An Oven of a Woman ~ The Plath Principle

If you expect nothing from anybody you are never disappointed.

Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Frankly, 95% of this post does not paint me in a pretty light. It is, however, 100% TRUE and sometimes the truth is not pretty.

Being vulnerable has never been my forte.

But I can’t be angry at anybody else.

Not in good conscience anyway.

Because I broke my own rule, it’s my own fault.

Yet, still — I don’t like being blindsided. Do you?

So, here on these spiral stairs, with a copy of The Bell Jar, I stay.

Trying not to worry too much but feel worse than I did yesterday.

Sit in silence, overthink, pout. When really, I should

Take the advice of Oasis and STOP Crying My Heart Out!!!

I’m an oven of a woman.

There isn’t much that sets me to full on BROIL.

But many an instance where I got burned touching the red hot coil.

Once or twice had to fan the flames — cough from the smoke.

Order a pizza while trying not to choke, yelling over the annoying BEEP, BEEP, BEEP!

Never needed a lot of time to preheat.

I swear, I can make water boil in sideways sleet.

Instead of the cool calm woman, I try and fail to be.

There’s TWO things I do manage. One: Respect what people feel and say.

Then, to avoid serious irrevocable damage

Two: Keep everybody an Emotional Arm’s Length away.

Those Two Parts + The Bell Jar Quote = The Plath Principle.

If you rewind back a decade, I was explaining this process and why I thought Plath’s quote was genius.

I think she was really onto something. ‘If you expect nothing from anybody you are never disappointed.’ Should’ve adopted that as a life motto…long — long ago.

That’s a terribly sad, miserable way to live a life, especially yours, Miss Lowe.

I laughed uncharacteristically, like a jerk. Really wish I could apologize for that and my snarky attitude.

Is it, Doc? Why? Seriously, especially mine? Memo to you, my life has already been terribly sad and miserable, that’s why I’m here. EVERY Thursday.

Well, I was about to ask you the same thing. Why do you think that’s a good life motto? Yes, you have been through more in your short life than most individuals do in a lifetime. Some of your greatest trials have led to your greatest triumphs. You are a special young lady with a lot to offer.

Thank you, I appreciate the compliments and encouragement but can we just skip the part where you say all the things you’re supposed to say?

What do you mean? That’s the truth.

Oh, you know what I mean. No, sir, that is NOT the truth. That’s professional strategy. The use of validation and positive reinforcement is designed to build up my self-esteem, which in turn will demonstrate the value of self-worth. So, if it’s all the same to you, let’s go ahead and eighty-six the fortune cookie bumper sticker speak. Please, that’d be great.

You know, not everyone has an ulterior motive? But I am very glad to know you’ve been listening and have learned so much from our sessions. You’re one of my most self-aware patients.

Gonna have to respectfully disagree on that!

Which part?

That not everyone has an ulterior motive.

Ah, I see. Thus, The Plath Principle, right? Alright. There’s just a small problem with your equation.

Really?! Color me shocked! You know I’m not mathematically inclined.

How can anyone meet or possibly, even supersede your expectations, if you keep them at an Emotional Arm’s Length away ALL the time?

Um, I think you’re missing the point here, Doc.

Mmm, I don’t think I am. Give it some thought. I’ll see you next Thursday, Miss Lowe.

***

Sitting on my spiral staircase, I rehash that session, then my mind shifts.

I wonder what Plath’s last words were? I don’t know.

Tell you something true, something I know from experience and without a shadow of a doubt

Giving up, when things get hard — is a coward’s way out.

That’s all for today. The only piece of wisdom I have to impart.

38 comments

  1. I am trying to read your post,
    But why do I feel I am listening to someone saying something clear and just right through the heart and soul, that takes me away to a different dimension of time and space, why do I go somewhere else when am I still,
    Trying to read your post,💕

    Liked by 2 people

  2. 💜 What Got Me Going EveryOne is Shedding; like most folk I AM Ambivalent about Snakes 🐍 and Terrified 😨 of them…now this from a Tough Rugby Player; it’s Crystal Clear Clarity that Ladies also Terrify Me with Their Witchy Wiles so I Totally Relate to Adam…it may have been a Tempter of a Serpent (Lovely Lady Lilith) but Eve had Options Other than to Eat The Apple and Tempt Adam; the rest is history…point being Snakes Regularly Shed Skin, ARE Shy, Mate only Once in a While and can hold on to Fertilised Eggs for Decades, maybe more; ergo, be like a Snake and Shed Shit EveryBody so YOU!!! ARE ALWAYS!!! ALL Shiny and New

    …💛💚💙…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 💜 YES!!! EveryOne; it’s Crystal Clear Clarity that SHE!!! is “Awesome” like ALL Ladies, Boys (NOT!!! Men) Take Note

      …💛💚💙…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m not surprised that you reach your boiling quickly and often given 1) all that you have endured. 2) All the idiocy out there today. 3) That you “Keep everybody an Emotional Arm’s Length away.” You do not have a grounding that is built on trusting anyone with your emotional state of being. You are smart, and you don’t seem to be one to suffer fools lightly. The statement “That’s a terribly sad, miserable way to live a life, especially yours, Miss Lowe.” seems to lack a simple understanding that you are not one to pretend to be whole, and happy, and able to trust anyone. I could be way off base here, but from reading your posts, you’ve experienced too much of the dark side of the human condition to be a trusting person.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Horrible week. “When it rains it pours” is the worst metaphorical mojo in my life. That’s what has happened and is still happening. I try to tell people but they shrug it off: I don’t have bad luck, I have no luck at all. I sent in my Blogger Bakeoff Picture and stuff before everything blew up. Keep an eye out, you may see something at some point this weekend.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. That is so deep. And no,it certainly doesn’t make you look bad! 😮 I disagree with the quote and think that we should expect things, but only if it can be believed in. Like if someone shows that they can live up to expectations! Otherwise, we must accept that people give of themselves what they can, and can’t give more than that, but that it’s not personal nor deliberately hurtful! That’s what I try to tell myself! But if someone let’s us down without apology, that’s not good! Your poetry is amazing!! 😮

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I love reading anything that is written from the heart. Well done 👍. It’s so tricky for any of us to find the right balance with both our boundaries and our perception. Always listen to your intuition and you won’t go wrong. Your feelings matter ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Beautiful as always, Eleanor, you shine in your originality. 🌟☀️
    And as for expectations, I think everything is mutual. And that harmony with another person exists or not. If it’s one-way, then I move on.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. 💎 – Diamond Hard – 💎

    💎 Basically Boys; please Actively Listen to Girls instead of YOUR!!! Cocks

    💎 – Diamond Hard – 💎

    …💎💎💎…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hello Eleanor, I must say your blog leads me to think of Cher’s, “You haven’t seen the last of me.” Whatever condition the character of your story is in, the truth (quote) makes it powerful reading. I never give advice (you lose less friends that way) but like to share a little truth from my side. I always trust people, until they prove untrustworthy. But I trust wisely. I never expect anything from anyone, because I feel my standards of expectancy are too fragile. I found that the only emotion I readily offer those I don’t know is, love. This love is given without expecting anything in return, and this pays me an excellent return. I do not depend on anyone, simply because I think it would be selfish of me to do so (to say nothing of it being unwise.) Regarding the matter of truth (Please accept I have not done any research into this) I think it must be one of the most misunderstood words in the dictionary of the English language. Kudus to you for always projecting you posts as 100% truth – well done. Here’s a link I think you might enjoy: https://rochemamabolo.com/2021/03/28/the-story-of-the-naked-truth-and-the-lie/>
    Blessings to you and I offer you my motto: “Confortare Numquam.”

    Like

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