Equality for men and women…and a pair of shoes

I was just pondering this morning how much I love being a woman!  No really, I do.  I love being able to dress up and feel fantastic about myself.  I love when my hair turns out just the way I want it to.  I love it when I actually get my eyeliner on evenly on both eyes (unlike the one morning that I got interrupted and then FORGOT to complete the process…yikes!).  I LOVE…no, I OBSESS about shoe shopping!  I love gabbing and texting and emailing all my lady friends.  Now when it comes to equality, I am sure that NO man would want to be a woman’s equal.

I do realize that there are some negatives in being a woman.  Childbirth.  Yikes!  Numero uno for pain factor, but the beauty of a baby and knowing that you carried that little, helpless, child is just a miracle.  (Really, if men had to do it, every family would have only one child…that’s my theory.)  The monthly bloat visitor…yes necessary for the eventual finality of creating that bouncing, bundle of joy.  (But really, why couldn’t it last 5 minutes and let us get on with our lives?)  In many cases, it is still the designated task of women for the upkeep of a few things, namely:  child, husband, household.  Really, just three things right?  And ladies, I do believe that whenever we assign said tasks to either children or spouses they purposely do not complete the tasks to our liking so that we end up hanging onto these chores and then lovingly complain about them over glasses of wine and takeout food.  Really, where else would we get all of our interesting tales from if not from everyday life?

Men say women gossip.  They believe that the re-telling of any tale told by another female is automatically gossip.  Well, here is the definition of gossip:  Casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details that are not confirmed as being true.  Honestly, most of my female companions confirm the details before sharing any narrative.  The truth is usually waaaaay better and more interesting than any lie you could make up.

I do recall reading somewhere that the circle of women and companionship began back in caveman days.  Men would go hunting and gathering food and the women would stay home, watching their offspring, cooking meals and basically being bored with life.  I am sure one cavewoman suddenly poofed and THAT led to the beginning of women and conversation.  One cavewoman “ugged” to another cavewoman…(a whispered “ug” of course).  Basically what she said in one quick “ug” was “can-you-believe-her-and-how-she-contaminated-our-living-space.”  Yes, I am sure it went down something like that.  Once the men got back, the women shared their tale of woe.  The men laughed and laughed.  The women became divided.  Suddenly the men were getting the cold shoulder from their women folk.  They didn’t know why.  Body poofs are hilariously funny!  The men cracked them off all the time and they kept telling their cavewomen that they should be laughing.  They really couldn’t understand what the problem was.  Then the men hunted more and stayed away from the caves more.  Some of the cavemen had to find new caves because now some of the women didn’t want to stay with the “Poofer” cavewoman or her friends.

You know those cave paintings that you see today?  The ones with all the buffalo and the hunters throwing arrows?  Well, that was the caveman’s cry for help.  Those drawings don’t mean “we hunted buffalo today”.  What they are really trying to tell us is:  “I would rather go out and hunt and get gored by a buffalo than listen to the complaints of women.”

Men and women definitely look at and understand things differently.  If you ask a man what he is thinking about and he says nothing, well, he really means he is thinking of nothing.  If you ask a woman, she will SAY, “Nothing,” but she has so much on her mind and it’s up to you to keep asking until you discover the magic word that will unlock the flood of thoughts that she has going on up there.  Men usually deal with situations as they come up.  Women, will have a situation, they will think of the outcome (many different endings mind you) in order to proactively come up with the best possible ending.  True?  Yes, it is.

Why do women do this?  Well, it goes right back to having to take care of three things:  Children, husband, home.  Take care of those three things, squeeze in jobs outside of the home, and you have the life of a woman in a nutshell.  One big, monstrous, huge nutshell, but a nutshell nonetheless.  So much to think about.  So much to keep organized.  So much to plan and preplan in order to keep this well-oiled machine of life running smoothly.

So men, we do realize that you work hard too.  We appreciate you very much.  We also appreciate when you do notice and thank us for the jobs that WE do.  We love you and we will take care of you.  (Even if you can take of yourselves, we don’t think you are qualified to do it properly or well enough).

Equality for women and men?  Not sure if it will ever happen.  Definition of equality is:  The state of being equal, esp. in status, rights, and opportunities.

Right now, I believe I have the right and the opportunity to buy a cute pair of shoes.  (Men, you really don’t understand the special status you would need to experience that kind of state of equality.

Dance like no one’s watching

I watch little Kennie dancing to music and can’t help but laugh.  It’s too cute!  It’s funny!  No matter how much WE laugh she keeps right on creating her own dance moves.  There is arm swinging and some jumping and quickie deep knee bends.  Then there is the stick out your butt move and the rhythmic clapping.   Not to mention the swaying and the laying down and getting back up.  Yup, we laugh.  Really good belly laughs.  Does this make her stop doing what she’s doing or make her run away?  Heavens no!  She is there to dance and have a great time.  Who cares what anyone else thinks?

When did everyone else’s opinion become the most important to us?  When did we forget that we have to love ourselves first.  We are who we are and by loving ourselves we can only shine brighter in anything we do.

I am constantly saying that I can’t draw.  I look at the pictures and sketches that The Artist draws and I am amazed.  I would LOVE to be able to quickly jot down lines and make a beautiful finished product.  I recall my early early sketches.  Drawing family was always the best.  You remember, the stick people wearing pants and skirts.  The curly hair.  There was always a big round sun and birds…well, more like Ms flying around, but we knew they were birds.  And we could draw a million pictures a day and they were ALL the best.  Not one was bad.  All the people in the picture were smiling too.  Yes, everyone was happy and my picture showed it.  When did my drawings go from “Way to Go!” to “Oh No“?

Same thing with telling jokes or making music or singing loudly or boogie woogie dancing.  When we were little we could do anything and everything.  We were invincible!  School started and suddenly it seemed that we were “very good” at some things but at other things we “needed improvement”.  I am not saying the school system is bad or that parents mean to belittle their children.  It was all done to make sure that we would be protected.  Here is the concept:  they will show you your shortcomings so that you won’t embarass yourself and no one will laugh at you and this way you won’t have your feelings hurt.  It’s ok that they, the ones who love you, tell you that you aren’t good enough because they love you.  Makes sense right? 

It never really made sense to me.  What does it matter who actually says it as it will hurt your feelings no matter who says it.  That is, it will hurt you if you are constantly relying on others’ opinions of yourself.  What if we told children and friends and family only about all the good stuff.  Give them that daily boost.  Make them see how wonderful they are.   Think how much nicer our world would be if we consciously decided everyday that we were the best and we could do anything.  You would be happy all day!  

This year I decided that it was time to prove to myself (not anyone else) that I could do the things that I had been moulded into believing that I could not.  It started quite innocently when The Baker came over (thankfully) to help me bake goodies for my niece’s bridal shower.  It is tradition for family (and friends) to bring sweet treats and I was tempted to go to the local coffee shop and pre-order a whack of donut holes that I could stick with toothpicks on a foam pillar.  Yup, if nothing else, I would get bonus points for creativity.  The Baker jumped in and volunteered her time and baking expertise to make me look like a star.  We baked chocolate cupcakes.  We created yummy frostings (one cream cheese and one peanut butter).  We continued with fruit tarts.  Yes, I was nervous.  Yes, I kept saying “no no..you’re the baker, I’ll just help”.  Nope, she would have none of it.  We baked, we frosted, we made simple syrup for the tarts.  Some attempts didn’t work out and others turned out fantastic.  Whose goodies looked great the next day at the shower?  Yup, mine sure did! 

What I realized most was that, yes, it was nice for everyone to oooohhh and aaahhh at the dessert masterpieces, but I just felt so proud and good inside because of what I had accomplished.  I had baked!  Me!  Me the one who tells everyone I have ice cream on hand for dessert because I don’t bake.   Thanks to The Baker for pushing me.  Sometimes a kick in the pants is a good thing.  She never doubted me so why did I?

This year I am going to continue my journey into bakingdom.  From there I am going to sit with The Artist so that she can give me some pointers on how to move beyond my awesome stick people drawings.  I also have all these neato machines needed for scrapbooking (cricut and expressions…amazing stuff) and will be making my own cards.  The Artist made elegant “save the date” cards for her wedding.  Absolutely beautiful.  So I will definitely be telling myself that I CAN DO IT and I will forget about what I had heard for so many years about how I couldn’t do something.

With every new venture I will enjoy the learning and all the hiccups and hardships that come with it.  Most importantly, when someone decides to point out that something doesn’t look nice or I did it wrong, it really won’t matter because I have almost finished learning Kennie’s flamboyant dance moves.  Dance on in life like no one’s watching and be happy!