Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Broken Glasses and Broken Dreams

The other night I stepped on my glasses and broke the hinge off making them unwearable. I can't see without them or without my contact lenses. It just so happens that I only have enough contact lenses left for two days since I wear them off and on.

Yesterday, I went to glasses store that accepts my insurance, had an eye exam and began to pick out glasses. The total for the glasses was exorbitant even by Israeli standards but I felt  uncomfortable questioning the woman. I should've asked for the other price list from a different lens manufacturer, I should've chosen a cheaper frame. I have excuses, I was tired, it was the end of the day, my youngest (who generously accompanied me) kept saying "I have to get out of here" since we'd been there for a while. 

I bought them.

Now switch stories with me for a second. I have been following the Aziz Ansari story along with the #metoo movement. For me, as with so many other people, that is a familiar refrain. When I was younger, I was in many similar situations and honestly, considered it normal. I spent my teenage years self medicating by "hooking up" with boys thinking that if they found me attractive, I would feel better about myself. I never did. I always felt used, a little dirty, and honestly, sexually frustrated. I was never fully present in the moment, going through the motions, looking for something I wasn't going to find, at least not in that situation. I never contemplated that there might be pleasure in it for me and I never demanded it. This behavior continued until I met my husband and he, in all his generosity and love, showed me what sex has the potential to be between two people.

There were two incidents that I knew were dangerous and that things had crossed a line and I did say no and I felt threatened, in physical danger and scared. These two occurrences stick in my mind and I can clearly remember them in pretty good detail.

The story about Aziz Ansari, as you can probably infer, didn't seem that terrible to me. He seemed like sort of a horny douche, but why was it meriting so much importance?

After last night, I began to think about what if, instead of someone selling me glasses, someone was trying to get me to have sex with them. I'm an almost 50 year old woman, admitted reader of people and interested in pop culture; I would've been very impressed with his celebrity, and I couldn't even tell someone I didn't want to buy glasses I couldn't afford. I would probably have been "Grace". I know from experience what she felt like afterward. (see above)

I was listening to someone on the radio discuss this who was my age, and another woman who was a generation younger. I heard myself and my experiences in her. I heard my daughters in the other woman. They are right. The women of tomorrow are leading the charge and making changes.

Later last night, I called the store and asked them to hold my order. I felt ashamed and embarrassed. ABOUT GLASSES. I will go back to the store today and see if I can "redo" my purchase.

If only I had that chance as a teenager.