Going to try and stick to the point

This morning as I was putting on my earrings I had my usual struggle with my left ear. I thought, geeze, I’ve had pierced ears since I was 16 and the holes are just the same size now as then. And then I thought about other things, like…

I was born in 1946, keeping that in mind, I never, as a kid, was told I couldn’t do something because I was a girl. Think about that for a minute. I did not experience gender discrimination until the late 1970’s when I was told that I couldn’t have a job I wanted because “women just don’t do that”.

Oh my father would often make remarks like “Girls don’t an education” which didn’t really affect me because my parents were not involved in my life. I made all my own school decisions. I wanted to go to college so I enrolled myself in the academic (or as they might call it now – college prep) courses in high school. I think I was a junior in high school when my father found out I was NOT taking a secretarial course! Oh yes, I forged my parent’s signatures on all school paperwork starting back in 6th grade.

I grew up in the 1950’s and 60’s believing I could be anything I wanted because I was surrounded by women who worked at professions that were probably, at that time, male dominated. In 6th grade (a pivotal year for me) when my teacher dubbed me a ‘poetess’ I corrected her – I was a poet, the word being a neuter noun.

My doctor was a woman. The sister of a friend of mine was an ordained minister. In my world there were women who worked in just about every profession that, at that time, would have been considered ‘men’s’ jobs. Doctors, lawyers, professors, accountants, clergy, writers, artists – all women who I knew.

These people were not members of my family, we were completely working class, blue collar people; the men worked at manual labor, the women worked in factories. My world existed outside my family confines, looking back it was rather a big world.

And while I was thinking back on all these things, I thought “I shall write about this and ask the question – What colored your world?”

And then I thought – “Isn’t there a song with a title like that? Sure enough there is. I had completely forgotten about this song and how much I liked it way back when…monotonous as the tune is, hearing it again, I still like it, silly sentimental fool that I am –

Tawkin’ about talking

When last we spoke, Lisa commented “Texting was the greatest invention!! I hate talking, especially on the phone. Always told as a child I was to be seen and not heard. Kind of stuck I guess.” I don’t know if this is my Lisa or someone else, so I didn’t really comment on that last part.

I was not a big talker from the moment I was born. Coming out of the womb I knew that it was in my best interests to maintain a low profile. I was close to 3 years old (so I was told) before I spoke my first sentence. My vocabulary up to that point consisted of 4 words – Ma, Pa, John, and No.

The mother was convinced I was retarded, (Yes, I know, we don’t say that anymore but this was 1946…) And it seemed my elder male sibling had been precocious in every way re: walking and talking. (As it was told to me) – The doctor finally got tired of her ranting on about my supposed lack of intelligence and asked her if I communicated what I wanted and needed. She said yes. So the doctor said (supposedly, remember this was told to me, you don’t think I remember this stuff, do ya?) “John uses a lot of words to get what he wants, Grace doesn’t use any words, and she still makes herself understood, so who’s smarter?” Good doctor, good doctor!

Anyway, when I did finally utter my first sentence, I pulled a ‘Mikey’**

(As it was told to me) The mother told me to do something, I guess I didn’t want to do it because I said “I don’t want to, make John do it” and then I walked out of the room and slammed the door. The mother said she was so shocked that I finally spoke she didn’t realized I had just sassed her.

When I was in high school I was so notorious for being a non-talker that a bunch of girls made a bet as to who could keep me on the phone the longest. I think the winner managed to keep me engaged for 5 minutes.

Of course the fun part of all this is – most of my jobs involved extensive phone work, including cold calling. For years, I regarded a telephone receiver as just a very large earring, metaphorically speaking.

Now that I have been living in social isolation for the last 12 years whenever I have the opportunity to speak to another human being I babble, so much so that my husband has apologized for me because, you know, sometimes people only want a yes or no answer!

While I still don’t really like the sound of the human voice it appears that doesn’t apply to mine!

** You know the story about Mikey, right? Mikey was maybe 5 or 6 years old and had never spoken a word. One night the family is all sitting down to dinner and all of a sudden Mikey pushes his dish away and says “This tastes like shit” His family gets all excited. “Mikey, Mikey – you can talk! Why haven’t you spoken before?” Mikey says “Well up till now everything has been okay”