I’m procrastinating. I stayed up till 2am last night catching up on BM and tonight i need to do it all again. It is very exciting and inspiring to have such a busy period (and such very lovely and loyal (and addicted!) customers!!!!) but phew! i’m having trouble keeping up! Upstairs is a heap of stuff half done and i’m sat here wondering if i can sneak another stock order in tomorrow to patch up some of the holes already emerging in the cupboard. Rule of thumb is that if i have a busy period and say so, it then goes dead. 🙄 😆
I spent sometime wondering what sort of person i am exactly today; i glanced down my rss feed and discovered that it houses links to Spunky, and in particular this post and Twisty (pick a post, any post will do!) i can’t help feeling they are somewhat mutually incompatible and show i lack moral fibre somewhere 🙁 The phrase from Spunky has been reverberating around my head all day; now, i’m not remotely interested in swatting the particular person who has said it, he’s clearly going through a terrible time for one, he has a right to hold his memory sacred and well.. each to their own anyway. But… but…. well, it’s summed up for me a feeling that i don’t feel at home anywhere, that i fall resolutely into a camp of womanhood that has no name.
I don’t know. I can’t imagine a marriage where i was being given permission to “submissive myself equal;” Max just doesn’t see me that way and on the odd occasion he has pulled a high hand (mainly over money because let’s face it, i’m dumb with it) I’ve got angry and vocal and rightly so. But then, i have my own places where i have the highest hand, the children for one. In the end, what i say goes. I get the last word.
I gave marriage very little thought in someways, it’s true. For me it has been the absolute model of family life always; there isn’t a widow/er or divorced couple in my family anywhere. But despite not giving it much thought, i didn’t go in with my eyes shut. I have an unusual background in some ways, a stay at home dad and a career mother, parents with an extremely modern marriage and an extremely equal one, where the jobs were delineated by ability, not gender. Mum always did the plumbing and electrics, Dad always did the decorating; Dad liked to play with the kids, Mum went back to work when my brother was 2 weeks old, popping home to feed him between lectures. I played with molecular structures as a 5 year old, encouraged to eschew needlework and cookery. My brother is one of the most gentle men i have ever known. I have a sister who is the main wage earner in her partnership, i have chosen to follow my Dad’s model almost exactly.
I can’t say i see myself as anything particularly gender defined. I hate cars, and mess and grease; fortunately Max doesn’t, so he fixes greasy, messy cars. I happen to like sewing and be good at it, so i sew up his pockets. I don’t like to cook, so he does because he does like to, he doesn’t like to decorate, so i do. Fortunately for me, i’ve rarely come up against sexism and when i have it’s been almost laughable; fortunately for me, i enjoy many of the things that nature, nurture and the genderising of history have served up for me. But when i chose marriage, i don’t feel i fell blindly into some form of subjugating contract at all; i chose to leave a name behind entirely deliberately because i wasn’t especially proud of that person. I chose to assign myself to a contract of partnership because that afforded me an identity and sense of self that had been lacking. Whatever else my marriage is at times, i don’t believe it is anything less than utterly respectful and equal. It isn’t about the history of controlling women for me, it was about a promise to one another and a binding of a future.
It disturbs me though, if wifely-motherdom is defined by submission to be granted equality. I don’t belong in that side of the Venn diagram. I cannot form an allegience with women who allow freedom to be granted. I don’t believe it has anything much to do with religion either, the Bible is many things but it was largely written by men and frankly i can’t forget the bias that is entrenched in it because of that simple fact. There are women in the world who allow men to tell them they can be granted freedom by being good. Won’t do. I am not one of you.
And yet, and yet… I’m not one of Twisty’s sisters either. What are the politics of the married mother? Where do i stand against people who believe that all marriage is subjugation, that all babies are bloodsucking parasites and that if you don’t get it, you are just in the wrong camp without even knowing it? Twisty would say i belong with Spunky, Spunky would say i belong with Twisty. I’m under no thumb and yet i love and honour and respect my husband and our partnership and our equality, just as he honours and respects me.
It feels, as it has felt so many times in my life, that i’m kicking my heels in the place where the two circles cross and that the place has no name, as it so rarely has for me. I kick my heels between belief and non-belief on the diagram of religion too, on the diagram of politics i sniff and snort at times but i don’t seem to find a passion for one side or another. As a parent i’m neither libertarian nor its opposite. I’ve gone through my life feeling i don’t quite belong and i still don’t.
This might mean i’m moderate, or it might mean i’m directionless and ill-informed. It might mean i’ve found a middle way, or it might mean i’ve lost my way. It might mean i’ve stepped off the path but i think perhaps i have never found it. Increasingly i feel bothered that i’m running out of time for finding ME and finding my slot and my take on life.
Yesterday i was driving along and Amelie kicked the back of my chair hard, hard enough for me to think “eeek!” for a brief second before i realised i wasn’t dead. I had this moment of Prachett-ism and imagined Death arriving and saying COULD YOU JUST COME THIS WAY and me thinking “Oh damn it, there were so many things i hadn’t decided about yet.” I’m rushing along being busy and i’m not finding time to really work out where *I* stand. I’m sure there is more to me than a random assortment of half finished projects and thoughts. How come i missed out on having a life philosophy? It has to be more complex than being a Capricorn and therefore boring, surely? I seem to have reached a point where i feel rather guilty that i’ve arrived at a place i feel comfortable in without any angst-ridden academic process to get myself here.
I’m a bit busy this year and i have a long list of goals i really want to achieve. But *next* year i’m dedicating to some personal exploration of some of the issues i don’t feel i’ve got well enough informed about or made up my mind on yet. I feel it’s time.