Thursday, April 16, 2009


Two weeks ago I was looking at an ingredients list which noted that the product included "trivial amounts" of somesuperlongwordthatprobablymeanstheingredientissuperfakeandcausescancer. Since then I've been thinking about the word trivial and the lies we tell ourselves and each other because what fun would it be to just read the product label and not allow it to provoke deep thought? That would be way too easy, right?

Typically trivial is defined as "of very little importance or value; insignificant."

Over the years there are a lot of things I've trivialized in an attempt to make them less painful.

"It didn't really matter anyway." "I don't really care." "Oh, it's ok. Really, it's no big deal. I shouldn't have said anything."

I especially like to act like something doesn't matter from the get-go...that way, I figure, it won't hurt if it doesn't work out. It's like the Gin Blossoms said--if you don't expect too much, you might not be let down. That verse sort of became my modus operandi for years. I was so tired of feeling hurt and let down, so it seemed easier to not have expectations or hopes at all.

My freshman year of college my boyfriend and I were at different schools and two hours apart. I proposed an "open" relationship and wonder how much of that proposal was motivated by his previous unfaithfulness and my desire to protect myself; after all, if it's open, he's not doing anything wrong, right? And if I'm kissing other boys, how he treats me won't hurt so much.

So I'm trying to be intentional about being hopeful, admitting that things matter, and being cool with the fact that I'm going to be hurt by people--and then letting myself hurt. A friend pointed out to me that whenever I get close to something painful I quickly toss in a rejoinder or other qualifier to exit the moment. Sometimes I think I do that because my problems and hurts feel trivial in light of how wonderful my life is overall--as if a great life makes complaining or hurting unacceptable. Or maybe I'm trying to make something less painful by quickly jumping to the good.

And then sometimes I wonder if I qualify the hurtful matter (lets say feeling rejected or forgotten) with something positive (how someone else values me) because I fail to realize my value and still trying to prove that I am, in fact, important.

And, this, friends is why I'm not reading any more product labels.

In dating news, tomorrow I'm meeting Match Guy #5 who I've easily enjoyed corresponding with the most and also the one who reads my blog. We've agreed to meet up in the early afternoon, see what we think, and if we're both a "go," go out on a "proper" date that night. Something about this arrangement makes me think of a dating show. Maybe we should each bring a rose and let it sit in plain sight the entire time (like on the one-on-one dates on The Bachelor) to remind us of the upcoming decision.

p.s. I'm grateful that the cashier at Sonic gave me three lemon slices this morning to go with my Diet Coke.


Scotty said...

Oooo... knows about the blog. I wonder how much you'll tell :)

Pam said...

I just wanted to say how awesome it is that you quoted the Gin Blossoms.

Hope the date goes well!

Thomas said...

Maybe you should refer to Match Guy #5 as something not so dehumanizing. I mean, if he is reading the blog and all, Ally. LOL.

Ally said...

Thomas: You're probably right, but at least I offered to let him choose his blog name and/or use his real name (complete with a link to his blog).

Mamacita said...

A good friend recently told me, "I love the way you tell me a struggle and before I comment, you've already talked yourself thru the issue and are completely resolved and then there's really nothing for me to say." She knows me well. And I do that, habitually, b/c 1. I'm a self-preservationist to the extreme and 2. b/c there is this small side of me that does want to always focus on Truth and plain ole reality. So it's not at all simple and easily labeled, is it? Well, journey on my friend.

OK Chick said...

So many great points in this post. I can relate.

"I especially like to act like something doesn't matter from the get-go...that way, I figure, it won't hurt if it doesn't work out." I feel most of the time, it's easier to act than really show our emotions. when we show our emotions it becomes real, we have to deal with things, and people see that we are weak- so we think. If more people showed their true emotions the world might be a better place, or a more honest place!

Great band reference! :)

Bone said...

I agree with OKC. A lot to think about here.

I've done the pretend-I'm-OK-with-an-open-relationship-to-justify-her-behavior thing. Once. Never again though.

And I do know that Gin Blossoms song quite well :)

Unfortunately, when you mentioned dating show, the first thing I thought of was Love Connection. Ouch.

cat_chaser said...

I know sometimes a simple miscommunication or a lack of communication (may be because of a busy work/schedules) can cause hurtful feelings.
Regardless, I think one should give importance to his/her own worth/identity and not need anyone else's validation.
And if someone sees that worth or affirms that identity, it should get easier to shake off those negative emotions.

In other news, I've been working odd hours last week and had low levels of motivation to read blogs because of nice weather!

Ys said...

Another great post! I really do feel relieved when I read your entries that I'm not the only one who thinks this way :)

Good luck with the date! If it goes wrong and you blog about it will he leave you hateful comments?

ella said...

So what are you going to do if the date doesn't go well? He'll probably look on your blog to see what you've written....

Ally said...

Ys: You're definitely not alone. And no, he doesn't seem like the hateful commenter type :)

CC: I think soaking up nice weather is much more important than blog reading. And I agree--when we're secure in ourselves we tend to take things much less personally.

Bone: Love Connection is old school. I always think of Blind Date.

Ok Chick: You hit the nail on the head....when we voice our emotions it makes them more real, which is scary for most of us.

Mamacita: I think we operate similarly. It's easy for me to excuse my desire for self-preservation with the argument that I'm just seeking reality/truth, which is good but not always the true motivator behind my actions.