When I was a little girl, ordering a soda at McDonald’s meant whatever was in that cup was all I had to drink. I ordered, a worker poured my soda from behind the counter and that was that. If I finished my Hi-C Orange before my burger and fries were done, because McDonald’s uses those huge straws that suck up everything in one gulp, it just meant my meal ended on a very dry note. Over time, I learned to savor the soda with smaller sips until one day, magic happened. McDonald’s started offering free refills. I could get my same small soda, drink all that orange goodness, and then get myself some more until I was full or suffering from brain freeze and a tummy ache. It was a magical time in my childhood fast food life. Now, the same rules apply, but not just for soft drinks in restaurants.
Lately, I have seen so many women and girls thirsty for attention, validation, love, a compliment, etc…, they hang on the words of boys and men hoping to take any verbiage and turn it into that thing they need to feel satiated. If it’s an insult, they pick it apart, reassemble it, and present it to themselves as a flimsy compliment he really meant to give. If it’s disrespect, they break it down and try to make the words form something else like a Soul Train scramble board – so they can convince themselves that isn’t really what he meant and those words were just him joking because he’s so damn funny. They are willing to create the reality they wish they had and excuse the inexcusable because that need to feel relevant to boys and men is paramount. I understand that need, but it can never be met in the midst of unkind words and backhanded compliments because it simply isn’t there.
In the same way I got to start getting my own soda, girls and women have to start quenching their own thirst to be loved and respected. Feeling frumpy and looking for someone to boost your ego? Get in that mirror and tell yourself you look good. Feeling unloved and/or unwanted? Have a talk with yourself about how great you are, how smart you are, what a good friend you are, how hard you work, how you excel in areas, and you are worthy of love. Never be so thirsty, you will accept any old words as the validation you need – particularly not when you can fill up your own cup.
Like anyone, I love a good compliment. I like to feel wanted, relevant, and even vital. I thrive off positive attention and engagement with folks I know love and care for me, but when no one is around and I need a feel good moment, I get myself an extra-large cup and fill it to the rim because refills are free. ©