Love Me or Hate Me

Just when I’ve reached the age of not really caring what anybody else thinks about me, that time in a woman’s life where she’s finally content with who she is, and accepts in herself her flaws, imperfections and quirks, it dawned on me that no matter where I go in this nasty world we live in, somebody hates me.  By the way, besides accepting my flaws, I’ve also learned to see my talents, abilities and inner beauty.

First of all, I should give you an idea of how I see myself. And then perhaps explain why I feel so hated.  I am, (not in any particular order), a middle-aged, overweight, smoking, outspoken, Jewish, American, liberal-thinking, artistic, musical woman.  I’ve also been called dramatic, eccentric and florid.

I am an American, as a result of recent history, that has become more of a label rather than a badge of honor.  While we still stand tall and powerful, we are disrespected and hated by many countries around the world.  On the other hand, we are still the haven, the sanctuary for those looking for freedom from oppression, whether it is political, economic or religious.

An outspoken woman, in some cultures, would be either muted or shot.  I often show my legs and arms, and my middle-aged cleavage (for those desperate enough to want to see it).  My face is uncovered, my head shows my own hair, and my husband will attest to the fact that my lips are constantly flapping.

Because I was born a Jew, and because I maintain a great deal of pride in my religion and my heritage, I am a marked woman in many parts of the world. Indeed, in many parts of my own country, for whatever reason, I am hated.  The basic tenet of my religion, as it was taught to me, doesn’t comprehend this hate.  Our whole existence is based on tolerance and love.  We only seek the freedom to practice our religion in peace.

From my perspective, and I don’t claim to be a very well educated Jew as the extent of my Torah study is extremely limited, we learn, from our history, to live righteous lives.  We pass on that knowledge from generation to generation.  We treat all mankind with goodness.  We celebrate our survival and thank one G-d for same.  That’s all.  So, why is there the hate?  In 2014, why?

And now for the part that gets me the most, because it speaks to the human condition.  Our society has gotten worse and worse, rather than better with this, despite the women’s movement.  Our sexist society still attempts to make people like me feel lesser. I’m 57.  I’m medically obese.  My hair is grey.  Men still think with their other brains, which ultimately will render me unattractive.  I know women who have had so much plastic surgery that their next face-lift will actually be a cesarean, just to stay in the game.

Not me.  I am who I am, love me or hate me.  Just wish the whole world would just calm down and realize that we only get one chance at this thing.  Go for the love…


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