Let Myself Be

A Facebook friend posted some Sarah Palin commentary by way of a comedian claiming she’s not hot because she’s middle-aged and mocking the fact that she (actually her daughter, but never mind) had a baby with Down’s.

It’s not because I’m a woman that it’s insulting and not funny, it’s because I’m a person that it’s insulting and not funny – right?

I know, I know, most men would find it insulting and not funny, too, but I wonder at the need for some of us to push that envelope, make fun of everything and everybody because everything and everybody is fair game.

Is it? Are we?

Meanwhile, I’d also tweeted my lament for the fact that the lives of the world’s girls matter less than which country’s men can kick more balls into a net.

I know, I know, social media is no place to be serious, but two of my Facebook friends, men, decided to post comments to that effect, making har har with the lament by posting about lingerie tournaments and so on and so forth and more of the same etc etc.

I get it, or got it, and liked their comments (because I’m a woman and want men to like me) and one even messaged me to say he doesn’t mean to be taken seriously, just gets carried away, boys will be boys and all that.

I mean, we’re not talking unfriending or anything, and, of course, if you can’t stand the heat – right?

What form of aggression is that?

I know, I know, it’s not them, it’s me. I’m tired of the argument and have been for years now, I just don’t know how to stop participating in it, or even starting it.

So I just deleted three comments from Dr. Dawg’s blog because I have to learn my lesson and stop wasting everyone’s time while I try to be understood.

Silly me, I have my own blog. I can paraphrase my comment here, and you can read it or skip over it to the next bit, which is a slice of real life, so very sad and unfair and don’t look for any silver lining in it because there isn’t one.

No, not Israel’s attempt to annihilate the Palestinians of Gaza while Stephen Harper and John Baird and the rest of our Christian fundamentalist cabinet cheer on Benjamin Netanyahu, who at least seems to know that what he’s doing is inexcusable.

No one mentions it now, but before lap dancing was legalized, strippers campaigned against it because they knew that they wouldn’t get hired as dancers unless they were willing to take on sex work as well.

Lap dancing is sex work, after all. I mean, there’s a disingenuous distinction between lap dancing and other forms of prostitution, but like I say – disingenuous.

Legalizing lap dancing didn’t make strippers richer or safer. It just made dancing on stage in a g-string as hopelessly old-fashioned as dancing on stage in a g-string and pasties.

It didn’t do anything to prevent rape and murder.

But I’m arguing with the arguers and their arguments, really, because I do believe that study I referred to in another blog entry, the one that claims we’ve had it all backwards since forever, that women are actually NOT meant to be monogamous, that we tire sexually of one man and soon enough want another. It’s a biological imperative, says the study, that we move on.

It’s a social imperative that we can’t.

Not so long ago even here a married woman couldn’t have her own bank account.

It’s a fact that my mother, a widow, was freer than any other mother I knew growing up. My Gram lived with us, of course, so built in babysitter, and my mother was a high school teacher (librarian) so she had a good job. Being a widow was different from being divorced, but I wonder, as much as she loved my father, if she has any regrets.

There is no stigma I’ve experienced equal to leaving hearth and home to be with another man. Did I imagine it? No, I plowed through it. The arguers can argue about the stigma faced by sex workers, but it’s intrigue we have, not “won’t she think of the children?!” I lived it. I know. Women are not supposed to leave hearth and home.

But what about that study? What if… The arguers say that men need prostitutes to get what they may not be getting at home. But what if they’re not getting it because their wives are supposed to have moved on already to another man, it’s just that, well, we’re NOT supposed to move on to another man, we’re supposed to fulfill our marital contractual obligations.

Eventually, I think, we need to ask if libertarianism is a natural outcome of corporate power and weakened government and whether or not this is it, this race to the bottom for work and wages.

Are we free now, libertarians?

A friend of my partner died recently, killed by our healthcare system, really. It’s beyond sad, mistakes were made, and then they were made worse because systems can’t admit to making mistakes, and so they can’t rectify them – human beings have to do that and we don’t allow them to because money – and now this beautiful smart fun young mother is dead.

It’s awkward for me. (I know, I know, but enough about her, Sooey, she’s dead, what about poor living you.) My partner’s set is young, younger than me. This woman was almost 20 years younger. And now I don’t drink, and I don’t smoke pot, and I don’t really hang out the way I used to, or at all.

I’m Mrs. Grundy now.

Anyway, when I first met her I thought what a good looking person she was and she had that attitude a lot of younger women have these days of letting it all hang out, not being a string bean, wearing a kind of frilly white dress with not much to it. She had to introduce herself a couple of times because I met her at an anniversary party for a couple of my partner’s acquaintance and I was meeting too many people at once, all of a similar age, at least a decade (mostly more than) younger than me.

So, the same. They all seemed the same.

Oh dear, just typing this I’m realizing how unlikely it all was. Am I making up the difference age makes. Did they see me as a fallen woman? Do they still?

No one really knows until they’re in it themselves, although I might have imagined feeling judged. There may just have been some confusion as to why I was there.

So it was an anniversary party, but also New Year’s, and eventually we found ourselves outside by the dumpster passing around a joint. Blueberry was mentioned as an ingredient and I said to her, “You know this guy, right?” I was referring to the good time Charlie who was passing around the joint.

“No. I just met him.”

“Omigawd. Aren’t you a nurse?! Should we be smoking this?!”

“Of course not. I don’t think it’s even doing anything.”

And she laughed. She had that throaty laugh really awesome singers have, and she was an awesome singer, such a beautiful voice, really powerful and moving. Just then there was some commotion, a bunch of kids were partying one level down from us in the same building and someone had had too much of something. And she stepped into the breach, hailed a taxi, and sent him off to the hospital with friends.

The responsible medical assessment having been made (under the influence, too!) she slipped back into party mode, which never included much drinking, she wasn’t a drinker, but for that moment the age difference disappeared.

I also felt reassured about the anonymous pot that we agreed was doing something after all. She was a professional under the party dress.

The party continued elsewhere but my partner and I went home. He would have partied on if I hadn’t been there, of course, and I know that, but he’s a good partner who respects his elders and so he saw me home.

In the intervening years she had health problems that were the direct result of mistakes made by a healthcare system she knew better than to trust but what can you do other than do your damnedest to get better anyway.

I try to learn from other people how to live and let live, including myself, letting myself live. When someone dies they’re gone, and we only have each other left and that’s just because we’re alive. We’re all there is.

She was a believer, which surprised me, very rooted in an old-fashioned faith that seemed at odds with her behavour, except that it wasn’t because I left off religion when I was young and so I’m out-of-date, and I realize if she’d wasted any time trying to explain herself on the internet, she wouldn’t have had much luck.

Fortunately, she didn’t, because her life was short enough.

Meanwhile, here’s where I am now – the real reason AA , which is really quite out-of-date, still works, I think, is because there’s no crosstalk.

So I don’t have to explain myself, do I. I just have to let myself be.


  1. The longer I am on the planet (earth in case there is any doubt) the more I realize that explaining oneself is impossible. The story becomes too long, too intertwined, too disjointed, in short too messy and incomprehensible to myself so how possibly could I explain it? Sometimes I get biblical and try and talk in parables. Talk a small story and hope someone gets there is a big tale locked inside. Usually when I am finished I realize; nope, no big tale. Just one more short bit about life and one traveller who just wishes she could find some meaning somewhere somehow. And I listen intently to the stories others tell, hoping they have the knack of retrieving meaning from all this daily living. Sometimes, for just a moment, I get this aha moment. And then real life comes along, turning the aha to a ha ha ha. Good friend of mine’s favourite quote: Man plans; God laughs. I figure my life has him/her in hysterics.

  2. Yes, I’d like to say arguing on the internet is time well wasted, but it isn’t. I notice this morning all sorts of “positivity” bunk on Facebook, though, too. So tedious. But I’ll be hanging with the wrinklies for a bit while the world floods and/or burns. Summer is difficult for some of us – the pressure to have fun and be happy is a bit much. Anyway, very sad for all who knew her. It was all so unfair…

  3. I have yet to find a element of fair in death…inevitable…but the timing does always seems to be all wrong.