Sunday, August 24, 2008

Mid-life is full of Choices

I am reading this book. A co-worker, who retired this year, recommended it as a fun read. So far, it is not great, but it is interesting. I am (oddly) interested in her descriptions of life in NYC. Having never lived in a large city, I cannot imagine it. Her love of the city makes me think I'd love it.

Other things in the book, I cannot agree with. We won't even go into the details, but suffice it to say, I'm thinking we (Nora and I) could be friends, even if we don't see eye-to-eye on everything.

My favorite quote from the book (so far) is found on page 57. And I quote:

"All this changed around the time I had children. You can blame the women's movement for it---one of the bedrock tenets of the women's movement was that because so many women were entering the workforce, men and women should share in the raising of the children; thus the gender-neutral word 'parenting' and the necessity of elevating child-rearing to something more than the endless hours of quantity time it actually consists of.

Conversely, you can blame the backlash against the women's movement---lots of women didn't feel like entering the workforce (or even sharing the raising of the children with their husband's), but they felt guilty about this, so they were compelled to elevate full-time parenthood to a sacrament."

Since I was growing up during the years of the women's movement, I feel like I remember this shift in public thinking. Very interesting to me. I remember my mother completing forms which required her to write an 'occupation'. She always wrote 'housewife', which to me, was the saddest, most pitiful thing to have to admit.

Look at Shirley Partridge, Mary Tyler Moore, Suzanne Pleshette and those other hip and cool women of the 70's!! Now, that's who I was gonna be. Intelligent, independent and a Mom. I always wanted to be a mom. I just wanted to be a different sort of mom.

So, here I am independent and a mom (and I used to be hip and cool, so to me, that still sort of counts) and here are the choices I am faced with...

I feel bad that I have to choose between hot flashes and cramps. What kind of a deal is that? Sheesh and good grief.

And I *am* sad about my neck, too. Ephron's solution is to wear turtlenecks and chokers. But, I can't wear turtlenecks and chokers because that draws attention to the fact that I HATE my double chin.


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