A friend posted this picture on her facebook page. She strongly believes in eating meat in the same way vegetarians strongly believe in abstaining and she stated that this Pinterest post resonated with her and I could see how it might, considering her strong meat leanings.
However, this poster was also the same women who looked down at my eating habits, saying that she had gotten to the point in her life where she no longer saw the point of eating food that lacked nutritional value, so I also found her posting of this picture annoying. I eat plenty of food simply for the joy of consuming it and can hardly be considered a consistently healthful eater. (I don’t think I eat as poorly as my friends suppose, though.)
This post did, however, also resonate with me, but for a different reason; I found it offensive. I had never heard of Gillian McKeith and was only aware of Nigella Lawson, because of a friend’s husband, who happened to find her hot, and I have a vague, but uninformed opinion, that I might actually prefer the diet supposedly touted by Nigella Lawson. Even if we ignore the fact that one picture is clearly posed and fuzzy and the other is candid, Nigella Lawson can be said to be prettier and to look younger than Gillian McKeith. Nigella also looks younger than me and I am 6 years younger than she. Suppose Nigella Lawson and I were to meet and suppose in this odd situation we were to have some sort of disagreement, would the argument be solved by the juxtapostioning of our pictures? I suppose this disagreement would be actually solved by the fact that she is a successful and wealthy celebrity, and thus, far more important than me. That she is actually prettier would be just gravy. Any opinion she would have would clearly outweigh mine and she would be deemed correct.
I suppose I should only pick arguments with people less pretty than me and then I can just point that fact out and win the argument. If I were pretty enough, could I change the rules of the universe? Could I change reality with a bat of my eye?
Cyclist use a similar fact-determining technique frequently. Disagreements regarding riding, equipment, and clothing are routinely resolved by figuring out who is faster. The faster rider is correct. Case closed. However, sometimes these arguments are actually resolved by the posting of extremely long, illogical, inaccurate, and supposedly technical arguments, with which no one can be bothered to argue, since life is too short. I have no idea which is the better method, since both seem equally random. Truth is hard to determine. Determining it by the appearance of the person making the argument might be as accurate as other methods.
Female cyclists have long discussions about cycling clothes and how they are not designed properly for them. Women seem to want jerseys that cut in at the waist and out at the hips. Women’s jerseys also frequently have small capped sleeves and, in general, show more skin. Women’s shorts, for instance, are quite a bit shorter. I do not like the cycling clothes designed for women, so I usually buy men’s cycling clothes. I am on a bike ride, do I really need to try to emphasize my waist to hip ratio to somehow convey some sort of fertility? I am almost 45, for goodness sake. Can’t I stop this already? I want to go on a bike ride. Do I really need to dress in clothes to make me sexually appealing to men? Why should I bother? I am on a bike ride, aren’t I off-duty?
One day, as I walked by the loading dock of Whole Foods, the owner of a small pick-up truck covered with pleasant, feel-good, lefty bumper stickers offered me some food. He was loading food donated by Whole Foods onto his truck and took a quick look at my clothes and kindly made his offer. I smiled and said no thanks. I know why he offered me the food. My clothing is old, stretched out, ripped and full of holes. My clothing selection each morning is based on 3 factors: 1) how cold I am, 2) what am I already wearing, and 3) what is next to my bed when I got up. One of my goals in life is never to go clothing shopping again. I wish to coast the rest of my life on the clothes I have already accumulated. I see no good reason why these clothes should not do. They can prevent me from being naked admirably well and isn’t that what clothes are supposed to do?
However, the guy I sometimes go on dog walks with once told me I looked like a schizophrenic. He then listed all the odd things I was wearing: 15 year old purple knit skirt, 8 year old light blue castelli long sleeve winter cycling shirt, stripped wool knee socks, black clogs, and a cute cycling cap covered with little white daisies. My hair was in Pipi Long-stocking braids. My friend is a mental health care worker.
My husband thinks I should make more of an effort and try to look nicer and I suppose I should. I dress up when we go out to dinner, which we do regularly, and I try not to look too horrible at work. Perhaps the only important thing about you is the way you look. Perhaps that is the only reality that really counts.
I did the Alex’s all-club Second Saturday Ride (ASSR) this past weekend. Once a month, the Grizzly Peak Cyclists do an all club ride that splits up after about 10 miles into different paces. It is a nice ride. The route is pretty and the company nice. I love cycling. I love the joy of movement. I like the hard effort and its accompanying thrill. I spent the evening in the company of friends, eating good food and talking for hours. It was a day well spent. I am luckier than I deserve. Perhaps that is the only reality that counts.