Something someone said the other day got me thinking pretty heavily about comparisons. About the way in which some people will compare themselves to others and apply value judgments like "better" or "worse" to their comparisons. It made me realize how much I do not do this, and how I wish everyone else would stop doing it so much.
The sentence was, "I am wondering if I'm as good at _______ as __________." (I am quite sure he was joking, but it still made me think). Well, you are different from ________ at _________, that is almost for certain. The world is a place of varying types of people, and that is what makes it so great. I am more of a person to say something like, "I may not be as good at push ups as so and so, but I am a kickass cook." Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses, and that is totally okay.
We compare wines, and foods, and arms, and diets, and religions. When it starts to become dangerous is when we say a certain religion is better than another, or a certain type of body is better than another. I compare myself to people by saying, "Wow, she has great boobs. Sometimes I wish I had bigger boobs. But my boobs are small but mighty. They're pretty damn fantastic." And it's not arrogant, it's appreciation and self acceptance.
I know for certain that I will never lay in bed with the person I am intimate with and wonder if I am better or worse than their other lovers have been. I will know that I am different. I will know that the experience they have with me really can't, and shouldn't, be compared with that of others. I know that I think the best part about being intimate with someone new is the delightful little surprises, and the newness, and the wonder of exploring someone new. I know that I don't have insecurities about my body being less firm, or larger here, or softer there. I know that I am built different from any other woman on the planet. No one has the exact same body as mine. I like that fact.
It is totally fine to compare things. You can say this beer is more hoppy. You can say this wine is more fruity. You can say this leg is more muscly. You can say that hair is longer. You can say your car is larger than my car. What you shouldn't do is proclaim to know which is better. Now, you can totally proclaim to know which one you PREFER. I prefer a smaller car. I prefer a hoppier beer, unless it's hot then I want watery ass Pabst. I prefer a woodier wine. I prefer a man with a bulkier build. That doesn't mean I think all of the things that are NOT my preference are worse. I think I just do not prefer them.
I also try to take the words "good" and "bad" out of my vocabulary when describing foods. There are healthy foods, and not so healthy foods. There are foods I eat regularly, and foods I treat as treats. There are foods I couldn't live without every day, and foods that no one should eat every day. But there are no good or bad foods. There are only life sustaining foods, and health hindering foods. There are foods that taste good, and foods that nourish us. Luckily, some foods are both!
The attraction that I have to people and things is on a slightly different scale from what society is telling me my scale should be. I really like that. I like that I don't think I need to own a BMW, or a house in a fancy neighborhood, or 300 dollar shoes, in order to have things of value. I like that I don't judge those who have those things as worse than myself. They just value different things. And that's okay. What's not okay is if they look down their noses at those who do not value such things. These are the people who cause angry Melanie to come out. So I choose to avoid them for the most part.
I long for a world where healthy comparisons are made like, "I wish I could be as thoughtful as she is" or "I really think I would like to some day be as funny as he is." But you can be. You can be anything you want. It's okay to compare yourself to other people. It's okay to compare things to other things. It's not okay to think that yourself or your things are better, just because they are your preference. Variation is awesome. All different things and beings are great. Except for ants. You keep those motherfuckers away from my house.
Happy picture of the day: Chinese long beans. They are one of my latest food finds, and I am madly in love with them.