Sunday, October 5, 2014

Patriarchy on the Windowsill

I awoke today from a dream saga that set me sitting on the side of the bed, wondering what the heck just happened. This was a trip through decades. There were pieces of my life story, but it felt like an everywoman journey of struggle and pushing back. Against hostile bosses, thwarting spouses, patronizing colleagues, indifferent others – and I was awakened forlorn. Sitting on the edge of my bed in despair and confusion. That's not my normal setting. I can hit the reset mood button just as all women have to regularly in a world with entitled masculine energy paramount. The long dream felt like a trip down memory lane through the centuries, the way female humans have experienced it. I had to shake it off, and it was lucky to talk with a friend who called. I use humor as a survival mechanism and it works most of the time, but the conversation was necessary today to rise out of the melancholy. There's just some shit that's not funny. Humor comes from that pile. Humor is the other face of tragedy (which explains those theatrical masks, although separate isn't entirely accurate.) I made a commitment for next Sunday to go to a standup comedy coaching thing in Ypsilanti at The Mix. Caregiving is a rich environment for comedy. At the core of my caring comedy/tragedy is a golfball with 10-27-96 on it. It's the day my father got a hole in one. It's the day I was diagnosed with cancer. For 10 years I've lived with this golfball on the windowsill. You can see that when I'm struck with the date, I use my soapy hands to try to obscure the day. It took me 7 years to work around that pain of understanding that his pleasure trumps my pain: the crux of patriarchy. I switched the date to the back – he switched it to the front. Yesterday I noticed that he 1) managed to find the permanent marker without asking where it was, and 2) used it to write the date anew on the reverse. Rotating the ball won't help now. Doing some standup comedy, overcoming that fear, definitely will. And maybe it will help some other women, too.

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