The formative years of my life were spent
learning the value of being a strong woman.
(in case you didn’t know it)
the woman is always the strong one.
run a home
(and a business),
carry in all the groceries
(in a single trip),
mend her own clothes
(if she is taught to sew),
cook her own meals
(and enough for the whole neighborhood),
(under the right circumstances)
((with the right partner))
bring forth life into this world.
But there’s the catch:
the right partner.
For all her strength
she does, in fact, need
A man, a mate, a male of the species
willing to stay for more than just a moment,
even if he’s not willing to stay forever.
I do not know how to get one of those.
While other girls were learning how to
catch a good catch,
I was learning how to type,
and do marketing drives
(mostly just stuffing and licking envelopes, but still).
I was learning how to be my own
strong, independent person
who needed no one to take care of me,
let alone a man.
But I was also learning how to take care of
the weaker sex:
It fell to me to watch over those
males already attached to me
by what should be blood.
I can cook.
So well, in fact,
that my father would
kick my mother out of the kitchen
and ask me to cook
whenever I came home from college.
I can do laundry
without turning anyone’s socks and underwear pink,
and even enjoy ironing as a meditation of sorts:
and I remove the wrinkles out of my father’s shirts;
and I feel a smoothness re-enter my world.
But more than that, I can take care of myself.
I can do my own taxes
and pay all of my own bills
I can change my own oil
and tires, too!
I can fry chicken from scratch,
in next to nothing
And I once gave myself a home root canal
I can even crochet my own blankets…
if Texas ever had a winter cold enough to need me to do so.
I can do all of the things
(and then some)
needed to take care of another human being
except get another human being
to stick around long enough
to see what I’m capable of.