I always want to act like I'm some sort of iconoclast, fighting all of the powers and breaking all of the rules. And yet I fear getting into trouble all the time. As a teenager, when I was at my most timid, I was afraid of doing the simplest things, like buying groceries, worried that I'd do them wrong and get yelled at.

Years of watching mob movies and heist movies, and mainlining "Breaking Bad" last winter, have reminded me, again and again, that I'm too anxious to crime. I'm too anxious to break big, societal rules. Even if I were going to break the law for noble, Robin Hood-style reasons. So no anti-corporation, anti-shadow government warrior time for me - plus, how does one even get started along those lines?

Plus, I still freak out about something as small as getting a parking ticket. "I KNEW I shouldn't have parked there, even though the sign is blank! I just knew it! I ALWAYS get in trouble, even when I didn't mean to break the rules!"

My conscious rule-breaking is on a slighter, much more personal scale. And the "rules" themselves aren't really rules per se, just the sort of appearance and behavior guidelines that our society loves to give women in particular. In seemingly endless waves, in magazines, in the entertainment we consume, in ads. I rebel where I can: Rules of dressing for larger women? DON'T TELL ME WHAT TO WEAR! Women should never be too mouthy and opinionated? SCREW THAT, IF I WANT TO SAY SOMETHING, I'LL SAY IT. Blondes should wear brown mascara, never black? FUCK YOU, I DO WHAT I WANT. Women should smile and be approachable at all times? MY SCOWL IS AWESOME, AND I'M NOT CHANGING MY FACIAL EXPRESSION UNLESS I FEEL LIKE IT. Women should freeze their eggs and pay for egg storage in perpetuity, in case they change their minds about having children? I HOPE ALL OF MY EGGS SHRIVEL UP AND DIE IMMEDIATELY.

These are weird examples, but you get my point. My societal "rebellions" are small and mostly unmarked, except in my own mind. One time, I was watching a TV show with a friend, and she remarked with distaste about a woman wearing a black bra under a slightly sheer white t-shirt. Ever since then, whenever I put a dark bra under a light shirt, I feel so delightfully naughty. Screw anyone's notions of proper womanhood!

There are so many things that I think and do that are my tiny ways of not conforming, even though no one really notices, and no one cares. Because I know. I care.    


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