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First string players I love in the fight against Breast Cancer

I met Annie back in Richmond Virginia, Bob’s  2nd local TV market (WTVR- CBS) and we were all wet behind the ears to the journalism business.  She was the weather girl and even when an ice storm was coming, Anne could make you feel like it would all be OK.  I remember feeling so old back then– Bob was 31 and I was pregnant with our second- most of the people kicking around the station were young and single and so our house become the “salon” for young, starving journalists who needed a hot meal.  (piece of Trivia– Mike Allen’s Politico founder was a print reporter in Richmond then in print and he’d stop by the house too  for food and conversation)

 

Annie is a good bit younger than me (don’t ask , don’t tell) but I remember thinking that if the McConaughy girls added a sister- it would be someone just like Annie- giant smile, great sense of humor, always a positive attitude.

She wouldn’t meet her husband and have her stunningly beautiful kids until years later- and she always told me we were her “married” role models– whatever that meant  But Annie Murray Paige is now MY role model. She has brought all of her best stuff–  courage and humor and honesty to battle this insidious disease and in doing so– she has taught us all to keep our chins up and laugh in the face of danger.  

Annie Murray Paige is more than a survivor– she embodies a thriver.  And if I were reborn on this earth- I’d want her to be my next mother.  (That way she can be older than Me too!)

 

Ann’s Diary: Feminism In A Bottle

Recently I was yet again picking up after my family–this time it was lunch plates and milk glasses, when I got to thinking about the feminist movement.

Ever since they let the genie out of the feminist bottle in the 60’s, women have been officially allowed to follow their dreams.  Those dreams didn’t necessarily have to be domestic–as in “I can’t wait to be a wife and run a household”.  But yet they could be–if that was your desire.  What the feminism movement tried to do was release women from the expectation that allthey could do was be a wife and run a house.  And 5 decades later, I think it worked.

We have women doctors, lawyers, astronauts, mechanics, dentists, doctors, principals, CEOs and financial advisors.  We also have women teachers, nurses, waitresses and others holding stereotypical “for women only” jobs–doing so (hopefully) because they chose them, not because they were the only ones offered to them.

So I thank Gloria Steinem and all her gal pals for releasing me and my daughter and my daughter’s daughter from the drudgery of post-suffragette but stay-in-the-kitchen syndrome.  But with all due respect, I have a bone to pick with whomever it is that is now running the modern feminist show. Because somehow, when the message was getting passed on that women can work outside the home for money, it didn’t get transferred to all spouses out there that women, working or not, don’t necessarily have to still be the ones who cook, clean and pick up after the slobs who live there.

Okay, maybe slobs is a little harsh.

But really–as part of the Steinem mantra, I sure wish someone had thrown in “and BTW, just because someone is born with ovaries and breasts (even it she loses them to breast cancer later on like I did) doesn’t mean she should–or even want to–pick up your old coffee, spilled juice, dishes from last night, dog hairs and opened but just-didn’t-happen-to-make-it-into-the-waste-basket discarded mail.”

I am a woman of the 21st century, which means I watch my kids AND I work from home. And my work–writing this blog–means I make minimal money for my talent–but I DO have talent. And that talent, while poorly represented on the W2 form each April, is not in the venue of cooking, cleaning or scrubbing toilets.  Yes I can do them, but no I do not like to do them.

I’m just guessing, but I’m going to assume that nobody puts “vacuum the carpet” in the Things I Want To Do When I Grow Up essay in 2nd grade.

But it must be done–if not, a house becomes a pigsty.  That I understand.

What I don’t understand is why, when that genie got smoked out of her feminism bottle all those years ago, she didn’t make sure she read the fine print on the contract.  If she had, she might have realized all that was to be expected of her–get a job (either at home or at an office,) have the children, AND still be the one who ends up cleaning up after the entire house.  Had that been the case, I’m sure she’d have rubbed the lamp next to her and wake up the “Get Off Your Butt And Clean Your Own Dishes” genie. Then women today would all go to work and come home to a clean house and folded laundry.

I’m not saying every home suffers from this syndrome, but if yours does, you are not alone.  Gloria Steinem’s work is over but if anyone else wants to jump in and pick up the cause where she left off, I’d be grateful.

Til then, I will continue to fight the good fight at home.  Since I no longer own any bras to burn, I’ll just have to hope that via love, communication and good old friendly discipline I am able to create a new movement in my homestead that frees me from the clutches of pre-suffragette housekeeper.

But if you see me polishing the lamps in my house with unusual vigor in the days head, you’ll understand why.

Ann Murray Paige

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