“The history of men’s opposition to women’s emancipation is more interesting perhaps than the story of that emancipation itself.” — Virginia Woolf (A Room of One’s Own)
Grandson finally finished painting my office and repairing the furniture broken in the process. I am in heaven. I didn’t realize just how much I rely on my private space to maintain sanity. The walls are a pale pink almost white. I got rid of all the boxes and junk that were piled up in there and ahhh. What serenity. When Mr. Husband and now Mr. Grandson start piling questions on me or teasing me, I go in there and shut the door in their face. Such satisfaction is wonderful.
I decided to get rid of the area rug in there so it is a hardwood floor and minimal furniture. Uncluttered, restful. PINK. Yes, I already said that, but my room is a bastion of femininity in a this man cave also known as my home. Heavy dark wood bookshelves, dark leather, all the stuff that guys like. Difficult to move, hard to clean, shows dust 5 minutes after dusting. What do they care they aren’t the ones cleaning it anyway.
I make Mr. Husband nervous every once in a while when he asks “OK what exactly would you do if you could change things around?” My answer is “well I’d start with gasoline and a match and go from there.” He always squirms when I say that. I can see the wheels turning in his head “oh crap, maybe she’s serious this time.”
So I have my room back, my privacy back. I can think, create and dream undisturbed. At least for a while anyway. I’m contemplating rigging up the doorknob to deliver an electric shock to anyone touches it when I am in seclusion.
What do we learn when we travel? It’s hard to put into words, but I’m gonna give it my best shot.People are all different, but the same? Duh! Maybe I’m just lucky, but I tend to gravitate towards happy people and they to me.
A person who loves where they are and what they are doing, right here right now, is a joy to talk to. They could be flying a ship, running a country, or selling newspapers. It doesn’t matter.
If you fall face first in a mud puddle, roll around in it, feel it squish through your toes. It’s a free mud pack. Some women will pay big bucks for that.
Happy people love to tell you about their happiness. You just need to shut up and listen. If you’re drinking – takes notes. You won’t remember in the morning.
You never really know someone until you have traveled with them. How do they handle frustration, inconvenience, indignities, schedules blown to hell, pain, or hunger.
All of this could happen in a 5 minute time span in a bus station. Greyhound bus stations in the USA are the armpits of our country. It doesn’t have to be that way, it just it. Why it is I don’t know.
So Mom, Sis and I take our train trip. We never discussed anything about how we were going to handle things, it was unspoken. But it worked. The biggest thing was that we gave each other space, not just physical but mental. For a question like, “Hey, I’m going to lounge car wanna go with?” “No, thanks” was a perfectly acceptable response.
No grilling, coercing, guilt tripping or demanding an explanation; “Why not? What are you doing? Why don’t you want to go? Are you mad at me? Are you taking a break because you drank too much last night? Well, I went with you last time you went.” Blah, blah, blah.
We managed to travel as 3 separate adult women, together as friends. Not triamese triplets, joined at the hip. Good thing too. 3 women hooked together won’t fit through most doors.
We had 2 roomettes (2 person sleeper berth) on the train. We didn’t stake out territory. This is MY seat and that is YOUR seat. We just floated between rooms. The view is better on this side of the train at the moment. We wanted to sit together so sat 2 to a seat occasionally. When one of us wanted some alone time we just wandered off to the other roomette. My sister described it as butterflies. I think it’s a beautiful description. It worked well. None of that “this is MY flower, get off it and get your own flower!”
I’m not saying that every moment was pure bliss, and that we didn’t have any disagreements. But we got over it quickly and got back to enjoying each other and our trip. That is what is most important on a journey.