Tuesday, 26 November 2013

That 8 Cow Feeling

An awesome, tender, clever and wonderful friend of mine named Diana recently told me the story of the 8 Cow Wife.

It is basically that in the days when a dowry had to be paid for a man’s daughter, one guy named Johnny Lingo paid the unheard of sum of 8 cows for a young woman that could be politely described as “plain”. Shoulders hunched, slouching as she walked, dour face. No one could understand this as her father was asking for 3 cows, holding out for 2 and expecting to have to settle for just 1. Nobody had EVER paid more than 6 even for the most phwooarsome bit of crumpet…not EVER.

When a traveller who’d heard the story met Johnny he also met his wife Sarita. He was astonished that she was in fact VERY beautiful. Smiling, walking erect and proud, and a joy to look at. He asked the man what had happened and the summation of the story is this:

"Many things can change a woman. Things that happen inside, things that happen outside. But the thing that matters most is what she thinks about herself. Sarita believed she was worth nothing. Now she knows she is worth more than any other woman in the islands. I wanted an 8 cow wife".

This wonderful story basically proves that it is what we feel about ourselves and how others perceive us that influences the face we present to the world. If we are told we are ugly, spotty, lazy, stupid, a pig, a bastard, etc, etc, then that is how we will feel.

As I grew up I would cling to any form of praise like a mussel to a storm swept cliff face. My childhood was an ongoing saga of being told I was not good enough, and this came to its head in the early to mid 80s when I was at Junior and Secondary school. I was told (at various times) that I was skinny, ugly, lazy, queer, mutated, deformed, fat**, ungrateful, spoiled and whole lot of other unpleasant shite.

I grew up in an era where adults found ways to blame children (and also other, subordinate adults) for everything that went wrong. It was never their fault. It was always something the underling had done.

Got punched in the face?
You must have done something to provoke the bully!

Got your dinner money stolen?
Well, you do look at people funny sometimes!

Attacked for the 6th time in 6 days?
It’s always YOU isn’t it?!!

So self esteem is a big, elusive luxury in this world. We are all very keen to criticise and blame, but very few of us ever find it nice to actually pay a compliment.

I remember in the early 90s at Uni, deliberately saying a very pretty but fat woman I met on a night out, “you look like Carrie Fisher. Not now, when she was in Star Wars.” The following week she met me again and was all smiles, saying “I’ve been floating on that all week. What a nice compliment”. I took her to bed the same night and the night after.

As cynical as that was, it proved that by being nice to someone it got a much more positive reaction that criticising or just saying nothing.

Everyone likes to feel good. Everyone wants to feel that what they do has some worth in the world.

It took me a very long time to feel that what I did contributed in any way. Or that other people would see that my efforts were something more than just what they regarded as due to them.

I believed for a long time that sex was something that women let blokes do “to” them and that I had to be exceptionally attentive in order for the woman to actually enjoy the experience. Reason being that we rarely hear any sexual partner say “thanks for a brilliant shag”, plus the fact I grew up being told I was ugly and a mutant and would only ever get to bed a minger.

I can vividly recall the times a pretty sexual partner DID compliment me on my prowess in the sack. One woman gasped “I think this is what I needed!” through gritted teeth just before she came. Another said breathlessly “that’s the best shag I’ve ever had!” just after we’d finished. A third once purred "I want you inside me again. It feels soooo good!" 

I now make a point of always saying “your pussy feels/ tastes fantastic” a couple of times during the proceedings. Always hits the spot.***

If you cook someone a meal and they eat it without comment it is hurtful as you feel your attention was ignored. If they even say “mmm…delicious!” it brightens up your day.

If you wear your nicest clothes to visit someone, it’s good to hear someone say “love your shirt”. As simple as it is, it makes you feel 10 feet tall.

For the last 3 weeks I’ve had a friend named Diana staying. She has co-written a book with me and she is one of the most genuine, caring, kind and gentle people I’ve ever met. I would come home from my job (working outside in all weathers) and find a meal waiting for me and she would offer me a cup of coffee. She made me feel that being myself was simply enough.

She told me just before she left that I made her feel worth 8 cows and when I asked her what she meant she told me that story. When we got to the airport we were both upset that she was going. We had helped inflate each other's sense of self worth and self esteem.

She also made ME feel worth 8 cows.

** At the age of 12 I weighed about 6 stone piss-wet through, carrying all my possessions.
*** Did you see what I did there?

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