Wednesday, 20 May 2009
Wednesday's Women No. 28
You think I look ridiculous? I know I am ridiculous. A caricature you say? Yeah, I guess I can see that.
But the times were different back then. This was what a woman strived to be. This is what the army promised my husband that he could expect. This is what I was led to believe was my job.
Sometimes I was even happy. Not necessarily here. Here I am just pretending to be happy. I wore yellow because I knew even then that the colour yellow was supposed to lift a person’s spirits.
I am glad I have this picture of myself because it brings the day right back to me. This is the day that I was pictured in our local paper as the epitome of what a man should come home to at the end of a hard day of work. A day that he never would have thought of sharing with me; as he believed I could never understand.
So because we didn’t really speak I learned to read the signs.
For example I knew he didn’t like noise when he walked in the house. So I learnt how to minimize it. Yes, it is true you can minimize noise, even the noise that children make can be minimized when their father gets home, especially if they too know how to read the signs.
What I especially remember about this day is how you can be made to feel like you matter to people and feel quite happy about it all, even when you know that it is only a temporary illusion. That the face you are putting on for the camera isn’t necessarily the real face of your soul.
And then to feel on that same day not more then three hours after feeling like you were something that it could turn around and you could be left feeling that you are nothing.
My husband came home from work but I was a little too happy with myself and I had forgotten to read the signs. I had forgotten to listen to the secret language. I was happy to see him of course. I greeted him with a warm smile and showed him my desire to please him but I talked a little bit too much about my day and I forgot to keep the kids quiet.
I forgot that he likes silence when he comes home and while I was going on about my day I reached for his hand and he held mine; a little too tightly. I heard the unspoken language in his grip.