Wednesday, October 24, 2007

I made a dinner late this afternoon, before I left for work at 4:45 p.m. I was using a Rachel Ray cookbook, and was really hoping this would be a tasty meal. Before I could finish it, I had to leave. I left the beef simmering in its sauce and told my 18 year old to turn if off after ten minutes ( I also set a timer). I told her there was cauliflower already cooked and in a pot at the back of the stove. Then, feeling like a virtuous wife and mother who has provided quality sustenance for her husband and children, I went to work (to earn the money to buy the bacon which I then will cook up in a pan, blah, blah, blah).

About 7:30 my youngest daughter called and I asked how she liked the dinner I had cooked. She said, "Huh? What dinner?" I reminded her that she had been in the kitchen while I was cooking. She denied knowledge of me cooking or her eating anything. I asked to speak to her father.
"Did you eat?" I asked brightly, hoping for compliments on a fine meal.
"Um, yeah." he mumbled. "
"How was it?" I asked eagerly. "Was it good?
"The food I made! I cooked dinner, I left it simmering on the stove!"
"Oh. No I didn't get any of that."
"You didn't get to eat?" I asked, confused.
"Oh, don't worry about me," he said, obviously trying to reassure me that my hubby had not gone hungry. "I made myself a sandwich."

Another 2 hours in the kitchen wasted. I could have been taking a nap, or reading a book, or walking a dog in the bright autumn sunshine, instead of stuck inside my steaming kitchen, trying to read a recipe and chop vegetables and slice steak all at the same time. I could have saved the eleven dollars I spent on the steak and spent it on chocolate for myself. I could have taken a bubble bath and gone to work smelling sweet and flirty instead of greasy and meaty.

You know, I really wanted to be one of those very domestic women who cook fabulous meals, whose kitchen is always filled with the aroma of baking bread and hearty soup and brownies.
A woman whose family troops in, tired after a hard day, and is comforted and uplifted by the sight of Mom standing in the kitchen, ready to dispense hugs and plates of warm, wholesome, delicious food. But to fulfill that fantasy, and it is a lovely fantasy, I'm gonna need a new family.

PS - To be fair and honest - later that evening when I got home, I filled a plate with the meat and vegetables I had made from Rachel Ray's recipe, and I was not impressed. That was a lot of work to make, and it was boring. At least the dogs loved the gravy.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

This is how my friends and I maintain our relationships:

Jodi comes into the library (where I work) to pick up her kids. Our conversation takes place in the foyer as her daughter is sulking and griping, "C'mon, you said we had to leave right away." Once we talked for 20 minutes standing outside the grocery store door, both of us heading (in opposite directions) for our cars.

Christi and I cross paths at the nursing home, where I am finishing up delivering library books to the residents and she is arriving to visit her mother. We shout our conversation toward each other as we each continue hurrying in different directions.

Carolyn comes into the library between clients and stops by the desk to see if I'm there. We carry on a quick conversation, hug included, before I have to return to the desk and help people, and she has to go to her next client.

Carol and I see each other at the school or scooting out of the post office or at the coffee house, where she and her husband have stopped off for a working break, usually with important people, who are often from another country. She talks rapidly and excitedly at me for a few minutes, throwing in ridiculous compliments before her husband's eyes drag her back to business.

Brenda ("the other Brenda") and I see each other when she comes in the library or when I stop in at the gift shop where she works, now lately we've been seeing each other at church, but church is such a social place, there's barely a chance for a close conversation.

Always, we are SO glad to see each other, always we say we wish we could actually get together.
Sadly I have already tried. I invited one of them to stop by my house in the mornings after we dropped our kids off at school - "just a half hour, coffee or tea." But she was too busy. It made me feel lousy. I tried to get a group to go to the movies with me, in the end there were just 2 of us. At least there were two of us.

Carolyn is better at it. She just grabs me in the moment and says, "Let's go!" And often I have found I can. She manages to catch me when there is nothing really required of me. Oh, I could stay home and clean the house, but I've learned in my "old" age that the house will wait, friends are rare, and an afternoon poking around in an antique shop, then going to a Chinese restaurant for lunch together is far more satisfying and memorable than a tidy living room that stays tidy for approximately 23 hours, if that.

I wish my friendships were like those of women friends on TV shows. Women characters who in spite of having jobs, husbands and kids, manage to meet friends for lunch on a daily basis, wear fabulous clothes, see their friends again in the evening at cocktail parties, and who are so close they even argue with each other. My friends and I have never managed to develop relationships so close and so strong that we could actually risk arguing with each other. Obviously, these TV characters are not real people, they are fictional, but I'll bet that there are many, many women in America who know these TV characters better than and feel closer to them than they do their own real women friends.

Hmmm...reading this over it occurs to me, maybe they just don't like me. hmmmm

Friday, October 5, 2007

I told my daughter I'd be home 30 minutes ago, but I've been trying to get my post spaced properly

This is so damn irritating...trying to write that previous post about Helen Reddy's song - do you think I could space it the way I wanted to ? Nooooooooo. So it looks all crammed together and hard to read. I am TIRED of wasting time trying to figure out how to edit on this site. My previous posts were often typed into MS word, then copied and pasted here on blogger. But even doing that didn't work. On Word, my post appears spaced the way I want it, when I transfer it, it goes all bunchy.

I have tried to use the blogger help lines, but have you seen them? The advice may be useful, but you have to wade through so much verbiage and computeriage to find the piece of advice you need. Do any of the other bloggers have, like, JOBS? Who has time for this?

Besides, nobody's reading anyway.

I enjoy writing, all I've ever really wanted to do is write. Writing is fun, writing is energizing, writing is where I am most at home, but other than that, who cares?

When and if I get a computer at my house, I will probably blog again, I love writing, I really do. But without feedback, what's the point? A blog is not a private journal, it's public and it desires companionship and conversation, a drink and a dance, and right now my blogs are wallflowers. I can keep my thoughts in my head and connect with as many people that way as I do writing three blogs. Save me a lot of time, too.

And right now, my daughter is wondering why I'm blogging instead of coming home to her.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

I am woman, hear me snore...zzzzzz

Remember how we wanted to have it all? The job, the man, the kids? I should have said "career", not job, but honestly, how many of us have actual careers? Aren't most of us just working to pay the bills?

A TV commercial from my teen years: sexy woman sauntering into the house, "I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, and never, never let you forget you're a man - I'm a woman, w-o-m-a-n." I remember thinking that was a pretty cool commercial. I was, what, 16? I didn't notice back then, that the woman was doing everything - I mean, the man couldn't even remember he was male for heaven's sake, the woman had to remind him. So, she worked all day, rushed to the bank to cash her check, went to the grocery store to buy the bacon, came home, immediately got to work in the kitchen, probably cleaned up after dinner, started a load of laundry and put out the garbage, helped with homework (while folding clothes), settled an argument, bathed the kids, walked the dog, then she had to put the moves on her man, while he did....what? Watched football?

Another item from my teen years: I am woman, hear me roar. (Sung by the ever nasal Helen Reddy. You'd think the song would have been sung by someone with a strong voice, but no, Helen Reddy, I am woman hear me whine?). Although it embarrasses me to admit it now, I liked that song. I actually got tears in my eyes listening to it. (now I'm really embarrassed, I'm cringing)
Here is the first verse & chorus:

I am woman, hear me roar

In numbers too big to ignore

And I know too much to go back and pretend

'cause I've heard it all before

And I've been down there on the floor

No one's ever gonna keep me down again


Oh yes I am wise

But it's wisdom born of pain

Yes, I've paid the price

But look how much I gained

If I have to, I can do anything

I am strong (strong)

I am invincible (invincible)

I am woman

Back in the 70s these lyrics made me feel proud - women had been pushed around for a long time, now women were standing up for themselves and each other, not backing down, trying to be taken seriously in business, politics, relationships, education, money. Not that I actually knew anything about that - I was a kid, I hadn't experienced much of anything, but it was inspiring anyway.

I am no longer a kid, and I'm no longer inspired by these lyrics, in fact, I can't even figure out what they mean. Pretend what? Wise about what? I paid what price, and gained what? And who was roaring? The woman's movement was and is divisive, not that it wasn't important or necessary, but if we were roaring, we were roaring at each other, not at men or the powers that be (men).

New lyrics for a new age:

I am woman, hear me snore

in numbers too big to ignore

and I know too much to go back and pretend

'cause I've heard it all before

now I'm staying on the floor

no one's gonna interrupt my nap again!


Hey! I need help

I can't do this by myself

Hey! Off your rear,

get your engine into gear.

I shouldn't have to do everything

I am pissed off (pissed off)

I am cynical (cynical)

I am Tired.

Yep. Back in the seventies we wanted it all, we were strong and invincible, whatever that means. Now, we're just tired. I just want to rest, okay? Take a nap, or have some peace and quiet to read a book. No interruptions for say, 60 minutes. Or three days, or a week. Now that would be empowering.


And guess what else - on the website where I found the lyrics for Helen Reddy's anthem to women’s power...there is a link to videos showing Carmen Electra stripping. “I am woman hear men roar, while I grind down to the floor....”