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Another London Postcard, via NY: Thoughts on Seeing Ourselves

In addition to being with my NY S in London, I was also there (yes–sadly no volcanic ash intervened and as of this morning I am back stateside) to visit P–one of my closest guy friends from college.

He was with us our first night when we went to that rock show, and at one point the three of us got into a conversation about the whole opposites thing: whether we classify ourselves as introverts or extroverts (P, he himself acknowledges, is tough to categorize) and to whom we are generally attracted.

P described one of his more recent ex-girlfriends–one who I never knew well–as quite extroverted. But he said that one of the things he found most attractive about her was the way in which she was extroverted. (Jesus–I’m sure she still is: we even talk about each other’s ex-es in past tense!?).

He said she kind of played into the stereotype of a blond, gregarious-going-on-loud party girl–in and of itself not always what he finds the sexiest type–but that she did so deliberately. And that’s what was attractive to him: that she was able to consciously manipulate her self-perception. He said he thought it was empowering for her, and that power was sexy.

I completely understood: what’s more sexy, after all, than power? But as much as I recognize this concept in theory–surprise, surprise–it’s something I find difficult in practice.

The next night, over Indian food in Whitechapel, S and I discussed how both of us find ourselves frustratingly beholden to other people’s perceptions of ourselves. Or, rather, what we imagine those perceptions to be.

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