I don't exactly hail from average folks. And, as one of my brothers says often, "Don't be trying to tell people about our lives because they'll never believe you." My father AND my mother were both free-spirits. They couldn't shuck fast enough all the cultural fubar off their souls as they explored the world and grew more enlightened with each day of their lives. They were giddy about having children to raise in their own liberal vision. We were wild and gender-free. I refused to attend school unless I was allowed to bring along my .22 rifle. As you can imagine, I did not attend much school. Thank goodness for that.
My mother, although she was a powerful force to be considered unto herself, assumed the traditional 1950's subservient role to her husband. I watched that and it troubled me. By far, my mother had more sense than my father. In moments of life and death danger, we followed her, not my father. He resented that. I watched that, too. They had gender power stuggles in their marriage.
Then, when my mother was the president of an army wive's club up in Alaska at a hardship post, with only a third grade education and a lifetime of genderized inhibitions, she got a HUGE entertainment budget to put on grand productions for the soldiers with performers like Jimmy Durante and Dean Martin and such. She exploded with genius and artfulness. Her natural skills of leadership and problem-solving and organization finally came into play and were magnificently expressed. And, she was apparently a theatrical genius. The productions were world-class. I saw her grow more beautiful and happy then than she ever was in her life. But, my father resented her pre-occupation with something outside of the home and family and marriage. He viciously sabataged and undermined and ridiculed her effort until she collapsed in confusion and frustration. I watched all of that.
She quit all outside interests then, to satisfy my father, and essentially curled up with a pack of Viceroy cigarettes and Wheel-of-Fortune type escape TV until she died. I blamed her for awhile, for her own giving-up. But, she did not believe in herself enough to perceive a way around the genderized limitations of her upbringing. She made sure, though, that her only daughter believed in herself.
· 1 decade ago