Binging and Being a Woman

I’ve had a lot of stress including a lot of emotional stress recently. I took yesterday off, I had a midday thing and I needed some peace and quiet too. I was on the way home, stopped off at the drug store and picked up some sugar in the form of a bag of mini jelly beans.

I go home and I get distracted, but I’m first munching on jelly beans, then these tasty crackers I got at Trader Joe’s. It finally occurs to me, oh my god, I’m eating for comfort! I never used to do that. I never  understood why people would do that. Why am I doing this?

Another first in this estrogen laden march.

I had a lovely conversation with a work GF about it. Really nice and she’s saying, you see, this is yet another one of those things you’re not going to be able to really explain to men, and she’s mostly right, because most men don’t have the wiring for this to happen.

When I started down this road I worried that other women would focus on the reproductive details and say bah, you can’t have babies and you don’t have a cycle so you’re not really a woman. The truth I find is that while there are plenty of women who will justly complain about being burdened with a cycle, this just isn’t the central core thing without which the entire female experience falls apart.

It’s more the case that there are hundreds of shared experiences from things that you do to be pretty, and things you do because of your emotions, and your relationships with women and men and romances and the good things about being a woman and the bad things and somewhere in all this there’s a corner that includes those messy bits. I’ve yet to encounter another woman who really wants to talk about that and I am certainly not going to bring it up.

There have been some distinct hurdles along this path to womanhood and I’m not at all sure I’m done, which is to say I’m pretty sure I’m not done. Those early steps are all those things that are obvious. That you need to learn to exist as a female and dress and walk and talk and all that appropriately. Well humans are nothing if not adaptable.

Then it seems that one moves along and feels more and more genuine and true to one’s self. It’s like you start off wearing baggy jeans. The shape’s more or less right but it doesn’t hang quite right or look quite right. A bit sloppy but it covers your bottom.

You stop thinking about all those rudimentary things, they’re part of you now. You walk in the world as a female, as a women but sometimes you stumble a bit because you never did have a mother to tell you all the do’s and don’ts when you were ten. You have your big girl jeans on now. They aren’t baggy anymore, but you aren’t stylin yet.

You’ve stopped thinking about it most of the time. You’re just Sally, or Jane, or Michelle, or Rose. Every so often you think about it. You’re having trouble remembering what it was like. Your ass looks good in those jeans and the heels are killer.

I feel like I’m doing ok in my jeans these days. I was walking around in cork wedge sandals with a 2.7″ heel, and it wasn’t a big deal. I was happy enough to kick them off at home but my feet weren’t in agony. I’m just Rachel. I don’t generally talk about who I was now.

So I have my lovely conversations with  other women and it fills me with good feeling. It’s true that not all women are nice but the chances aren’t so bad.



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