Sunday, August 7, 2011

Opportunity Cost, Part 1

A seriously crappy morning.

I mean, seriously.

For a couple of weeks now, I've been struggling with the notion of shaving. I'm sure if this topic were discussed any other time of the year, I'd be fine.

But for the last week, I've been waking up every morning with anxiety about shaving. Not just shaving, but about having shaved. I shaved my legs, and that freaked me out. In a serious way.

For the last week, I've been planning a trip and doing homework. Planning a trip to Omaha to celebrate a pretty significant anniversary on the 12th. Doing homework for my internship--Reading James F. White's Introduction to Christian Worship, Chapter 9, The Eucharist.

And while normally, anniversary celebrations are cause for excitement, somehow, the occasion I'm celebrating, coupled with readings about breaking bodies, shedding blood, and celebrating the good works of God, all neatly tied together with a great big ribbon of fear that I'm going to be celebrating alone, was nothing short of anxiety inducing.

I shaved my legs. I shaved my legs at the behest of someone I'm sure loves me and who is afraid that my having hairy legs is going to scare off potential mates. And while I don't much care one way or the other if that's fact or simple fear on her part, this isn't the first time this person has insisted that I change some part of myself to become more acceptable to those with whom I may interact.

I'm sure this is reading really badly to those who bother to pay attention to my blog, and perhaps it is. Maybe it is that bad, because writing it makes it seem really bad. But somehow, in the moment, in the midst of the discussion, it's more just annoying and frustrating, as it becomes clear, yet again, that this person really just doesn't get it.

So, I shaved my legs. I shaved my legs because I just didn't want to hear about it. Thinking that I just might be celebrating this grand occasion on August 12th with this other person, I sat down one evening, and I cut off a part of my body to mollify her. I cut off part of my body to smooth the road. I cut off part of my body because someone else simply wasn't willing to listen when I said, "This is really important to me," when it comes to having the autonomy to do with my body what I choose, for the reasons I choose, regardless of societal expectation.

And I'm pretty sure my friend has no idea what it cost me to shave my legs. And to make matters worse, it turns out my friend won't be celebrating this anniversary with me, as I discovered just a short time ago. So, I cut off a part of my body for nothing. Go. Fukin'. Figure.

So, I asked a family member to celebrate with me instead. So, bright and early Friday, I'm getting in the car and driving to Omaha. I'm going to eat Indian food. I'm going to walk around the town and discover something new. I'm going to explore a place I haven't been. I'm going to celebrate with someone who doesn't often understand me, but who just may understand this need to celebrate something hugely important.

Maybe later in the week, when I'm not in such a crappy mood, I'll let you know what I'm celebrating. Maybe come Friday, I'll actually feel like celebrating. Because it's good to celebrate the good works of God. And God has certainly been good to me.

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