Being Chosen, Blessing or a Curse?

Painting by Jean-Léon Gérôme of a veiled Circa...
Painting by Jean-Léon Gérôme of a veiled Circassian (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you like it when you get special attention from your boss? Do you want to be the favored son or daughter? Or is it better to fly under the radar? The sad fact of being special or chosen is that it’s difficult to be known for anything other than your trademark. You’re special. You’re chosen.

I was watching the show Reign, on Netflix this past week and although it’s not true to history, I was enjoying it. It showed King Henry’s two sons, Francis and the bastard, Sebastian. Francis had privilege and status and the future betrothal to Mary,  but the bastard was freedom to take chances and explore. Which made me think of other “chosen” types in history. One big one I think of is the people know to be the most beautiful in history.

The Georgian women, from the North Caucasus mountain region in European Russia, are known for their great beauty. So much so, that families were known for selling their own children for the same price as a horse. They sold as their children as sex slaves, as circus beauties, as sultan harems, or whatever else.

An advertisement from 1782 titled “Bloom of Circassia” makes clear that it was by then well established “that the Circassians are the most beautiful Women in the World”, but goes on to reveal that they “derive not all their Charms from Nature”. They used a concoction supposedly extracted from a vegetable native to Circassia. Knowledge of this “Liquid Bloom” had been brought back by a “well-regarded gentleman” who had traveled and lived in the region. It “instantly gives a Rosy Hue to the Cheeks”, a “lively and animated Bloom of Rural Beauty” that would not disappear in perspiration or handkerchiefs. – Wikipedia Circassian beauties

And then there is this blog, which I’ll only show you the first paragraph, but I’m a geek, so I find these things fascinating. I hope you don’t mind.

A Freakish Whiteness: The Circassian Lady and the Caucasian Fantasy

by Gre­gory Fried
Published March 15, 2013

When I first stum­bled across the photograph repro­duced below, over 15 years ago at an antique show, it struck me as ludi­crous, inex­plic­a­ble, and yet also some­how haunt­ing. Per­haps it was the jux­ta­po­si­tion of the young woman’s abstracted gaze with the absurdly wild mass of hair flam­ing around her head. I found a name, inscribed by pen­cil more than 130 years ago on the back of the pho­to­graph, “Zublia Aggolia,” and a title, “Cir­cass­ian Lady.” Even today, I still know noth­ing about Zublia her­self apart from her name, and even that is not what it seems. Despite that, her por­trait has taken me down a path of dis­cov­ery whose con­nec­tions I would have never guessed.
Mirror of race

I don’t want want to be chosen. I don’t want to be special. This is good as it is. Ordinary. Regular. Gotta get up on Monday morning and go to work and all of that kinda of stuff. Right. I’ll let someone else enjoy the limelight. That’s why I will win survive the zombie apocalypse.

And if you are really interested in the subject, I’ve included a YouTube video of a black professor speaking about why white people are called Caucasian.


  1. Chosen? Choice about being chosen? Interesting food for thought. Immediately, the thoughts below jump up to be noticed.

    Odd, only because I am not particularly driven by approval or what others think of me, but somewhere in my unconscious youth I bought into the idea that being “chosen” was important somehow.

    It seems to have played out only in its opposite – my guiding principle and chief dissatisfaction with various romantic relationships which I ultimately rejected – “I do not ride standby.”

    In other words, plans with me, promises to me, etc. go “in ink.” Find room in your schedule elsewhere for whatever or whomever follows our agreement – or say NO to them. Common courtesy, of course, but it has always made me crazy to be “bumped” in ways that, logically, were a bit over the top. It was always a deal-breaker if it happened repeatedly, regardless of the reason (work, most often, btw).

    Until you raised your question, I always thought it was a matter of TRUST. If I can’t be confident that plans with someone are “firm,” it makes no sense to make room in my schedule for them, of course. The further ramifications have always skewed the import: if I can’t trust their word about plans with me, what else will they change “after the fact?”

    It is overtly disrespectful to expect me to make plans without a firm commitment that, clear emergencies excepted, what we have planned will, in fact, take place. They say, through their actions, that the minutes of MY life have little value, compared to the minutes of theirs, when they decide subsequently that something else is more “important.”

    That will *never* sit well with me in ANY relationship, not simply the romantic ones (and God help you if those plans include my cooking a dinner you can’t be bothered to eat before it’s leftovers ::grin::).

    I don’t think I am wrong in my belief that being equally prioritized in relationship is important, if not essential – certainly where agreements are concerned. But, thanks to your question, perhaps I can divorce “not chosen” from “rude or unreliable behavior” – which will certainly make my choice to jettison unsatisfactory relationships MUCH easier.

    It also gives me some thoughts about how I might respond to last minute calls – or lack of calls, when extreme lateness is at issue — besides polite acceptance (and private discomfort).

    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
    – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
    “It takes a village to transform a world!”


    • I think you’re right, if someone doesn’t uphold a promise, absolutely don’t wait around, because they will just do it again. Just float away with the breeze and decide to do something else…because you can. You are a free bird. Not caged, waiting, needing them to show up. I’ve been to that slave market, and I didn’t like it. I was sold cheap. But you couldn’t buy me now. 🙂


      • [ODD – WordPress wasn’t letting me reply to this one from my site – had to jump over here]
        Re: “don’t wait around”

        That was what was “off” about my reaction. I DID go on about my way, relatively happily. There were actually times where part of me was relieved to be able to use the time for something I needed to finish (or times I really wasn’t in the mood for what we’d planned myself, or wasn’t fully ready, so nothing of import was lost following a sudden change of plans).

        Still, part of me remained disgruntled about the lack of respect to cancel on me at the last minute (though, to be honest, it wouldn’t have been okay to cancel with plenty of time to make other plans unless accompanied by what I considered a good reason, coupled with some apology acknowledging that this was not how one handles life)

        That’s the part I think was, at bottom, coming from an unconscious need to be chosen.

        Otherwise, other than disappointment, why would I care about finding out I had misjudged someone’s degree of consideration for others? Why ANY pull to give them a chance to do it again to ME when, in fact, it took many more than 3 strikes for them to be OUT!


    • Oh, and speaking of cooking dinner…I had a friend who told me that if her husband didn’t show up for dinner on time, after he’d fussed about it being on the table at 5:00 on the dot, if he wasn’t there, she fed it to the dogs. Literally. That girl has some gumption.


      • LOVE IT!

        I did something similar following a relatively complex, time-consuming meal for my ex-fiance (celebrating something I can no longer recall), when he didn’t come & didn’t phone (waltzing in FOUR hours late).

        Why? Because someone he managed left work (on time) failing to get his time-report together [AGAIN!]. L. was never comfortable with the law of natural consequences, sending a packet on to headquarters with a note about why one was missing. He felt it was his JOB to personally comb through 2 weeks of job files to fill out the card, making sure the guy got paid. “Work” trumps all, right?

        Really?! NOPE.

        I simply said, “That is the last meal I’m ever preparing for you!” and stopped. Dead. (a choice his first wife made LONG before she left him, btw!)

        Of course, that meant I ate alone, which begs the question of why I was in a relationship AT ALL if we weren’t even going to share meals together. Answer: logistics.

        I already knew at that point I was probably not going to be able to make things work (since he stopped being who he presented himself to be the minute I said yes to his proposal), and this simply moved up the timing of a move.

        What IS it about men that they don’t get things like this?

        I’ve only been with ONE who did, and many of my male friends throw common courtesy to their SOs into the “women are weird” bucket. (THEN they wonder why we aren’t eager to jump into bed with them, right?)


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