"While the smiling old woman isn't lying about her award-winning cupcakes, she is withholding crucial information regarding the depraved and sadistic nature of the local cupcake awards."
So I've had a cold for 2 weeks and running now. I know right? There should be a prompt outpouring of sympathy, but feel free to reserve that for when I tell you how I almost got in a car accident last night in the midst of a sneezing fit. I suppose that was the entire story. Anyway, I'm not what you'd call a "girly girl" - in fact I once slapped a man for calling me a "Lady" only later to find out he meant it sincerely. The slap was sincere as well so I say we're even.
Back to aforementioned cold: There I was feeling mightily sorry for myself the other evening while whipping together something for the boys to eat (Yes, let's just go ahead and breeze past the part about touching my kids food with the hands of a sickie). Suddenly my 'Ol Man comes up behind me and said "You, My Lady, need to sit down, relax, and I'll make you some chicken noodle soup!". What a Doll, no? But I wasn't even able to process that part as I was actually floored by the "My Lady" part. In fact, I do believe I blushed a l'il.
I struggle with playing the whole "damsel in distress" role. Sure, I'm a total bundle of bedazzled drama, but I really do a damn fine job of keeping that persona contained here. I've been working since I was 14 and prided myself on never having to rely on anyone else. That ventures into fuzzy grey area when I disclose that my 'Ol Man and I even have separate checking accounts after 6 years of marriage. It was only by absolute chance that I ended up with my current job that allows me to pay all the household bills so he can just focus on the exorbitant daycare expenses for Dr. Snicks. So I pay the vast majority of the bills, I file my name first on our taxes and I try to handle every crisis that comes our way. By no means is my Honey unable to do these things. I'm just too much a control freak to let him.
The Stunning Miss Vesta Vayne of The Cowardly Feminist had a recent and brilliantly penned post discussing, in part, the resurfacing fascination of life in the 40's, 50's and 60's. The Mad Men madness, as it were. The return to simpler times of kept women, closed minds and bullet-proof comfort zones. It was a timely post as I had just been discussing with my friend how lovely the THOUGHT seems. Thoughts of not finding myself in one of those middle-of-night anxiety attacks about the state of the world, the cultural wars surrounding us, world hunger issues, global climate issues or - on a much smaller scale - all the hell I foresee raining down upon me the moment I set foot at work the following morning. Shaking my fists at the sky and having a constant stream of negative information intoxicating my brain 24/7/365 and 366 on leap years. What a trite notion to just live in suburban, middle-class, ignorant doped-up bliss!
My own father often symbolically apologizes to me for the timing I arrived on this planet. He tells tales of the days when a man could work a factory job and still support a family of 5 with change to spare for week-long vacations to the Grand Canyon and keeping the family dog's shots current. Sounds pretty damn sweet, no? My only real "vacations" in the past 6 years were two sets of rushed maternity leave, and even then, I was continually reminded how entirely inconvenienced everyone was in my absence and that I was clearly using my new motherhood as an "excuse". (I'll go ahead and save the tales of being sent on business travel late in month 8 of the first pregnancy, and running to Home Depot in a stake bed truck to retrieve twelve 200lb storage units in month 8 of the second pregnancy for another day ;) ). Martyrdom, aside, I always did my best not to make said "excuses".
I'm quite known to go on the defensive when I'm accused of being feminine. But why? Why would I view that as a negative? A weakness? There shouldn't be shame associated with it. Without a doubt, the strongest creatures I've ever known or even read about were women. As a child, I remember thinking it a survival instinct to mask the "girl", never mind basic logic dictating the species wouldn't endure without a few uteri. Perhaps that was the problem? Worries of overpopulation, resulting starvation, slaughter, earth's ultimate destruction... OR perhaps the real problem circles, once again, right back to my own sensitivities: I don't have the answers, but I sure as hell feel the weight of all the problems! Ha!
Just as I lose myself in the battle of being a flamboyant wallflower, I similarly lose my identity in finding balance between being a strong female and feeling betrayed by the same. And yet, if only for a few fleeting moments, it felt like sheer bliss to hear those simple words from my 'Ol Man. To let down that wall and just be a girl.