Saturday, August 25, 2007

Did You Just Call Me a Girl?

A few weeks ago, the "kindergarten dads" came over for a sampling of beverages. I didn't know either of them well, but had spoken with them during the school year.For some reason during the conversation, I mentioned that I was a tomboy. In unison they said, "No way!" "Yes!" I replied and then I started down a long, spur-of-the-moment list about how I always was a tomboy. They looked at me in silent disbelief for a long time, then one said, "Well, you bat for the other team now."

I couldn't believe it. Did he just call me a girl?For two weeks I was really bothered at being called a girl, then it started to bother me that I didn't want to be a girl. What frustrates me about being a girl anyway?

When my mother first explained what would happen when I was a women, I told her "No." Then she had to explain to me that I wasn't getting a choice. Maybe that's it, no choice. Looking back through history women definitely didn't get a choice in life for marriage, education, or job. The word "choice" is intimately wrapped up in the abortion issue too.I do place an extremely high emphasis on being able to do what I want, but I don't think it's a lack of choice.

It's more the thought of not keeping up with the guys. I just always considered myself equal with everyone. I could never let my brother do something without proving I could do it. "Oh, yeah! Well, I can drywall the basement too!" The problem is he can do everything and he's my little brother. In college I was the first woman radio station manager, when the vast majority of the d.j.s were guys. The executive board was composed of all guys, except for my roomate. Our advisor was a sociology professor who said to me, "I can't believe they let you be in charge; and I can't believe you are in complete control." I didn't know I was doing anything unusual. I was just being me.

Maybe I think you can't keep up with the guys if you're being a "girly" girl. Ask my kids what I say when I go to the mall, they'll tell you I chant "I hate the mall." If I need to buy something, I go to a store that sells it and get out as fast as I can. Newspaper articles always state that this is the way men shop. Perhaps I'm missing some shopping gene. I know I prefer doing other things instead. Things that guys like to do.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Same Story, Different Day

At the pool today, I spoke with the husband of a friend. He talked about how it was really getting her down to try and enter the workforce again after being home with the kids. I told him how I had started a second blog on this subject (I participate in a community blog for our city). He said we should get together as a support group. As I stood there in the water, I realized there really was a need for all of us to talk.

Even if we find a job, most likely it will be below our capabilities. A recent interview for a position below the one I left ten years ago included anxiety by the interviewer over my computer skills. Ten to one odds my computer skills were far superior to hers and I had her job when I left, so in my mind.... ah, forget it.

Take a job below our skills to get back working? Just do something that's fun even though it doesn't pay? Hold out for the same type of job you left?

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Are We All in the Same Place?

I just left my friend's house and it's very late. As we sat around in the backyard, I realized all three of us women were thinking about what to do next. One had a law degree and left after both superiors quit and she didn't want their jobs, one tried to use that math masters degree but the girls came first, and I had been home with my boys for ten years. The sky was black because it was night and a storm was threatening. Did we have the same thoughts?

I spent four years getting a degree in philosophy because I thought that somehow it would all make sense, but it never has. For all time, we have tried to figure out what it all means and I'm not just referring to the challenge of raising a family and having kids. Do I think too much? Am I the only one that needs headsets and music to make it through the simplest of life's tasks?

In high school I spent a great deal of time wishing I could just be a waitress in a New Jersey diner and be done with my life choices. After all, both my parents had never finished high school and college was an extremely foreign land. I'm well past this now but I still wish it were easier.

What will really make us happy career-wise? Why do we keep asking this question and never seem to get an answer?

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Feeling The Past

Oh boy, there's no camp for one of the kids this week. I'm having flashbacks to three years ago when there was no school and the kid was always home with me. Immediately, I'm thinking of food to pass the time. I was 50 pounds heavier then.

It's only four days now. What's so difficult? It was seven years the last time a kid was home with me. It's sweltering here and there's not much to do. The pool is getting old for everybody.

How much money and gas am I willing to throw at this problem? I did so well a month ago. Quality time for an entire week. Love all around, but I'm empty now. I'm feeling selfish or broken or stimied. There's still a few more weeks of summer.

My son announced at dinner that I was grouchy and I apologized because I knew he was correct. What's a girl to do?