This post was inspired by Saturday Night Widows by Becky Aikman. After being kicked out of her widow support group for being too young, Becky creates her own support group with an unusual twist. Join From Left to Write on February 14 as we discuss Saturday Night Widows. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.
I have to admit here and now that I got just a few pages into this book when inspiration hit me and I wrote a great post. I even wrote in the first paragraph of the post that I hoped when the time came I would have the guts to post it.
Unfortunately, I am a gutless wonder and I cannot post the first post I did! Well maybe I'm not gutless, but it is too personal and the personal stuff in the post is not about me. I have no problem being honest about the things that have happened to me in my life, but the story I told in that post was not my story. Well part of it was, but part of it wasn't. Have I totally confused you yet?
So here I am. The most powerful thing that I was inspired by this book to write I can't share here.
I guess what I will do is post a twist on the original story. I'll tell you how I think that we as women are never satisfied. Why do I think that? Let me explain.
The last half hour of the meeting is a meet and greet, each person in the circle is invited to introduce themselves and explain how their husbands had died. The first lady spoke about the horror of her husbands illness, the pain and bed pans and how now no one understood her and they all expected her to be fine. From there it seemed to Becky that each lady was one-upping the other one and each horror story was worse than the one previous.
When it's Becky's turn she tries to be a little more upbeat. She explains that her husband had died a year ago from a rare cancer and that he had managed to live for four and a half years with chemo and surgeries but that the last few years the cancer had spread to his brain, which made it all that much harder. But then she says, "What I want now, what I want to say is...well, I want to cheer up! Something awful happened to him, and to me, but I don't want to live in some kind of purgatory for the rest of my days because of it. I want to be happy again, don't you?"
She looks around, hoping for support but doesn't see it in any of the faces staring blankly back at her. One of the widows begins to speak in a dignified tone and says, "I'm seventy-five years old. My husband and I had fifty wonderful years together. Now I feel like my life is over. But that young woman over there", here she points at Becky and continues saying, "she has it all! Her whole life is ahead of her! And I...I have nothing", then she breaks down into tears.
The group begins ministering to the older woman and murmuring comforting words and shooting daggers with their eyes at poor Becky for upsetting this poor old woman and for still having her youth and her whole life ahead of her.
Becky is thinking to herself, " Whoa, hold on babe! Fifty wonderful years might have been nice!"
And at that point in the book, I new what I wanted to write about. But I can't share it, so I am going to put a twist on it and tell you about why women are never satisfied. So this story is about my sister and I versus my mother and my sister-in-law (SIL).
See...my mom and my SIL are stay at home mom's and wives. They never had to work outside of the home. My sister and I have always worked, staying home just as long as our employers and disability would allow.
Quite a few times in my life, during the growing up years of my children who are now 27 and 32; I would hear from both my mom and my SIL about how lucky my sister and I were to work outside the home. Say what??? How do you figure that? My mom and SIL would say that we were lucky because we got to get up in the morning and fix our hair and wear makeup and put on pretty office clothing and heels and nice jewelry and go to the office and actually socialize with people and go to lunch with the girls and general just be a part of society.
And my sister and I would look at each other and say, "We're the lucky ones?" You two get to stay home and play with your kids and clean your house and have a nice dinner waiting when your family gets home. You get to go to your kids school and help out in the classroom and bake cupcakes and do your laundry at your leisure. You get to stay home and not have to worry about doing your hair and putting on stinking makeup everyday and you can wear your pajama pants and flip flops and not worry about panty hose and callouses and corns on your poor little feet!"
It was kind of a running battle between the four of us. A friendly battle but still...
So that is why I think that women are never satisfied, those at home want to be at work, those at work want to be at home. We can never find the happy medium. Now at my advanced age of 54 I realize that I couldn't stay home now, I would be so bored! But I would have loved to stay home when my kids were little, to have walked them to school and helped out at their schools and be home when they came home instead of having them go to the sitter.