Sunday, May 20, 2007

Excuses....

My Mother groaned and moaned, sighed really big and slow like a Southerner. .. A lady always sits with her legs crossed”….. “Practice, you can do it”….

I was skinny, and gawky, and bendy. Like a wish bone.

I folded myself up like a paperclip to watch TV. Sprawled all over the place, like a limp spider, to read a book. Crouched Chinese style to dig in the dirt. Tucked myself neatly into an accordion to sit on the floor and draw. I was bendy. I never sat like a lady.

“Don’t run” she bellowed as I flew out the kitchen door, nose first, ankles trailing behind me. “Don’t run” she begged me when I was finally pregnant and in early labor. “Don’t run” she pleaded when I took up ballet for the seventh time at thirty-five.

“You’ll fall” she whispered. "It's not ladylike..."

I tried.

To cross my knotty knees. To not let my panties show. To not hike my ankles up in the air so my toes could reach the stars. To not tuck my feet under my fanny and plop on the floor. To not loll around in my body …
free…..

To go slow…

I tried to be ladylike.

But I was hanging from trees, and climbing out windows, sliding down dunes and scuffing in the dirt, dancing on dirty dance floors and skating in ditches....


And I was laughing.

30 comments:

Orhan Kahn said...

You mother is so very different to you, it seems. In fact your history is becoming something of a glorious mystery.

JR's Thumbprints said...

Funny, I've was never told to be "manlike." Instead, as a boy I was told to "be a man." I wonder why there's a difference?

singleton said...

Orhan... I just like the way that sounds! "A glorious mystery"! :)

JR....Good point. I dont know. I guess you wouldn't want to tell a gawky 8 year old or a 13 year old in blue mascara to "be a woman"! Everybody holds off on that one for as long as possible!

david santos said...

Please, it puts fhoto of Madeleine in your Bloggue

Missing Madeleine!
Madeleine, MeCann was abduted from Praia da Luz, Portugal on 03/03/07.

If you have any information, please contact Crimestoppers on
0800 555 111

Please Help

Scott from Oregon said...

Somebody has to say it, so it might as well be ME!

Gotta love those bendy girls!

skinnylittleblonde said...

Lol Sisterlove! So true! Looking @ Orhans' comment, I realize Momma got a break from her lady-like professions with Kimbies...who was, like Mom, a natural lady. Lol.... I guess the girls in our family can be split into the 'Belles' & the 'Nanas' and we make one hell of a united front! GILYSVM!

SpongyBones said...

I tried so hard not to pull the heads off my sisters dolls. To not run from the cute girls in Sunday school... no excuse for laughter. Bet our momma and grandmommas were the same when they were kids!!!! Ah how I love the cycle of life!

Jay said...

Why does everything ladylike feel so restrictive? I don't think being a lady sounds like much fun.

singleton said...

Scott....of course! We're the ones that can fit in any nook of the tree, ride on the handlebars, hide in teeny weeny places!

SLB...you got that right! Campbell chics rock! ILYSVVMtoo!

spongy....hey! are we related? I think SLB and I deheaded some of Kimbies favorites, too!

Jay....I couldn't agree more!

Gawpo said...

GAWD, you're good. And I am made to feel good when reading you. Awesome. Really. Thanks.

Bardouble29 said...

I was all arms and legs and knobby knees. I still am. And I still have a hard time being lady like.

I was such a tomboy, my mom was constantly yelling at me to act like a lady.

To this day I still don't wear anything white!

singleton said...

gawpo...Smiling!

bardouble....Somehow I knew that about you! :)

phaseoutgirl said...

My dear Singleton,

You remind me of what I used to say to my girls when they were kids, same things...

"when you laugh at a restaurant' cover your mouth nicely, be ladylike"

"walk gracefully, be ladylike.."

Now that they are older (one's 20 the other's 17), they always remind me of that, and we all have a good laugh over it...

memories....

love,
Cecilia

skinnylittleblonde said...

Lol, I had to bounce back because I just remembered how mom could pull off such things as belching (she never burps) in such a lady-like manner. How does she do that?! Somethings just can't be taught! Oh well, I guess we will just have to keep rating ours on a scale of 1 to 10 until we figure that one out!
ILYSVM & can't wait to sit paperclipped by you, sipping seaside.

she said...

love this post! -i've always thought the attire should change to fit the active life of the girl; and not the other way around!

Oberon said...

.......so.....tell me.......are you happy here in the big world?

mrsmogul said...

my mom used to yell at me for having my legs open in the living room. Being a teen I was like, "but we're at home!" She had a grimace so I would close my legs.

Matt said...

You and Skinny are so similar in your writing.

`NEFTY said...

Hahaha, funny post. I hate it when people tell me I'm not acting like a "lady." Thank goodness my momther never said that to me when I did... not girly things;]

`NEFTY said...

*mother

singleton said...

Phaseout....Oh! My Mother is still reminding me! And SLB! I'm sure she's convinced we're hopeless! Happy, but hopeless!

SLB.....Honey, I'm gonna be bunji corded to you and we're riding the waves....all of 'em! Peace, Michelobs, and ILYSVVM!

She...welp! That's what we thought too!I'm still draggin' around in tore jeans and other than Mama's pride, it ain't hurt nothin' yet!

Oberon....90% of the time! The other 10 I'm pitching royal hissy fits!

singleton said...

mrsmogul....Oh yeah, I'm familiar with that conversaton! Um, we still have it!

matt...yup! And our posture!

nefty....I know what you mean, girl! And really, everybody needs to indulge in a few "not girlie" things just to enjoy life!

just me said...

I wasn't a girly girl either. Tall and gangly, but mostly tall. My favorite thing my Mom used to say, was, "Don't worry. Most models are very tall." I wanted to be a jockey, though. And that sit like a girl thing. Brings back memories. Love this.

singleton said...

justme...."I wanted to be a jockey, though"....I love it!

psycho-therapist said...

please please tell me that you and singleton are making money off your writings!!!!!
(i was the chunky girl who COULDN"T cross her legs because they were so chubby. i finally got the hang of it and all i have to show are a bunch of damn spider veins- ha!)

singleton said...

Sweetlisa...LOL! "We work for beer", not for money! And we have those spider viens, too! Giant motley wrinkles from basking in the sun too many times for too many hours with too many beers! Gotta love your skin!

velvet girl said...

I was a total tomboy and still am all these decades later. There's too much fun to be had to have to act ladylike!

Thanks for stopping by my blog. :)

singleton said...

Velvet girl....Yeah we foot loose girls know how to have fun!

Shrink Wrapped Scream said...

Oh! Oooh! Ooooohhhh! Bendy girl, you are even a contortionist with your very words - you are my insiration, sweet lady. x

singleton said...

shrink wrapped....well, I sometimes stretch the truth.....