I am Not Offended by Pies

Musings

Not too long ago, I had an interesting experience while in line at Target. I was eyeing up the brightly colored magazines with pies and holiday décor on the covers and had commented to my friend that my mom had almost every single one of those magazine subscriptions and oh how I envied her. It was my turn to check out then and the cashier started talking to me about one of the pie’s taking up the entire cover. I nodded in excitement thinking she was just as jazzed as I was about pies, the holidays and women’s magazines. But right as I had started to smile and say, “I know, pies!—” she rolled her eyes and started in on a long tirade about how disgusted she was with the pie. She sneered like the pie was a known criminal who’d just been set free.

I faltered. What was wrong with pies? I didn’t understand. Maybe she was a health nut… As she was bagging up my items, she kept going on about the pie and how much it aggravated her. I looked back at the magazine and the offending pie for clues when she then started in on Woman’s Day in particular.

“I mean, come on, Woman’s day? Why does it have to be a woman’s day? Making pies?” she enunciated the words woman’s and pie while waving her hands zestfully. I swiped my credit card.

And bingo was his name-o.

“So you’re a feminist?” I commented.
She beamed, glowing as warm and bright as a freshly baked apple pie.

“Exactly!” she smiled like I got it and went on. “Why are they assuming only women want to make pies?! And why is it called Woman’s Day? It should just be called… Day!”

“Right…” I nodded and though I completely did not feel that Woman’s Day should be entitled Day or women’s inclination for pie making was all wrong I wanted to be helpful and show my support of her passion and chimed in, “men can make pies too!”

She looked downright exuberant now and like she might grab a protest sign hidden behind her cash register that said, Men make pies too! and start marching around the store.

By this time my transaction was done and my friend who had been ahead of me in line was waiting near the exit doors. I smiled politely again and waved goodbye. She looked deeply relieved like she had gotten through to me—made me understand that women’s magazines and pies were a throwback to the 50’s when women served their men whiskey and lit their cigars while wearing pearls… all of this after a long day of vacuuming, of course.

Little did she know that she was preaching to the wrong lass. It’s not that I am not a feminist though (those types of things simply don’t rile me up). Am I all for women’s rights? Absolutely. Do I think Lena Dunham is the shit? I sure do. But I am offended by the idea of being barefoot and preggo in a kitchen baking a pie for my husband? Nope. I think that sounds delightful. Do I therefore belong in the kitchen baking pies? No. I don’t belong any one place in particular, not to a kitchen or a pie or heck even a man. I belong where I say I belong and my mind changes daily on that. Sometimes I do belong in a kitchen baking pies, you better freakin’ believe I do. I love pie! And other days I belong to the open road. And still others I belong to my laundry basket that is overflowing. I belong to my keyboard and my camera. I belong to the forest and the sea. I belong to God.

I will tell you what does offend me though: the idea that women should be just one thing. They should be career women and be offended by Woman’s Day insinuating they should spend their days baking pies. That’s preposterous. Woman’s Day is simply celebrating women, however they want to spend their day, making pies or not making pies. Okay fine, then they should all be mothers and they should all love to cook. Nope still wrong. Not everyone wants to be a mother and that’s okay too. I personally don’t relate to that one, but I also don’t undertsand the allure of cottage cheese; the world is just incomprehensible sometimes. Now wait for it, here’s a real doozy, what if you want both?

I do. I want a career. I want to write novels and travel the globe and live out of my car and soak up every human experience possible. But some day I want babies, loads of ‘em and a hubby too. I would like a house with a front porch and a big kitchen for cooking meals for that family. I’d like a dog and maybe some goats.

Lately though, maybe it’s because I am nearing 30 and people have taken it upon themselves to worry for me, I have gotten in a lot of conversations that utterly baffle me with how insulting they are. I am going to combine all of these very real convos into one for you now:

”So are you seeing anyone?”
”Nope.”
”How old are you?”
”28,” I answer because I am not ashamed of my age or sharing it.
“Ohhhh… do you want me to set you up with anyone?”
”No thank you. I am footloose and fancy free.”
”Are you sure you want to do that?”
”Be footloose and fancy free? Yes. I love being footloose and fancy-free”
”Yeah… but you’re not getting any younger…”
”I appreciate your concern but I am really not worried.”
”No you’re right. I would start to worry by 35.”
”Um. No I am not going to worry then either.”
”But don’t you want kids?”
”Yup. Six of them.”
”Oh my gosh! Your eggs are probably already dwindling! You should really get on this.”
”Yeah… no. I again am not worried. And if I have to adopt half the orphans in Africa and Vietnam with or without a man, I am comfortable with the fact that I will one day be a mother and I also would like to be a writer as well.”
”Well… kudos to you…” they say begrudgingly.

The problem I have with these conversations besides their being wildly offensive in nature is that people are implying my life sans man or sans children right now is cause for worry. It isn’t right. It’s against the grain. Aren’t I a woman? Isn’t that what all us womenfolk want?

Yeah, some of us want that. And some don’t. And some want the career and some want the babies and some want the pie and some want a little of all three and some want none of the above. Leave us alone! Leave Woman’s Day alone! Leave our bloody egg count and our want for pies or adventure alone! No woman who wants to be a mother and only a mother should be labeled un-ambitious because she doesn’t have inclinations other than to procreate. Being a mother is beautiful. So is having lofty career goals. And so is wanting both.

And guess what the very best thing of all is? Women who have the confidence to go after what they want whether or not they are getting older, their egg count is dwindling, their other friends happen to be married, have babies, houses, dream careers, but still they press on knowing who they are and what they want out of this crazy life.

Hmmm. Got a bit soap-boxey there. Maybe I’m a feminist after all… Just not one who is offended by pies.

The Man: Why He’s Not For Me

Musings

I am 27 years old and I have held nearly 27 jobs in my lifetime. I started working around 14, so you do the math. I have done in home care-giving for the elderly and cleaned poopy sheets. I have scrubbed floors and I have scrubbed urinals. I have waitressed and I have bartended. I have been a receptionist, and a bank teller, a barista, and a cashier. I have answered phones for an insurance company, and poured wine at a vineyard. I have been a babysitter and I have been a teacher. I have rolled out dough for breadsticks, made sub sandwiches at a breakneck pace and scooped out pasta salads. I have sold liquor and cigarettes at a party store. I have wiped bums, given baths to the old and to the young, shaved beards, clipped toenails, made breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, done laundry and given the heimlich. I have walked in on a guy in a bathroom just finishing up a line of cocaine. I have done it all. And yet I haven’t done enough.

I haven’t worked on a dude ranch or for the National Park Service. I haven’t been employed by National Geographic or Martha Stewart Living. I haven’t been an on-going extra on the set of Girls or been an assistant to a well-to-do executive who likes it when I accompany him to France. I haven’t been a railroad conductor or a farmer. I haven’t opened a bakery or a bookstore. I haven’t been a white-water rafting instructor or a circus performer. I haven’t worked on a lobster boat or saved the whales, though I did briefly try out to be in the Navy—I got cold feet over the lengthy commitment. Also why I bailed on the Peace Corps.

Of all the jobs I’ve held, I have fantasized about walking out of every single one of them. Jobs I’ve quit after 1-6 months—many. Jobs I’ve made it past a year anniversary—few. Am I lazy? Nope. Does every single boss I’ve ever had adore me? Yep. (Except this crazy Romanian at one, but honestly, it was her, not me. I’m a delight).

I wish I could say the problem was all the jobs, but no of course the problem is me. I know it’s me. I get so excited in the beginning. I think I have found the job that will finally bring me not only joy and contentment but a paycheck. I even pray and ask God if he’s not too busy to give me just this one job, this job that will beat all others, that will change the way I view work, please, pretty please God, let me have this job.

He gives it to me.

I jump for joy. I call everyone I know. Can you believe what luck? I wanted this job for so long! I always wanted to be a receptionist/waitress/barista! Think of the fun I will have when I am making coffee drinks! Think of the excitement I will have when I am answering and directing calls like those Mad Men secretaries. Think of the tips I will make when I show the world my friendly smile.

Fast forward. I hate it. It is loathsome. I am trapped and I need to find an exit strategy.

It’s not that I am simply too much of a gypsy, too much of an artsy soul, too much of a tree-hugger to be cooped indoors doing menial labor; it’s not that it’s beneath me and I can’t wash a dish or serve a beverage or make polite small talk; it’s not even that I can’t embrace the new change and try and excel at my new job; it’s that I truly despise working for The Man.

There have been a few times in life when I have not worked for The Man and I will tell you those have been my favorite jobs and my most beloved bosses (thanks for letting me blog at work, sleep in your coffee shop when my family got on my nerves, and take whole pots of flavored coffee to that guy I liked. And paying me to take your children to Henry Ford Museum, jump on the trampoline and dress like a Russian Fur Trapper all in the name of education. And wear my tall leather boots, tights and ratty cross t-shirt to work, not make me roll silverware at the end of the night and let me drink on the job. To those bosses, I salute you! Thank you for letting me be me).

It’s not even that I am ungrateful. I am very grateful for all the experiences and people I have met along the way, even the wretches because later when I am sharing horror stories with my friends, I win. The problem is that I am just not cut out to work for The Man. Truly I am not. It’s why I would probably do really well at one of those internet start-ups where they ride scooters, shoot nerf guns and have ice-cream machines in their employee lounge. They get it. They’re anti-the-man too. Except I probably wouldn’t be super good with all the techy stuff and I would eventually just want to be outside taking pictures of horses and bodies of water, so I’d end up quitting there too. It’s just who I am!

There’s a reason I’ve almost had more jobs than I have had years being alive. It’s because jobs are the pits and art in all its magnificent forms, including horses and God, is why I breathe. The reason why one of my favorite jobs included my getting to dress up like a Russian Fur Trapper was because I got to dress up like a Russian Fur Trapper! I mean honestly like I need to explain any more than that.

Tomorrow is Halloween and I am not allowed to dress up at my current job. This is bad. This is very bad. And does not bode well for said current job. I don’t know if you get it, but I really suspect Lena Dunham gets it.

I wonder if I can pretend cat ears are a headband? Also it should be noted that I did actually spend time today looking up train conductor jobs. Why? Because why fucking not?