Iíve been listening to an audio book about the life of Princess Diana, lately (along with reading The Help, but thatís another entry).

At first, I was shocked at the incestuous and poor behavior of these blue-bloods. Of course, Iíve heard that, and of course, I knew about their small gene pool. Because of class lines, people almost never married outside of their own class in England, which duh, equals a small gene pool (well, duh, to us, in modern times). Knowing some details made it suddenly more real to me.

Itís not easy listening to this audio book. Itís like watching a natural disaster play out in slow motion, but I canít tear my ears away, anyway. The thing thatís getting me now is how much they expected out of her immediately upon her arrival at the palace.

She was a teenager with barely any formal education, when she moved in. She had been raised in the country, on an estate with servants. She had no mother, her father was negligent (Her mother lost parental rights after a custody battle with the dad. All I can say is never divorce an Earl in England). She and her siblings banded together so tightly that they were rarely seen apart. For some reason, they were shocked that she behaved exactly as a teenage girl raised in those circumstances would behave when taken away from everything familiar and locked up in a small apartment inside a palace. Considering everything, she was even better behaved than expected. She so lonely, stuck in that cold and distant family, not even the staff was friendly to her; not to be mean, but out of what they believed to be duty.

She got needy and bratty sometimes, but she didnít break out, she wasnít intentionally rebellious, she wasnít destructive. She didnít turn to drugs or whoring around.

It makes me think about all the women who have been unfortunate enough to marry powerful men. Not that Charles was powerful as an individual. The author provides a plethora of quotes referring to Charles as a ďweakĒ man, but if you ask any woman who has lived any, youíll learn that thereís nothing more dangerous than a weak man.

The other day, a friend of mine posted something on FB about how women, on average, still make less money than men. The headline was something about how a womanís PHD is worth the same as a manís BA. Then I recalled the statistics about how the high school drop out rate for boys is higher than it is for girls (and the number one cause of female high school drop outs is pregnancy). Overall, more women go to university, and fewer women drop out. More women graduate from university than men.

Iím not suggesting that thereís any correlation between the more degrees and the less pay, but it makes me wonder whatís going on here. As soon as the playing field was leveled out just a little bit, women started excelling. Is there something attached to the X chromosome? Are girls socialized to understand that life sucks, itís not fair, and the only way to scratch out a living is to play by everyone elseís rules and work your butt off?

It seems that even the most entitled women have very little entitlement. Is that whatís been lighting a fire under us?

Anyway, I wrote that on Friday. Itís now Sunday. A cool rainy Sunday. Yesterday, Adam and I went surfing with Nicole and her new beau. Sheís normally one to keep men at arms length (and she has really long arms), but sheís been playing the dating field, lately. I asked her about it, and she merely said, ďItís time.Ē She was married and divorced as the same time as me, and she has avoided men like the plague, since. Not that I can blame her, and I was beginning to think that the hurt ran so deep that she may choose to never let any man in again.

This new guy is super, super sweet, and they both seemed giddy with the beginnings of infatuation. I hope he lasts. Sheís been finding fault with these guys, fairly early on. Because itís her, sheís not dating any losers. Theyíll all charming, handsome, healthy, athletic types, that know ten languages, and have as many degrees. It always breaks my heart a little bit to see them go. Sheís obviously being extra cautious (again, I canít blame her), but I donít know if itís more out of fear or pragmatism.

Yesterday, was lovely. I havenít surfed in a couple of years because the last time I went, I took a couple of really bad falls, and decided that Iíd rather just stick to snowboarding. This time around, the waves were very small, so there was little to no danger. I didnít have any trouble catching them, either.

The weather was perfect and the beach wasnít too crowded. After we had our fill of surfing, we found a decent restaurant on the boardwalk and stuffed ourselves (we were starved). Then we waddled back to the beach to digest. We frolicked on the waves and played Frisbee on the beach.

I used the spray on sun block, which I knew wasnít good enough. I grew up giving myself major sun damage, so I still donít give it the respect that it needs. I came back with a lot of color. I noticed my arms turning dark and freckly on the way home.

As kids, we remained the color of polished oak furniture, all year round. Our mother put sun block on our faces, at the beach, a handful of times, ever, and we were there weekly. I probably acquired enough sun damage for three life times.

Luckily, even though I freckle up like a redhead, Iím not the color of one. I have a melanin reserve that I can call on, and will hopefully keep the skin cancer at bay. When my brother was here, Adam commented on how heís so much darker than I am. I explained to him that itís not because he has darker skin, itís that he doesnít bother with protecting himself from the sun, which is common for the non-pink, non-translucent folks. We donít turn red, so they figure that itís ok.

Now today, itís cool and rainy. I feel like Iím getting the best of two seasons in one weekend. I decided to not go to dance and zumba today. Itís better to just stay in and listen to the rain. We had a bunch of over-ripe bananas, so I made banana bread. Iím sitting in the kitchen now with the window open. The bread is cooling on the stove.

1 comments so far

Sunday, Aug. 14, 2011 at 1:14 PM