Wednesday, October 22, 2008

WOMEN-IN-TRAINING

My dead friend’s daughter has started blogging, and is posting her childhood diaries; she’s just reminded me of a scene between me and Roseanne in Manchester. We were both pregnant; I was six weeks ahead of her, relaxing after a bath one evening, when her husband came panicking at my door.
‘She needs you. You have to come right now.’
‘What’s wrong?’
‘She’s locked herself in the bathroom. I don't know what's wrong with her.’ For all the rush to get me up there he didn't seem really worried. She was standing up, moving around and not in any pain.

So I got dressed and followed him up the road, and it was quite a walk. When I arrived she dragged me into the bathroom and pulled out a breast.
‘Look at this!’ she squeezed the nipple and little white bubbles appeared.
‘Oh, it must be milk,’ I said. We stood there, glued to the spot, wondering at this change – I don’t think she was even showing then, must’ve only been a few months. ‘You’ve dragged me out of the bath for that?’

Innocents abroad didn’t do us justice; we were twenty-two in 1976 and hell-bent on living life. We’d met a pregnant woman and wanted to be just like her – and that was that; we told our men that babies were on the menu and they had no say in the matter. Unfortunately, some months later, I decided I didn’t want to spend my life with this particular man and orchestrated an argument so I could walk out with no comeback.

Stupid, dumb but definitely not blonde, we stumbled through that year; she got married and gave birth, I gave birth and got married (to a different man). We knew nothing about ourselves or our bodies and were disgusted when a midwife suggested we breastfeed – it wasn’t fashionable then and we thought she must be from the 19th century. I don’t know how we survived…how the kids survived us is a miracle!

2 comments:

BetteJo said...

I was 22 when I got married and I thought I knew everything. Are we all clueless when we are that young?

ireneintheworld said...

totally bettejo. i am constantly amazed at the memories i have from those days; the stuff i did, thinking it was okay. i mean, what kind of world did we think we lived in? x