Friday, November 13, 2009

Yea I like flowers. Shoot Me.

Disclaimer: In this posting I reference my youth and my parents. Please note that I love my parents dearly. They are the best and I had a great GREAT childhood! I make fun in this post (and probably more posts) of my childhood. I do not actually think my sister is a boy. I do not actually think my dad wanted boys, he loved us more than anything and wouldn't trade us for the world! (Hell, my mom gave Claire that cut anyway) To summarize, I love my parents and think they raised me perfectly and very lovingly. I am forever grateful for that. I don't think they tortured me, I only thought that when I was 10, hence why I can poke fun now.

I was raised to be strong. I did push ups as punishment, I played many sports and spent many summers on gymnastic and jump rope teams. I was also raised to have a strong need to help others. Although being socially responsible and kind has its advantages (ie: people like you and think you are funny) it also comes with great downfalls. I experience some of those in my work and play today.
I am a female. I am a female who works in a male dominated environment. I constantly have to stick up for myself because people just assume I am weak and know nothing about rules of let's say, baseball, where big strong boys throw a circle thing. (Mind you, I hate football rules, I choose NOT to learn those...therefore, the football season is my weakness and big strong boys do ignore me. I have come to terms with it.) I surprise people when I can lift bleachers, carry 5 boxes at once, and can throw two bags of recycling up into the container. Hippy? Yes. Silly little girl? No. Its nice to make people realize that.

Anyway, back to how this affects my farm life (because that is what this blog is about). Now that Tyler and I are turning our lives into gardening, farming, and cleaning, there are definite gender roles. When I was little, I would help chop the wood, pick rocks, shovel manure, start the fire, etc. And...I HATED it. Now I am wondering why I hated it. Did I hate it because I was forced to do it or because I am a girl and boys are "supposed" to do those things and like it? My dad just didn't happen to have any boys so Claire and I were forced to fulfill that void. Maybe THAT is why Claire had a bowl hair cut and went naked from the waist up FOR YEARS. Anyway, to continue, having to do those chores in the past has left me feeling I need to do them and I need to help others when they are doing them. Because of this, I feel torn ALL THE TIME!
Right now, my life consists of working (43+/week), doing chores, and sleeping (throw "going to the gym" in there a couple times too). Tyler has different chores which include things like shoveling manure, hammering things, and using his tractor. I feel bad when I don't help because I feel like 1) my mom and dad taught me people always need help and 2) I can do them to prove I am not a girly girl.

I AM NOT DOING THEM though. Unless Tyler wants some help, I have decided I am not volunteering to saw, chop, and shovel. I will gladly do it when asked but I am no longer feeling bad about not doing it when not asked. Tyler doesn't clean the bathroom without being asked, so there! Maybe this is what happens when you finally are ready to live with someone forever and you realize you don't have to do it all yourself anymore. Hell, that's why my mom finally realized kids were all right.

So that is my new life altering revelation and something I am now accepting. If I need to blame it on being a girl, fine, but I think I am growing up. I am a delicate flower that cannot break a nail or get my high heels muddy.

Dad, his daughter, and his gaily dressed "son" (whose pissed about getting that ribbon)


M.J. said...

Lol --- Way to stomp that pretty little foot! After 35 years of wedded bliss, we're still working on that balancing act of who does what when. It's definitely all about communication and compromise -- I hope to figure it out someday.

The Momma said...

Aren't you fiesty!
I'm sure that no one in Middle School thought you were a delicate flower when you won the burping contest.

So, am I to understand that your father didn't really love his daughters because they were not sons and your mother didn't want children but finally accepted the two of you when you were old enough to become household/yardwork slaves?

Yeah....that's about right. HA, took ya long enough to figure it out.

My advice - if you're lying on the couch eating bonbons and painting your toenails then you probably should offer to help when you look out the window and see your beloved toiling and sweating. However, if you glance out the window while carrying a load of laundry, sterilizing your canning jars, cleaning the frig, and/or picking up some mess one or more of your pets made; then simply smile and wave and continue on with your task in a guilt free manner.

M.J. said...

EmmaLeah - I just read your disclaimer to your momski, who is stuck in her home with no power. She was happily thinking she'd be able to communicate with you on her laptop with the battery backup, but then realized that her server required the electricity that's currently missing. I'm sure you'll hear from her one of these days !

The Momma said...

Oh you make me laugh! Nice disclaimer though I think the 'raised me perfectly' might be a stretch.
Pa says we can write you back into the Will. Hmmm...maybe we need to actually write a Will.
And Claire loved that haircut because I never had to brush her hair. Hairbrushing was another way I tortured the two of you.
Keep poking fun cus it cracks me up!
You were a delight to raise sweet Emily Fudd.