What do you think? Am I a pink lady? I don't think so either. Why do these women inevitably seek me out? Do I send out a some sort of signal indicating a willingness to join philanthropic organizations? It's happened again. This very morning. A woman from the church we have just started attending, mind you, called to find out if I wanted to become a pink lady. I was a nurse for a hundred years. I just got to quit. I do not want to volunteer in a hospital gift shop and/or hand out magazines and coffee to visitors in the waiting room. I want to be a pink lady almost as much as I want to model underwear.
Ethel I do not now or have ever wanted to be a pink lady, a gray lady, a green thumber, a blue bird leader, or join the red hat society. I also do not want to be a (name your sorority) sister, a home room mother (I don't even have kids), a (name your church woman's organization) member, a (name your youth organization) leader, a garden club member, a hometown booster, a Tea Timer, a Coffee Klatcher, or collect money for the dog pound. I do not want to be on the library board, recreation board, museum board, cultural arts board, or HOSPITAL board. Like Garbo I just want to be left alone.
Do you think there is something wrong with me? Do I not possess the milk of human kindness? Or after years of hard use has it all just been sucked out of me? What is it with these women who want to club together to save the whales? And why won't they leave me alone?
I said "no" and now I feel guilty. It wouldn't kill me to hand out a magazine or two. But I like to be at home. I enjoy doing laundry. Especially now I can do it a load at a time instead of trying to do it all on the weekends. I like quiet. Hours or days at a time of my own company do not terrify me. I luxuriate in finally having the opportunity to have a clean house and orderly closets. How do these do gooders get stuff done? I should be able to get my life in order and still have time to help others. But I don't want to. Am I a creep?
I seem to be an affront to life's helpers. When one of them finds out I am "only" fifty, childless, and just want to be a housewife, they look shocked. (The women's libbers also look shocked but for entirely different reasons. Them I can handle.) It is the retired vim and vigorful women who send me down the yellow guilt road. They accept my needing to be a homemaker but also believe part of said role is to serve the community. As indeed it was for generations. But I don't want to. This bothers them.
I seem like such a nice woman. Well groomed, well mannered, well heeled, and yet I won't read to third graders every Thursday or put up a bus load of snow stranded women from Ohio. What is wrong with me? What indeed? They then try to figure me out. They invite me to coffee, to tea, to lunches, and to dinners. I am hunted to ground like some prize prey animal. I kid you not I hid from one of these happy huntresses behind a diet Pepsi display in the grocery store. I felt stupid...and victorious when she didn't catch me. I love their first impressions of me and hate to burst their bubble and mine. But it has to be done. When I have been guilted into joining one of these groups there are always tears before bedtime. In addition to the above sterling qualities I am also bossy, perfectionistic, techy and I swear like a sailor. The lovely women are never prepared for the complete package, and I can't play the desired role for long.
So I said no. And I feel guilty. What the Heck. Maybe I would look good in pink.