The wind was in my favor last night. Walking up Second Avenue, the breeze caught my skirt just enough to produce the Donna Reid effect – a perfect halo of pale pink cotton and silk as my heels clicked uptown toward home.
Girl, I think as I consider maybe doing a pirouette under the street light.
At dinner, though, it was different. The gazpacho was served and as I slid my spoon in backwards to take a bite, a pair of eyes lit up across the table.
“You just… did you see how she eats her soup?” Chris turned to Mike. He was beaming at me, one hand to his chest, almost in reverence. And I knew, right then, that was how he thinks Julie Andrews eats her soup. “It’s just so… refined!”
Woman, I think as I consider maybe sending my mother a thank-you for years of etiquette dinners.
When a friend asked me the other day whether I was a girl or a woman, I questioned first his reason for asking and second, my reason for answering, both. Some days, to be honest, I just don’t know.
When I’m at work, I’d tell you woman, for sure. There’s no room for girl at that conference room table on Monday mornings. Likewise, when I’m paying bills, I am woman.
I am girl when it’s late, and I am lonely and the only person I want to talk to is my mother and the only place I want to be is home, even though neither exists the way I remember them anymore. And I am girl when I smile and say nothing even though my brain is screaming. I am girl about texture and color and touch.
I am woman about how I budget, who I love and what I decide to keep. I am woman when I ask hard questions and refuse to accept easy answers.
Girl when I cry. Woman when I kiss. Both when I laugh.
It’s one of the more difficult things about growing up – fitting into one or the other, and I actually get nervous about one day defining myself completely as woman. Will there be no more pirouettes and pink? More responsibility and resolution?
I don’t know. For right now though, I’m wont to think that both is a good fit, and that maybe, just maybe there was something insightful about that Britney Spears song.
I kid about the song. Mostly.