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reSLience… a.k.a. resilience

it's what lies within that really matters

We live in interesting times. Newsflash? Doubtful 🙂 I will refrain from sharing any news like network news. I most certainly don’t want the campaign ugliness to find me… heehee

So have I stalled enough to have you wondering why did I entice you with such a title? Just what did you come here to read anyway? What 2 questions could be so worthy of making a post title to announce them? What makes them dangerous? (don’t worry – I’ll stop now – I’m not going for 21 questions)

Here they are, and in no particular order, I might add:
1. What do you do?
2. Do you have children?

Have you experienced this? You must have. Universally human conversational questions if you live in a country where the majority of women work and you are over the age of 25, in my humble opinion.

Silence enducing, possibly.

The proverbial eggshell scenario, most definitely, depending on the company.

You don’t know you are on eggshells until you utter the words in the question and face the wall of awkward silence. Once you hit that wall, there is no going back. Tap dance shoes may be essential items to carry in your bag or you will wish you had them. Perhaps belting out a few show tunes would help and cause such a distraction the words you previously uttered will disappear into the vastness of the universe of unanswered questions – hopefully before you reach the second verse of that showtune… maybe even the second line if your voice is like some I have heard (wink).

Why are they so loaded? What strikes an instant nerve and immediately offends? Why is it women that are offended and if you asked men they simply answer and shrug or shrug and answer and move on? Sigh. Women.

These complicated creatures that society – Western Society really – has allowed to become talented and contribute in all ways to the world of work, are still hard wired to carry the basic human desires women are born with (most) and still equip them with the power of choice to default to traditional roles, if that is what her heart desires and economics allow. Was that a PC (politically correct) sentence or WHAT!?! whew! (throw a few more eggshells on the ground so you can hear me stomping on them while you continue to read) I mean… women are still hardwired genetically to have kids, and hardwired to be caretakers. Something about the original cave man who set out to conquer the furry beast and bring home dinner set that tone. Honey – you stay here. I want to make sure your body remains soft and beautiful, unscared and uncalloused for my purposes later. If you help me hunt the furry beast you might be harmed. When I come back, we’ll have some snuggle time together by that fire I made earlier – keep it going, would ya? Etc Etc… eons later concepts are still the same… except rather than asking about the slaying of the furry beast dinner is expected to come from a fridge and be simmering on the stove, right?

Stop.

“What do you do?”
If you are a woman, and you DO have a job or a career, that dinner scenario can be totally foreign. You may catch bad guys for a living, teach small children, conduct multi-million dollar transactions, design beautiful fine fabrics or furnishings, or argue legal issues in a court. The list really is endless. Women can do whatever they want these days. Ok… they don’t necessarily get paid what a man does for the same job… but THAT is a whole ‘nother blog entry for another time 🙂

“What do you do?”
If you are a woman, and you DON’T currently have a job or a career, and these words are put out there for the good of the order… simply to make small talk or keep a conversation going… be prepared to hear those eggshells or hear the breaks of the conversation come to a SCREECHING hault! (sorry to mix metaphors) Some women shrug it off and say – “Oh, I don’t work right now” or “Oh, I work overtime, I’m a stay at home mom.” Some women meet your question with another – “What do you mean?” That kind of question – answering my question with a question is a sign. Most often it is a sign that there are issues. Tread lightly. Don’t go there. STOP. Change subject. Immediate U-Turn. Honestly, in this fine 21st Century we all now inhabit, it really shouldn’t offend. Women have had more opportunity than ever before. And, if they choose a traditional route – more power to them. And, if they choose to do multiple things – like work and have kids – that should most definitely be ok. Hey have you tried to pay for a mortgage and fill your tank with gas on a single income these days? OUCH!

Moving on before I lose you…
“Do you have kids?”
This time of year… this weekend in particular… that question can be more sensitive than you realize (em em, Mother’s Day?). Those with kids respond enthusiastically or exhaustedly and most will begin to share all sorts of details you never realized you asked for. Careful… you might have opened flood gates. Proud mamas are hardly ever shy when it comes to sharing the bestest qualities of their sweet babies – of whatever age they might be. Those without kids may respond in a variety of ways. “Nope” “A dog” or “I’m an Aunt”. Quick short answers are normally a sign (to me anyway) that this woman is confident in who she is and is fine with the question. If you start to hear the eggshells again or the screeching of breaks? Be prepared. You have entered dangerous territory. Perhaps she couldn’t have children. Perhaps something horrible happened effecting the fate of her children. Perhaps she just never had the chance and wanted to. Never assume (I think I reviewed what that stands for a few posts ago). Either way. Make it right. This question, if met with awkward silence, deserves an apology. I didn’t mean to ask you something so personal is often what I say. I try to never ask this question in a large group, having learned from this mistake in the past. Backpeddling in a group setting to save yourself from this question can be brutal.

“Do you have kids?”
It is important to remember in our amazing 21st Century that women, just like they can choose to have a job or a career or not, can also choose to have children, or not. And the choice, whatever it is, is ok. Is it any of my business? Nope. Is it worthy of small talk? Probably not. I tend to view small talk as reserved for people I don’t know and I’m trying to fill some silence for some reason.

This Mother’s Day, make sure you pause to thank your mother. Everyone of you has one. THAT is a safe bet. Even if she is no longer alive, you can still thank her. Say a prayer. She is most likely now a guardian angel unless you were so horrid she wrote you off decades earlier (joke -please laugh). Be thankful that your mom did whatever she did to make life good enough for you to get you to a place where you are reading this. Moms tow a tough load.

My mom and my sweet baby girl.
Thank you mom for letting me be whatever I wanted to be when I grew up 🙂
Sweet baby girl – be whatever you want to be. Hoo!

But for women overall… people PLEASE be careful. Prepare yourself. Tread lightly with those dangerous questions… or remember I told you so. And, be glad we live in a time in the world, and a place in our society, where it is OK for there to be more than one right answer to both those questions.

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