Sunday, August 7, 2016

I Know a Woman

I know a woman who's awfully bright. She's confident and competent and a good bit arrogant. She's funny and has been known to take a drink. She is good to her family, loves her children, and gives back whenever she can. She washes dishes in ice-hot water, serves her man when the situation calls, and keeps her nails working-short. She will never let you down.

This woman is often measured by her children. She's measured by her husband, by her figure, by her hair, her purse and shoes. She is measured by her smile, or her lack of it, and by her 'nice' factor, which too often gives way to the 'bitch' quality most identify her with. This woman has been harassed and hurt more times than she can count by other women for her supposed brassiness or abrasive manner. Her in-laws think she's not good enough, her mom thinks she's better than she is, her children think she's angry, her friends at work think she's not doing enough to climb the ladder, and for as many times as she's had to apologize for pushing too hard, she's twice had to demur at the suggestion that she's not 'leaning in' enough.

This woman's faults are as big as her gifts, and she shares more than she would like of the former, in order to give more and more of the latter. She could be doing something else, yes, but she chooses to do this because this is what is in her heart.

In your life maybe she's your sister or your neighbor or your friend from high school. You know that she's taken her share of hits, you've winced at the power of some. You yourself, have smirked when someone gossiped at her expense. Maybe you have thrown some shade. She's made it easy with her cackle and her bright-color failures, her haughty-instead-of-humble reply when called out.

She pretends she's not insecure, but she is, as we all are, and you know - you know - she is decent and good and trying her best. You marvel at her resilience and determination. She has smiled at you, a real smile, and has been kind to you when you have not expected it. When you've been pissed you haven't wanted to admit it, but even then, you have been a little proud of her success.

You know this woman.