3 June 2007
“I Shall Paint My Nails Red” by Carole Satyamurti and “The Secretary Chant” by Marge Piercy are two poems that reflect how women can feel unappreciated. These two poems explore the thoughts of two women who have let their jobs and nail polish define them. In “The Lesson” by Toni Cade Bambara, there is a woman who has benefitted from letting her surroundings define her and there is also a little girl who may or may not benefit from the older women and the lessons she teaches her. I was inspired by these two plays and short story to write a short story of my own about a women who lives a quiet life, but is still as important as any other women, as any other person....
She was hard to pick out of a crowd, never the life of any party. She didn't have the the long, flowing hair her mother had or the brains of her father. Breezed through college with As,Bs, and Cs, she never found use for her degree in business. She was a simple woman with a simple life. No brothers. No sisters. No aunts or uncles. One child. One cat. One deceased husband who she mourned for the first 5 years then proceeded on with her own life. She hardly wore makeup, but when she did it was the same burgundy lipstick and peach,Covergirl blush. The make up didn’t make her look any different. A woman of few words, her handful of friends call her a real class act, but strangers never noticed. She didn’t want recognition or fame for her accomplishments, and she never made me clean my room. She always smelled of lavender and vanilla, but you’d never know unless you got real close to her. When she laughed it was quiet and easy and when she cried there was no sound, just tears.
“She was a nice lady” a neighbor says after the pastor invites people up to speak. There would only be two other people after him. A sixty-year-old life and only 10 people at a funeral to say good-bye. Besides myself, most of them were strangers, I’d seen a couple only a few times in my entire life. No one really cried out loud, the service was only 46 minutes. Another life that came and went without many people noticing. Another woman who achieved life, but went without any praise or recognition. I stood before the small crowd and shed only a single tear. “She did not live her life out loud, but that does not mean she was not here. Because of her, I am, and because of me, she is.”