Saturday, March 29, 2008

Solo Femininity

In the interest of full disclosure, I borrowed the post title from Carolyn's former title of her (must read) blog, Radical Womanhood. I hope she doesn't mind.

As a mom of four sons and a wife to one husband, I am the lone female in our home. While I am profoundly grateful for that blessing and privilege--and it is a blessing as well as a privilege, most days at any rate--I must admit that sometimes I miss having a girl around. Let's face it, there are just some things that are best resolved between girlfriends.

I remember when we were newlyweds, and I would be in the throes of some hormonal breakdown of disastrous proportions (anyone?). My husband, after attempting all his masculine power and understanding could think of, would finally blurt, "Why don't you call your mom or sister or something?"

He understood. Sometimes a woman just needs another woman.

Take for example some of the perplexing questions I've been struggling with:

What color shoes does one wear with a green dress?
Does said green dress look too small/too short/too tight?
Does this blush look natural?
Are my roots showing?
I want to quit with the haircolor already, but I don't know how?
Is the swing jacket too trendy to have two?
Should I grow my hair out, or keep it short? What about bangs?
Am I too old to wear this?

Fashion and beauty, two areas of greatest insecurity for me, and therefore the two areas I am most prone to plague my men with questions. My poor husband. He only has a brother, so this world of women, though it is a world of only one, is completely foreign to him. The other day I bought a new pair of shoes and asked him what he thought. He hated them and told me so, which is often a good sign as he readily admits to having no fashion sense.

It's a good man that knows his limitations.

My oldest son is most often my fashion consultant, though he is rapidly getting to the stage where he is embarassed he even has parents, much less a mom who obsesses over her wardrobe selection. In other words, he is fast adopting his father's response of "Yeah, great. That looks good," with eyes averted, fixated instead on the latest cycling catalog or something else totally un-fashion (and un-mom) related.

So I fly solo when it comes to all things feminine. Should my roots be horrendously obvious, my lipstick garishly bright or my shoes totally clashing with my outfit, kindly take me aside and give me a much-needed consultation. From one girlfriend to another.

That's what friends are for.


  1. I can so understand this! Believe you me with four sons and a hubby of my own. What is weird is that I have ONE son who has a flair for seeing designs and a great feel for fashion sense. He is the one who will actually notice little things that are different about my hair etc...My husband is always jokingly telling him that we need the (fill in the blank) eye of the straight guy. Still, sometimes I need the wise eye of a woman my age. And oh, by the way...I gave up coloring my hair. I didn't want to be one of those 60 year old women with freakishly dark hair. Better to just go with the gray streaks now. I tell people they are my highlights and they are free!

  2. coming form a big city and seeing it all, I would say higlight's you are to young to show your grey and go for the longer hair why not maybe shoulder lenght. as fo make-up do what I do I fine the girl I would like to look like behind the counter and I ask her want she is wearing and show me how to put it on. I don't like to hear well I am turning 40 I must keep my hair short that is an old way of thinking... I have seen so many pretty 35-48 year olds hear pretty hair and nice make up. And,why not add color to your shoes it won't hurt why stay safe with black and brown?
    go out and see what people are wearing ,look at show's like what not to wear. Don't allow yourself to get caught up in a raught! life is just too short. I would post my name but won't I have before and you never come by and vist. I think you are pretty but maybe stick you head out of the books once in awhile and take a look around styles yes are changing you don't have to have all the styles but you can pick and chose form it.
    hope these has help. blessing

  3. Okay, Lisa, you're in my brain now. As of 22-months ago, I am no longer the only female in my house, but, she's only 22-months old, so I can still relate. Wish I lived close enough we could sit on the porch together and discuss such urgent things. By the way, my highlights are growing out, and I'm wondering about letting my hair grow long, and I'm clueless in the shoe decision making process.

  4. It's a ratio of 3:1 in our household. Unless you count the dog. But she has worse habits than they. And that's saying a lot. Anyway, I hear you, gal! The pals I have through my bloggy world have been an amazing source of support for all things hormonal...but they're not much help with the wardrobe dilemmas. sigh. i guess i really miss sleepovers. except the staying up all night part. I could use some good girl talk too! the dog is a good listener.

  5. Lisa, You are such an amazing writer. I like how you added humor to this post. It was a fun read but one to which I can relate. I do have a daughter and she is four, but already we have a type of girlfriend bond.

  6. That's what the blogosphere is for, my friend. It's not as good as a girl in your house, but at least you got girls in your computer.

  7. My daughter has been away at university this year, and I miss her for those "little" things. My 16 year old son is not at all helpful, but my 13 year old will at least tell me if my hair looks nice or not.

  8. You are so cute! I feel your angst! I struggle with the whole fashion deal too. Just never got the gene, I guess. . . .

    I know someone who went back to brunette from blonde, and she just dyed her hair her natural color so as it grew out you didn't see the difference.

    I like luv4my4sons' comment about the gray highlights. . . Besides, the Bible does say that "Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life." (Prov. 16:31) :-)

    Luv ya!