Posted tagged ‘absurdity’

“Hope combined with action is the only thing that will bring you contentment.”

July 17, 2014

The rain was light but steady when I went to bed. During the day it had gotten heavy at times, and I had a flooded floor in the kitchen when I got back from my errands as I had left the back door open. It took a mop. By afternoon the humidity was thick and stifling so I put on the air. The house felt wonderful and I slept until 10, unusual for me. I turned the air off this morning as the day is cooler and less humid than it has been. The sun is even breaking through and the day is getting lighter. I didn’t begrudge the rain. We needed it.

Once I wanted to be Annie Oakley, a horse riding sharp shooting cowgirl who also happened to be the sheriff. I didn’t realize it at the time but she wasn’t stereotypical which is what I think drew me to her. Many of my favorite characters were girls and women who were smart, brave and daring. I loved Lois Lane though I hated those tiny hats, the suits she wore and the purse she always carried. She was dogged in her pursuit of a story and the identity of Superman, and she never let being a woman stand in her way though she did end up being saved time and time again by Superman. TV in the 50’s had few strong women characters. Most, like June Cleaver, wore dresses, pearls and aprons and had dinner ready when their husbands came home from work. Alice Kramden managed to break out a bit. She wore the apron but she was never cowered by Ralph.

As I was growing up, I knew I’d go to college. No one in my family had, but I just knew I would. It was part of the plan I had hatched when I was young, as young as ten or eleven. I’d go to college then I’d travel the world. There was neither doubt nor hesitation in my mind.

When I graduated from college, my mother told that she and my father had never envisioned that one of their kids would go to college. They were both thrilled and proud that I had. Earlier, though, they weren’t so thrilled and proud when I had announced the next part of my plan, traveling the world. My father forbade me to accept the Peace Corps invitation to go to Ghana. I mean really, here I was twenty-one, a few months from graduating, and my father actually thought he could stop me from doing what I wanted. If I hadn’t been so angry, I would have laughed at the absurdity. I ignored him, and he knew I was going with or without his support so he begrudgingly accepted my decision and gave his support.

My life has worked out even better than I had envisioned. It has been so much more.