Monday, 1 April 2013

Home Alone

By choice, I am home alone for Easter. Mostly because I could not face the travelling necessary to be with family. My emotional and energy levels are hovering slightly below the 50% level. Being solitary now seems to be my normal state. I had better not mention this to my sisters as they would be inclined to recommend counselling, tranquillisers or anti-depressants, whereas I feel as though I am merely adrift and afloat on the sea of life. One of these days I might make it to land.

Two young men rang my doorbell yesterday. As I opened the door, one said 'Hello, darling'. I looked at them, somewhat askance, and said, 'What did you just say to me?' And so they repeated it. I said they had no business addressing me like that: they did not know me, nor I them, and it was impertinent and familiar. Oh, the young man said, it was just his usual way of greeting people. Well, I replied, it would be a good idea to think more carefully about how to address people, such as total strangers, from whom you are trying money for your particular cause'. So they left, empty handed. I am still experiencing a mini-seethe. Bloody cheek! I say to myself. One wonders whether those employed to do door to door canvassing ever get any training on courtesy and sales techniques.

And this morning, after going out for the morning walk, I found I had to go and find a shop that was open - it is Easter Sunday, after all, and most shops are (rightly) closed. I am cooking some more quince jelly, and found I did not have enough sugar, so tried one of the nearby shops, and it was open. Laden with my sugar, I decided to have a peek at the viewing office of proposed new units, in a nearby area formerly used for industrial purpose but now sold off and to be 'developed'.

In I went, and said I'd like to look at their display. I do not want to buy a unit: I merely wondered about how it might affect or change the area. They wanted my name and address. This made me feel stroppy, so I refused and left. I do not want to be part of their data base. I had just bought sugar from the shop, and they did not ask for my particulars. Grrr.

It is interesting that in such small ways I find myself becoming more assertive. In the days of yore, female assertiveness was generally much less common, and there was a far greater expectation of courtesy, both in private and in public interactions. And, having had to pussy-foot around in the past with such people as husbands, and step-daughters,  it has taken some time for me to release mists and fumes of assertiveness into the ether.  What else might transpire? So when I feel lonely, even as a result of my own decision not to drive away from home for Easter, I can muse about not having to try to please or placate husbands. (They had their good points, but at times failed to develop or use them. Doubtless they  felt the same about me. Well, nobody's perfect.)

Today's batch of quince jelly is sitting glowingly on my kitchen bench, so something was accomplished. It tastes good. And the colour is makes me feel quite beatific. And tonight I did a fairly good sort of all my muddled collections of papers. Things look quite tidy and organised now. Let me see if I can keep up the good work.


Elephant's Child said...

And assertiveness in women was often called stridency, or the woman was compared to a fish-wife.
I am learning. Slowly but have a long way to go. Sometimes I think that being brought up to think of others first was a HUGE mistake.
Isn't quince jelly a glorious colour? Like the very best lead-light windows.

You are so right about the refusal/inability of some to develop and use their good points. Sadly, often at my expense.

I hope your time alone continues its rewarding path. Quince jelly, assertiveness AND paper sorting is an impressive start.

molly said...

I'm in your quarter too Persi! For too many years I let others bamboozle me into thinking they were right and what did I know---a little slip of a lass from over the water. Now, rather late, I realize I was duped! Nobody really had more of a clue than I. They were just better at disguising the fact! There's a lot to be said for solitude---you can please yourself! Happy quiet Easter to you my friend!

Jan said...

"I am still experiencing a mini-seethe. " Of course! How rude to be addressing a total stranger like that.

Another one here who is letting her natural assertiveness be more apparent as her circumstances have changed. Perhaps had I been more assertive some twenty years ago, such a change may never have happened.

Quince jelly! How lovely and I'm sure that beautiful aroma of cooking quinces would have spread through your house.

I had the chance to buy a house in the Southern Highlands but bought here in the inner west. I was thinking only an hour or so ago of the fruit such as quinces which I could have had in the garden. Really, here is so very much more sensible and organised for a family which is a bit scattered, but I still yearn for the climate and the quinces and bulbs and tulips and...