Friday, August 02, 2019

Free Floating Fridays

I've never fit the mold, always chafed against the grain, railed against the "rules" of male and female behaviour, the so-called gender wars, that artificial societal construct which keeps us all firmly in pink and blue, dresses and lumberjack outfits, pearls and guns, advanced mathematics or home economics. (whatever do they call that now?). And effing well knowing our places in a civilized society. I am still looking for mine. Maybe it's because I'm not civilized in the traditional sense. No time for small talk, even less for braggadocios of whom many exist in my family of origin. Mainly of the male persuasion.

It was such a relief to be with one of my Sheilas last week as we share a lot of giggles over the behaviours of our family when we get together. The men never cease bragging loudly and long. If an emotion escapes in the room it is quickly stamped out. The men can swiftly round on us, the single spinstery women, with pitying glances. We can't afford the multiple cruises, or the wealthy clubs, or the endless travel hither and yon, hotels compared knowingly for the quality of spas and steaks. We live in poverty. But, and here's the codicil, it's all our own fault. We should have been nicer to the fellahs who would have taken proper care of us. We're not nice, you see. We don't tumble into that gender slot where the demure wee elderly attached "girls" peep out now and again to approve of the above mentioned luxurious life styles and vote as their fellahs do. "Sure he does all the thinking for us, it's grand." We are expected to admire the expensive dresses, the costly tans, the talking fridges, the marble floors.

I may sound bitter, I am far from it. Sheila and I laughed until we were sick. How we put in what we called "purgatory time" under the harsh glare of our families, she more than me as they live closer and drop in and judge her or broadcast of German river runs, Greek islands and Amazon tours. We exchanged tips on how to respond to the bragging when addressed directly. "Nice", "Interesting," were the favourites.

We also make excellent targets if we bring up the Family Dysfunction. We are immediately shouted down, told never to open those particularly doors even though most in the room could use massive therapy and unwittingly display it with endless loud hostilities towards the One Who Dared mention it.

It's such a comfort when you know you're not alone in a baffling universe not of your own making. Where everything is so superficial and Trump's not a bad fellah and climate change is for stupid arseholes who believe anything. If you believed in God you'd know that He wouldn't let anything bad happen to his creation. QED.

A "normal" male cousin, who's had the therapy and whose heart is open, sent me a long email during the week and enclosed a picture taken when I was around 7. Our two mothers (sisters) are at the back. And our families side by side in age as we were then. I had forgotten I wore corrective lenses for a few years.


17 comments:

  1. Glad you had a good time with Sheila. It's a blessing when you can open your heart to someone who is receptive and sympathetic.

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    1. It's such a relief when you know you're not alone. Both S and I are surrounded by such males.

      XO
      WWW

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  2. Glad you have Sheila. You are a woman amongst small men.

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  3. It does sadden me from time to time. I was up against all this massive male privilege again a few weeks ago. Demands. I squelched it.

    XO
    WWW

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    1. Keeps you more determined to do what you want , when you want, to make a difference.

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    2. Yes it certainly reinforces my resolve to gain fairness for old women. Onward soldiers! Meek and mild keeps us in our places.

      XO
      WWW

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  4. Hooray for having a Sheila (or six) in your life. They are so much more valuable and essential than the noisy proponents of the rules. Always their rules.

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    1. It's so true EC. I recently read that a few more female friendship movies are in the works, we need more of those. My female friendships have been so fulfilling and supportive.

      XO
      WWW

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  5. I think I passed the last week with my Sheila. Better yet, the "normal" male cousin (her husband) was so delightful, I even hugged him goodbye. What a pleasant week for me, and nearly as good for you.

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    1. I am so happy for you Joanne, the nurturing of good female friendships cannot be underestimated.

      XO
      WWW

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  6. I've given up trying to fit in. Normal is such personal thing and really can't be quantified. My normal is not your normal any more than your normal is someone else's normal. Everyone's normal is specifically their own. I have people I get on with and people I avoid and I'm happy with that.

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    1. Very true that River and we can try for years and years to "fit in". I know I did, it took an awful toll on me and had me in tears so many times I lost track.

      We need to do what's best for us.

      XO
      WWW

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  7. I, too, enjoy never quite fitting in. If you fit in, you are never truly free. Luckily, the two main partners I've had in my life were also non-fitters-in - except with me. :)

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    1. I like that T. I did find the non-fitters but unfortunately they wanted live-in which never appealed to me. I possibly should have chanced it but no regrets.

      XO
      WWW

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  8. We seen to have had similar last weeks!

    I too had a get together with a visiting friend from Nagpur in whose honour, I had organised a lunch with three other mutual friends. Since we shared the same alma mater, the lunch was, shall we say, highbrow as far as the topics discussed was concerned but, decidedly low brow when it came to the choice of dishes ordered as all of us are in our period of fasting. That was not appreciated by the restaurant but, we enjoyed the ordinary fare.

    My sister shared a photograph taken with our cousin taken last week where both of them show off how well they have aged! Both are of the same age give or take a few months and have grandchildren to talk about! That photograph too brought many memories flooding back for me.

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  9. Luckily I was spared all the male loudmouths and pontificators when I was young, except for my father who was endlessly opinionated. His own father died before I was born, and my mum's father was a very reticent chap. My brother in law likewise is quiet and unassuming.

    People who boast about their fancy hotels, flight upgrades or multiple cruises are very tedious!

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  10. Reminds me of a joke I was told by a sympathizer after being cornered and monopolized by a braggard at a social function. After he finally moved on she edged her way over to me and told me this one;

    A woman is cornered by an aggressive boaster at a party who tells her of his recent trip to Paris where he stayed at the best hotel, ate the best meals and drank the best wines.
    "FAB-U-LOUS!" she exclaims.
    He tells her he went hunting with Prince Charles;
    "FAB-U-LOUS!" she exclaims.
    He tells her of the $7 M dollar home he just bought;
    "FAB-U-LOUS!" she exclaims.
    Finally he asks, "And what did you do this summer?"
    "Oh," she says. "I went to finishing school."
    "At *your* age? Aren't you a little *old* for that? What did they teach you?"
    "Oh," she answered, "They taught me to say 'FAB-U-LOUS!' when I really wanted to say 'BULLS#*t'."

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