Airing Dirty Laundry

for all the world wide web to see

The post without a title January 21, 2010

Filed under: me being a whiney brat,random ramblings,secrets — airingdirtylaundry @ 11:00 am

I’m just going to start typing and see where this post ends up.

But just a little forewarning, it’s not going to be pretty.

For weeks now, I’ve been feeling like there’s something . . .wrong. I’m not sure that I can do it justice by trying to explain it. I just feel . . .unhappy. And I don’t know why.

I have a wonderful husband, a beautiful child, and a (at least I hope) secure job. What do I really have to complain about? Why do I feel this way?

It’s almost like I’m going through the motions. I get up at 5:00, spend an hour on the treadmill or elliptical, shower, get Maggie up and dressed, get ready for work, eat breakfast, and head out the door. After work, I come home, throw a load of laundry in, play with Maggie for 45 minutes or so, put her to bed, then Mike and I make dinner, clean up, wash that day’s bottles and make them for the next day, pack my lunch, and then either fold laundry or pay bills or clean or whatever until I collapse into bed. Just to get up and do it all over again the next day. And the next day.

As regimented as I am (or try to be) about certain things, maybe I’m struggling with such a predictable routine. Maybe this is too much of a routine. All the spontaneity is gone. Mike and I can’t go out to dinner during the week because Maggie goes to bed so early and there’s not enough time (and we don’t DARE keep her up later than she wants to be—we’ve made that mistake before). And I really don’t even want to go out to dinner, because what fun is it to sit in a restaurant when I could be rolling around on the floor with Maggie at home? There are times when I run errands after work, but then I feel guilty because that cuts into the little amount of time I have with Maggie. So I feel like I’m never home, but yet I feel housebound at the same time. It used to be on the drive home from work, I’d wonder what we were going to do that night. Now, I don’t have to wonder. I know. Down to the minute.

I find myself crying at the drop of a hat, over stupid things. Like, REALLY stupid things. Things that I’m too embarrassed to write about. I struggled a little with crying jags after Maggie was born—the hormonal kind. But these are different. Where I was once more likely to laugh at something, now I’m more likely to be upset at it. It’s like all of the humor has been leeched out of me. I’m just getting through each day and onto the next.

Maybe this will all change once spring comes. Already there’s a little daylight left when I leave work each day, and I know it’s just a matter of time before the sun will be shining brightly and the flowers will be in bloom. Maybe that’s all it will take.

But in the meantime, do I just continue on through the next month. Two? What if I don’t feel better once the weather’s a little nicer?

I’ve also been struggling with panic attacks, or at least what I think are panic attacks. I all of a sudden feel helpless and claustrophobic. Like the walls are closing in on me but I’m too frozen to escape. Trapped. I break out into a cold sweat, get dizzy, and then a minute or two later, I’m fine. And every time I have one, I think it’s the last one. That they’ll go away. And then I have another one.

So I don’t know where I’m going with this. I’m not asking for help, or advice, or anything. I’m just . . .venting I guess. And hoping I come back to read this in a few weeks or a month and laugh about how silly I was.

And I’m not going to go back and re-read this now. I’m just going to hit “publish”.

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Ch-ch-ch-changes December 22, 2009

Filed under: baby!,daily grind,family,holidaze,random ramblings — airingdirtylaundry @ 9:14 pm

Sorry for my absence. I really have no excuse other than the avalanche of just normal life that dropped on my head in the past few weeks. Something had to give, and blogging was just one of those things.

A few weeks ago, I had it all together. Christmas shopping well underway, work stuff contained to 9 hours out of the day, an hour and a half of family time every evening, dinners made and on the table each night, and the grocery store and other errands run after Maggie went to bed. I had blocks of time scheduled on the weekends for projects that needed to get done—painting the powder room, cleaning the house in preparation for out-of-town guests after Christmas, wrapping presents, etc.

Then it all went to hell.

The first big change . . . .we took Maggie out of daycare. For now. The opportunity came along for us to have Mike’s sister watch Maggie full-time until next summer, so we talked it over and decided to go that route. It helps out his sister financially, and of course there are so many benefits for us—not having to pack her up and drag her to daycare in the dead of winter, having guaranteed one-on-one care for her, etc. But it was actually sad to pack up all of her stuff and to leave the wonderful women that have taken care of her for the past 5 weeks.

saying goodbye

They actually cried when we left with her and begged us to bring her back to visit. Maggie seemed to really like it there and we were really happy with them, so we made it clear that she will be back next year and they even agreed to keep her “active” in their system to ensure that she has a spot, and also to allow us to use them on a day-to-day basis if we would need to.

Next big change . . .Maggie’s getting her first teeth.  They’re just starting to poke through the gum, but as of right now they don’t seem to be bothering her too much.  Hopefully it will stay that way. 

And . . .I think she’s almost ready for rice cereal.  She drinks six 7-8 oz bottles during the day (!), and has for a few weeks now.  She was at the point where she was only waking up once or twice throughout the night (and mostly because she turned herself sideways during the night and her feet were up against the crib rails).  But now she’s waking up more and more, and getting up earlier in the morning.  I’m not sure if it’s hunger or her teeth that are causing this, and assuming I get a few free minutes during the day at work tomorrow, I’m going to call the pediatrician to talk with her about it.  She’s 3 1/2 months old, and that seems early to me to start cereal, but at the rate she’s packing away the formula, that might be a sign that she’s ready to take it up a notch.  What do you guys think?

I took last Thursday afternoon and Friday off (the last of my vacation time), and was able to get the powder room painted. Something like that wouldn’t typically be a high priority on my to-do list at this time of year, but it had never been painted since we built the house 3 years ago. There were patches on the walls where nail pops were repaired, and the normal scrapes and marks that occur with (cheap) flat white paint. Also, we have a poster of our benefit logo blown up each year and we use it for a “guest book” that night and have everyone sign it—we frame the poster and hang it behind the toilet in our powder room (Seriously. If nothing else, it’s a conversation piece for visitors.) Well, the toilet is tucked into a little alcove that’s approximately 27 inches wide, and the frame is about 26 inches wide, and for some reason this year we scraped the hell out of the walls wedging the frame in to get it hung. Even I thought it was shameful-looking and I’m really good at ignoring things like that.

So, I proceeded to paint. With a ladder that didn’t fit into the powder room. And with Mr. Curiosity the Cat (otherwise known as Forrest) very interested in the whole process. I love to paint, but I can almost guarantee you that that room will never get painted again as long as we’re in that house—what a pain!

The next big change was the switch to cloth diapers. We had debated on whether we were making the switch or not for quite some time, but around Thanksgiving I counted out how many disposables were in our stockpile and figured we had about 6 weeks worth left. I had been scouting around online looking for the best prices I could find on the brand of cloth diapers we wanted to use, and came across an awesome 20% off sale for Black Friday. We knew it was decision time, and we made the leap and ordered them. We had previously gotten a few of them to try out just to make sure we were OK with using them, so we ordered 12 more, plus a diaper sprayer and a few wet bags. We saved about $75 thanks to the sale, and the best part?  We will not have to buy diapers AGAIN.

I wanted to make the switch over a weekend so that I was the one changing her around the clock, making sure she wasn’t freaked out by the different feeling, and to check for leaks. All was going well . . . .

. . . .until I tried to install the diaper sprayer. It looked so simple. It connects to the water line on your toilet. You turn off the water, loosen the connectors, take the piece off, replace it with the sprayer attachment, turn the water back on, and viola . . . diaper sprayer. Long story short, I made a disaster of it, and we had to call in a plumber to fix my mess. Plus, I had put one of those blue 2000 flushes things in the tank eons ago and it just won’t fully dissolve, so I had blue stuff everywhere, including my freshly-painted walls.

And then, in the wee hours of Sunday morning, the cooties invaded. I woke up at 12:15 AM feeling like garbage, and then proceeded to wear a path in the carpet going back and forth from the bed to the bathroom about 478 times until morning. Mike was supposed to leave the house at noon to go to the Steeler game with some friends. He was so excited to go—it would be the first game he had gone to in a few years, and he and his friends had plans to go to Jerome Bettis’ bar for lunch and drinks and to watch the early games before heading over to the stadium. By 9:30 AM he called to cancel after seeing the state that I was in. He felt that there was no way I could take care of Maggie, even though I half-heartedly protested that he should go and that we’d be fine. I felt so incredibly bad and guilty that he was missing out on a fun afternoon/evening. .

. . until an hour later, when he was running for the bathroom too. Since our powder room downstairs was, um, out of order thanks to my plumbing experiment, it made more sense for him to quarantine himself upstairs while Maggie and I camped out downstairs. I was over the worst of it anyhow, so I only had to grab her to make a few trips upstairs myself. Poor little girl got quite a show while she was sitting in her bouncy seat in my bathroom.

Maggie and I spent the remainder of the afternoon lying on the floor with the TV on. She seemed entranced by WALL-E, so I let her watch that for half an hour and then felt guilty for plopping her in front of the TV. I mustered up enough energy to play with her for a little while and was hoping it would be one of those few-and-far-between days where she took a nap, but it just wasn’t gonna happen.

Mike came downstairs around 4:30 or so, and the two of us muddled through until it was time for her to go to bed. I still had some things I HAD to do that day, like laundry (didn’t want to wait the extra day to wash the cloth diapers), so I got everything done that I had to do and went upstairs to bed. We were up a few times with Maggie that night like usual, just to put her pacifier back in, and I have never been so glad to have a baby that sleeps relatively well at night.

I still haven’t had much in the way of solid food since Saturday night (but I lost 10 lbs so far!), and being at work all day has been a struggle when all I want to do is put my head down and fall asleep, but we’re at least on the road to recovery. Mike took Monday off work because he was still feeling so bad. Coincidentally, that was JLo’s first day watching Maggie.

I had intended to have the house clean, the fridge and pantry stocked, and everything organized for her. Instead, she walked into a mess of a house (after having to come through the garage because the front steps never got shoveled after we got a ton of snow dumped on us), no food, a non-working bathroom, Mike there but still sick, and a screaming overly-tired child who refused to nap. Oh, and then the plumber showed up, so there’s a little added chaos. She’s probably second-guessing her decision to watch Maggie after only the first day!

So, needless to say, the next few days are going to be a little crazy. I still haven’t wrapped one gift, the house needs to be cleaned before we head to The Sticks to see my family on Christmas morning (Mike’s brother and family will be coming in to stay with us right after we get back to Pittsburgh ), we STILL haven’t hung any ornaments on the tree, there are no decorations at all inside the house. And to top it off, things are incredibly busy at work. On Monday it was non-stop from when I got there at 7AM until I left at 5:15. Good thing I couldn’t even think of eating food, because I never had a chance to stop to eat lunch!

But as screwed up as all of my well-organized plans got over the last week or so, it’s still going to be an amazing Christmas. Our first one with Maggie, who doesn’t care that the house is dirty, or that her presents aren’t wrapped, or that there aren’t any ornaments on the tree. Because beneath this whole whirlwind of holiday stuff, I know that only one thing is important . . .spending time with the ones we love.

And now . . .some pictures . . .

check out my fur cuffs!

hanging out in the bumbo

naughty or nice?

looking for Santa?

 

play time!

 

Quick catch-up May 19, 2009

Filed under: family,random ramblings — airingdirtylaundry @ 8:46 pm

know, I know. I’m a horrible blogger. I know with some people, the more that happens in their life, the more they blog. Me, well, not so much.

My father-in-law is doing extremely well. He went back to work part-time, which I consider an amazing feat, since his work is a few hours from here and he has an apartment there where he stays during the week. He does have to go back in a few weeks for more surgery—to have his other thyroid removed. He’ll only be in the hospital overnight this time, and in comparison to everything else he’s had done, this one should be a piece of cake.

Mike and I have spent the last few weekends concentrating on getting stuff done around the house. We got all of the blinds dusted (and we have a million windows, so that was quite a chore), washed all of the windows (a million of them, remember?), put the deck furniture together that had been sitting in cardboard boxes in the never-ending rain for 3 weeks, cleaned out the room that is going to be the nursery, put the crib together, and all kinds of other things. I was really pushing to get some of the bigger projects done now since we have stuff going on every weekend between Memorial Day and the Fourth of July. The upcoming weeks include a long weekend in Vegas (yay!), all kinds of running around for my sister-in-law’s bridal shower, the shower and bachelorette party, two baby showers for me—one hosted by my wonderful sisters-in-law here in Pittsburgh and one in the middle of the state that two of my good friends are organizing, Bob’s surgery, my nephew’s birthday, our hospital visit and baby care class, plus the normal work weeks and regular errands and doctors appointments. Oh, and all of the bigger home projects that we haven’t gotten to yet—our garage and basement are a DISASTER!. And somewhere in the midst of all of this, I agreed to host our neighborhood bunco league at our house this month. I’m thinking that I’ll be ready to pass out by the time the Fourth of July weekend gets here.

But I love being busy—I feel so much more organized when I have my to-do list all mapped out and I feel a really dorky sense of accomplishment when I can cross something off and move on to the next thing. Mike has been such a trooper throughout my never-ending demands. I’ve constantly had him lifting, moving, helping, cleaning, and putting stuff together. He’s been great with cooking and planning meals, helping with the laundry, and even giving up his body pillow so that I can sleep more comfortably at night. I know there have been times where I’ve been irritable and snapped at him, and he just goes with the flow. Pregnancy is a powerful, powerful thing!

 

My Resolution January 6, 2009

Filed under: random ramblings — airingdirtylaundry @ 8:05 pm

My resolution for 2009 is to watch more TV.

Seriously. 

When Mike’s brother and his wife and their kids stayed with us over New Year’s, I watched 2 movies.  In one night. Without reading a book through them and only half paying attention.  That’s quite an accomplishment for me.  On Sunday, after they headed home, Mike and I vegged out on the couch and I watched another movie.  For me, 6 hours of vapid staring at the TV in the span of less than a week is unheard of.  When I lived alone, I could go for weeks without turning on the TV and it wouldn’t bother me a bit.

I don’t have “shows”–other than my half-hour soap that I DVR and am constantly a month or so behind on.  I don’t DVR anything else, I don’t make sure that I’m home at a certain time to watch a show.  I can’t commit, no matter how good a show is.  I’d always rather read a book.  Sometimes I can’t sit still through a show or a movie because I sit there and look around at all of the cleaning that needs to be done. 

So, in 2009, I want to watch TV.  Not an excessive amount.  Maybe just a few hours a week.  And when Mike asks me if I want to watch a movie (as he just did), I’ll start saying “yes” more than “no”.  And I totally just said “no”.  I’m in the middle of a good book and I need to pay bills and do some other stuff before I sit down. So apparently I’m not making great strides so far.  But I have the whole year, right?

 

All apologies, or the one where I bitch and moan about how busy I am and you mutter “she’s so frickin lazy” under your breath December 17, 2008

Filed under: random ramblings — airingdirtylaundry @ 4:04 pm

OK, here’s the deal–Mike and I ceased sending out Christmas/Holiday cards a few years ago.  Why?  Because it was just adding fuel to the fire that is otherwise known as “The Mad Scramble to Get Everything Done Before the Holidays.”

This year?  No different.  Actually, yes it IS different–it’s crazier than normal.  I can 100% guarantee that you will not receive a card from us.  We don’t discriminate.  We don’t send them only to close friends and family.  We don’t send them to people we don’t talk to much during the year.  We don’t send one to my almost-90-year-old grandparents who treasure every card and letter from me. We don’t send them to ANYONE.

So don’t be offended.  Because even if you are, I am not going to run out to the store and buy you a card and send it to you.  It’s just the way it is.  For now.  Should Mike and I ever have a child (God willing . . .everyone please keep your fingers crossed on that one),  trust me, you’ll get a card.  And it will probably have 30 pictures of the little one in it because I won’t be able to decide on which picture is the absolute cutest.

As a side note, I love getting mail that is not of the bill variety and does not reference the words “amount due” anywhere on it, so feel free to send ME a card.  Just, you know, don’t sit by your mailbox waiting for one to arrive in return.

 

Anymore November 6, 2008

Filed under: blogging,life lessons,me being a whiney brat,random ramblings,secrets — airingdirtylaundry @ 6:09 pm

I don’t envy the “popular” bloggers.  If I was one of them, I think I’d eventually find myself in fear of the written word.  One hateful or overly-critical comment/email too many and I’d hightail it out of the blogosphere immediately.

As it is, I feel like I limit what I say write.  I would only write in specific detail about a friend if I had his or her permission to do so.  I mask the names of my family members to a certain extent.  I don’t write certain posts that are brewing in my head because I feel like I’d be sharing too much.  Things that maybe certain people would take offense to.  My original intention was to have this be a totally anonymous blog, but over time I added a link to it on my Goodreads profile.  And then my Facebook profile.  So now it’s not-so-anonymous and there’s a chance that if I bitch about someone in particular, one of my real-life friends may be able to figure out who that person is . . .and, well, my reason for this blog is not to start some snarky war where people’s feelings get hurt (whether intentional or not).

Today, I said “screw it.”  This is MY blog.  It’s for ME.  It’s ABOUT me.  My life.  And when something happens in MY LIFE that weighs on my mind for a week and I feel like I’m holding it in because I’m afraid of singling out one specific person . . . .screw it.

That’s when I have to remind myself that this is my journal, what will one day be my history.  And if something’s affecting me to the point that THIS THING is affecting me, I need to let it out.  So here goes.

Last week I played bunco with a fairly large group of people.  All women.  Some I know really well, some are just “casual friends”–we know each other’s names and can have a “Hi, how ya doin’?”-type conversation but don’t just call each other and chat.  When we were broken into groups, one of the women (a casual friend) said to a good friend of mine in front of two other people (I wasn’t in the group), “I guess she (meaning ME) isn’t pregnant anymore, since she’s drinking.”

We’ll call this casual friend Elaine.  I’d like to give Elaine the benefit of the doubt.  I’d like to think that maybe it somehow just slipped out of her mouth and she regretted it instantly.  But the more I think about it, the more I’m convinced that that wasn’t the case.

I’m a fairly laid-back person.  With so many things, I feel that I can forgive and forget and move on.  But I’ve been thinking about this for over a week now, so apparently I’m not moving on.

Earlier this week on my way home from work, I saw Elaine standing in a neighbor’s yard, about 15 feet from my car as I stopped at a stop sign.  I couldn’t meet her eyes.  I couldn’t even wave.  Tears welled up that I fought back, and I continued on my way.

What she said hurt me.  First of all, I had never told her that I was pregnant, so obviously I had never told her that I miscarried.  And it’s not as if she took me aside and said “I knew you were pregnant earlier this year, so something happened, and I want to make sure you’re doing OK and see if you wanted to talk to somebody about it.”  There was no compassion, no concern.  Instead, it was “I guess she’s not pregnant anymore.”  In front of a group of people.

I hide my struggle with fertility/miscarriage a lot.  I joke about it, my favorite defense mechanism after sleeping it off (which didn’t work in this case).  We named our kitten Forrest because that’s the boy name that Mike loved and I would never agree to it when we were discussing baby names.  So we named the cat Forrest the Cat, Not the Kid–Forrest the Cat for short.

But each day as I dutifully chart my BBT, each month when I get my period, I get a little bit . . .sadder.  I remember my disbelief at the positive pregnancy tests in April, and I want that disbelieving/hopeful/too-good-to-be-true feeling back.  That overwhelming sense of awe that two people can create another one.  That I could be a MOTHER.

I don’t need reminders from people I barely know that I’m not pregnant anymore.   If Elaine really wanted the scoop about my situation without asking me directly, she could have least waited until I wasn’t in same house as her to ask someone else.  And she could have done it a hell of a lot more delicately.  Does she really not understand that every morning when I take my temperature, I recognize that I’m not pregnant anymore?  Or when I called the doctor’s office to schedule an appointment to discuss fertility medication, I was pretty aware that I wasn’t pregnant anymore?   Or as I flip the pages of the calendar, ever closer to what was my December 25th due date, that I think about not being pregnant anymore?

__________________________________________________________________________________________

On a related note, I found out on Halloween that three of my neighbors are pregnant.  I guess there’s hope that there’s something in the water and it’s working it’s way up the street to me. . . .

 

Forget about the VP debate, let’s talk about eyebrows October 3, 2008

Filed under: hair,life lessons,random ramblings,secrets — airingdirtylaundry @ 1:03 pm

I remember being a pre-pubescent girl and wishing fervently to “become a woman.”  At the time, I thought that meant getting my period, and, well, that was about it. 

I read “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret” for the first time in third grade at the insistence of two much-older neighbors who rode the bus with me.  We were the only 3 kids from our part of town who went to the Catholic school and due to the different start/end times of our school vs. the public school, the three of us were the only kids on the bus for a large portion of the time.  I got quite an education on that bus.

I willed myself into puberty, threw myself headlong into it, thoughtlessly leaving my childhood behind.  At age 10, I stole a pink Daisy razor from Mom and started shaving my legs.  I had seen her do it, and she was a woman, so in order to become a woman myself, I needed to shave.  So I shaved my legs.  And then my armpits.  And then, what the hell, my arms.  All without any kind of shaving cream or soap, by the way.  I must have been one big razor burn.  And then I hid the razor in my bottom dresser drawer, where I hid all of my secret stuff so that no one would find it.

In 4th grade, I begged for a bra.  I plotted and schemed for weeks–possibly even months– about how to convince her that I needed it, you know, since I didn’t have any boobage anything to put in it at the time.  I eventually came up with an indesputible rationale.  My school uniform was a white button-down shirt with a Peter Pan collar and a plaid jumper (with knee socks and saddle shoes, of course.  It’s no wonder that to this day I have absolutely zero fashion sense).  I told my mother that because my shirts were so thin and worn, the boys could see too much through them and I needed a bra.  Basically her options were to buy me new higher-quality dress shirts (“like the Lacoste shirts that the rich ALL the other girls are wearing,” I suggested), or to buy me a bra.  So off we went to JC Penney’s to get me my AAA-sized training bra. 

Years later I look back at my desire to shave and to wear a bra and wonder what the hell I was thinking.  Shaving my legs and armpits and other unmentionable regions and stuffing myself into a bra each day are almost a chore.  Did I really look forward to doing–DREAM about–this twenty-some years ago? 

The one part of my body that I’ve never had to pay much attention to–until now–was my eyebrows.  I have fair skin.  I usually call my skintone “pale”, but “fair” seems much more complimentary, so let’s go with that.  I have dyed blonde light brown hair with blonde highlights, and my eyebrows were even lighter than my *ahem* chemically-enhanced hair color.  They were thin in shape and fine in texture.  For years they were almost invisible, or at least barely noticeable.  In my world, you don’t fix what ain’t broke, so I never touched my eyebrows.  Not once.  No plucking, tweezing, waxing, shaving.  Nothing.

A few years ago, I felt that even though you couldn’t see them, maybe they needed more shape to them.  Knowing that I have extremely sensitive skin where even the smallest pimple is a huge glaring red blemish, I didn’t even consider waxing.  Instead, I opted for a small battery-powered Avon trimmer, and every few months I would zip-zip around the edges, use one of the tools to cut the remaining hair shorter, and that was it.

In March, on a whim, I asked the girl who cuts my hair (she’s 10 years younger than me, so yes, she’s still a “girl”) to do my eyebrows.  She had been cutting my hair for 6 months at the time, so I trusted her.  I warned her about my sensitive skin.  I also made it a condition of my “procedure” that she not do anything drastic–the last thing I wanted was to have to pencil my eyebrows back on until they grew in.  She did a great job, I was red for about an hour or so, and life went on.

In the time since then, my eyebrows morphed into two woolly bear caterpillars trying to meet in the middle.  If they were any indcation of how severe this winter is going to be, boy, we’re in for a doozy.  They got thicker.  And darker.  And BIGGER.  My little Avon trimmer choked on them and eventually died.  Plus, I would shake so much just looking at them that trimming was a sketchy process.  I decided to leave it to the professionals.

So last night I was getting my hair did and I asked if she’d have time to do my eyebrows.  This time I didn’t preface it with a 500-word essay on just how sensitive my skin is and how I didn’t want much taken off.   After the first rrr–iiiiippppp, I realized my error but it was too late to turn back.  Once the swelling goes down and the redness goes away, I’m sure they’ll look nice.   But so far it’s been 16 hours and I still look like a Neanderthal with my (red) forehead jutting out–minus the hair, of course.

Where did that hair come from?  Why did it wait until now to sprout?  Will my brows come back in full force again, or was that some kind of one-time hormonal aberration?  Will I have to get this done every three months?  Every six weeks?  EVERY MONTH?  Will I have to schedule my brow waxing on a Friday night, go home immediately, and stay in my house with an icepack on my forehead for 2 days until I’m not embarrassed to be out in public?  And where will hair start to sprout next?  Maybe I’ll end up looking like the Neanderthal after all.

If only I would have known 25 years ago what “womanhood” REALLY was . . . .