So, I love to sew. My daughter is wearing a Mary Poppins costume I made for her when she played Mary Poppins this past summer.
My grandmother taught me to sew when I was about 11. During middle school, I made almost all of my clothes. I used an old treadle machine which had been converted to electric. All it could do was so straight, no reverse, no zigzag, nothing extra.
When I had children I sewed for them. Dresses, usually matching which I’m sure they hated, but I loved seeing them wearing my creations. I made halloween costumes. Drapes, pillows, valances, balloon shades anything for my home I wanted.
Then when my girls no longer wanted me to sew for them, I made costumes for my neighbors’ children. And now I have come full circle and I’m sewing for myself and my girls again.
Why sew when you can go buy something already made and sometimes even cheaper? Sewing is a creative outlet. I makes my mind work hard. I love seeing what I created. But most importantly, it connects me to generations of women before me who sewed, by hand, by machine, clothing for their families.
Chrissy Teagan Mommy shamed
I heard on the news, new mother Chrissy Teagan was being mommy shamed because she chose to go out to dinner a mere two weeks post delivery. Now someone please correct me if I am wrong but I was under the impression baby Luna wasn’t conceived through immaculate conception. Baby Luna does actually have a father as well as a mother right? Chrissy was out to dinner with her husband, John Legend an equally new father but not one word was said about his departure from the sweet child. Only she was criticized.
Am I to understand it is acceptable for women to criticize new mothers about every choice they make? But new fathers are considered completely innocent and not responsible when they make the same choice as the new mother? Hello, we aren’t living in the dark ages or even 1950 anymore. Fathers are just as important as mothers. And if you take the time to do some research you will find (as if anyone really need to do research to prove the truth of this statement) fathers play just as an important role in a child’s life from birth on as a mother does.
I’ve always said women would rule the world if we stopped picking on each other. You don’t see men shaming other men because they are too fat or too skinny. They don’t shame each other because their wives chose to bottle feed over breastfeeding. They don’t shame each other when dinner is take out rather than a home-cooked meal. No, they unite. They act as a team.
Ladies, we’ve had how many thousands of years to learn this lesson? Support your fellow women. Support the choices they make for their lives and their families’ lives. It is their life after all and I am 100% positive there has never been nor will there ever be a perfect mother. So be quiet unless you can say something nice and supportive.
Shame on you Huffington Post
Look at the woman in the following photos.
She is an editor for Huffpost50. Yes you read that right. She is writing articles geared towards an age group she won’t see for probably 20 plus years. I am sure she is a capable writer and editor but we face AGE DISCRIMINATION everyday and even more so if you are female.
I was a “domestic engineer” for 30 years until my ex decided he needed someone younger. I’ve been unemployed since the divorce, January 2013. I’ve applied for every kind of job you can imagine with no luck. Now imagine I feel, along with the millions of women who are over 50, learning one of the editors could be our daughter or granddaughter.
Age discrimination is one of the last forms of discrimination still accepted. It needs to stop.
Discrimation in our face
All charts are fromVulture
Men continue to keep women in their place by casting super young actresses opposite old men. I’m not talking a couple years difference. I’m talking about men old enough to be their father and grandfather. The link is to an article by Vulture. They are an online news media outlet that reports of what’s happening around the world especially in entertainment.
Every time we watch images with such an age discrepancy, we are being sent a subliminal message that only young women have value and are lovable. We may not be consciously thinking about it at the time, but when we see it over and over in the movies, on TV and in the lives of public personalities there is no way it doesn’t affect us.
Discrimination is something we as Americans are supposed to fight against yet we allow the movie industry to continue to plant untruths in our minds. We do nothing about it. The actresses of Hollywood do nothing about it. What would happen if actresses agreed not to have more than 5 years or even a maximum of 10 years age difference between them and their leading men? There would be lots of movies that would not get made or casting agents would find someone age appropriate.
Is this the message we want to send out daughters? That they only have value when they are young? Thankfully there is one man who stands above the rest with integrity.
The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty
Secrets, everyone has them. The question is what do we do with them and what do we do when we learn other people’s secret. This is a tale which I can relate. Cecilia has what she believes is a perfect life, a handsome husband, three wonderful daughters, a successful career and an active volunteer life. While that isn’t exactly a description of my life, it comes close. The there is Tess married with a son and extremely close to her cousin Felicity. Close as sisters they share all aspects of their lives. Rachel, a still grieving mom whose only daughter was murdered, now grieving the departure of her son, daughter-in-law and only grandson to New York City. This new grief catapults her into an obsessive belief the school PE teacher killed her daughter.
It all comes crashing down when each woman learns a secret. Each reacts differently but all causing more chaos in their already damaged lives. Cecelia must decide if she should keep her husband’s secret. In making the choice to keep the ugly truth secret many lives are affected and changed forever. All three women’s lives are intertwined through St. Angela’s Catholic school. As each woman faces choices concerning a secret they struggle. What is the right thing to do versus the best thing for their families.
I understand how difficult it can be when you learn an ugly secret truth about your husband. Hindsight is 20/20. I can see how my choice to keep the ugly truth to myself, I caused damage to myself and my daughters. As difficult as it would have been to face it whe it happened, I would have been able to reach out for help. I could have avoided the deep sadness and depression during my marriage and post divorce. Secrets destroy a soul. That’s is what Cecilia learned. That is what Tess learned. It is what Rachel learned. It’s a lesson I took a long time to learn.
Liane Moriarty has an ease in her writing that captures what most of are honking. Whe. Cecilia thinks to herself, I can hear myself rambling and chattering but I can’t stop. I talk when I’m nervous, I thought that’s me”! When Tess wondered what she was lacking that caused her husband to look elsewhere, that was me. And when Rachel becomes obsessed with “justice” and “vengeance” that was me too. Life in Melbourne, Australia isn’t very different than life here in Texas.
Fear, Silence, Homelessness
We read stories everyday of women that have been abused by a man. And sadly these women tend to repeat bad choices and go from one bad relationship to another. For anyone with a solid self-esteem and self-worth, it is incredulous that any woman would stay in such a damaging relationship. Here is something that so many people fail to understand; the abuser rarely walks in and begins the abuse immediately. There is physical abuse and emotional abuse. They go hand in hand but emotional abuse can happen without physical abuse. That is my story.
Why didn’t I share? I was embarrassed and ashamed. Slowly over time my sense of independence was destroyed. Over time the belief I was lovable was destroyed. Day by day comments, looks, turning things around so I would begin to question myself believing somehow I caused him to cheat and having my concerns being dismissed and ignored regularly created a complete sense of instability. If my ex-husband was home I was always tied up in knots because I was worried I wasn’t making him happy. When he was out-of-town I was tied up in knots because I worried about what he was doing. Should I have left years ago? Of course, but he didn’t reveal his true-self all at once. He did it slowly over time. Think of a bucket being filled by one drop of water at a time. It takes a long time before the bucket overflows. So don’t judge your friend who finds herself in my position. Listen to her. Don’t rebuke her for not leaving sooner. Hug her. Offer support anyway you can. Don’t exclude her because she is no longer a couple. And certainly do NOT remain friends with her abusive ex-husband.
If I could give advice to any woman who is living with a narcissist, it would be to read as much as you can about narcissism and how narcissists manipulate their victims. I would encourage her to find someone to share any secrets i.e. his cheating, his addictions, his crimes. Had I come forward the first time I found out what he was doing, I might have received support from my friends. However the shame he created in me, kept me silent. Silence is a killer. It kills your spirit. So speak up. Leaving is scary. I am facing homelessness at 56 because I was a stay-at-home mom and with no full-time work experience since 1984, I can’t get any business to take a chance on me.
Why do I write about this again? I write about this again because I can’t just dump the over-flowing bucket of abuse. It leaves as slowly as it came. Now I have a small hole in the bottom of the bucket and daily a little more of it drains out. It is just going to take time, a lot of time. Sadly I don’t have time when it comes to a job. While my ex enjoys a life in the lap of luxury, ignores his children and pretends he never destroyed lives, I work to survive and they learn to accept life as fatherless children.
I am How Old?
Today I took a break get in sewing and turned on a Hallmark movie. The cast list said Willie Ames was in it. In the above photo he is the boy on the far right and if my memory serves me right, he was a teen heartthrob. And here he was playing the father of an adult daughter. He has gray hair and wrinkles! How could that be? So I looked him up on IMDB (internet movie database) and there in black and white it says he is 55.
55, he can’t be 55 because I’m only …. wait, I’m 56. How did that happen? I could have sworn I was 36 or maybe 46, but no. Right there on my driver’s license it says I am 56. I’m no fool. I know I look my age but I definitely don’t feel my age. Now I don’t feel like a teenager but I certainly don’t feel 56, whatever that is supposed to feel like. I know I don’t feel old enough to get a senior discount or an AARP discount.
I will admit that sometimes I will use age as an excuse. It’s a feeble one. Laura Ingalls Wilder published her first book at 65. Grandma Moses started painting at 70. Julia Child didn’t begin her TV career until age 51. Vera Wang didn’t enter fashion until 40. Carol Gardner of Zelda Wisdom a $50 million greeting card business didn’t start until she was 52. And there is a long list of people that were busy succeeding and living at 90 and beyond.
So I have to remove age from the table of excuses. It is no longer a card I can play. (Unless of course I can get a discount). 🙂
Heart to head to Reality Misconnect
Recently I read about the misconnect that happens when middle-aged adults enter into the online dating scene. I can’t remember where I read it but it was completely accurate.
The premise is that for most of us the last time we were dating, we were significantly younger probably in our 20s. I know it is true for me. There was no computer dating options. Now when we sign up and go online our head says I’m young. Our heart says I feel young. The same is true for men and women.
So we look at the photos and groan. These are old men. These are old women. This could be my dad or granddad. This could be my mom or my grandmother. I can’t possibly be in this age group, let me double check. Ugh it’s true. These old people are my contemporaries. It bites. It’s frustrating because society (yes it’s true whether you like it or not) give men much more leeway when choosing a partner. Men can easily marry someone much younger with little to no comment and they can marry down educationally and economically with no one saying a thing. My ex is a perfect example. He has partnered down in age, economics and education. He can because he is a man and he makes a lot of money. As I’ve always told my girls you never see a young woman with an old poor man. Money talks. Especially when it comes to dating and remarrying later in life. I suppose if I made a lot of money I would have a slightly broader choice but society still keeps women in a narrower role.
If I were to marry a younger man who had no children, people would feel bad for him because he was giving up his chance for children of his own. If I married someone with less education and less money, I would hear she must be desperate. I know times change but change is slow and I don’t believe this will change until women can have children into their 50s and 60s. An old man can marry a woman of child bearing age and still give her a family. The reverse is not true. And please do not lecture me on invitro, egg donation, adoption etc. This is an orange to orange comparison not an apple to orange one.
So I wasted $75 to join an online dating site where I now have my profile hidden. And I expect it to stay hidden until I can connect my young mind and heart to the reality of my age.
After being married for 30 years, divorced for almost 3 years, I am considering dating websites. I tried them when I first got divorced but thankfully realized facing rejection from thousands of men wasn’t a good idea.
I’ve read up on what makes a good profile and it seems everyone has a different opinion. I tend to agree with the folks that say photos are the most important along with a good headline. I know if I am not attracted to the photo I don’t read the profile. The challenge is remembering I am not that twenty something girl looking for a date. I read a dating expert say that we look at profiles with our young minds. So women see old men who look like their dads and grandpas and men see old women who look like their moms and grandmas. I admit that is true for me. And then add the additional challenge that men can date down in age, economics and education more easily than women. Now before you lecture me that age is a state of mind and older women date younger men, I am talking about relationships. I am not talking about friendships or a sexual affair even though things are necessary to a good relationship but many times we experience them individually.
I read something in a novel by Louise Penny which I want to use in my profile when I do get brave enough and strong enough to try dating again. This is paraphrased from The Long Way Home by Louise Penny.
She wasn’t made for a Paris runway but for good meals and books by the fire and laughter. She was constructed from and for happiness. She helps you discover how very attractive a heart and mind can be.