PlazaJen: Passion Knit

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Betrayal of the Sisterhood

I am all sorts of salty right now. Between all the grammar errors around town, and life stress, and a couple crazy situations, and people not using their manners, I am very .... salty. Sharp. Yet blunt. I recall a dinner long ago, with a group of people, and one fellow said every single thing that came into his head, regardless of how inappropriate or uncouth it might have been. I had had just enough wine at that point, and I finally turned to him and said, "Joseph! You need a FILTER!" Which I then explained to him meant he needed a filter between his brain and his tongue.

All of us have layers of filters - we insert more proper filters for business settings, sometimes we remove several and sometimes alcohol renders them null and void (note to self, shouting "Fuck" while seated at the Pope Table at Buca can alarm the elderly walking past). When my buckets of joy are not full, I notice that my filters wear thin or sometimes disappear. This doesn't mean I walk around screaming expletives at strangers (unless you cut me off, but then I'd be driving, eh?) But my patience ebbs out and I can get blunter and I don't call upon my thesaurus of words to couch what I'm thinking. Which leads us to yesterday's blunt transgression, where I pretty much revealed the essence of why men don't understand women.

A friend of mine is going through a divorce. At first, it appeared to be a pretty simple split, he initiated the process, but she agreed it was best, and really didn't seem to be too upset. But then she started talking to friends, who convinced her she should get all sorts of money (he's not rich) and alimony to boot (she has a stable job). Understandably, he's frustrated, because he's not made of money, and he just wants to move on with his life. So on his daily candy visit, he asked me, "What is the deal with women? Just tell me!"

I paused, and I folded my hands, and I decided to just give it to him straight. I said, "Every woman has an abyss within her that will never be filled."

It blew his mind. I qualified it, that every woman's abyss has a different aperture size, the degree it controls and influences varies, and that a lot depends on the coping skills and self-awareness of the individual - but that there is always going to be some piece, some part of us that is never fully satisfied. And ultimately, it's no man's job to fill it. (I think a lot of women think it is their partner's job, which is only a recipe for heartache.) Maybe I'm wrong, maybe it doesn't apply to every woman. But I know for myself, some of the purpose that abyss serves is to motivate me. It also is the part that questions and wonders and ruminates - sometimes too much, but it does force me to recognize when things in my life aren't matching up, if I'm unhappy with a friend or a situation, it makes me think and search for a solution. Is it negative? Sure, sometimes. That hole inside is where my deepest, meanest, darkest insecurities try to hide and pull their strings.

I was standing at the front desk when my friend returned from lunch, and there were five women there as well, talking, so I did an informal poll. And all of them paused, tilted their heads a little, and then nodded. One co-worker said she's always described it as a desire to continue on to the next thing, a driving force that there is never a "done" or "end" to. That's perhaps a little more palatable than an endless emptiness.

It's not to say we're never satisfied. We can look at a task completed as well-done, we can see something we created and feel good, feel proud. And most women I know immediately start thinking about...the next project.


posted by PlazaJen, 11:12 AM