The cultural life of femalesWritten by Shannon Szyperski | | firstname.lastname@example.org
There is a cultural divide lurking somewhere deep beneath the realm of motherhood. We all know it, but few of us are willing to put ourselves out there to face our fears and bring the discussion to the surface. We generally make our friends not knowing on which side of this latest “mommy cold war” they fall, yet we can’t help but wonder if those we have come to know and love are ultimately one of us or one of them.
Yet, I can’t bear to let such an unspoken rift continue to quietly divide us all. And so I ask, directly, bravely, “Do you ‘Twilight?’”
I’m not a Twilighter, or a Twi-hard, if that is indeed the proper terminology. I haven’t read the books or seen the movies, and I have slowly and thoughtfully come to the conclusion that perhaps I never will. I just have no desire to do so.
As far as I can surmise, there’s a sickly looking teenage boy who’s a vampire and a steroidal-looking teenage boy who’s a werewolf and they both like the same sickly looking, affected teenage girl. Many females older than 30, mothers very much included, outwardly and unapologetically desire either the vampire or the werewolf, but never ever both. I’m not going to try to pretend I understand the lure of such a scenario, but I find the allure quite fascinating.
This is not my first time feeling like a bit of an outsider when it comes to the cultural life of females. In fact, the “Twilight” series is only one of many trends to pass through the bonds of womanhood just over my head. It’s not the first time and it certainly won’t be the last.
The first cultural hang-up I encountered with my fellow females dates back to junior high, when many of my friends fell head over heels for a certain dashing young prince. No, it wasn’t Prince William, inappropriately seven years our junior; it was Prince Eric, inappropriately a cartoon character. I excitedly went to see Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” with my friends only to come out feeling a little sheepish once they all began fantasizing about living out a fairy tale life one day with this man of their dreams, who, in my opinion, seemed like much more of a drawing than a future life partner.
I certainly would not want to begrudge my fellow ladies their personal likes and dislikes; however, and so I quickly decided to stay respectfully silent on such matters. Yet, just as Elaine unsuccessfully tried to stuff her feelings about her lack of affection for “The English Patient” on an episode of “Seinfeld,” I, too, sometimes find it difficult to pretend to understand the popularity of “Sex and the City” and “Grey’s Anatomy.”
I freely admit that I have watched enough of both of these shows to identify the main characters and a few plotlines. Despite being less than impressed, I have an odd desire to culturally relate to my sisterhood and so I watch anyway. I may think that Meredith Grey is a sniveling, annoying excuse for a fake doctor and that the ladies of “Sex and the City” lead ridiculous and fairly uninteresting fake lives, yet the fact that other women cling to them makes them at least worthy of note in my book.
I do not readily offer that I would rather watch “Family Guy” with my husband while eating a bowl of cereal than watch “Desperate Housewives” while drinking cosmos with my lady friends, particularly because such an admittance would give off the wrong impression. I can cry at commercials with the best of them, will debate Bethenny’s likability over Jill’s snarkiness any day and even find myself perusing People.com from time to time. Still, there are pockets of the female culture that simply don’t suit me.
As much as I want to take on my gender role with enthusiasm, vampires and werewolves apparently fall outside of my willingness to assimilate. However, it is no doubt fun to just accept all of the fanfare and enjoy watching how the other half enjoys life.
Shannon and her husband Michael are raising three children in Sylvania. E-mail her at email@example.com.