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Nobody's Girl - cellophane — LiveJournal
the story of an invisible girl
Nobody's Girl
It was the icon that first caught my eye. Blue and white, with squares that appeared and disappeared (oh how I dislike moving icons), and stars in the background. "jeff's girl", it loudly proclaimed in slanted writing across the middle. It was a post in a community I belong to. Then I glanced at her username....jeffsgirl. Then I clicked on her user info page. There too, her name was identified as "Jeff's Girl". Her Yahoo id was even "jeffscuddletoy"!

I shook my head. I wanted to reach through the ones and zeros and shake the shoulders of this little girl. "You're a person in your own right!" I wanted to tell her. "You have an identity all your own! Be proud of who you are; don't just be proud of belonging to somebody else!"

(But I didn't. I don't think my point would have gotten across, and I probably would have just upset and/or offended her. So I clicked quietly away from her friends-only journal, leaving her in peace. I also changed her name in this post, so as not to accidentally offend her.)

It made me somewhat sad though, in the same way that cheerleading makes me sad. (Don't just cheer for other people, get out there and do something yourself!) It made me sad, in the same way that women who call themselves "Mrs. John Doe" make me sad. (You have your own first name, you know!)

I have a problem with the idea of giving up my identity, my self-pride. I have no problem with love, nor even marriage.... I think the idea of twining my life with another person is a beautiful thing. But I don't think that either individual should lose his or her Self in the process.

It bothers me, to see this girl submerging herself so completely in a guy that she identifies herself only through her connectedness to him.
read 18 comments | talk to me!
jeffreyab From: jeffreyab Date: February 28th, 2003 02:26 pm (UTC) (Link)

I agree with you about independence and for the record she is not this Jeff's girl.
renniekins From: renniekins Date: February 28th, 2003 02:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
I hope not...I think she was only 18 or so!!
jeffreyab From: jeffreyab Date: February 28th, 2003 03:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Right about the age I thought she was.
Is this typical of women at that age?
renniekins From: renniekins Date: March 3rd, 2003 07:41 am (UTC) (Link)
I don't know about "typical", but it's certainly not unheard of....
evilgeniuskatie From: evilgeniuskatie Date: February 28th, 2003 03:53 pm (UTC) (Link)


I have this same issue, and totally sympathize with "jeff's girl."

I know why, and I tell myself, "Katherine, you can't keep being like this," but I do it anyways.

Just another reason to hate myself. ~KMK
renniekins From: renniekins Date: March 3rd, 2003 07:51 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Heh.

Really? I'm sorry to hear that. You shouldn't hate yourself for that....instead you should find ways to be proud of who you are, and ways to identify yourself outside of the scope of someone else, y'know? After all, you are so much more than just somebody's girlfriend!

dreamattack329 From: dreamattack329 Date: February 28th, 2003 10:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
Amen, sister! I've been married for 3.5 years, and I still look at my "new" last name and wonder, "Who is this person? Do I know her?"
renniekins From: renniekins Date: March 3rd, 2003 07:52 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah...I was engaged once awhile back, and we spent a lot of time agonizing about what to do with our names.

Or like when somebody asks for "Mrs. X", and you think they're asking for his mom!!!
juliebata From: juliebata Date: March 1st, 2003 11:00 am (UTC) (Link)

Changing names...

I never thought of myself as Mrs. B. H. when I was married to him. I did change my name to his, because I had always hated the last name I grew up with. I was criticized by some for being a "bad" feminist, and that pissed me off! I wasn't giving up or losing anything of myself, all I did was change my name to something I liked much better. 8+ years later, when we split, THIS is my name, I'm not going to go back to my maiden one, and B. didn't mind that I kept his. If I ever marry again (looking less and less likely with each lonely passing day!), I might consider changing my name again, but I'd REALLY have to like the new one!

renniekins From: renniekins Date: March 3rd, 2003 08:06 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Changing names...

The whole "changing names" thing is a complex issue. I know for me, I've never been altogether fond of my last name. It's 11 letters long, and impossible to pronounce on the first try. But even so....it's a part of me! It's part of who I am! I think just like you, I would decide whether to change it based on whether or not I liked the guy's name. I don't think it's anti-feminist to change it....I really do like the idea of a family all sharing one name. It's deciding what that name should be that is challenging!

But I would never call myself "Mrs. John Doe", even if I took his last name....yuck!!!
falls2climb From: falls2climb Date: March 1st, 2003 07:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
It drives me crazy to see usernames like that--I've identified myself to people at a party as "oh, I'm Ben's girlfriend," or the like, but only if that was their point of reference. and inevitably, those four words were followed by my actual name, so I don't just have to go by the girlfriend label. But in cyberspace, where you're identified by the one word or phrase of your choice, I'd hope that I'm more than just someone's girlfriend.

(I stumbled across your journal via a LJ community, but your username looks familiar for some reason. Were you ever a member at Estronet or Chickclick? my memory is being wonky.)
renniekins From: renniekins Date: March 3rd, 2003 08:25 am (UTC) (Link)
Sure, a point of reference is a polite way of establishing a connection when you meet somebody. "I'm Paul's daughter." "I'm the one who wrote that letter." "I was the girl in the weird mask." ...or whatever. But that's totally different than really identifying yourself as nothing but an extension of that other person!

Nope, I was never a member of those groups...but your journalname looks familiar too. We've probably stumbled across each other some time in the past... ...so if that's the case, nice to see you again!
falls2climb From: falls2climb Date: March 3rd, 2003 10:53 am (UTC) (Link)


nice to have found/re-found your journal, too. :)
renniekins From: renniekins Date: March 4th, 2003 08:21 am (UTC) (Link)
*smiles and waves*
retepsnave From: retepsnave Date: March 3rd, 2003 11:08 am (UTC) (Link)

right on!

god! that's why we love you...
good look'n girl (who occationally posts sassy pictures) with a very sharp sense of whit and a real head on her sholders and not afraid to say what's what....
I'll 100% agree with you on this stance...
while it is a convienent shortcut to introduce yourself as "X relation to Y" when at a party dominated by mostly "Y"'s friends... it still is subserviant behavior especially if you keep it up after the second or third time you've met Y's friend to continually refer to yourself in context to the significant other...

glad to hear you've an opinon separate and apart from anyone else's and you're not afraid to voice it!
renniekins From: renniekins Date: March 4th, 2003 08:23 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: right on!

Wow, thanks for your comment! Very flattered. (: (:
retepsnave From: retepsnave Date: March 4th, 2003 09:06 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: right on!

not ment as flattery... just a simple note of kudo's for being your own independent human-being...
but I'll not be the least upset that it was recived as such-
renniekins From: renniekins Date: March 4th, 2003 12:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
read 18 comments | talk to me!