Now that I have totally silenced even the most loyal of readers with yesterday’s post, I thought I’d switch gears ever so slightly. Before I do, let me add that some women can be just as double minded and that post was meant to cover both. I’ve seen both sides, and probably played them back in the day.
You may not know this, but I am a former member of the he-Woman’s Man-Haters club. I loved female comics who ripped men. I loved it when TV shows made the wife out to be the savior of the day, and the man of the house a bumbling fool.
I wanted to believe myself to be a feminist.
Forget submission, forget marriage, forget all of it. I’m a boomer’s child and the world is my oyster. I will never belong to the First Wives Club. I’ll never be divorced, because I’m never getting married. I am my own woman and heaven help the man that tries to tame me. I won’t let him.
I had a chip on my shoulder the size of Fort Knox.
Truth is though, I didn’t hate men, I was afraid of them. I have a busted picker. When I was younger, if our eyes met across a crowed room and my heart started pounding 280, he either had a flask in his pocket, or a record a mile long. I could pick a man sure to break my heart without even trying. So I stopped trying, which is how I met my husband.
I didn’t marry a man who wanted to tame me. I married a man who wanted to love me and there is a difference. We’ll be married for 20 years this August.
My early career placed me as the only woman on an all male staff. These guys taught me a lot – mostly about smoking, drinking, and swearing along with construction. They also taught me about integrity, trust, safety, and smarts. Some of those lessons were easy to learn, others came from stupid choices. Smart choice: Hang with the guys who are happily married and talk well of their wives. Not so smart choice: Letting your site partner come back to your hotel room to call his wife and let her know he’s running late. Once I figured out why he was running late — false hopes and ambitions — I kicked him out. I also paid for that by having to listen to my sight foreman rip me apart for an hour and a half the next day for being so stupid. The situation could have been a lot worse, and I’m thankful it wasn’t. I actually know other gals on the field who were raped by techs they worked with.
Personal note here: Rape is always about control and violence. My comments do not mean to imply that what happened to some of my counterparts was in any way shape or form their fault!
And before anyone comments on the unfairness of my sight forman — I’d been flirting with said partner the whole trip because I thought he was safely married. That was a huge mistake. My partner liked to dabble when he traveled, I didn’t know that. Besides, it isn’t fair to flirt with a married man. That was a lesson I had to learn a lot when I was in my 20’s. It was never about sex when I did it, it was always about fear, control and manipulation. I don’t have the right to throw stones. I’ve broken too many mirrors doing that.
Being tough, thinking I can always make the right choices and take care of myself without anyone’s help isn’t an easy road.
Learning how to trust my husband comes and goes. The more my husband and I grow in our relationship with Christ, the closer we become to being one. I am always amazed at how God can take two very broken people and make them into his likeness.
While I may have spent our early years totally wrapped up in “him,” I am also developing me right now. We are learning to follow the ebb and flow of life and maturity, rediscovering ourselves and eachother. We are polar opposites and I like that today. He keeps me grounded. It’s a fun journey. He’s the one who teaches me about the kind of man who can be trusted, and I listen to his insticts. He also teaches me about the kind of woman who can be trusted. I introduce him as well. I make sure that people know we are together. Nothing sets him on higher ground than my arm on his when we walk into a room.
As I was working on these two posts, I recieved a phone call from my husband telling me that his mom had a stroke and he is leaving Denver to be with her in Florida. She didn’t know he was there yesterday and my heart broke for him. Today, her eyes are open, she is trying to talk and even though she is weak, she can move her legs. The only real damage right now seems to be her left arm and her speach. Mom is 86. We have decisions to make, and we’ll make them together. I don’t know when he’ll be home, but I’m holding down the fort taking care of our son and praying.