I have NEVER been one of those independent women. You know, the ones who want to always go dutch on a date, and be all independent? No! I love a chivalrous old fashioned man who will ride up on his white horse and grab me and whisk me off to the castle. I have never been one of those women that HATE men. Even when my Yankee and I are at odds and on the war path, I NEVER feel I want to be independent of my men. I actually like being dependent. I get pretty spoiled that way. And a good Southern Belle just LOVES to be spoiled and fawned over by her men. Think of Scarlett and the scene on her front porch.
With Father's Day and Graduation being all in the same week, it had me thinking about the men in my life; my Yankee and my brilliant, talented son, who is only PART Yankee. On a daily basis, these men make up my little Universe here in California. My Daddy has been my guardian angel since I was just four, and my brother, who is blessed to still live in my beloved Alabama, to my stepfather of over thirty years, all take care of me and my mom in some way almost daily. And my two precious nephews whom I wished lived near me, are stars in my night sky! These are my men, the men I love.
My son, my only child, graduated from high school last week and I thought I would need a sedative! I did pretty good. Only wound up needing a few tissues. I love this young man so much it hurts! From the day that fat little bundle was placed in my arms, I became mama Bear. Ain't nobody messin' with my boy! And he is such a good young man!
As I watched him receive his diploma, with so many honors, last week, and a teary me sat beside my Yankee, holding his hand, as he was tearing too, it occurred to me that the men in my life are primary...primal too, but primary all the same! We are a family of men, lots of men. My mother and I are the only two females. Maybe that is why we are so close. No, we are close because I can't LIVE without my Mama, like most Southern Belles. But men dominate the family...in numbers only, as anyone will tell you, the WOMEN, my mother and me, rule the roosts! It has taken a lot of patience to live ensconced in so many of the male species. A lot. My mother and I, well, we are the IN CHARGE type... some....most, might even call us BOSSY. And whom do we boss? The MEN of course! It's just our nature...we don't do it on purpose! Our men are our crew. My mother has my brother, my step father, and even my nephews! See, no nieces, just men...and more men. I have my Yankee, and my half Yankee son. As women, we come by it honestly. It is our very nature to be bossy, ...ahem...to... ORGANIZE, to handle the details of life, and to pull off daily living and turn life into a fine-tuned machine that just hums along without too many glitches. We can do it if the men would just do what we need them to do. Sometimes they do. But they are a tough bunch to get them to do what we want WHEN we want them to do it. MEN!
"Honey, take out the garbage." THREE HOURS LATER....."Honey, why is the garbage still here?" My yankee gives the proverbial, "uh huh" and maybe in a couple more hours it will finally get out the door. He must decide WHEN is the right moment for the garbage to go out. This must be second nature to men. They DON'T want to be bossed. They don't really like to be told what to do, but we have an incessant need to tell them what to do! Isn't that a funny little trick from the universe? As women, we MUST boss, but our men can't stand to be bossed. Yet we need each other on so many levels! Good one, Universe. Ha, that is so funny. So we end up being NAGGY. Sometimes, just to get me to shut up, my yankee will put the garbage right on the front porch..."yes, it's OUT now," he will say. And I think I have already told the story of how he, in a hurry to shut me up, one day took out all the laundry by accident, instead of the garbage. The towels and baby clothes went to the curb, and I was left to FOLD the garbage! MEN!
What would we do without the men we love? I am about to find out as my baby boy leaves for college in August. I will be cryng rivers and buckets all the way back from dropping him off. So will my Yankee. My son, who has always called me his rock, has grown into a rock of his own. He is exceptional. I know, the most exceptional part of him HAS to be the ALABAMA in him! Ok, that was intended as a joke. Well, maybe a half truth. He is strong and good and out to change the world and he will do great. It's me I am worried about. What a strange house this will be without him here every day.
He is the little man in my life, now all grown up and ready to grab his own life and run with it. And I will be running behind smiling and clapping for him as I always have. Eventually, I won't be able to keep up and that is ok. He will become someone else's man. And she better be good to him, cause MAMA BEARS NEVER die! Sorry to scare you, future daughter- in- law. Not really. But I raised this man myself. He is chivalrous, and kind and will give you his shoulder and dry your tears and well, I trained him. He DOES respond to my, ... SUGGESTIONS,... faster than my Yankee! All of us raising boys should remember that. Someday, some young woman will take his hand and his heart and hopefully we have raised a real man, that loves his wife and family .....and will take out the garbage right away! She will be counting on it.
The man I first loved was of course, my Daddy. Like all Southern Belles, our Daddy's are the center of the universe when we are little girls. Though my daddy died in a car accident when I was only four, I still remember him in great detail. He was a big man, 6'3" and had big blue eyes and deep dimples. He was my first knight in shining armor. When he got home everyday, I had to sit in his lap and tell him, in chattering detail, about my day. Especially if anyone had upset me. He was ready to ride the white horse to get them for me. He was patient and loving and told me I was his princess. He REALLY was the MAN!
My brother and step father have helped me move so many times. When I yell "Help", they have come runnin'. Most of the time they aren't smiling, but they come runnin' anyway. I remember my brother literally hauling a washing machine on his back up a flight up stairs for me. He played tackle on his football team, so he was up for the job. I bossed him even when we were little. One day, after my ballet lesson, I wanted him to learn to do the splits. So I took him into the kitchen where we had plenty of floor space, and showed him the position. He couldn't quite get down far enough and fast enough to my satisfaction. So, I gave him a hard shove, and nearly stopped my nephews from being born!! That is NOT his favorite childhood memory! But he still came to my rescue more than once in my life.
My step dad just drove 2200 miles for my mother and me, to get my mom, who is unable to fly, to my son's graduation. And countless times he has helped me fix something in my life, from a broken light socket to a broken car, even a broken heart. He almost never understands the broken heart thing, but he tries all the same. And we could not live without my gorgeous nephews. They rode their white horses 90 miles to my mother's rescue and took her to the doctors and did her house work and yard work and helped her survive almost daily last year as my stepdad had to work out of state. Oh, I love those two boys like they are my own. I am MAMA BEAR to them too.
We ask, and they do it...eventually. MEN!
Without the men I love, I would have no crew. I would have no one to fuss at, no one to cry to, no one to BLAME! How in the world could I survive without my men? I am much like our Miss Scarlett. I like to think I can do it all by myself, but I relish in the fact that I NEED my men. As I said, I have never been one of those independent, I'll take care of myself, women. I love to be spoiled and to be fussed over and taken care of sweetly. My daddy trained me to be this way. As I have trained my son to be a knight in shining armor. I was talking with a woman recently and she was telling my son that women in college will want to pay for themselves we they go out. They will want to be independent. My son spoke up saying, "No," he will want to pay. "I am the man," he said. I sat listening so proud and thinking that I have raised him to be chivalrous and take care of women and always be the MAN. I can only hope I have done the right thing. Definitely give women their space to be awesome at anything they want to do, of course to be paid equally, but to be treated as women. To have the door held, and the chair pulled, and the coat given on a cold night.
I think Miss Scarlett had it all figured out. She would attempt doing something herself, then look all forlorn and become the damsel in distress...and the men would come running. Yes she was crazy...like a fox!
I am part Scarlett...and part CLEOPATRA! Think I'll lie back now and be served by all the scantily clad men while they fan me and feed me grapes. I do love my men! And I need my men. And I KNOW they need me to give them their daily lists, and schedules and organize them. Even if they don't quite realize it themselves.
Ahhhh yes, how does the saying go? So many men, so little time.