Thursday, April 10, 2008

Dear dear readers (updated)

Dear readers (especially Culiann, Amy A., Sarah O., and Katrina),

Thank you for always reminding me (but especially yesterday) that giving birth is not the only pedigree for entrance to the "women's club." I had lunch yesterday with Sally, and on the way to Mad Mex (this really fun Mexican rest'raunt here in da Burgh) I said, (about Tuesday at Bible Study) "sitting there, I thought I need to get new friends." And she said, "Nah."

Having lunch with her and your comments have restored my faith in women--what is it they say? I hate people in a group, but one by one they are manageable. I needed to hear about the angst of soccer practice, T-ball practice, grumpy family members. And I needed to share the bizarre fact that two nights in a row I had dreams about Max. Dreams where we were just friends.

The bizarre thing about my schedule (I work two nights, every Saturday) is that I can attend this Bible Study peopled by married women (it meets Tuesday mornings.) I have attended it on and off since 1991 (when I was a sophomore in college) and I've almost always been the only single/childless woman but the difference between how that feels at 19 and how that feels at 36 are huge.

Amy's comment really was wonderful:

I hate that circle thing. When I run things I make people say who they are, where they are from and what their favorite 'whatever' is... perfume, food, color, etc. That way it really is about us and not about how many times we have or haven't given birth.

I love my kids and my family, but sometimes it's not all about them.

I have found this (and everyone else's comments) to be true--I'm friends with a lot of married women, I get their "it's not about the kids/the husband" vibe, but I guess I needed it extra much* after Tuesday's overwhelming event.

But I still do think I need a single friend and/or mentor, preferably someone who hasn't given birth. I have one woman in mind actually--she also went to the women's college I went to, but years before. Hmm.

Of course, I need to remember to not put a certain lifestyle choice on a pedestal or in the trash (which I think I'm pretty good about except when I'm slammed...)

Which brings me to the segue, this book I'm reading in the loo: Body Drama.

This is the book we all wish we had when we were 13-17. Put it on hold at your public library, purchase it from Amazon, go to your favorite independent or big box bookstore. It won't make up for the years of agony we had back then, but it will make you say, "really?" and "oh..." and "Why didn't I have this book???"

Nancy Amanda Redd, who was a Miss America swimsuit winner, a Harvard grad, etc. knocks down all the myths about our bodies, with chapter headings that include:

  • I fried my hair
  • I sweat more than other girls do
  • I'm harming my body
(and tons of other body dramas--I'd give you the entire TOC (table of contents) but I have an allergist appt. in 20 minutes.)

You MUST at least go look at the Amazon page on this book. Some of us might still benefit from some of the topics discussed, and we all know a young woman who would benefit from some "get real" talk. I remember being the last one of my friends to get my period, not knowing a thing about shaving my legs...

Yours til Niagara falls,

SL

PS I'd do the linky thing, but hello, allergist appt!!

PPS: Moms, read the book first. I know yins to be discerning, but believe me, as great as this book is, it lets EVERYthing hang out. It assumes the national averages about teenage sex. Sorry I forgot to mention that yesterday.
_________
*it's my blog, I'll make up non-grammatical superlatives if I want to.

4 comments:

Helen said...

You just reminded me of something. Years ago, while walking the kids and the dogs in a cemetery, I made my kids SWEAR they would not put "MOM" on my tombstone. I explained that I would rise up and smite them if they did. I told them that I refused to be defined by the limited notions of how they might see me as a parent. (They have given me a wide birth ever since!) I don't mean that those years weren't an important part of the plot, but overall, there is much more than that!

Katrina said...

Sounds like a great book! With puberty rearing its head on the horizon, I might have to invest in this. :)

Sarah Louise said...

Helen,

that's great! As a non-mom myself, sometimes I am blind to how much society puts women in this cubbyhole once they've given birth. Thanks for the story!

Katrina,

a caveat--read the book first. It does let EVERYthing hang out, talks about sex very early on.

SL

Sarah O. said...

Thanks for the mention! Sometimes I feel dopey about the comments I leave. Especially when I leave them at 4 in the morning, as has become my habit of late.