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women to women: a puzzle for the ages

Chester County Ramblings - Thu, 2016-01-14 18:41

As I begin this post it has no real form yet.  A quasi flowing stream of consciousness. I figure by the end of the post the title will find me.

I have written many times before about my transition from being a Main Liner to a Chester County gal. And I am going to do it again. So if you don’t want to hear anymore about this or don’t like a flowing stream of consciousness, turn away from the blog now and visit again tomorrow.

Yesterday my friend Alene wrote about in essence adolescence and David Bowie.  She was part of a group of girls I was and am to this day still friends with.  Our 13 and 14 year old selves were quite different from a lot of our classmates at the time. And wow what we were subjected to from a pack of mean girls before they called them mean girls.

I have written about those girls from back in the day before.  And middle age hasn’t changed or softened a lot of them, and at the end of the day they are still just stuck in the 7th grade hallways with their tight jeans, bad perms and crimping irons…sneaking cigarettes and oh yes stumbling in their Candies.

We  (Alene and I) had a bit of a conversation about what she had written on her blog and in part she said

“It’s interesting to me that you got a chance to witness what became of those people, whom I have long since forgotten.” I haven’t forgotten how it felt, though. It is sad. Now people talk openly about bullying behavior in the schools and the psychological effects on kids, but it seems to be universal and timeless.”

I had told her that on some level I felt sorry for these people. I actually do.

These girls affected all of us in different ways but a similarity my friends and I share to this day is those silly girls made us realize what we don’t want in friends. For years after it also affected how I trusted or accepted people, which translated more simply is in a lot of cases I didn’t trust, I didn’t accept.

I worked to change that.  Sometimes I still work at it.

Take my moving to Chester County.  Moving and starting a new life no matter how exciting is very different when you’re an adult and middle-aged woman versus young and single. And this move in particular made me feel once again like that uncertain 12 year old who was thrust into a new and rather large school and area without much in the way of life skills to make the transition easy.

Maybe that sounds silly, but when I first moved to Chester County it is how I felt. Excited to be here yet so uncertain.

I have been lucky with this move that over the first years here I have discovered that many people I was friends with for years and years live not too far from me, and I have met a lot of really nice and genuine an amazing new people.

But (there is always a but isn’t there?)….some people you take a chance on are just fated to disappoint.  And I have met some disappointing individuals.  Not too many, but a few.

No matter what age you are, you will always meet people who will just be uncomfortable because they can’t fit you into one of their boxes of pre-conceived notions.

But today I was faced with a situation that I not only did not know where to go with but definitely at first hurt then ultimately offended me.  Not disappointed.  Disappointed would have been on the short list of emotions when I was 12 but not now. I was emphatically offended.

Someone I had met over the last year basically told me today we couldn’t be friends because I was…wait for it….a blogger.

Initially I had reached out to her after we met as many of us do today, via social media. Right or wrong it is how we do a lot of our modern connecting. (Maybe we should bring back the calling card?)  But anyway.. I never got anything back. So I wondered if I had said or done something. I wasn’t sure what because this isn’t someone I run into (for example) every time I go to the grocery store. So I sent her a note. And what I got back basically made me just sort of sit back momentarily stunned:

 

Sorry if I offended you. Not my intention. But when I thought about giving a blogger access to my “personal” life, I got concerned…..I thought we got along well, as a public “voice,” you are in a different category.

 

O.k. so right now a certain group of equally disappointing “grown ups” some of whom reside in West Vincent are cheering at this post. Why? Because I have never been a human being to them, just a target to attempt to pummel into the ground. (But I digress.)

I do not think this woman intended to be deliberately hurtful. But there is no accounting for the accidental ignorance in human beings, especially women.  It was hurtful but mostly it was simply outrageously offensive to hear. I had thought I had made an initial friend connection with this person. But apparently I merely (I guess) had a use for a brief period of time?

But to say essentially you can’t be friends with me because I write?  Wow so very Puritan New England. Is being a blogger like wearing a proverbial scarlet letter or being branded a witch?

I have blogged for I would say about 15 years at this point.  When I first started my blogging was 100% based in political activism. That was deliberate. I had discovered I had a few opinions on politics and things like eminent domain for private gain.

So 15 years ago I would have said o.k. I can understand the fear of knowing a blogger because well blogging was new. But today, in 2016? It’s more like who doesn’t have a blog or online journal?  Lordy people there is even a Friendship Blog  – seriously – it is written by a published off the Internet PhD named Irene S. Levine about friendships. The author welcomes you to her site thusly:

Friendships are among the most complex but meaningful relationships in our lives. These unique bonds often run deeper than family ties, and sometimes last longer than our relationships with spouses or lovers. Yet there are few agreed-upon ground rules or roadmaps…..Dramatic changes in the ways women live, work and communicate have made navigating the terrain of female friendships even more daunting. This website aims to help readers navigate the awkward misunderstandings and disappointments—as well as the long silences and distance—that often crops up among friends.

I read this website once in a while because it’s interesting and not sugary sweetly and fakely cloying.

I was surfing the site just now looking for pearls of wisdom about making new friends after a certain age and I found this post on this site by a blogger (shock and horrors) named Cathy Chester who writes on her own site called “An Empowered Spirit” :

First-Person: Friendship lessons after 50

……Friendships have always been an important part of my life. I tend to them like a cat to her kittens, nurturing each one as best as I can….

Over the years I’ve tried to learn the difference between friends and acquaintances. I’ve been bruised a few times because I’m sensitive and sentimental, and always try to see the best in people.

During adolescence everyone experiences disappointment of one kind or another. When you are an adult, does this continue to happen?

The difference between friends and acquaintances is this: Friends stand by you through good times and bad. Acquaintances keep you at an arms length, remaining casually friendly at a safe distance.

In my fifties, I am trying to better understand human nature, to learn more about people and why they act and behave the way they do….We all think friendships get easier during midlife, and in some ways they do. We are more self-assured, and less likely to tolerate bad behavior. Yet in other ways we are striving to find ourselves….

There may be people you meet and there’s an instant connection. You form a close bond, and if you’re lucky it lasts a lifetime. Hold on tight; this is worth nurturing.

Tend to them. It’s worth the effort.

There are those you meet for a time and, when life moves on, so do they….

It’s time to let go and move on.

There are those you meet, and for some unknown reason they never feel a connection to you……The situation will never change.

Move on. It was never meant to be….

I am no authority on friendship. I am not a relationship expert, nor am I perfect in any way. But I know what I know from years of trying to be all things to all people as a child. As an adult, and after many disappointments, I’ve become more protective of my heart. And I’ve become truer to myself.

I love my friends, I’ve let go of past ones, and I thoroughly enjoy my new ones.

 

O.k. wow. Talk about someone just sort of reaching me where I am feeling today. I am going to pay more attention to An Empowered Spirit and Cathy Chester.

It’s funny but when this crap happens in life, you feel like you are experiencing it all alone.  But thanks to my actual friends and other bloggers in my age group no less I can put this into perspective. And jettison what happened to the invisible list  yet lengthy list of life experience.

But the whole thing about you can’t be friends with a blogger? What is that about? Blogging is something I do, it has never defined who I am. It’s a creative outlet for my voice, my writing, my photography.

And somehow I don’t think that is a bad thing. For the most part, I am happy to walk at the beat of my own drummer.  Now sometimes I doubt all that and wish I could be more like a lot of women my age.  Until I don’t.  Today was one of those times.  I realized the…well limitations of being limited in perspective.

Am I angry? No, but offended, yes.  It will pass and writing about it helps it dissipate in a game of mental catch and release.

In an era when women are corporate leaders and heads of state what does it do to the sisterhood metaphorically when you tell someone you really can’t be friends with them because they are a blogger? Oy vey.   I guess to some blogging is like a communicable disease. That is kind of funny if you think about it. Or sad.

Oh well!

Live and learn and let go. (And my post title just came to me as I predicted it would!)

Thanks for stopping by.

 

Been down one time
Been down two times
I’m never going back again

You don’t know what it means to win
Come down and see me again

~ Fleetwood Mac

 

P.S. If you want to read a really funny blog post  check out  What Not to Wear After Age 50: The Final Say by Michelle Combs.

 

 


Categories: Pennsylvania

Former Eagles Coach Chip Kelly Lands New Job

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Thu, 2016-01-14 17:36
Chip Kelly wasn't unemployed for long. Plus, the Eagles suffered a blow to their own search for a new coach.
Categories: Lower Merion

Bryn Mawr Girl, Cancer Survivor, Will Join Kansas City Royal At Event

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Thu, 2016-01-14 17:01
“Maybe one day we can make sure that no other kid needs to go through this stuff."
Categories: Lower Merion

Pastor Accused Of Rape Misses Flight Home From Ecuador

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Thu, 2016-01-14 16:57
Authorities expected the man to arrive Thursday. He didn't.
Categories: Lower Merion

$1 Million winning Powerball ticket sold in Chester County

Main Line Times - Thu, 2016-01-14 15:33
KENNETT SQUARE >> Wednesday’s record-setting Powerball jackpot made three instant millionaires in Pennsylvania, and one of them bought their ticket at the Landhope Farms Market in Willowdale.
Categories: Lower Merion

Armed Robbery At Montgomery County Turkey Hill

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Thu, 2016-01-14 15:29
Police are asking anyone with any information on this incident to contact them immediately.
Categories: Lower Merion

Cricket Avenue changes: LM Building and Planning Committee OK's preliminary plan for townhomes

Main Line Times - Thu, 2016-01-14 15:12
ARDMORE >>A preliminary land development plan to demolish six homes on Cricket Avenue and West Spring Avenue in Ardmore and replace them with a combination of 19 townhouses and semi-detached twin homes has received approval from the Lower Merion Building and Planning Committee. The vote came despite receiving a recommendation of denial of the application from the township’s Planning Commission, which did not state a reason for the recommendation. The plan now moves to the full Board of Commissioners for further discussion Jan. 20.
Categories: Lower Merion

The 5 Best Vegetarian Choices Near Ardmore

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Thu, 2016-01-14 13:01
You don’t have to be a vegetarian to appreciate the need for meatless choices.
Categories: Lower Merion

Narberth Borough Council passes controversial ordinance to allow mixed-use for former Baptist church

Main Line Times - Thu, 2016-01-14 12:42
Controversy over the former Baptist Church at 198 Elmwood Ave. and its future as residences or residences with offices turned into a heated discussion at Monday’s borough council meeting.
Categories: Lower Merion

Headlights Off, Montco Man Ran Red-Light In Fatal DUI Crash: DA

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Thu, 2016-01-14 12:18
The suspect, who will be charged with homicide by vehicle while DUI, cut in front of a tractor-trailer, killing his passenger and friend.
Categories: Lower Merion

Unique Mentoring Organization Seeks Lower Merion Volunteers

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Thu, 2016-01-14 10:31
The group is looking for volunteers who want to make an immediate and lasting difference in the lives of children.
Categories: Lower Merion

FBI now calling the shooting of Officer Jesse Hartnett a terrorist act

Heron's Nest - Thu, 2016-01-14 07:31
There are several developments this morning concerning the ambush shooting of Philadelphia Officer Jesse Hartnett by a Yeadon man who told police he did it in the name of Islam and that he had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.

FBI Director James B. Comey was in Pittsburgh yesterday and announced that federal investigators are now classifying the shooting as a terrorist act.

It's the first time since the shooting last week that authorities have classified the actions as being linked to terror. You can get the details here.

Both the shooter and his victim have close ties to Delco.

Officer Hartnett is an East Lansdowne native, where he once served on the force before joining the Philly force. He's a 2001 graduate of Monsignor Bonner High School. Archer lived in Yeadon.

Meanwhile, on our editorial page, we reminded readers of something that too often gets overlooked in the heated rhetoric about what might have inspired Archer to do what he did, if others were involved, and if this was some kind of conspiracy.

Hartnett suffered serious injuries after taking three bullets in his arm. He remains hospitalized. Despite being shot three times at point-blank range, he still managed to get out of his cruiser, pursue the suspect and return fire. Archer was wounded in the buttocks and taken into custody.

The attack on a police officer - and in particular the chilling surveillance video that captured the incident, showing Archer walk toward the car and opening fire, eventually leaning into the car window - provides ample evidence of the dangers that lurk on our streets every day.

It's something ever police officer - and his family - knows all too well. They mean it when they say they never know when they leave the house if they will return.

Comey is due in Philadelphia to offer an update on the investigation this morning. Both Pennsylvania U.S. Senators, Democrat Bob Casey and Republican Pat Toomey, are expected to speak after the briefing.

In the meantime, Hartnett's alma mater will honor him during their daily Mass at the Drexel Hill school. We'll be at Monsignor Bonner-Archbishop Prendergast High School to bring you all the details, as well as updates from the FBI briefing in Philly.
Categories: Pennsylvania

You didn't hit the $1.6B Powerball jackpot

Heron's Nest - Thu, 2016-01-14 07:12
You didn't win.

Go back to work. Or better yet, maybe just pull the covers up over your head and take a sick day, no doubt like many of us nursing the hangover from Powerball mania.

That is what a $1.6 billion dollar jackpot will do to you.

But I hope you didn't put the mortgage into lottery tickets.

There were three winning tickets sold, but none in the Philly area.

Winning ducats were sold in Chino Hills, Calif., just outside Los Angeles, where a Huge party broke out at the 7-Eleven that apparently sold the winning ticket, as well as in Florida and Tennessee.

You can get all the details on the winners here.

In the meantime, for the rest of us, it's Thursday.

Two more days until the weekend.

One consolation? It's believed that a couple of million dollar winning tickets were sold in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Better double-check those numbers.
Categories: Pennsylvania

flaming bright flamingos

Chester County Ramblings - Wed, 2016-01-13 20:39


Categories: Pennsylvania

one little sparrow

Chester County Ramblings - Wed, 2016-01-13 20:19


Categories: Pennsylvania

2016 brings new leadership to Tredyffrin Twp, 4.3% tax increase in preliminary TESD budget and a Chester County Substitute Teacher Job Fair

Belated Happy New Year!  Waking up to 23 degree temperatures today reminds us that we are not going to escape the winter after all. Having recently returned from holidays spent in South Carolina with balmy, sunny 83 temperatures makes the arctic cold even harder to take! Since the start of the New Year, here are […]
Categories: Pennsylvania