Sunday, November 01, 2009

NaBloWriMo #1: In Which I Bow to Peer Pressure

The three or four of you still reading may have noticed that I have not been much for the blog writing lately. This is not deliberate, and not a sign of crisis-- just, you know, life. My apologies.

In any case, I said I wasn't going to do (Inter)National Blog Writing Month this year. But now a bunch of people whose blogs I read are doing it, and...well, maybe I will too. It worked out pretty well last year. So I'll try it.

So, herewith a short anecdote saved up from this summer. As we've done for the past five years now, we got together with three other families and camped in yurts and the camper van on the Washington Coast. There were seven kids all together: the Mermaid Girl and three other 9-year-old girls, and the 6-year-old little siblings of the other three older girls. These kids have known each other all their lives, and even though we live (2 girls and 1 boy) in another city now, and the other three families all go to different public schools, they still have a special feeling for each other.

One day I was sitting around the firepit with the two 6-year-old girls, Jemma and Triss, and Jemma asked me "Why do you have a moustache?" (Actually, she asked, "Why do you have a...beard?" but I knew what she meant.)

I said that lots of women have hair that grows above their lip, not as much as men but enough to show, but that in our culture most people are uncomfortable about that so most women get the hair removed or bleached. And that I usually bleach it, but I just haven't for a while, so it's showing.

"Ohhhh," said Jemma.

Then I thought to add, "But even though it's really normal for women to have this hair, lots of women are embarrassed about it. So it's probably not a good idea to ask them about it. I don't mind, but you might not want to ask people about it who you don't know."

Jemma thought about this for a moment. Then she broke into a grin, turned to Triss, and said, "When we're grown up, we can talk about our moustaches with each other, okay?"

"Yeah!" Triss nodded, beaming. "But we'll keep it quiet!"

7 Comments:

Blogger Arwen said...

That is an awesome story. It really makes me happy to hear, too, because when I was young it seemed like our default was "Well, but we'll never be like that", for whatever the "like that" was. And then we in fact did get older, and all the like thats made themselves known...

Anyway, it just seems a lot saner to have a friend and meet all the changes as an adventure in tomorrow.

8:59 PM  
OpenID feralgeographer said...

Hurrah! I'm glad you're participating in the challenge... I've missed your stories.

9:29 PM  
Blogger Pamelamama said...

ha!!!

10:46 PM  
Blogger liz said...

I like what you said, and I love their reaction to it!!

7:16 AM  
Blogger Phantom Scribbler said...

This is going to be a TMI comment, but here it goes. I remember how totally isolated and freakish I felt about having hair above my lip when I was young (late adolescence). When I was maybe 19 or 20, I met another young woman who also had hair -- and she didn't bleach it or remove it. It looked fine, and everyone thought she was gorgeous, and it meant SO RIDICULOUSLY MUCH to me, seeing her example. So much so that I decided to emulate her, if only to pay the self-esteem forward to some other girl or young woman. So. I think you are a rock star. And those girls are lucky to know you.

9:27 AM  
Blogger Tall Kate said...

What a great story. I love what you told them, and what they said!

2:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love it.

Was reading slowly, bit of trepidation. But then I had to laugh, and could actually see both their little serious smiling faces.

Thanks for teaching our girls some manners, and some insights. You rock!

10:06 PM  

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