NewsFlash To Self: Women Rock. The Way We Are.

Have you seen those signs on the freeway advertising women's expos? I have. And I've always purposely ignored them. I mean, I could just visualize it: thousands of women beating each other over the head with their cleverly shaped hole-punchers to get into stamped and die-cut scrapbooking booths. Tables overflowing with little bows and purses you could make yourself out of duct-tape (Can you believe how much duct-tape looks like leather?), 3 x 5 cubicles filled with ribbons and chocolates and little wooden sayings and cleverly crocheted shoe-covers and skin-tight workout pants with "Soccer Mom" bedazzled onto the buttox.

I avoid stuff like that. It makes me feel like a domestically impaired failure. I don't scrapbook. I cannot justify spending my children's college funds in order to buy miniature plasticized clothes and flowers and beach umbrellas that are nicer than the normal-sized versions I already own, and paste them painstakingly onto pages of a binder no one will ever open because I'll never get it finished.

Also, my fingers are incapable of turning 50 yards of glittery ribbon into a bow to velcro onto my child's head, I have no capacity to plan and freeze a year's worth of meals in my 20 year-old Frigidaire, I cannot make little foofy netted ballet skirts for my tiny girls who are not tiny anymore, and if I get to the gym the only thing printed on the rear-portion of my stretch-pants will be my cellulite.

I don't belong in these Expos. I am not a real girl. At least, that's what I thought. Before.

Last Friday I went to a women's event in the city just north of me. Mostly because I have a friend who is opening an online boutique, and she was going to have a booth there. I wanted to support her. Plus, I needed a red belt and they had one. AND they gave me a free ticket. Three birds, one stone. I could survive a few minutes surrounded by more sequin-covered-chocolate-dipped estrogen than I'd ever seen in one place. I'd be in and out before the little booth-ladies could hand me my receipt.

Except . . . 

It was wonderful

When I walked into the building I was transported to a playland of women's interests, tastes and fun, and surrounded by sisterhood. It was all I could do not to take a flying leap onto the gel-mattress display after sliding through the massage/pedicure booth. I mean, okay, there was plenty of bling: purses, belts, shoes, and booth upon booth of (heavenly) boutique clothing.

But there were also cooking displays, home storage companies, grocery delivery services, chiropractors, foot specialists, self-defense instructors, a company that sold elegant handmade purses with little inspirational verses embroidered on the inside and a portion of whose proceeds went to help stop violence against women and girls. There was jewelry, chocolate–a local company that didn't care how many times I came back for a sample before I finally bought their to-die-for caramel popcorn–family photographers, women's and children's health experts,  and booths that covered just about everything I've ever thought, wondered, worried about, or tried to organize. 

And the best part? Most of the businesses were run by women. And those that weren't had proprietors who seemed not only happy to be there interacting with us carriers of the double-X  chromosome, but had not a shred of condescension or judgement for the things we were all interested in.

Maybe I'm just weird. But I sometimes feel like the things that are important to me as a woman are viewed as silly or trivial by the rest of the world. I'm not saying that's how others (read:men) always view them. At least not in this century, and certainly not my husband–most of the time. 🙂 But there's something about the way life is set up, along with the inherent differences between the sexes–where women tend to bring the civility and beauty to life and enjoy calmer simpler things–that perhaps has made ME feel that what I have to contribute or am interested in is not quite important enough.

It's probably my own problem and for whatever reason I may not ever have respected or embraced my own womanhood quite enough. All I know is when I was in this little tradeshow, I felt like WOMAN. And all those kinder, softer, fun, silly, blingy, chocolately, women's concern-type things felt good and important and right. And I've decided I'm going to embrace my womanhood instead of trying to make it seem legitimate and important by running around and attacking external successes like I'm trying to prove something.

What I want and do and am as a woman is just as good as what a man wants and does and is. Without changing a thing. And I appreciate all the men and women who already knew that.

I am woman! Hear me: bake plum bread before the plums turn to prunes, drop everything to take the child who got clocked with a golf club in P.E. to the doctor to get stitched up, love boutique shopping, be addicted to cupcakes, make jewelry that I mean to sell really soon to help with our finances, clean the bathrooms that I hate cleaning, water-bath-can chunky spiced applesauce because I love to can delicious things for my family, go to bed too late, try not to take over my kids' school projects, direct the Junior High Shakespeare team and try not to favor (or dis-favor) my daughter who is on it, forget to plan dinner and figure out what I can make with an egg and leftover grilled chicken, nag my kid to practice violin, nag other kid to practice bass guitar for jazz band, worry about college child getting enough green vegetables, try not to laugh as little-dude rolls his eyes VISIBLY during children's program at church, help child not have nervous breakdown over sheer volume of homework and scripts to memorize, and oh yeah, go on dates with husband without complaining about my life, and also thank him for everything he helps with.

Yep. Hear me do all those things. And see me be proud of it!


About Janiel 432 Articles
I have managed to keep the same husband for nearly three decades, and the same four children for almost that long - although one or two of them say it has been much longer. I have been writing since I learned to hold a pencil, and trying to make people laugh even longer. I hope to do some good in the world before I go the way of it. And if not, I'd better at least get to visit Ireland.


  1. I’ve been thinking about something similar to this lately. It bothers me occasionally [lately] that I can offend people by doing nothing other than being who I am. And it’s not like I’m DOing anything offensive – just breathing in an out and being me. I’m usually quick to change to be what they want, but lately, I’m wondering if what I need to do is just hang out more with people and in places that jive better with who I am. I’m alone enough, it’s OK for me to seek out places with people who like me for what I already am.

  2. I have been surfing online more than 3 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It’s pretty worth enough for me. Personally, if all site owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the internet will be much more useful than ever before.
    I couldn’t resist commenting. Very well written!

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