let me tell you, it was bitter. First off, suddenly I was invisible and my voice shrunk down to the size of pea. This is a difficult task considering that almost everyone who meets me describes me in one word, Intimidating. I was trying to train a new employee, but my instruction was overshadowed by the need to discuss video games or tv shows. My b%&ch switch almost got triggered, but I refrained with this little thing called self-control. This isn’t even my point of contention.

Inevitably the conversation turned to girls and crushes. An area I was included in as “one of the guys”. I have no qualms about this usually. In fact, I like getting the inside scoop and helping to make those “love connections”. What can I say? It’s the Emma Woodhouse in me. However, this time it hit me differently. Two of the three guys on the shift had an attraction to the same girl, and it was so not who I thought. This never happens!!! We, as human beings, are as predictable as the stereotypes we form, but I never saw this coming. What’s more, is I never saw my reaction coming. I was jealous.

I consider myself a fairly attractive person. I am intelligent, funny and personable. My one fall back has always been the color of my skin (which I love) and the intimidation factor. These are my go to reasons of why I am still single or why so and so is not interested in me. This girl that was being crushed on is me in a white body. Our personalities are nearly identical in all their stubborn, strong-willed, sarcastic glory. In addition, she is not the typical classical beauty. In fact, she is a tomboy to the max, curvy and pale. She has all the “short-comings” of a normal woman. Acne, bad hair days, unwanted pudge, etc… My jaw dropped and I was overjoyed to find that there are males in the world that weren’t so predictable and superficial. Don’t misunderstand, this girl is beautiful; but since she isn’t pin-up beautiful a lot of guys would turn her down. Treatment a lot of women endure in our culture of impossible beauty standards.

The issue isn’t that they liked her, despite obvious incompatibility and her total lack of interest. The issue is that suddenly one of my main “go-to” reasons for why a guy may not be interested in me was suddenly ripped right from under me. This was a blatant contradiction to what I’ve always told myself and now I feel robbed and pissed. I’m pissed at the guys for never seeing me that way, though I have no interest in either of them, so it’s completely irrational. I’m pissed that my bubble was burst and now I only have one excuse that was already barely hanging on by a thread.

You would think I would be overjoyed to find guys that are not dissuaded by strong woman, even if they are intimidating. Goodness, I thought I would be. All it did was make me feel like their must be something fundamentally wrong with me since I am constantly being overlooked or passed up. Now, I know this isn’t true and I tell myself this all the time. I actually like who I am and how I look (most days); but damn if the thought didn’t cross my mind and practically depress me for the rest of the day.

So what now? I had my moment of gloom and then I moved on. There really isn’t anything that can be done about it and remaining upset is a waste of energy and time. Life goes on and you go on with it, end of story. I’m not sure what the lesson was here. Maybe there was no lesson, but my eyes have certainly been opened; and maybe in time I will learn to stop looking at my strong personality as a negative and start viewing it as a positive. After all, it ain’t going anywhere.


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