Saturday, June 23, 2012

Public Persona

Just a nice, springy feeling outfit for going to visit the optometrist (she's an opthamologist as well). I'm glad i wore this when i did, we've had cool, breezy cloudy days since.  I will be ordering my wonderful new prescriptions sunnies next week! I have blue, dry, cataract-ridden eyes. That's the trifecta for sun sensitivity as far as eyeballs are concerned. I cannot wait to have my peepers enveloped in tinted, breeze-blocking goodness.

Not much to say on the outfit, but am having a weird experience. I just found out what an ex-boyfriend of mine is up to, after almost 30 years.  Now, i haven't been carrying a torch or evaluating everything my husband does in terms of how 'bunnyface' behaved towards me when i was so young. I hadn't really thought of him in years - until his name started being mentioned prominently in certain media outlets. Of course, three or four (?) years ago when i first came across his name, i thought "That's strange, the same name as bunnyface .....but what are the odds it's him......". Nowadays, with the internet, it's easy as pie to track down any number of people, even those with fairly low profiles. But it had other things to do.

Then last night, i thought "What the hell!" I blame it on my week-long obsession with Andrea Zuill's art and embroidery patterns, which prominently feature rabbits. Whatever the cause, first result had a picture and there he was.

***Can i just say that i wish i was as good-looking as my ex-boyfriends? Honestly! This includes the boyfriend who became an ex- through marriage. Not only is he tremendously handsome, he has a much better wardrobe than i. Certainly in the shoe department.***

Now, it turns out 'bunnyface' is quite successful in his field, awards, prominent job, etc. And it's a serious, establishment type job. Objectivity and neutrality are important, creativity and pushing the envelope are not.  The weird part is what came into my mind next. It occurred to me that, to someone in his position, knowing me would not necessarily be to his advantage, and could even be seen as a disadvantage.

I'd like to qualify the last part. I don't have a felony record or engage in scandalous behaviour. But at the same time, i have nothing to offer a person in his professional arena. And people at his professional level often need to focus exclusively on their professional life in order to maintain it.  Also, my attitudes towards societal norms would be considered suspect in certain arenas of the powerful.

This doesn't mean that 'bunnyface' would react in an unkind or dismissive way were we to meet again. (Which is highly unlikely.) But i don't often have that type of perspective on myself. Not just from outside of me, but outside my entire social circle. I am, and have been for most of my life, a very private person. I've spent literally years bed- and or house-ridden. Hard to get more private than that, especially since most of that time was pre-intenet. My jobs have all been with very small companies. If the world finds out that i make my own clothing out of my mom's old turtlenecks, and that i was one of many women harassed in the dream world by the rinpoche at the Tibetan Meditation Centre where i lived, well really no one gives a hoot. Partly because 'the world', in my case, i snot that many people at all. It's a strange feeling to run up against that part of humanity where these things can be tremendously important.

I can't say my thoughts on this are well-formulated at this point. But it was on my mind and it relates to having a public presence.  And my most public presence is here on this blog. What do you all think? Have any of you had a similar experience, where you saw yourself through very different eyes? How did this make you feel?


  1. I actually had the opportunity to see my old high school flame (and his wife) a couple of years back. He was my first love and it took me years to get over him after he decided that he didn't want to be "tied down" when he went away to college. It had been over 30 years since we'd seen each other. We met them for lunch and had a wonderful visit, and I came away realizing a) I really liked his wife, she's a good woman, and b) I wouldn't have been happy in the life that he made for himself. Nothing wrong with it, just too "normal" for me.

    Love your outfit there. It's very lighthearted and pulled together at the same time!

  2. My mom just ran into my ex this past weekend - he's working as a janitor in her old high school (they had their 50th reunion this week). Not much there.

    My husband ran for public office (on a federal scale) many years ago and we were under the microscope. I was criticized for being overweight (!!) and encountered many people who assumed they knew who we were because of the party he ran under. It was very eye-opening.

  3. Oh, and you look lovely in this, Steph. That blouse is gorgeous on you!

  4. I found out about an old flame of mine by Googling him . Well unfortunately for him, he got involved with a bad crowd and is in jail for a long time. Wow I knew he was bad news when I broke up with him. I am glad I trusted my gut at the time.
    I was a public school teacher for 30 years. If I ran into a student in public they acted so funny. To the parents I was a nobody to the student I was a 'school celebrity'. I consider myself happy to be a 'nobody'. All the scrutiny public people get is not for me. I love blogging because you can get some feedback without relinquishing any privacy really with the numerous people doing it now I doubt I'd ever get that singled out.

  5. Hello Deja!! heehee, you're becoming famous in your own right these days, what with being in Sal's book and all - i was so excited when i heard you were in it!! i hope you're going to post about what that was like at some point, i know i'm dying to hear about it!

    that sounds like a bittersweet experience, but i am glad to hear that in the end you really made some peace with it and kind of 'tied up the ends'. And especially nice that you were more happy with the way your life had turned out :)

    thank you!

    Sheila, that is a fun story about your ma and your ex meeting! Janitor is honest work, though maybe not inherently fascinating....

    i thought you had mentioned a bit about your husbands' political foray in the past. I had no idea about the asinine attacks, tho. oh, what am i saying! we all know that politician's performance and views correlates absolutely with how their wives look /snark.

    it is very very difficult to keep a positive view of the human animal at times. i BET it was eye opening! i can really see why any sensible person would just run away from public service these days, and i don't think our society is the better for it.

    thank you! i love that fabric so much! and it's so comfy, too :)

    Hi Adrienne! WOW! and hooray for your gut, and for you for trusting it!! i've known women who knew guys were bad news and just didn't listen to themselves, i can end horribly. Good for you - you are a good example for us all.

    That's funny about teachers - my mom was a teacher's aide for many years and we socialized with a lot of teachers, so i know what you mean. You describe the phenomenon well!

    "All the scrutiny public people get is not for me." i agree more than i can say. And this incident really reinforced that for me. I do like the balance of being a 'nobody' blogger as well. you get some feedback, there's a sense of community but it's not splattered all over the Enquirer!

    Happy Day!! steph

  6. Beautiful outfit. And bonus - you'll see it even better this week with your new specs!

    I was so floored that Bunnyface made it in the media world. I have to say, I felt rather pleased.

  7. Thank you P! yep, i'm super excited!

    i'm glad you're happy - not that i'm not. i'm just still mostly mortified. Hugs to all and happy week!!!! steph

  8. Hm, my 40th high school reunion is this year and I have artfully been avoiding all invitations! I went to my 30th and there were all sorts of strange vibes...and I long ago left off being the person I was then. One former boyfriend is now in federal prison.