Lessons from Chevys

I grew up with Chevy cars and when I was old enough to drive, my first car was a Chevy. I’ve had two more Chevys since then and in all my Chevy days, I have learned a thing or two…

1. Make sure all doors to the vehicle are shut before driving away. Seems like a no-brainer, right? Well, try being a kid who was constantly half-hanging out the door when the car was thrown into reverse.

2. Always take a receipt from the pump after getting gas and paying with a credit card just in case the cashier inside calls the cops and reports that you didn’t pay and the sheriff shows up at your house. Seriously, this shit happens.

3. Have a sense of humor. If hoodlums spray paint your car with foul language while you’re at the movies, laugh at the fact that, among all the cuss words they could come up with, the word ‘fart’ decorates your back tire. You can’t do anything about it now anyway, so just chuckle and drive home. Besides, it could be worse.

4.  Sometimes you just have to hit the animals that get in your way. If you are on the interstate going 70 being followed be an SUV and passing a tractor trailer truck then the family of ducks trying to cross the road or that doe that jumps from the tall grass onto your windshield were not meant to live.

5. Treat your car with kindness and regular maintenance, if you don’t, it is nothing but a death box on wheels. I don’t really have anything to completely back this up but I think it is a valid point.

6. Roll your right pant leg up in the winter when you’re driving, otherwise you’ll get a ring of salt around your pant leg and go into work with mismatched ankles. Doesn’t seem like a big deal, but I don’t have time to hit up the laundromat every week for one damn pant leg.

7. If you’re truckin’ along and all of a sudden the speed starts to drop, try to pull over first before you scream and call someone.

8. After you get all your fluids changed make sure the lovely auto-dudes have screwed your coolant tank cap back on before you drive all the way down to the bottom of the state and then can’t get the car to start up again because it’s been overheating the whole day.

9. When you finally find the that auto-dudes didn’t put the cap back on your coolant tank, call them and complain and get your money back. Do not take ‘no’ for an answer.

10. Keep an emergency car kit in your trunk at all times, regardless if its October and winter isn’t supposed to be there yet. You don’t really want to stay at that sheisty motel off Rte. 9 without a clean pair of clothes to change into or a toothbrush do you?

11. Change your tires every so often. Bald tires are like a fashion statement: they are trying too hard.  And go back and read #5. Think, Death Box.

12. Give drivers in front of you plenty of space. You don’t know if the person in front of you panics every time someone comes up behind them, especially at a stop because this one time this drunk asshole hit them at a red light and now every time they’re stopped anywhere they think they’ll be crushed. I know from experience dude.

13. Learn to change a flat tire so that when you are stranded in the parking lot outside of work you do not have to rely on the business manager to come out and show you how its done. Not that I wasn’t grateful.

14. Dance parties in the car can be fun. Try it at least once, but keep both hands on the wheel if you’re the driver.

15. Keep as little as possible in your trunk so that in the event that some crack addict breaks into it, the only thing they can steal is the sign that says, “Get your head out of my ass. Love, Chevy.”

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Pet Peeves at Professional Conferences

I’ve attended a lot of professional conferences both small scale (within states I have lived in) and large scale (national conferences in huge cities like Atlanta, New Orleans, and Washington D.C). Ideally—and really most of the time— they are great for professional development, networking, learning, and personal growth.

Yet, despite the wonderful things attained by the experience of attending a conference, there have been several things I have noted over time that drive me insane. At times these pet peeves nearly make me lose sight of all that positive stuff I just mentioned. At times they make me wonder if I could go into consulting or event planning to coach people through appropriate professional conference design and etiquette.

“What are these pet peeves?” you might ask.  

I have broken them down into three categories: pet peeves about the conference set up or organization, pet peeves about the conference attendees, pet peeves about the presenters.

Conference Set Up & Organization:

  • When you don’t know where or when registration is because you can’t find it listed anywhere on their website, in an email, or in the program
  • When the conference claims they are “going green” because they are going to collect evaluations electronically but they’ve still printed conference programs and additional handouts, have given you Styrofoam, non-recyclable coffee cups with breakfast, have jacked up the air conditioning, and have put you in a five star hotel which is not energy efficient whatsoever
  • When the air conditioning is on so high it freezes your brain and makes the hair on your legs grow
  • When the food service people are rude to attendees because they have dietary restrictions which means the food service personnel will have to go talk to the cook which inconveniences them, but if the attendee had the chance prior to the conference to list his/her dietary restrictions, they would have and then it wouldn’t have been an issue
  • When the food service people take your plate and utensils away after you’ve put your fork down for two seconds because you want to chew your food slowly and enjoy your meal
  • When the final conference session ends abruptly without a thank you to the attendees for coming
  • When the exhibiting schedule is not listed in the regular program and all your exhibit materials get thrown out because you assumed (somewhat logically) that the exhibits would be open for the entire duration of the conference and it would be okay to retrieve your items on the last day of the conference and still find them there

 Conference Attendees:

  • When attendees leave their phones on while they are in a workshop/presentation/session and when they ring in the middle of someone’s presentation, they let it ring rather than turn the damn thing off (too bad they hadn’t just turned it off to begin with, but I suppose that it would have been way too polite)
  • When attendees check and respond to emails and texts during presentations. Hello! The presenter can see you being rude you jerk! If you don’t care about what they are saying, get the hell out!
  • When attendees sit in the front row and then have the audacity to doze off.  If it is too early, too boring, not worth your time, or you are just too tired, don’t come! Or at first sign of dip and sway, get up and go back to your room for a cup of coffee or a nap.
  • When attendees wear sweats and t-shirts to the conference. Sorry, but we are not at a slumber party or a gym. Go make yourself look like a professional.
  • When attendees cruise through the exhibit hall disinterested in anything you have to say but they’ll take that free pencil and magnet you are passing out.

 Conference Presenters:

  • When presenters talk in a tone that sounds like they are in a perpetual state of yelling
  • When presenters are clearly unprepared
  • When presenters read word for word off their PowerPoint or notes and never look at the audience
  • When presenters do not answer the questions that attendees ask and rather than stop to think and then respond, or respond with “I’m not sure but let me get your contact information and I’ll find out,” they ramble about something else entirely off topic and never give a straight answer
  • When presenters embarrass one attendee in front of all the other attendees because the presenter’s ego is bruised
  • When the session is supposed to be panel style, specifically set up for Q & A, but those in attendance don’t actually get to ask questions because the presenter is too busy talking about themselves and stealing the show
  • When the presentation does not accurately reflect the description of the presentation listed in the program
  • When presentations do not include citations or references or when the presenter is unable to provide them when asked
  • When presenters text during their own presentation
  • When presenters use unnecessary graphic and explicit examples, images, or content in presentations to make a point which does not require the use of these things to make that point

Maybe these pet peeves don’t bother anyone else and really I am just a hard-to-please conference snob. If that is the case, I guess I have a few different choices: 1) ignore the pet peeves 2) stop going to conferences  3) medicate heavily before attending conferences
4) accept that the world is full of rude and clueless people (hence why they are wearing sweats, answering their phones, and publicly embarrassing people at professional conferences) and/or 5) open up my own conference consulting business so that I don’t have to bitch about what I would do differently.

A Fable in 30 Minutes: The Skunk and the Fox

Prompt: Write a fable in which you make an unusual animal your main character. (Take from ‘The daily WRITER: 366 meditations to cultivate a productive and meaningful writing life”)

Stewart the skunk lived underneath Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin’s old rickety porch. He was very lonely and very misunderstood.

Pierre the ppossum thought Stewart was evil because his hair was black as night with a stripe as white and sharp as a lightning bolt. He did not look like any of the other animals.

It was true, Stewart did not look like any of the other critters in the yard, but he was not evil. Stewart was gentle and quiet.

Bartholomew the beaver thought Stewart was sneaky and untrustworthy because he only came out at night when the Benjamins could not see him and when they did, he scurried back into hiding like he had been caught doing something he shouldn’t be.

Stewart did not come out during the day because he knew the other animals did not like him and would only stare at him then turn their backs.  And he only scurried back under the porch when the Benjamin’s saw him because he was very frightened by humans. They were so much bigger than he was and he knew they did not like his kind.

Opus the owl simply did not like Stewart because he smelt poorly. He did not believe him to be evil or believe him to be sneaky, but he knew that Stewart stunk.

Stewart did have an odor, but he knew how to control it. He only smelt badly when he needed to defend himself. It was a trait that he needed to survive, just like Pierre hds his long, strong tail and Bartholomew had his big front teeth, and Opus had his beak and that ability to turn his head almost all the way around.

The only animal that was more disliked than Stewart was Red, the fox. Not only was Red disliked, he was feared.

Red snuck up on Pierre when he wasn’t looking. He stomped through Bartholomew’s hut and dams. He stalked Opus from tree to tree.

Red was a bully and the animals did not know what to do to make him stop. They had tried to ask him nicely. They had reported him to Critter Control. They had tried ignoring him. They even had tried speaking to his mother, but nothing worked.

Stewart watched all of this from beneath the porch. Red did not even know Stewart existed.

And because Stewart was really smart and quite clever, he devised a plan.

The next time Red appeared in the backyard to torment Pierre, Bartholomew, and Opus, he would be ready for him and he would prove to the others he was not anything like they thought.

One afternoon a few days later, Red came slinking into the yard. He was looking at the tree tops in search of Opus.

From beneath the Benjamin’s porch, Stewart hooted.

Thinking it was Opus, Red started his way toward the house looking for the tree where Opus might be sitting.

When he got close enough to the porch, Stewart scurried out, lifted his tail and sprayed Red in the face.

At first, Red was angry at being tricked and he went running after Stewart trying to dig his way under the porch.

Then the smell settled in around him like a cloud. He began to chase his tail in circles trying to get the scent off him.

Pierre peaked out of a nearby bush to watch. Barthlomew looked out from behind a tree to snicker. Opus flew overhead and hooted with delight.

As Red chased his tail around and around getting dizzy, Stewart came scurrying out and sprayed him one more time.

This time Stewart got him right in the eyes. The second squirt was worse than the first.

Red, with his eyes burning, his coat steaming with stink, and feeling awfully embarrassed, ran down the bank and towards the river.

He was never seen again.

Pierre, Bartholomew, and Opus thanked Steart and gave him high-fives.

Stewart was no longer just a lonely and misunderstood skunk. Stewart was a backyard hero.

A Few Thoughts on Silence

Prompt: Write on the different kinds or degrees of silence as you have experienced them. (Take from ‘The daily WRITER: 366 meditations to cultivate a productive and meaningful writing life”)

 

Silence is that feeling around me like diving into a bubble when I begin a piece of writing. It cuts off the actual noise, like the running water in the fish tank if I’m sitting in my living room or the people talking in the coffee shop if I’m writing in a cafe.

Silence is that look that passes between me and you, saying everything and nothing all at once.

Silence is the anticipation of Christmas morning. You wake up and listen to the house, smell the pine and cinnamon floating beneath doors. Are you the first to awake or the last one to rise?

Silence is the despair you feel every September when you remember the untimely and tragic death of your roommate and when you remember how short and precious life is. If she were alive today, she would be sending you emails rather than living in your life as only a memory.

Silence is in the stare your grandmother gives you when you walk into her room and realize she doesn’t recognize you. The disease has wiped away your relationship.

Silence is the grey, still morning inside your lungs as you run the trail with no one but the squirrels and stop occasionally to lift your hand out to the birds so they may rest their wings just a moment.

Silence is in the ‘no’ you told him over and over as he tried to thrust himself into the hollow of you.

Silence is inside the echo you hear when you walk into an empty church and are stunned by Christ nailed to the cross though you’ve seen Him a dozen times before.

Silence is in the breath you take after you check to make sure your heart still beats after being crushed from behind, a drunk driver speeding by you, through the red light, and leaving you to whatever will be.

Silence is in the long drive home, no cell phone service, no radio. Just darkness, trees, wind, and road.

Silence is in the forgiveness, the letting go and when the voices suddenly cease to exist.

Silence is in the embrace between you and your partner, the merging of two lives, the becoming satisfied and happy to walk with one another from now until time runs out.

I’m Worried About Our Children

I’m worried about our children…

I’m worried that they don’t have manners.

I’m worried that they don’t know how to show adults or eachother respect. I’m worried that they don’t really know what respect is.

I’m worried that our children don’t have empathy or compassion for others. I’m worried when I tell them “Sometimes kids as young as you committ suicide because they’ve been bullied” and sometimes they respond, “That’s stupid” or “They need to learn to suck it up” or “Big deal.”

I’m worried about our children…

I’m worried about our children that are so plugged-in they’ve never scraped their knee trying to climb a tree. They’ve never gone chasing the seagulls at the beach. They’ve never really imagined anything. They probably have never turned a plane old box into a space ship or  submarine.

I’m worried that our children have a sense of entitlement. Rather than their cell phones, laptops and internet access be privileges, they are rights and no one should take it away– not even the policeman who is confiscating it because they did an inappropriate and unsafe thing using it.

I’m worried that our children have too many parents who don’t parent at all.

I’m worried about our children watching TV, consuming advertisement after adverstiment that sells them products and messages that ask them to sexualize themselves without true understanding what that it even means.

I’m worried about the fourth grade girls I see wearing bright pink lip gloss and mascara, loose and low cut shirts, and tiny skirts who have their nails done and talk about boys like I did when I was 16. I’m worried that their parents let them out of the house at 9 or 10 dressed like that.

I’m worried about Toddlers and Tiara’s and how that isn’t considered child exploitation and can be broadcasted all over our TVs magazines with sensationalization rather than outburst and demand for it to be pulled off the air and a banning of beauty pageants for anyone younger than 18.

I’m worried about our children’s “role models” making drug addiction, misogyny, and domestic violence look cool simply because they are famous and because no one actually punishes them for their poor behavior.

I’m worried that our children watch movies, listen to music, and play video games more than they talk to eachother. I’m worried that some day they won’t know how to talk at all.

I’m worried that the movies, music, and video games they do play only continue to give them terrible messages that will only hurt them in the long run.

I’m worried that what they are exposed to will prevent them from healthy relationships and lead them into the arms of unhealthy partners, terrible experiences, and permanent scars.

I’m worried that they already know a world of: ‘What is in it for me?,’ ‘They started it’, ‘He/she deserved it’, ‘You can’t make me,’ and ‘That’s mine.’

I’m worried about our children…

I’m worried that our children have closer friendships with their technology and with the strangers they talk to online than people they encounter in real life. I”m worried that they’ll add anyone to a friend’s list.

I’m worried that our children will someday grow up to become adults that will perpetuate all that I’ve already listed and this cycle–whatever it should be called–will continue.

I’m worried that our children go to school and are under the supervision of educators who have just as many poor behaviors as they do.

I’m worried that our children have too many adults in their life that either cross serious personal boundaries or don’t set enough boundaries.

I’m worried about our children….

and  because I’m worried about them,

I’m worried about the children I’ll bring into this world someday and

what children will they have to rely on,

and what children will they have to play with that will actually know how to play,

and what will the adults in their lives be like aside from me since these children now will be the adults for them then,

and if I already worry this much about everyone else’s children,

how will I survive all the worry I already have about my own?  

I’m worried about our children. Are you? Do you feel the worry, too?

When I Grow Up: Ode to Becoming Nothing but a Dreamer

Every child is asked at some point, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” This very question was asked of a 10 year old family friend just the other day, and I drifted back to my own childhood, remembering all the things I said I was going to be:

Everything.

I wanted to be everything. I had an overactive imagination about my future (…..okay, so I have–present tense– an overactive imagination about a lot of things, not just my future).

As a little girl, my career plans changed daily. One day I wanted to be a captivating teacher, next a celebrity hairdresser, then an award-winning chef. I wanted to be a life-saving surgeon, a world-known astronomer, a smart-as-a-whip marine biologist. I wanted to be a lawyer, a scientist, a zoologist, an anthropologist, an architect, a business woman, a director and producer, an actress, a painter, a to-die-for baker.

Somedays I wanted to be a character: Dorothy, orphan Annie, Anne of Green Gables, Snow White, Belle, Jane Eyre, Laura Ingalls.

Somedays my character-role was less specific: a princess, a pirate, a stay at home mom, a small town heart-throb, a poor country girl, a superhero.

And then of course, there were a few particular professions and character roles which remained consistent, popping up frequently over time, and not just as a child but as an adult woman, too: writer, wife, and mother.  (Mind you they are not in any order of priority, for I want to be these things simultaneously.)

Still, despite these few consistencies, as a little girl, my possibilities for fame and fortune, trials and triumphs were endless. I was energized by imagining my adulthood someday.

And now someday is here.

Alas, I am an adult.

An adult who questions the role of dreams and dreaming in a world of bills, loans, debts, and healthcare coverage.

An adult who wants to know if job security and practicality can ever be paired with a profession that one dreams of; or if dreaming of a ‘dream job’ never is actually realized which is why it is labeled a DREAM job to begin with.

Do ‘dream jobs’ simply mean it takes a dreamer and a great leap of faith to make it work? Perhaps it’s not a leap of faith, but of fate, or perhaps not of either, but of confidence. A leap of confidence. I like the way that sounds.

Maybe instead, ‘dream jobs’ result from hard work and a solid plan which then would argue that some level of practicality can be useful in securing a ‘dream’ position. Which brings me full circle.

Surely there is proof that ‘dream jobs’ exist when we look at our celebrities and think they must have been so lucky as to have succeeded in finding and securing their own. Then again, luck is not a result of taking a leap of faith or of confidence, but of knowing the right people, the right places and times to be, the right windows and doors to enter through. So, luck isn’t luck at all? Or is that too something entirely different?

And, on another note, how many of our celebrities have unravelling marriages, substance abuse problems, or a sleu of other average-person life challenges which undeniably take away from the pleasure of having a ‘dream job’– especially when the very nature of that ‘dream job’ may have plastered all that devastating life-shit-that-happens all over mass media which inevitably perpetuates the problem further.  Are they still living in ‘their dream’ in the face of all that pressure?

Even if I could figure out what the exact nature of a ‘dream job’ is, could I abandon my grown-up sense of levelheadedness, my knowledge of what bills I have to pay, what money I have to make to live in order to follow my childhood imagination which is still very much in-tact? Would following my ‘dreams’ mean risking a secure financial future for my future children who also deserve their childhood to dream?

I have no answers. I am left to find peace between the world of jobs, my identity and place as a career professional, my desires to someday be a stable and loving provider to my children, and my  devotion to my true self– which for as long as I can remember has been filled with an unsatiable imagination and will to dream and to become.

I Daydream

I daydream of…

sewing a handbag decorated in fur and the plastic 3D glasses I got at the Midnight showing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

painting big letters that spell out out F-A-M-I-L-Y in bright colors and hammering them to the wall in a crooked line

decopaging two wooden blocks out of old 7 Days magazines then drilling a tiny hole in the corner of each,  outfitting them with a tiny metal question mark, and wearing them as earrings

buying yards and yards of tweed fabric to reupholster the set of chairs my boyfriend and I bought from the antique store

trying on the wedding dress with the scalloped top and hem, tiny polka dots, and light layer of tool in the window display I drive by every morning on my way to work

baking a tower of strawberry cupcakes with fake candles made out of colored Pirouette cookies

going to the park with a blanket, a pillow, and one good book and not leaving until I’ve read it cover to cover

finishing those applique Christmas stocking kits and hanging them up early along the stairwell railing

filling one of those shelves with all the tiny compartments  with miniatures I find at random places

kidnapping the  black and white kitten I see every afternoon on the street I park my car on and hiding it from my landlord in the unlikely event he shows up unannounced

taking swing dance lessons so I have a reason to buy saddle shoes and wear big barrettes in my hair

learning to make my own pasta because I love to eat pasta and I would love to say “that pasta is homemade”

sitting in a tub full of buttons

writing a great american novel under a pen name like Matilda Wiseclown and knowing that book was really going to go somewhere…

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

“When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I’m feeling sad, I simply remember my favorite things and then I don’t feel so bad…”

diamond earrings

rain storms

candles burning

cupcakes

smell of coffee in the morning

the wind through my hair

toes in the sand

sound of running water

a good book

writing

hugs

making up words

surprise packages

Eggs benedict with a really good hollondaise sauce

board games

Disney movies

running through the woods

Irises

completing a puzzle

ice cream

cooking over a campfire

scarves

taking silly pictures

random call from a friend

finding something you thought you lost

scavenger hunts

getting lost in an antique store

old jars and bottles

lamps

home improvement projects

making people laugh

trying a new recipe

letting my hair air dry

not wearing make up

sleeping in

lazy Sundays

exploring new places

Sunny days

musicals

going to the theater

watching movies in my sweat pants

French Fries

dance parties in the car

eating dinner out on the patio

naming the shapes of clouds

going to a new restaurant

playing in the Ocean

mini-golf

hot cocoa with mini marshmallows

eating peanut butter right from the jar

driving by the bridal store

day dreaming

the smell of freshly cut grass

 

 

 

Chair

I walk by the same antique store every morning on my way to work. I always peer inside to see what treasures-untold are displayed in the window, partially hidden by the  darkness of a store that doesn’t open until 9.

At the end of the work day, I walk by again, but this time the treasures-untold spill out of the open door and onto the sidewalk, lining the store in protest. I  imagine that they  come to life in the hours I am at work and their appearance outside of the store has little to do with the owners inside. These parade of antiques shout at me: “I may be old, but I have lots of character” or “Don’t you want to know my story” or “They don’t make things now like they did when I was around.”  They never cease catching my attention and send my imagination and curiosity reeling. Many times they halt me on my way to my car and I surrender to a closer look at them, wondering what time they came from, what purpose they served and for whom.

Then one day I was struck by a chair. It was not loud like the red-painted stool or blue-painted cabinet next to it or any of the other objects that had lined the streets for weeks before it. Something about its chipped, stained wood and woven back and seat was poised, strong and silent, determined. Something about it made me think 1920s. And the 1920s always makes me think women’s rights. It is one of my favorite periods of history for its activism, progress, cars, and fashion, to name a few. (Although I doubt I would have liked it all that much had I actually grown up in the roaring 20s.) Still, the chair spoke to me from its place in history– or at least what I perceived was its history.

Every day for a week I walked by, always stopping slightly to gander at it, held in awe by it. There was something magical there.

And then finally on the seventh day I succumbed to its power and I bought it. The store owners confirmed my opinion on its historical time frame, saying it could be no older than the 1930s and guessing it was more 19 teens or twenties. This fact set my insides bubbling.  A piece of women’s history was coming home with me (or at least a tangible thing I considered to be close to being a piece of women’s history).

When I got it home, I sat it in the middle of our office. At first, I was afraid to sit in it, afraid that my weight would break it or that its internal magical powers would be too much for me to handle. But, after continuously walking by it and peering in at it, I had to just settle myself down and feel it beneath me.

I sat and thought. “What if a suffragist had sat in this chair just a little under 100 years ago to write letters to congressman? What if Alice Paul had sat, reading the works of Susan B and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, until she was called to write something herself? What if this chair had gotten passed down generation after generation of women’s rights activists? What if this chair helped someone write a great American novel?”

Finally, I thought, “What will I do in this chair to keep this history alive?”

First thing I did was name it Susan B.

I’m still deciding what glorious thing I’ll accomplish in its presence, but I will accomplish something.

My Susan B

 

 

Cupcake-ing

Cupcake-ing: (v). to make, bake, and decorate cupcakes with friends while testing out frosting, laughing, taking pictures, and then sharing the results (i.e. chowing down) of one’s own handiwork

 

After my friend, J, showed me her book “Hello, Cupcake,” I fell in love with the idea of baking and decorating cupcakes and so did our other friend, M, who also took a gander at the book. M and I instantly went out in search of the book for ourselves while our significant others began salivating over our future cupcake creations.

Finally, weeks after having cupcake fever and cravings, J, M, and I got together on a Sunday afternoon, sent the boys to the bar, and hunkered down in the kitchen for some extreme cupcake-ing. (I realize this all sounds very gendered, but alas, us girls were taught how to bake and them boys were not, so don’t blame me).  We each brought supplies and we split the cost of ingredients and had ourselves a very cheap and stellar time together (while the boys spent much more money to bond at the brewery, haha).

Though the cupcake baking and decorating was good, clean fun, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of shared womanhood with J and M as we baked. (Yes, this is me the feminist jumping on my soapbox and me the writer finding deeper meaning in something as simple as batter and frosting).

We each knew the language of the kitchen; there was no defining or describing Tsp. or Tblsp., whisk, stir, or blend. There was no awkwardness moving around the kitchen, going in and out of the refrigerator or drawers for ingredients and utensils, or setting the stove to ‘bake’ at 350 and the timer to 20 minutes. We worked together, taking turns reading the recipe, blending the ingredients, cracking the eggs. Without agreement, we put away ingredients as we didn’t need them anymore, rinsed off utensils when we were through with them. And as we went about our baking with one part of our brain and consciousness, we were also engaged in conversation and laughter–true multitasking (which women are known to be better for :p ).

Now, I already made a jab at what a gendered event this all seemed to be , recognizing perhaps that it should not be this way, BUT I liked it this way. I enjoyed the  company of my woman friends. I enjoyed the shared knowledge and the shared experience. I enjoyed the thought of knowing that we three could do something that our  partners could not (or at least not as well) BECAUSE of our gender roles and upbringing.

I am not suggesting necessarily that the act of baking is what bound us together in that moment. I acknowledge that some men are just as capable in the kitchen as women, however, much of our gender roles in society are still quite divided in particular areas. And if in this instance knowing how to bake was a part of our stereotypical gender upbringing than, I embrace it. I believe we found community and solace in our cupcake-ing that afternoon and both of those are invaluable in my opinion. So if those two things come from being raised ‘female’ as our culture would define it, I say “Amen and Thank you.” Gender roles and stereotyping don’t always prove to be so bad.

And neither did our cupcakes!

Anyone for a game of pool?

Can I get a hoot hoot?

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