Thursday, March 22, 2012

Me as a Woman

This morning (sooo early!), like every Tuesday and Thursday morning this semester, I walked across the covered bridge between Weber State's student union building and its student services building. I noticed as I walked that there were posters celebrating Women's History Month hung up along both sides of the bridge. Each poster portrayed a positive womanly attribute, focusing on how these attributes have influenced history and especially the fight for gender equality. I didn't have enough time to read each poster, but one poster started me thinking. It posed the question, "How will you be remembered in history?". My initial response was, "I probably won't be." I reconsidered because I may never make it in the History books, but I will be remembered, at least by some of the people whose paths cross mine. As I asked myself how I wanted to be remembered, it made me think about the kind of woman I am and the kind of woman I want to become.

I'm the kind of woman who likes to wear dresses. I'm wearing one right now. It's new and I love it. While wearing dresses, I feel feminine and confident and tend to act a little more gracefully.

I like feeling feminine. Growing up with three brothers and a dad who liked to teach them how to wrestle, I learned how to play rough with the fellows. Luckily, I also liked to read and loved Jane Austen books. They instilled a desire in me to be a lady; to be graceful and gracious, to speak and act properly, to have manners and etiquette. I can still play rough and hold my own with the guys, but I get a big thrill out of being womanly, feminine, lady-like.

In my opinion, being womanly, feminine, and lady-like are not synonymous with being "high maintenance". Up with my goal to be a lady is the goal to not be a high maintenance broad. There are as many different definitions of high maintenance as there are women, but mine (thought up just this very moment) comes down to not requiring more from others than I'm willing to put up with. My husband recently informed me that I require some maintenance (my response - "All ladies do") but that I'm definitely not high least not according to his standards, which are the ones I care about the most. I may like to wear dresses and be fancy sometimes, but I'm just as comfortable wearing jeans and a t-shirt - and getting my hands dirty when the occasion calls for it.

I'm the type of woman who hosts. (Hostesses?) Anyway, I throw parties. I organized get-togethers at my house clear back in high school - it helped that we had a big living room. For various reasons, I left the world of hostessing for awhile, but I'm back into it full swing. Every so often I have the urge to invite people over to our house for dinner or games or to watch Utah Utes football. I spend hours joyously thinking about what to make for consumption, what we need to clean beforehand, and what other preparations we need to make. During the event, I carefully gauge if people are enjoying themselves and make adjustments as needed. A part of my psyche eats it all up and revels in it. I also love having stay-over visitors. We have a guest bedroom and a futon in the study, both upstairs, along with a full bathroom upstairs. We've been told that it makes for a very comfortable stay. Yay! Again, I love making sure my guests' needs are being met.

At 34 years old, I'm pretty happy with how I've turned out so far, but there are certainly attributes I'd like to develop and/or fine-tune. I'd like to be more patient with myself instead of demanding perfection all the time. This is one of the rough edges that Steve is helping me smooth. I think that one improvement would help with so many other problems - my sometimes too-tight focus on my weight, bad haircuts causing a brief decline in self-esteem until it grows out, coming close to tears when I burn the crust of a quiche meant for a party, my anxiety when even a minute late to anything, etc.

Every morning, an alarm goes off on my phone reminding me to make the world a happier place. Its intent is to remind me to be a nicer, kinder, more generous and compassionate person, because sometimes I'm not, especially compassionate or generous. Again, these are things that Steve is helping me with, unbeknownst to him. He always amazes me with his generosity and compassion to me, to people in our lives, and even to complete strangers. He inspires me to develop those attributes more fully.

There's no wrong or right way to be a woman, as long as we're comfortable in our own definition of womanhood, and as long as we treat others respectfully. It's enjoyable for me to see the diversity of women on campus and to know that we're all unique and we're all special. We're imperfect, in so many ways!, but there is beauty in our imperfections.

I love being a woman.


Cassie said...

Man, I miss you so much. I love all your little insights into life. I think about you all the time. We need to visit soon.

Anonymous said...

I love this post. And I love you! See you tonight!

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Jen said...

I love this- and I was reading it and thinking how similar we are right up until the part about punctuality. You've one-upped me.

tearese said...

this was a lovely post! To me, high maintenance means that they require a lot of gifts, clothes, expensive things, but I guess it can have other meanings too.
I do NOT enjoy hosting. It makes me very anxious and stressed out, unless they are very close friends that I'm quite comfortable with, and everything is planned out nicely.
We as women have a lot of opinions that are against us, unfortunately they're often from other women. I'm not expressing this very well, but you know what I mean.