You step out of your tiny pink Corvette and into the parking lot of the grocery store, just slightly upset that you weren’t able to find a parking spot any closer. People tell you it’s only a few extra feet, but when you’re an eight-inch tall plastic figurine, a few extra feet can be some serious cardio.
You grab your little pink plastic shopping bag out of the trunk. You know they provide plastic bags for your purchase inside the store, but you’re trying to be a little more environmentally conscious, so you bring your own reusable bag. Sometimes you lay awake at night in your dream house and wonder if that really makes you a better person, or if you’re just doing it so that you can tell other people who will think that you’re a better person.
It’s hard to be a good person, really, you think.
You’re halfway across the parking lot, but it’s already getting dark because you’ve been walking for a solid hour. You’re working up a sweat and the heels you’re wearing aren’t really made for this volume of walking, but it doesn’t really make a difference what shoes you wear because you don’t have ankle joints. You’ve thought of filing for disability more than once because life can get pretty tough, but you always decide against it. You’re not sure if it’s because you’re strong and want to maintain your independence or if it’s just you want to maintain the air of a strong, independent plastic woman.
You tell yourself it’s a meaningless distinction to make because you put in the hard work either way, but sometimes you feel like it really matters a lot.
A woman is coming out of the store while you’re trying to climb over the curb onto the sidewalk. She’s got a few extra pounds on her which you think is fine, and you notice she has a really pretty face and you like her dress. You look up and try to smile at her, but your expression is painted on and as your eyes meet you can tell she thinks you’re looking down at her, even though she’s five feet taller than you. She scoffs and walks to her car. You wonder if she grew up playing with dolls like you and being subjected to what a lot of people call the unrealistic beauty standards you supposedly perpetuate.
Sometimes you wish people could look at you the way you look at other people – not as a symbol of something larger and sinister and wrong with the world, but maybe as just a cute little doll. They could say to themselves “oh, she’s pretty, I hope she has a good life but not because she’s pretty but just because I hope other people have good lives and nice things happen to them” but you’re pretty sure other people don’t ramble on inside their heads the way you do.
You finally reach the store door. The store is closed. You want to cry but you don’t have any tear ducts.
On the walk back to your tiny pink Corvette you think about calling Ken but you know he won’t pick up because he thinks you’re “fake” whatever that means. You hope he’s doing okay, not bad like you because you’re sad most of the time and sometimes it gets really hard to go on and you hope nobody else ever has to feel the way you feel.
You’re halfway back to your car when you see a stray dog on the other end of the parking lot and it makes you wish you hadn’t quit your job as a veterinarian to become a professional shopper. You think maybe you’re setting the wrong example for little girls but also maybe they should be free to be whatever they want and if that’s just a lifetime of shopping they should be allowed to want that, right?
Life is confusing.