Sunday, July 15, 2007

Our Feminine Side

I once asked Rob, many, many years ago, "What exactly made you fall in love with me?" He answered, without a moment's hesitation, "Your femininity."

This caught me completely off guard. I thought maybe he would say, "Your intellect," as we used to have the most wonderful, deep discussions back before 7 babies sucked all of my working brain cells out through their breast milk. I wouldn't have been surprised if he had said, "Your culinary skills," as I'm a pretty good cook if I do say so myself and the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, right? But, "femininity"?

I never thought of myself as being terribly feminine. I was a tomboy growing up. I'd rather play sports than play dolls, I loved camping and fishing with my dad, and I could beat up the biggest boy on my street (his nickname, btw, was Chubso). In high school and college, most of my friends were boys. Sure, I always had one or two close girlfriends, but I was most comfortable hanging out with the guys. As a grown woman, I'd rather spend an extra 15 minutes reading a book than putting on makeup or fixing my hair and I've never quite caught on to the domestic arts of sewing, housekeeping, etc.

However, as I watch my two teen daughters grow into women, I'm beginning to understand Rob's statement. Teen Daughter One is a tomboy in her mother's footsteps. She's never had to beat up the neighborhood bully, but she can whip any boy in ice hockey or shooting sports. She could never be described as a girly girl and yet she is beautiful beyond words. She is sweet and tender when dealing with little children, she is a person of service who is always looking out for the needs of others, and she always greets you with a smile. Her maternal instincts run strong and that is what makes her feminine.

Now, Teen Daughter Two is a girly girl. She can let out an ear-piercing squeal at the sight of any creepy crawly thing and she never met a bottle of nail polish that she didn't absolutely adore. Yet her femininity comes not from that, but from her warmth, her gentleness with children and animals, her smile that can light up a room, and her desire to make the world a more beautiful, welcoming place. It's not a curling iron or lipstick that makes one feminine.

Yes, I'm finally getting what Rob meant by saying he fell in love with my femininity.


Alice Gunther said...

I love this post, and I absolutely love your descriptions of those two beautiful girls of yours!

Momto5Minnies said...

How wonderfully SWEET!

I too think that there is a lot more to femininity than some people imagine. I love your definition!

Nârwen said...

Um, isn't being kind and gentle good in anyone, male or female ?
BTW, have you seen "Ratatouille" yet ? Wonderful film, in which rats are shown in a sympathetic light.

Maureen Wittmann said...

Yep, being kind and gentle are traits good in both men and women, but I think that tenderness is considered a feminine trait. Just as it's good to be physically strong rather you be male or female, yet it is thought of as a masculine trait.

Haven't seen Ratatouille yet, though we're all hoping to see it soon -- once shooting sports and 4-H events lighten up. It looks like the perfect movie for us. I love cooking and everyone else loves rats :-) Glad to hear it is wonderful!

diana said...

Hi Maureen, I met you and one of your daughters (you are right, she is breathtaking, a dead ringer for LOTR Arwin) at the Milwaukee Homeschoolers Conference. Maybe you remember me (we talked about Potter).

You may be a tomboy at heart but you are so gentle and feminine! I felt calmed in your presence, so it is something that transcends a certain "look".

I have the ultra feminine look going on, but my husband tells me: Being married to you is like being married to another guy! (He likes that!)But even saying that, my tomboy girl is always mothering little plastic alien babies and robots. It's there in every female!

Nârwen said...

I've actually seen it several times. The first time was the sneak preview, and the second was with fellow members of the Pittsburgh Rat Lovers Club. (We got a group discount !)That was particularly nice, as it meant I was surrounded by other ratty people, and listening to their comments afterwards was neat. ("They got the tails right !" "They move right, too !" "Did you see how the baby rats in that scene have extra fuzzy coats and too-big ears ? Just like real ratlets ? " )
I also treated myself to another showing on my birthday last week.

Maureen Wittmann said...

Hi Diane! I sure do remember our chat. Thank you for your kind words! I hope all is well with you and yours!!!