It's like Sex and the Suburbs and 30 Rock all rolled into one…
For some women, they are defined by their relationships and the sort of man they are with. I suppose though, that this is true to most women as relationships tend to add the greater perception of who a person is. Does it all come back to labels – wife, mother, partner? I certainly hope not, but the lingering voice in the back of my head tells me it all comes back to semantics. Not the potato-potato (that joke falls flat in text doesn’t it?), but the real and important study of the historical and psychological meaning of words. And the words we use to describe each other, and ourselves, is certainly important.
My father defines himself by his career; it’s no surprise our entire family does. His mother defined herself as a “great nurse” rather than “single mother of two”. It makes sense my dad would define himself by what he did, though he often prides himself in being a “good dad”. My mother chose raising a family to be her priority, and so defines herself as “mother” and “wife”. Still growing at nearly thirty, I find myself falling into the labels of society – career woman, store mom, and the vast sea of terms for relationships. And yet, I know they don’t really describe who I am.
Any term to describe the fact that my career is important to me doesn’t begin to describe the sacrifices I’ve made in relationships or for relationships. It’s not that I’m a workaholic – I just like working with the people I work with. I don’t want to be the woman who does everything for the sake of her job, and yet being successful is certainly important to me. Excelling at my job is a big deal. And terms that describe a part in a relationship seem to shadow over the fact that I’m an individual. You can’t be a girlfriend without another person.
But there’s using words to define yourself and then there’s broadcasting it to the world. What I’m talking about is the shirts that read “I love my boyfriend”. I hate these shirts. Not because I’m single and I’m bitter, but because they just look stupid. Life should be about tossing the reigns of labels off, not adopting any that seem to fit.
But… you know, I might wear one with a pair of high heels and black lace panties.