“Are you a girl, a woman or a lady”?
Oh, that’s a real easy question to answer I thought, because I’ve always been a girl, see-sawing somewhere between Scarlett O’Hara and Calamity Jane. I get my way with girlie smiles or a lady’s raised eyebrow (never womanly wiles), and tackle chores and problems with girlie gusto, wearing lace-trimmed cut-offs and boots, and swearing like a trooper. Quite unladylike. A girle tomboy.
My friends are generally girls. Except for horses and dogs that are better suited as boys. Gay men friends are girlier than my girlfriends, and although none of us are pink sparkly people, we love pink champagne.
Pixie-cut hair is girlie glamour, even when staunchly grey. Once it tumbled in curls, but youth is gone and girls do not dwell.
Clothes? Clothes are fun and functional with two fingers defiantly raised to fashion. ‘Classic with a twist’ – a mere pseudonym for oddly placed fastenings- and anything matchy-matchy are a no-no.
Then I got to thinking more, and applied Anna’s five-word creative writing test.
GIRL: Cute. Sassy. Friend. Jeans. Free.
WOMAN: Hourglass. Poise. Motherly. Grown-up. Career.
LADY: My mother.
Women frightened me. The criteria of poise and confidence seemed just out of reach for a girl, but lately things have shifted.
Between plucking and smoothing, I look in the mirror and I feel I am enough. It’s womanly in a very grounding, nurturing way which isn’t what I expected. Motherliness is more like sisterliness, my career somewhat ad-hoc, but confidence comes when I trust my girlishness. Moreover, if poise means equilibrium, then yes, without reaching I have that too.
“No, I’m not available to do that” is something I can say without the addition of a thousand apologies, because actually, I don’t give a damn if they don’t like me.
I thought being a woman meant damping down girlie enthusiasm, like following a recipe instead of improvising potluck leftovers. Now, I discuss politics over the potluck supper, and quite I often I don’t say anything because silence says infinitely more.
And I no longer show up at every fight I’m invited to.
Wonder Woman? Not quite, not yet. But I think she’ll join me for a glass of chammy.
PS which one are you?