Saturday, July 07, 2007

Eight and Five? Make Eight

Welcome, welcome, to the great meme catchup post of July! Ages ago, Oh The Joys tagged me with the Five for Feminism meme, when I was out of town, and then last week sometime, Omaha Mama and Cinnamon Gurl tagged me with the very strict Eight Things meme. Alpha Dogma and Bon took their lives in their hands by messing with that latter meme's format, and I take my cue from them ... Here are the Eight Things, among which number my Five for Feminism. So while generally 8 + 5 = 13, here in the English PhD world, eight plus five equals eight, and several weeks behind deadline.

[Pause for laughter. Sound of crickets.]

Ahem. The meme, then, shall we?

  • Each player lists 8 facts or habits about themselves.

  • The rules of the game are posted at the beginning before the list of 8.

  • At the end of the post, the person tags 8 people, then going to comment on their blog, letting them know they've been tagged.

1. Fact: Because of feminism, my mom was able to divorce my handsome and clever, but good-for-nothing philandering alcoholic dad in the 1970s. She could divorce him without petitioning the crown or having an act of parliament passed on her behalf. She could take him to court and retain custody of my sister and I, assume the mortgage on the house and have her name stand alone on the title, and she could re-enter her career as a schoolteacher. She could not, mind you, ensure that my dad ever paid court-mandated support, not even when she took repeated days off work and paid repeated lawyers' fees to drag my dad back to court until his wages were finally garnisheed.

2. Fact: Because of feminism, I have always known that I could do anything I wanted. I could be a computer scientist like my dad, or a teacher like me mom, or, my childhood dream, a university professor. Because of feminism, I knew that--even if I was a girl--that didn't make me intrinsically any less clever than anyone else. I could not, however, assume that other people understood this point the same way, and I could not stop myself from being, ultimately, more comfortable socially and intellectually in the feminised field of 'language arts' than I was was in the geek world of computing, at least in high school and early university.

3. Fact: Because of feminism, I understood that my body was a wonderful thing, that it was mine to keep sacred or to share with others as I alone saw fit, understood more and more as I matured that my body had its own desires and these were not bad or wrong or shameful. Still, I didn't learn well enough that my body had its own beauty, and so, by careful counting and obsession, I dropped enough weight during high school that I didn't menstruate for eight months.

4. Fact: Because of feminism, I am strong enough to acknowledge that Pynchon has better insight into our relationship sometimes, safe enough to accede to him when he's clearly right--as he is with me. Feminism makes each of us strong enough to take half a year off from our careers to devote to full-time care of our Munchkin, and strong enough to return to work because that's where we're happiest.

5. Fact: Because of feminism, I am learning to see that not all women are the same, nor all feminisms 'Feminism.' Because of feminism I become humble in proportion as I become strong; I become empathetic as I become self-reliant.

6. Habit: I am a major sloucher. If you met me you would imagine me to be a good 3 inches shorter than I am, and flat-chested. However, when I sit at the dinner table or at my desk, my spine straightens of its own accord and I look taller than Pynchon, as tall as my friend who's 6'1". Neither the slouching nor the straightening are conscious. Exhaustion cannot bend the latter, nor my mother's will and nagging the former. Huh.

7. Habit: Blueberries. They come in the house, and I eat them all. At once. Pints and pints of them. By the handful out of the fridge, or in a bowl with milk and brown sugar, and then another handful from the fridge until they're all gone. I once bought 10 pounds of blueberries for 10 dollars. I managed to EAT THEM ALL in a WEEK. Ten pounds. I didn't cook them or bake them or make jam. I ate them.

8. Habit: Munchkin's hair amazes me. There's so much of it and it's so soft and usually such a messy bedhead sweat-encrusted banana-gelled hat-crushed disaster, that I can't stop running my hands over it, through it--I'm smoothing it, maybe, trying to make it less unruly, but I also just revel in the touch of it. The fact of it--I have a daughter and she has hair I can run my fingers through. I'm a self-conscious sensualist like that.

Phew! That's that. I'm for sure not tagging anyone else for this, because a) I'm so late to the party and the Interweb has moved on, and b) everyone I know has done it already.


slouching mom said...

You and I with the blueberries, baby! I bought two pints last night, and they are GONE.

This I love:

Because of feminism I become humble in proportion as I become strong; I become empathetic as I become self-reliant.

I feel the same way.

ewe are here said...

Your No 1 makes me want to add 'Because of feminishm, we have the right to choose whether or not to have children.' In the early 70s, California used to require your husband's consent to terminate a pregnancy.

I hear you on the blueberries. :-)

Jenifer said...

Great list...I kind of mangled the rules as well so no worries.

I hear ya with the blueberries, actually any fresh in season fruit. Right now I am eating a huge bowl of cherries.

Soft baby hair is the best, I notice lots of Moms absenting running their hands over their kids heads. It is primal really I think.

Lawyer Mama said...

Blueberries are just yummy. There are worse habits to have.

I have the hair habit too. I dread the day my boys pull away from me when I do it.

Alpha DogMa said...

Blueberries v. Saskatoon berries - which is better? This debate in an annual event in our house. I come down on the side of blueberries, while the Omega Man refuses to see his berries are an inferior bland copy.

Oh, The Joys said...

Maybe the best meme-mixing I've ever seen!

NotSoSage said...

Damn you. I had a draft post waiting to do this EXACT SAME THING (except that it also included a tag for 6 weird things about me and thus had pretty much derailed...I sat down to work on it tonight and was distracted).

I actually haven't read your post, so I must go back, but now I'm wishing I'd had a chance to read this before now so I could have admonished you in person.

Mimi said...

Sage -- didn't I curse you out for making me notice all the unsorted garbage at my daycare? The air is blue from us damning one another. ;-)

Omaha Mama said...

Great post - I like how you combined the two! Your own mother's courage certainly led you to becoming your own independent, bad ass self!

nomotherearth said...

Love blueberries too, but my current obsession is fresh peaches. Can't get enough of them and damn, they're expensive too!

Bon said...

loved this, Mimi. loved the blueberries, the way you delineated so much of your personal history against the backdrop of the societal changes feminism forced into being, how you represented your relationship with Pynchon, the way you describe touching your daughter's hair.

kittenpie said...

I am totally the same with the hair. Totally. Can't keep my hands out of it.

(and the blueberries, too.)

Bon777 said...

Better blueberries than say blue m&m's. Loved the feminism slant to that meme. Thank God for strong female role models.