Things like “putting themselves first,” “how little or how much they’re eating” and “not having baby fever.”
I particularly loved the “amount of makeup worn on any given day.” The writer, Brianna Wiest, says we can go au naturale or “work it like you’re in a drag show…Your face. Your rules.”
I’ve been known to put on a little makeup when I’m having photos taken, but mostly it just seems like more trouble than it’s worth. And again: Nobody tells guys that they ought to wear a concealer or that a good mascara would make their eyes look larger.
Now I’ll see Brianna her 18, and raise her six of my own. Among other things I’m through explaining are:
1. Why I had only one child. Why? It’s none of your business, that’s why. But since you ask, I thank God every day that I didn’t have a kid with the abusive ex. If I had, I’d be tied to him in some way or another forever. Besides, the daughter I have is terrific, so why not stop there?
2. Why I dye my hair. It has less to do with vanity than with the way the world looks at gray-haired women. Too often people look only at the cover, rather than at the contents of the book. I’m uneasy about this, but at this point in my second career, it seems necessary.
Muddying the waters
3. Why I’m not remarrying. I used to quip that I’d only get married again for something really romantic, like health insurance. Fact is, my wonderful partner and I each have kids and remarrying would muddy the financial waters. What’s mine will go to my daughter, “150 years from now when I die,” as she puts it.
4. Why I don’t have a TV. When I first left my marriage I shared a place with my daughter, who did have a television. But I moved into my own place in February 2005, without a TV, and haven’t owned one since – by choice. I do enjoy watching certain shows with Linda B., but neither DF nor I feel the need to have a TV in our home.
5. Why I’m not smiling. Some days I just don’t feel like it – and having a double-X chromosome does not mean it’s my job to decorate the world. Nobody demands that dudes grin the livelong day, dammit, and nobody accuses them of having a “bitch face” if they’re not smiling to the satisfaction of the onlooker. So please quit saying things like “Smile!” or “Aw, smile, it can’t be that bad!” You know what? Sometimes it is that bad.
6. Why I won’t reveal my salary. Because I earn it and I pay taxes on it. If you’re willing to spot me my tax bill, maybe we’ll talk. Maybe.
Readers: What are you no longer explaining?