Saturday, September 02, 2006

Don't Lower My Worth

Posted by Anonymous.

As always, if you'd like to use this space to tell stories/secrets/confessions of your dangerous maternal (or paternal!) mind, send me an e-mail and you too can enjoy the refuge of the Basement...


There comes a time in every woman's life when she is forced to realize the truth. And in truth, what she finds is something she herself covered with layers of paint to hide its ugliness.

Upon hearing the compliment, "your daughter's speech is astounding," my husband quickly explained she'd been with his mother for a week. "She's an English teacher."

It doesn’t matter that his daughter's mother -– his wife, I might add --is a writer, nor does it matter that her daycare provider of the last two and a half years is a former English teacher as well. It doesn’t even take into account his daughter has some talents of her own.

"Well, I'm an English teacher," responds a blinking babysitter, just to make him squirm a little. After all, she knows he often speaks before he thinks. "I probably didn't have anything to do with it. And, you know, your wife has a better vocabulary than mine. I'm sure her influence hasn't left a mark."

He didn't bite, he just sucked.

"You are? An English Teacher? Oh … well. … Yeah, but my mom has a PhD."

The comment, relayed after the fact, sent me hurtling back to the movie "Party Girl," a film that introduced me to Parker Posey and a lithe, snide Holly Golightly of the '90s that I wanted to be.

It's the scene where Posey's character, Mary, dumps her boyfriend, Nigel, played by Liev Schreiber, for urinating in her shower.

Her explanation to him is elegant: "You lower my worth."

It occurs to me now just how often he lowers my worth. How often he lowers the worth of all women who didn't singled-handedly raise boys while getting themselves a higher degree than even he ever aspired to attain.

And I think to myself: "I bet he pisses in the shower, too."


SUEB0B said...

I guess the good news is that he appreciates his mama.

But I don't think he lowers your worth. Nothing can. If you choose to believe the inconsiderate things he says, then you will feel like less. But you still won't BE less.

Anonymous said...

I like what Suebob said. Both parts.

And yes, YOU determine your worth. Stand up for it with him. YOU the mama now.

ewe are here said...

Don't let him attempt to devalue you in front of your daughter. If you do, she may start learning not to respect you and your input and accomplishments because, well, why should she if daddy doesn't?

Seriously, don't give him a pass on comments like these. They could very well come back to bite you in your relationship with him and your daughter.

Anonymous said...

I just recently started noticing that my husband does this. I don't think it is a conscious thing, but hurts just the same.

Perstephone said...

I LOVE that line from Party Girl (I also have a mad crush on PP, too!).

What I got from that statement in the movie was that Mary really felt empowered by realizing that she did have worth in the first place and then also realizing what was dragging her down (him). The good news is that she did something about it and that's why this statement rocks.

Anon- I hope that you're able to do something to keep yourself above the shower pissing.

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Anonymous said...

Hello. Prompt how to get acquainted with the girl it to me to like. But does not know about it
I have read through one history
Each of you has your personal story; it is your history. Keeping a diary or writing your feelings in a special notebook is a wonderful way to learn how to think and write about who you are -- to develop your own identity and voice.

People of all ages are able to do this. Your own history is special because of your circumstances: your cultural, racial, religious or ethnic background. Your story is also part of human history, a part of the story of the dignity and worth of all human beings. By putting opinions and thoughts into words, you, too, can give voice to your inner self and strivings.

A long entry by Anne Frank on April 5, 1944, written after more than a year and a half of hiding from the Nazis, describes the range of emotions 14-year-old Anne is experiencing:

". . . but the moment I was alone I knew I was going to cry my eyes out. I slid to the floor in my nightgown and began by saying my prayers, very fervently. Then I drew my knees to my chest, lay my head on my arms and cried, all huddled up on the bare floor. A loud sob brought me back down to earth, and I choked back my tears, since I didn't want anyone next door to hear me . . .

"And now it's really over. I finally realized that I must do my school work to keep from being ignorant, to get on in life, to become a journalist, because that's what I want! I know I can write. A few of my stories are good, my descriptions of the Secret Annex are humorous, much of my diary is vivid and alive, but . . . it remains to be seen whether I really have talent . . .

"When I write I can shake off all my cares. My sorrow disappears, my spirits are revived! But, and that's a big question, will I ever be able to write something great, will I ever become a journalist or a writer? I hope so, oh, I hope so very much, because writing allows me to record everything, all my thoughts, ideals and fantasies.

"I haven't worked on Cady's Life for ages. In my mind I've worked out exactly what happens next, but the story doesn't seem to be coming along very well. I might never finish it, and it'll wind up in the wastepaper basket or the stove. That's a horrible thought, but then I say to myself, "At the age of 14 and with so little experience, you can't write about philosophy.' So onward and upward, with renewed spirits. It'll all work out, because I'm determined to write! Yours, Anne M. Frank

For those of you interested in reading some of Anne Frank's first stories and essays, including a version of Cady's Life, see Tales From the Secret Annex (Doubleday, 1996). Next: Reviewing and revising your writing