The Invisible Woman

Random thoughts…

I used to write a blog, had a lot of followers, and enjoyed it.  Then some family things fell apart and I just stopped.  One day I loved it, the next it was no longer important.  Over the past five years or so I’ve started to feel the urge to write again.  To write as if I have some readers, even if I don’t.  But most of all to give myself a way to think things through again.  So I think I’ll start with something I realized about fifteen years ago.

Sometimes people just don’t see me.So am I invisible?  To a large extent, yes, to a portion of our population.  When I started noticing it I still felt young, vital, even attractive. One day I was in a fast food restaurant and moved up slowly to the front of the line.  My turn, finally.  The young man behind the counter looked up and through me to the young woman behind me and asked her if he could help her.  Clearly more puzzled than offended I spoke up, startling them both.

Over time I started noticing this more and more.  Sometimes it was with people my age, sometimes younger.  Rarely with children though, they see and hear everything.  But overall I remember just being surprised, period.  I’m not a small person.  I’m definitely not a quiet person.  But somehow over time I just found that I was overlooked.

In the past week, since the presidential election, I’ve almost wanted to disappear.  I woke up on the day after the election depressed and angry.  That got me through a day or two, then I started to feel guilty.  Reasonably so?  Probably not.  I didn’t vote for Trump, but I didn’t really like Hillary either.  But the guilt that seems to be hanging over me somehow makes me feel that when I see someone who isn’t white I should somehow apologize.  I grew up without prejudice but in an all-white area of the country in the 1950s.  But I was raised by a reasonably conservative dad and an ultra liberal mom.  She made sure we knew that we were equals, nothing better and nothing less.  But somehow this week I feel that we, as Americans, have said to all who aren’t white or who don’t speak English, or who weren’t born here that we are better.  So maybe for now I’m invisible.  Maybe I want to stay that way.

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My Power Cape

Have you ever absolutely known the right answer?  Known it with such certainty that you would put money on it?

Last week we went to a charity event and there was a cape covered in money—real money.  Quarters, ones, fives, tens, twenties, fifties, hundreds…so many that you couldn’t really get a sense of how much it all added up to.  The goal was to pay one hundred dollars to guess the closest to the real amount without going over.  And I knew what I would guess immediately and with such certainty that I told my husband “if you don’t agree, pay for your own bet—I know mine is right”.  The number in my head was 1,260.  That’s the square footage of the very first home I ever sold, about twenty six years ago.  So that was my guess.  And yes, I won.  The cape has close to fifteen hundred dollars carefully and beautifully glued to it, but my guess was the closest guess under the amount.

Before we left the event nearly all was given back to the charity, then some to a Symphony group; some to a music classroom needing instruments, the balance to Planned Parenthood.  Maybe there is something to intuition after all.


What would you be like today, Mom and Dad, had you lived?  On your birthday last week, Dad, you would have been 100.  A century, had you lived past your mid sixties.  Mom, you’d be just a few years younger, yet you died in the mid-century of your life.  Sometimes my friends commiserate with each other over something one parent or another has done or said.  Not me.  Inside I’m thinking I’d be grateful.  Just plain grateful.

Over the past few weeks it’s been necessary to read some of the letters and journal entries you both wrote so long ago.  I was but 25 when you died, Mom.  An almost grown up person but one who still needed you.  And Dad?  When you were taken from us I was angry and bewildered.  I made a vow to not do this to my children, to my grandchildren.  And when I’m having down times, I remember that.  I won’t do it to my family.  I remember too well how hard it was and how much I still miss you.  Happy birthday Mom and Dad, I love you still.

Pre Thanksgiving

I had a random text from a man I know today, just telling me he was thinking of me and he wished me a Happy Thanksgiving.  It’s funny,  maybe a bit psychic, because I was thinking of him this morning.

Sometimes those random, kind gestures come at just the right time.  My client is very late for her appointment and I was a bit stressed, trying to figure how to fit her in elsewhere.  I’m thinking about cooking for the holiday, and when to squeeze in shopping for Christmas.  I’m concerned about family and how they are handling individual changes in their lives: a divorce for one with a child sharing time with each parent; a new baby for another; yet another will be traveling and I won’t be with him  for the first Christmas ever.

Yet when Jared sent me that simple text it was like taking a deep breath.  I tell people sometimes “it’s not all about you”.  Sometimes it’s not all about me.

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