Well-behaved women seldom make history.
Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
My friend Nancy was married to a man she liked well enough. They had a little daughter together and life went along smoothly. When the little girl was 2 years old, Nancy went to a party and met the most exciting, marvelous romantic man she ever imagined. She danced two dances with him, called her husband and said, “Put the baby to sleep. I won’t be home tonight. I am in love.”
My buddy Helen nursed her husband through a six-year fight with cancer. The day after he died, she realized she was a millionaire. She booked a trip to India, took a vacation in Cuba, found a hot Samba dancer to squire her around and became a fan dancer. She never once wore black.
These days, women are tough. They learn karate and they fight back. The day of The Little Woman is long gone . My father taught me that if there was a man in the room, a lady never touches a doorknob. If I tried that little trick today I would never get out of the room. Women today are liberated…. But to me they aren’t very interesting. They are overworked and underappreciated.
Nora Ephron said that the only thing a woman gained from the Women’s Movement is paying her own way. I see the modern matron, dressed in her trim executive suit, running an office all day, driving home battling rush hour traffic and stopping at the super market to pick up food for dinner. She pulls into the driveway, grabs her laptop and two bags of groceries, kicks the door open with her foot and staggers into the kitchen to put her purchases away.
She pulls off her shoes, asks the kids about their homework, kisses her husband and says “How was your day, darling?”
She starts dinner and goes upstairs to change into something a bit less constraining than her office garb. You can’t really do a job with dinner when you are constricted by a latex tummy controller and a push up bra. She manages to put together a stir-fry, salad and ice cream for dessert and calls everyone to the table. Her oldest son says he isn’t hungry, the middle one takes his plate up to his room and her daughter refuses to eat anything but the ice cream.
She cleans the kitchen, hauls out the hoover and does the rugs. She has been on the go since 6 a.m. when she got up to pack lunches for the children. She is too exhausted to make conversation and way too tired for romance.
Today’s woman can try anything and be anything as long as she is willing to take less pay for twice as much work. She can be an executive that runs complex multifaceted companies. But she needs to ignore those snide remarks about emasculating men or being a bit…well you know…a bit ballsy.
If this is liberation, I want none of it. I would rather be interesting and out of the box.
I don’t want to do it all for everyone. I want to do it all for myself. I am untamed and erratic. I wear feather boas in Tesco’s and drink champagne for breakfast. I cook dinner naked and put on my slippers to get the mail. I am wild. And wild is very interesting.
When I walk into a room, the sun to rises and the blinds blink. I am so unusual, cows give me whipped cream and bread turns into toast. So do men.
It seems to me that liberated women play so many roles they don’t have time to be themselves. That is too tame for me. I want to be wild…I want to be interesting…I want to be fun. All it takes is a little determination and a lot of red wine.
Once upon a time in the dark ages of the twentieth century there were man things and women things. Men took out the trash, fixed the cars and lifted heavy stuff. They drove cars and demanded food. They earned money. Women stayed at home and talked on the phone. They pushed buttons on their modern appliances, shopped at the mall and went to their psychiatrist on a weekly basis. They felt used. They had to give sex on demand and still cook dinner and wash the dishes. And so they rebelled.
NOW they have it all…..because they have to do it all.
I think it is time to share the chores and divide the pleasures. The only problem is that no red blooded liberated woman wants to have sex with a guy in an apron….unless he isn’t wearing anything else.