an alternative to ennui
Being a pretty girl sucks
My friend told me I could write a book of my life. I don’t know if that book would be very interesting, but a post on a website may be.
Here’s a taste of the year so far: the company my parents worked for went bankrupt in December and my mother was forced out of a job she had been working 25 years a month later. My father is still working for the company, but as a day-to-day thing, and there’s no stability there. Thus my mom was forced to find a job in order to keep the household going by mid February. Sounds like an unfortunate scenario, right? Well, it gets worse. The company they worked for was founded by my grandfather – on my mother’s side – and it was brought to our attention that my mother was getting paid significantly less than her male siblings in the business and other employees who worked below her. Obviously, as a family business, you would expect her to be treated differently. Wrong. Nepotism apparently doesn’t float with my grandfather… Or it does, so long as the relative is male. I mean, most grandparents are sexist, right? They were brought up in a different time, yada yada. But for it to be so blatant in my mother’s pay grade was ridiculous. On top of the fact that other men in the company, who worked under her, were still paid more – it broke my mother’s heart. You have to understand, she does everything for her parents. But maybe, as the only female and the youngest of three, her sex determines their expectations and requirements. I know my mom secretly knew for many years that this was going on, but I think she wanted to believe that her father had her best interests at hand and was actively trying to help her, not hinder her. Obviously, this created even more bad blood on that side of the family, which I didn’t think possible.
But yes, to be working over 40 hours a week at an unpaid internship while freeloading at her parents’ home – makes a girl feel real guilty. Granted, I contributed what I could, yet with an hour’s commute to and from work throughout the week, I was limited to working just on weekends. Now, the crisis has subsided and my mother works for a company that truly values her hard work. Not to mention, pays her better than her previous job. It’s not the same though, and she’s still struggling to adjust. My father, on the other hand, has donned the title of entrepreneur. We’ll have to see how that pans out. So now everything at home has changed and certain benefits we reaped from the family business is no longer. The gas situation is a tough one. Tough in that we now have to pay for gas and thus need to budget it into our weekly spendings. Yes, I guess I was [am] a princess. Oh, and then when I realized there was no place for me at my internship, I had to make the decision to leave and find real employment. I was very fortunate and sent my resume to maybe three companies and interviewed with two. I got the second job and have been working there for four weeks now. Benefits kick in after my 90 day probationary period, I get eight paid sick days, two weeks vacation, and an actual salary – I have an adult job! My first adult job, to be honest. I did what a lot of kids do – I graduated high school, completed four years of undergrad, and found employment within the year after graduation. Although the time in between graduating and this job sparked a lot of existential thoughts, I’m pretty impressed with myself. And happy, which is the most important part.
Now that my home life has stabilized (albeit extended family drama, but who doesn’t have that?) and I’ve found a career-job, it’s time to plan flying the coup. But now I’m faced with questions I have never contemplated before: where do I want to live? How much rent do I want to pay/can I afford to pay? Who do I want to live with? Etc. This is a hard one since I have no idea what the fuck I’m doing. What I do know is that I don’t want to live alone and I want to live walking distance from work. These two facets make everything a little more difficult though, since I have no friends who want/can move out with me and the housing market near my place of work is rather high… That’s not all. I want to become independent of my parents. Entirely. But what my dad has offered me, well, it seems like too good an opportunity to pass up. He’s suggested taking out a mortgage on our home and buying a condo on my behalf. I would then pay off his debt in monthly ‘rent’ installments until he completely owned the unit. And once we reach that end, we’d decide what to do next. But that means I’d still be under my parents thumb and I really don’t want that anymore…
On top of everything listed thus far, I have been exploring having a social life – something I didn’t really do when I was in school. And man, how exhausting. I started dating someone at the beginning of 2015 and we spent all our spare time together. As such, I neglected my friends and I’m really trying to make it up to them now. Something that only really dawned on me when I started seeing someone was the fact that the majority of my friends are male. Many of these male ‘friends’ had expressed interest in dating me before I had gotten together with my now ex-boyfriend. They respectfully kept their distance when I was seeing him, but now that I’ve been single – for roughly two months – they’re circling me again like vultures. This leads me to the title of this piece: being a pretty girl sucks. I have had many platonic relationships crumble because I did not reciprocate the romantic/sexual feelings of my ‘friends’. And yet I kept those guys around because it boosted my self-confidence and made me feel desirable, even though I did not want to be desired by them. Incidentally, their friendship is becoming a burden to me and it’s not the kind of relationship I want to have with my friends. Severing ties is difficult, but what’s the point of chasing after liquid? Once you catch it, it slips through your fingertips.
Now I’m caught up in a modern romance and seeing someone new. There seem to be many ‘rules’ that accompany this dating scene. And whether or not they’re a product of the times or a transition into something more adult-like, I’m struggling to understand it all.
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