Tuesday, April 23, 2013

my feminism hits me in odd times

Recently two things happened that caused me to think about being a lady:

1) I went to a bridal shower. Not the one at our house that one was nice.

2) I watched the pilot episode of Mad Men again (for the third time).

3) I hosted a bridal shower.

The bridal shower thing was odd because it hit me, as those sort of things always hit me, that I neither wanted to go to it because I hate bridal showers and baby showers and because if I have to go to them, I want to be as completely feminist and out of place as possible. The invitation and overall vibe called for a certain "proper lady" type of attire. It wasn't specified (actually we were specifically told we couldn't wear shoes in the house which infuriated me to no end but that's another story for another time) to wear a certain type of attire but the invitation was very specific about the type of event it was and what that would mean dress code wise. Which I just couldn't do. Under normal circumstances I could don you a proper girly dress no problem but since I had to go I wasn't gonna be proper. I was gonna look like I didn't fit in there and believe you me: I stood out. I had no intentions of saying anything shocking nor being shocking nor inciting a bra burning riot (though that would have been more fun). I had all desire to be well behaved, polite, bring a gift off the registry, RSVP'd on time, arrived fashionably late on time but I just purposefully wore an outfit that did not fit in there. Somehow, that made me feel more comfortable. Because these things make me feel so incredibly uncomfortable. And it's not that I didn't like the person whom we were celebrating, in fact it was my liking of the guest of honor that made me go to begin with, I usually just RSVP no to those things and send a gift but I wanted to physically show my support and perform my duties as a member of the family. Which I suppose means something but as domesticated and prone to shopping as I am once those hens started clucking to a deafening level about the gifts I hit my pain threshold and left.

A lot of times I feel as if I psych myself into feeling like I won't fit in somewhere. I convince myself that it's not a place friendly to people like myself. And partly, it's true. I was offered a food item and I had to ask if it had meat in it. I assumed it did but I really wanted to eat it and hoped that maybe they made a veggie option. They did not. And that's fine, I never expect anyone to have to go out of their way to make me food because it was my decision and not theirs so they really have no responsibility to feed me. I can go out and find myself something to eat afterwards, which I didn't have to because they had plenty of other things I could eat and literally the only person that knew was the woman that was serving me and I just asked if it had meat and when she said it did I said no thank you. Done. I expected nothing to be done further on the matter. Somehow it must have found its way up to the hostess (blabbermouth lady serving I suppose) that OMG THERE WAS A VEGETARIAN IN OUR MIDST AND WE DID NOT HAVE A VEGETARIAN OPTION. The hostess came by. I have already in my mind dismissed this woman as being someone I'll love to hate because she forced me to take off my shoes to go to her house and I'm assuming is known for being the consummate perfect hostess in her perfect house with perfect towels. Well little Mrs. Perfect forgot about us vegetarians and came by and gave me the most condescending comments. "Do you want some more fruit? We have plenty of fruit." "I just want to make sure our LITTLE FRIEND here is taken care of." The first one sounded genuine so I took her up on the offer and when the extra fruit never came by I figured she didn't care about me really. And then the second time when she made her "little friend" comment I knew she and I would not be friends. Believe me I was well fed but another part of me got sick pleasure out of the fact that Mrs. Perfect Hostess had done screwed the pooch on the veggie options and was beating herself up about it. Because I know about hosting and I know nothing matters more to someone who is a host than being known as the perfect host.

Of course since I make myself dress out of place then really, I bring it upon myself to feel out of place right? By the way to specify on the dress, it was a "tea" and I went dressed in a polka dot chambray shirt, dark navy jeans, neon socks, platform shoes, neon belt, and a leather jacket, bangs and red lipstick. So I looked trendy and fashionable just completely not "tea". Even funnier is the fact that: I FREAKING LOVE TEA. I love the whole tea act. Of course if Mrs. Perfect Hostess wanted sh** done right she would have made the tea with loose leaf instead of teabags and I bet she didn't even warm the pots before she poured the tea but anyway... it was delicious! They had shortcake bread with fruit and all kinds of jams and tea and it was served in pretty tea sets I mean, this is the perfect EvY afternoon if EvY didn't feel like taking a stand about feminism as it concerns her 'cause really who gives a crap. And need I remind you, I have a full on tea cart in my room and is right behind me as I write so obviously the event didn't bother me in theory either.

So what the hell? Why make a mini statement to yourself?

Because it was a mini statement to myself.

Because I am a wife and home owner but I am still a woman. I took my husband's last name but I buy myself things from the salary I earned. I go to work. And these events just take me back because they're all about weddings and sometimes I just really loathe what weddings turn women into. I despise hearing about engagement rings. Don't get me started on engagement photos (I HATE THEM I HATE THEM I HATE THEM I HATE THEM I HATE THEM). I hate posed photos in various configurations. I don't like wedding dresses. I think women that spend tens of thousands of thousands of dollars on them are stupid. Same goes for weddings themselves.

At the same time: I love going to weddings and I always cry. I think I like weddings in the sense that they're a huge event and you get to watch the final episode of this reality show of people planning a wedding and seeing the final result. And I always cry 'cause I'm a damn romantic.

Anyway so that was that.

And the Mad Men pilot: after 5 years of watching Peggy Olson evolve, watching her from the start facing those incredible sexist butthole co-workers of hers I was even more grateful that we live in the time we do now. The things women back in the day had to work for. Yikes. Think we have it tough, those girls were expected to just get married and knock out kids without choice. Or they were made to believe that's really the choice they wanted.

And then I had to host a bridal shower where the theme was believe it or not: retro housewife. But... it was tongue in cheek. At this event I dressed up in my best late 50s, early 60s attire: polka dot A-line skirt, pearls, red lipstick, retro shoes, apron. APRON. While the theme was retro housewife it was the sort of retro housewife with those images of women in domestic advertisements with cheeky statements on them? I'm sure you've seen them around and that was the most amount of housewifery I could take where we'd spun it on it's head and reminded each other that whew, we have it good now homies. We can be those perfect hostesses and go to work too. We can be anything we want to be.

Cause we got vaginas.

But we got major balls too.

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