Let’s Talk About Me
Como dice Toby Keith in his song? “Every once in a while I wanna talk about me” Porque? Because girls love to talk.
Recently I have laughed with my peers, about what our conversations have come to. Asi es, las doñas comparing what life at halfway to 100 and beyond is like for us now. These conversations usually don’t happen with our menfolk because they fizzle pretty quickly. Hmmm, maybe it’s just with my Benjamin? Mira, here’s a sample of an afterwork conversation:
Benjamin comes home and greets me with a kiss:
Me: Hi Honey, how was work?
I wait to give him a chance to describe some of the good in his day. Too long a pause, I can’t wait.
Me: Oh, where did you work today?
Ben: Pt. Loma.
I wait. A longer pause. That was the end of that conversation. With my guy, if I want talk, I have to roll up my sleeves and work hard to extract it.
And So I Need Girl Talk
Girl talk goes up and down a long and windy path…and back again through the different seasons of life.
When I was a wee little girl, I jabbered about the latest coolest toys. Little Debbie always had the latest fads.
When I was a big little girl I talked about boys, how they were disgustingly yucky in every way, not to mention annoying.
When I was an awkward preteen we whispered about our periods. I was the last one to get mine, I wasn’t surprised, Zepedas were always last.
When I was 13, we shared our secret crushes and dreamed of being noticed. We didn’t know we were still quite awkward, so we strutted, swinging our ponytail as we walked and talked, aware of possible onlookers. Gone were the days of two pigtails.
When I was 15, we were openly discussing the cute boys and the current couples. I wasn’t allowed to have a boyfriend, pero, the one I crushed over definitely crushed my daydreaming.
When I was 18 I worried about surviving college life. Serious, downcast talk with my one and only amiga. They included our grades, social life and more boys. Deep stuff.
When I was 20, I was changing my view about marriage and I talked with my friends, wondering if I’d ever get married. Imaginate! I was getting muy vieja.
When I was 23 and a young new wife I worried that I’d never ever have a baby. I worried with my friend that maybe there was something wrong with me? We talked anxiously and strategized and held our breath for our cycle, hoping it didn’t come this month.
When I was a mom, we talked about raising babies. Nursing or bottle fed? Could breastfeeding be the one way to bond with your newborn? Yikes! My almost 11 lb. baby didn’t care nothing about connecting to his ama, he wanted to eat! Gerber? Or do you puree your own food? Then there was the dilemma of cloth diapers or Disposables, hijole! I remember those pails of dirty diapers! My resolve didn’t last long. Later the talk was about choosing the right brand, Huggies or Pampers? Those conversations have not quite ended, but now they now include “back in my day.”
When I was carrying my 2nd baby, It only made sense that I should get a girl. But, these conversations were only with God. Sabes porque? I was so dang worried about having a girl!!! Raising a girl is a whole different level and I was just barely getting used to boys. What in the world was I gonna do with a nena in my arms? In my care? I went back and forth. Dios mio dame una niña ...But what would I do with her? It looked like they were more demanding. In fact, I knew I was pretty high maintenance as far as emotions go. What if I didn’t know how to dress her pretty like? What if she was a chillona?
When I was 30, it looked like I was done having babies. I talked about being done with the older ladies. I shared the plans I had besides having babies, and they smiled. Ellas ya sabian.
When I was 35, I was talking about weight loss and exercise. Thankfully, since I wasn’t done having babies after all, I tweaked my conversations to not getting fat during my last pregnancy by eating healthy and exercising.
When I was 40 something and raising teens, or was that facing teens? I was definitely talking to the other moms, wondering if I was the only mom in the world that felt that teenage disdain of “I know mom, I know” They know it all.
When my teens had crossed over to adulthood, I was having good talks with them. Increible. I’ve enjoyed some girl talk with my girl, I’m not so scared of her anymore.
When I was really close to the ½ mark to 100 and becoming a mother in law, I talked to my friends, it was a very hard role to step into and most of them were not in that place yet. So those talks were more about the “what ifs” to come. Almost 10 years into the mother in law shoes, I sometimes find my heels are too high, pero ni modo I have to walk real nice, like my mother in law did for me.
When the Abuelita title came knocking at my door. I cringed. Two of my abuela friends were called Nana and the other was Grandma, Que? These were my homies, my Mexican American friends. Why weren’t they called Abuelita or Abue? Maybe they cringed too? Then I remembered my ama was called ama by her first grandkids. That was perfect. Talking to my girlfriends I realized that kids will call us what comes first, or natural to them. One of my friends is called “Wata”…ya se, I’m not sure how that evolved. Another one is called “Wela” I told my kids I wanted to be “Ama”, they were on board and when my first grandchild started addressing me, she pronounced it “Duh-ma” and so it is. These days ama, wata and grandma talk about the growing brood of grandkids… Did I mention that number 8 is on the way?
Lately, when I talk to my peers, my homies, my comadres, guess what topic is always dying to come forth? Yup! Our aches and pains. Yesterday I talked with my friend about everything and winded down to our stiff bones and achy muscles.
Today I spent a good long hour talking to my bestie about our grey hair. Asi es. Last month I was done with dyeing, this month I’m not sure. Should I go grey? Yes! Free yourself of the burden of beauty! No! You’ll look like a vieja, or an abuela…please don’t get me out of my delusion just yet. To grey or not? That is my question. We talked about the “appropriateness” of a woman my age coloring her hair in dark tones. She suggested I ease into my grey, como? By dyeing it! It was a deep discussion, involving age, investment, and facing reality.
We girls need to talk. These seemingly insignificant topics are packed full and very important.
I still jump into the other cycles because maybe like the bible says “let the older women teach the younger” And, a bonus for me is that I have learned quite a bit in this rapidly changing world from the younger women.
Most important in my opinion and Gods book is that girl talk can be, should be, good talk, fun talk, edifying talk. Girl Talk should be comfortable enough to have Jesus right there in the mix of the masa.