On Thanksgiving, I visited my in-laws’ home with Hubby. I wore makeup, blue jeans and a sweater, I drove the car part of the way, I didn’t have to cover my head, and several of the MEN in the family served the wine and dessert, then washed the dishes. At dinner, politics reared its ugly head, and everyone laughingly, carefully participated in the discussion for a few minutes. Before anyone got mad, someone wisely changed the subject. No one was hung or stoned for their political opinions.
We drove home that night, where I got to sit with my cats and read before bedtime. This weekend I exercised in shorts and a t-shirt, bought house siding on sale with Hubby, napped, visited my parents, and ate pizza. Tomorrow I will go back to work after a nice long weekend. I’ll drive there myself and be treated as a professional all day. I’ll earn my own money and know that I am equal to others, and safe in my society and my home.
A couple of billion women in on this planet are not so lucky to have my economic independence, my political and religious freedoms, my education, my safe home, my Hubby who sees me as an equal, or even my ability to drive a vehicle, not to mention my good health and stable job. I don’t have a perfect life, and the United States is a deeply imperfect democracy whose citizens haven’t all achieved the equality that some may claim we have. But wow!, do I have it good. And yesterday I got this poem in my box:
“In November” by Lisel Mueller
Outside the house the wind is howling
and the trees are creaking horribly.
This is an old story
with its old beginning,
as I lay me down to sleep.
But when I wake up, sunlight
has taken over the room.
You have already made the coffee
and the radio brings us music
from a confident age. In the paper
bad news is set in distant places.
Whatever was bound to happen
in my story did not happen.
But I know there are rules that cannot be broken.
Perhaps a name was changed.
A small mistake. Perhaps
a woman I do not know
is facing the day with the heavy heart
that, by all rights, should have been mine.