When I first met Grace, she and I shared many similarities and we got along well, so looking back it's easy for me to see how we became instant friends, despite our differences of opinion when it came to views on lifelong partnerships. However, going out as a single gal with Grace was especially difficult.
After a few nights out I started noticing a pattern where Grace would hit on the same men I was interested in. When we got home, she would send me messages, making it seem as though she was rooting for me and [insert guy's name here], while simultaneously friend requesting him on Facebook. I sensed there was another motive behind those texts. Jealously, no doubt. And it's a bitch.
Let the dogs run free;
while you and I may be heavily baited,
still no one can catch us.
Do they know?
Smells of sweet sweat stained
by months, if not years,
of rigorous training
now inside our track.
One, two, three: done.
Off they go, anyway—pacing and chasing,
chasing and pacing—
unwanting to see they're the only ones racing.
Women tend to compete in an arena hoping to get one (sometimes two) while secretly hoping others will have zero. We'll go out without the ring or rulebook, forgetting who's side we're actually on. Passing judgement on others only makes things worse and leaves us, well, singled out.
All of us ladies know a Grace. Heck, we've probably all been Grace! That raw, often displaced emotion of jealousy can create an illusion of there not being enough to go around, so women often resort to sabotage (including self sabotage) when there appears to be no alternative. Sad, given that we live in a universe of practically limitless alternatives!
But, if life is a dog race, and you have the option of being a hound, running around in circles, chasing after something just out of your reach (and control); or, being a rabbit, saving up her energy for the ultimate prize, which do you choose?
I'm team rabbit. While I know at times I'll go home with zero, it's a lot less disgraceful than going to bed a bitch.
Ken Bailey is a contemporary expressionist born in Utah in 1958, now living in Seattle. His vintage-style images of cats and dogs enjoying human "treats" delight with whimsical and visual appeal. Bailey's works hang in galleries in Tokyo and throughout the U.S., including his own gallery.