Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Big "O" (PA Style)

All praise is due. First things first...Kudos to The Bean for this title. I love a double entendre, and honor your version with a recycling. Earth Day's coming up, my bitches!

So, owning our own furniture company has been pretty cool. Since most of our retailers are based in high end areas like the Hamptons, Hilton Head, and Westchester County, we have gotten to produce things for some really cool and noteworthy people. Most of the time we don't even know who they're for, but occasionally an interior designer or store buyer will drop a name...
A few weeks ago, Mary (the 16 year old Mennonite who I am training in the office) received an email about an author who had just ordered a work table from us. The sales rep mentioned that his first book was on Oprah's book list, and his second just went to the publisher. Upon reading this, Mary looked at me quizzically and said, "I figured you would know what this all means." I explained to her that, basically, the sales person was being a show off and just wanted to brag a bit. But, she then asked, "But what is this word?", as she pointed out the word "Oprah". What the fuckity fuck?! Who doesn't know who Oprah is? And that is when I realized just how different we truly are.
Of course I did my best to clue her in on who Oprah is, but in an effort to explain her influence on pop culture, we strayed a bit. I took her on a mini-cruise of the information super highway; avoiding my favorites, but trying to do my part to open her eyes, even if just a bit. I wouldn't call myself a feminist at all, but I couldn't help feeling that I had a responsibility to tell Mary about how the "other half" lives. Nobody has ever asked Mary, or her sisters for that matter, what they wanted to be when they grew up. Can you imagine? So, I did. I asked her what her family would do if she decided to become a doctor, which seemed to confuse her. She kept asking if I meant a nurse, which makes me wonder if she even knows she COULD become a doctor. I did get a little teary, and I told her that for me, a woman, it did break my heart a little to think that there is so much she will never experience. And so much that she and her sisters have within them that will never be shared with the rest of the world. These girls grow up under their fathers roofs, abiding by their fathers' rules, until they are married to a man they must obey. Her jaw almost hit the floor when I told her that I just didn't believe that I was put here to follow Brett; that I thought we were put here to follow one another, taking turns leading.
The weird thing is though, that as my heart aches for them, so does theirs for me. I know they have such strong faith, and when they look at me, they do not see the strong, opinionated and hardworking person I like to think I am. They see a woman who has chosen a career over her family; who does not know her true place as a help mate to her husband. And who knows? Maybe they're right. I don't think it's my place to say. But, as I explained to Mary, maybe it's right for her, but I know for shit sure it is not right for me.

4 comments:

The Bean said...

Oh my God...I am such an Oprah/celebrity whore! I must know who the author was....call me in private if you must! Love, me xoxo

Anonymous said...

loved reading this one liz - and glad the mennonite girl met you, even if she will proceed to marry and obey. thanks for writing. - meg

Ms. Jackson (if you're nasty) said...

Wayne Caldwell, Chatahochee.

Ms. Jackson (if you're nasty) said...

That's Chatahoochee, I believe. Sorry.