Thursday, May 7, 2009

Why Aren't They More Perky?

I found myself feeling offended as if dejected by the lady behind the counter, expressing what I thought was absolute boredom and laziness; disdain for accomplishing the task of locating my package, giving me my change or printing my ticket to the afternoon ferry. What I have only now begun to realize is the story behind the disinterested expression. ‘ My goodness, what is her problem? Can’t she be a little more pleasant? A tad more accommodating?’
The question I see behind her eyes as she intently types a text message is, ‘ Who ELSE must I accommodate?’ My children, my husband or lover, my family, my society and now you expect me twist and to turn in order to accommodate your desire for cordiality when I carry many of the burdens of my society ? I’m the last one to be asked, yet the first one expected to listen. If I attempt to exert my authority over myself or my body, I am hissed at, insulted, manipulated or abused. We begin to callus.
The boys seem tough here, fighting and rough housing. But take a closer look. The girls are hard. They must be. The slightest sign of weakness, passivity and your autonomy, safety or choice is threatened.
So now when I am buying my ferry tickets and calling for the saleswoman’s attention, in receiving the apathetic glare, I read the story of a lone queen, drawing her line between survival and being polite.

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