by Amy Lignor of The Write Companion
My first experience with ‘Women’s Lib’ came when I was around seventeen years old. My boyfriend at the time was a young man who hadn’t annoyed me that much…yet, but he was, in a word, useless. I was working a forty hour week, just out of high school, wanting to make as much money as I could in order to hit the road and get as far away from my hometown as humanly possible. Of course, seeing as that I was living in Connecticut and a roll of bathroom tissue was a hundred dollars a pop, basically I was working in order to pay the rent and feed myself with enough money left over each week to stock the bathroom with tissue.
After a long day, the boyfriend knocked on the door. He had worked on his car all day, but BOY was he tired. Sitting watching television, he announced that he had seen macaroni and cheese in my kitchen cabinet. I replied, “I know.” He countered, “We should have that. Are you going to make that?” (He said this last line for awhile, much like a child sits in the back of the car on vacation chanting: Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?
Now, after a long day I could almost feel the presence of Hitler take over my body. It’s what he must have felt on the podium when he began to scream to a crowd of ridiculous onlookers who were absolutely enthralled by his supposed strength. I stood up from the couch and in the loudest, most commanding voice I had within my soul, screamed, “No! I am not making it!”
He, much like one of those children, asked, “Why not?”
“BECAUSE! It is MY macaroni & cheese!” This scream was heard round the world, and I walked out of my own house. That was my ‘women’s lib.’ It was MY macaroni and cheese and no one was going to separate me from that - especially not some man who hadn’t worked at all and thought he should get it and I should cook it.
Back in the decades of the 60s and 70s, women had to fight far harder than I do, because I simply do what I want because I was raised by my mother to do just that. Yes, I have experienced the: honey, sweetie, darlin, moments; the words that seem to be your name with certain age groups, or men in certain locales, but I just roll my eyes and move on. Should I stand up for myself? Why bother? These are people who aren’t even doing it to be rude, they simply can’t remember their own names (usually because of the beer-drinking) let alone mine, so sweetie is what they got to work with.
I ran across my nineteen-year-old daughter one evening. I walked through the living room, not knowing that she and her boyfriend were watching television out there. (I thought they had gone to a movie). My daughter was wearing the Hitler face but it was far darker. Even the Fuhrer would’ve run from her with the full mask of Satan that she wore. In fact, she looked as if she had lines of troops behind her, just waiting to shoot and take the young man of her dreams OUT!
Apparently, he had been speaking about dinner and how hungry he was, reaching over to take a piece of the ‘Kit Kat’ that was sitting beside my lovely, gentle child on the table. What he didn’t understand, however, was that this was my girl’s ‘time of the month,’ and if men have learned nothing over the centuries they should have - BY NOW - learned never to touch chocolate that is owned by the girl during “that time.” It is very much like walking up to a starving lioness, or alpha female in the wolf pack, and stealing the piece of rotted flesh from their actual mouths before walking away. Remember “Wild Kingdom?” It never works out well for the man intruding on a woman’s space. Suffice to say, my daughter’s boyfriend exited the building far faster than any alpha male I’ve ever seen running through the bush trying to escape the wrath of their significant other. Even the male wolf knows his furry behind is about to be kicked, even if he is the one in charge.
See that? “Women’s Lib” is still evolving in its own way. In the 1980’s I got mad and left my own house, BUT kept my macaroni and cheese safe from ‘the man’s’ hands. And now, in the turn of the century (in my family anyway), the females have even a better grasp on ‘women’s lib.’ My girl didn’t even have to speak - all she had to do was give a look of pure and utter evil and the man simply ran for the hills.
See that, people? Soon we will be running the country. Maybe then, the country would actually be out of debt and looking forward to a brilliant new future. Ah…one can only hope!
Until Next Time,