The Opposite Sex
The world is full of them. The opposite sex. My life was full of them. The opposite sex. The house I grew up in seemed full of them. The opposite sex. Where would we be without the opposite sex? Nowadays some women seem to think they can live without men altogether. They would tell you they (men) are redundant.
Ok, so here in Ireland, the days when we women were treated as servants are fast disappearing and it is not a day too soon. It is my opinion that women are treated as subservient in countries where religion holds sway. Since most religions are or were the invention of or propagated by men, is it any wonder.
Now stop right there!
I am not and never have been a feminist. I believe we are all of equal value and should be shown the same level of respect. We each have our own talents and they all combine and contribute to the coat of many colours that is life.
Down the years I have known women who suddenly found the door to the vast abyss of widowhood had closed behind them. They were lost without their soul-mate, stranded because they never learned to drive – ‘Ah sure I don’t need to drive. Isn’t he always there with the car to take me where I want to go!” NOT any more. I knew one lady who didn’t know what bills were, or indeed how to write a cheque!!! Her husband took care of all that (it was the days before ATMs). NOT any more.
Thankfully long before I found myself on the edge of that great black hole, Jack made sure I was able to cope with most situations. “Come here ’till I show you how to do this!” was a phrase used with great regularity. “You will not always have me to help you!” and how right he was. He covered items such as his simple method of book-keeping, DIY, all aspects of decorating, how to change the oil in a car, or the tyre with a puncture. I never change a tyre these days, I find it impossible. I no longer have the strength. Even some men would not be able to do it either, because the nuts on wheels nowadays are tightened with pressure machines.
In my first place of employment it was a totally female environment. I cannot say I hated it, but I did not really enjoy it. Back biting and bitchiness often raised their ugly heads, I kept my head down and worked all the harder to help the day pass a little faster. I was told more than once to slow down. Why? Because I was upsetting the average for the team I was with! I stuck that job for three years because back in the middle sixties changing jobs after a short time was taken to mean you were flighty and not good employment material.
From then on in three different companies I was fortunate to work with a large team of men. Very often I was the only female in the department. I treated all of them like I would my own brothers and they in turn looked after me. I learned their back stories and was privileged to share in the highs and lows of their lives. The new romances, marriages and when a baby was on the way. I covered for them when they needed to attend hospital appointments, school meetings or a family funeral and they in turn pulled out all the stops when I was under pressure with a customer. Those days were good. We worked hard and on a Friday we finished early and all headed for the pub to wind down with a couple of drinks.
I am not totally anti women! There are many that I have great respect for and try to emulate.
This is rather special week. I rejoiced in celebrating on Monday 8th – International Women’s Day for 2010 – On another day I tip-toed over the boundary of another year, and look forward to Mother’s Day in our part of the world this coming Sunday.
So to Mother’s everywhere, a state we would not have reached without our men, I wish you