Saturday, June 16, 2012

Funny things happen...

I was in my therapist's office waiting for my appointment. She was running late and that was unusual so I got myself a cup of ice water and relaxed for 15 minutes or so, after I checked my calendar to make sure  I had the right day and time.

Finally the door opened and she came out with a 20 something woman who looked over at me a bit surprised and said, "Hi, how are you?" I didn't recognize her at all so she filled in, "I'm Sandy's friend from school." I must have looked a bit blank while trying to remember a Sandy and a school. She saw my stammering confusion and continued, "Oh, I thought you were Sandy's Mom. Sorry"

I went in for my appointment and my therapist said, "Don't you get what happened?" I was still a bit fuzzy and she said, "She thought you were her friend's Mom." It slowly dawned on me what that meant and how this stranger had seen me. Wow! She walked by and recognized me as her friend's Mom, not some sort of guy who looked like a woman, but as a woman who was a Mom. Maximum unexpected affirmation for a sometimes clueless gal!

Ring, Ring...

I am very married. My wonderfully supportive wife and I are going through life's adventures together and helping each other along the way. Our wedding rings are a tangible symbol of this adventure and our goal of helping each other along through the journey.

We came together as full adults each having been married before. Our expectations and assumptions are (hopefully...) a bit more mature because of this. And we both know the power of symbols. Her ring has been passed through my family. It's not gorgeous or modern or flashy, but it has a history and has seen many years. My "Boy Ring" is a simple gold band that has become too large as I've lost weight. I have to be careful that it doesn't fall off if my hands are wet. And the symbolism of that change is not lost on me. A few months ago I bought a simple gold filled, cubic zirconia wedding set that looks better on a lady's hand. Very inexpensive but very appropriate. I make a point to always wear it when I'm out in the world and I very often get complimented on it. Not surprisingly those compliments always come from other women.

And that gets us to the heart of this posting. Women pointedly notice each others rings. They are a symbol of relationships, love, status, and family. A wedding ring announces that you are in the sisterhood. The shop lady, the waitress, the bank teller sees that you are living in the world in a certain way. Honestly, for me, breast forms and hair and makeup are clues to guide people to treat me a certain way. The rings are a deeper symbol that shows what is important in my life. This lovely posting by Lucy brought me to warm tears and touched me very deeply. Two people finding their way through complicated changes while being authentic. Because rings are a symbol to ourselves also. Right there on the hand that opens a door, or holds a glass, or touches the arm of a loved one. It sparkles in the light to remind us of the lights in our lives.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Pearls, Pleasantries and Puzzlement

Here in the North West we have  a chain of grocery/household stores that include a very nice jewelry counter that often has great bargains on good quality sparkly things. I had a coupon for a little pearl and diamond pendant that interested me. I went in to get some groceries and to look at the pendant. After waiting for the shop lady to finish with another customer,  I decided to buy it. While we were “transacting” she and I chatted away. She asked if I was buying it for myself and I said that I was. She insisted that I let her gift wrap it because, “we just don’t give ourselves gifts. We do things for our kids and our friends but we women just don’t take enough care of ourselves.”  She was openly treating me as a sister and an equal. Very affirming! We talked about adult kids and grandchildren and taking care of parents.

While this was going on, over her shoulder, I was watching another woman going past with her cart full of groceries. She stopped in the walkway and openly and blatantly stared at me. Her wide eyed disbelief was as evident as the glaring noonday sun. Her husband caught up with her and she couldn’t wait to clue him in to what she had discovered, and he stared.  I couldn’t help but note the slack jawed shock of the couple and how it contrasted with the lovely bonding with the jewelry counter  lady.  The couple left, doubtless discussing their amazement. The counter lady and I exchanged further pleasantries and we finished up with a gentle handshake and mutual thanks.

I left with an untarnished warm glow and went about my day. Did the counter lady “clock me?” Who cares? She treated me as a co-woman and I treasured it. Did the couple learn anything? Who cares? They were likely shocked by Chaz Bono and Jenna Talackova and left just as puzzled as when they woke up that morning. Oh, and the pendant looks great on a silver chain I got for my birthday.