As the election approaches there is a lot of talk about the state of women in this country. I was lucky enough to be invited by my mother last week to the CT Forum, which is an organization that hosts panelists to discuss topics and ideas in a live, unscripted venue.
The topic was “The State of Women,” and the panel included Ashley Judd and Gloria Steinem. Besides just watching the event, my mother had gotten us seats at a pre-show cocktail party and dinner where we could mingle with the celebrity panelists.
Although we were supposed to be taking all of these women’s issues very seriously, I had watched enough Oprah shows to secretly hope to throw back a martini with Ashley Judd and get to the bottom of what it was like to grow up with Wynonna and Naomi.
Although I was looking forward to it, this Friday night excursion couldn’t happen on a worse week. I had booked myself to work everyday for 6 straight days, and Michael’s Halloween birthday party was Saturday afternoon.
Oh yeah, and I was working all day Saturday and would get home an hour before the party begun.
I spent the weeknights leading up to the party at the grocery store, filling pinatas, decorating and making spider cookies so that come Saturday I would be somewhat prepared.
Needless to say – as usual,whenever work takes over, my house was completely trashed and laundry was to the ceiling. I would need to do some cleaning before the party, or parents would be afraid to leave their children at my house!
By Friday, I was completely exhausted and overwhelmed. I had to leave the house early to drive to work over an hour away in Fairfield County. The people I was working for were not happy that I had to leave early to head back so that I could go to the CT Forum event in Hartford.
Now on top of party stress, the house stress, the work stress, the exhaustion…..add to that…….the MERRITT PARKWAY ON A FRIDAY AT 5 PM.
If you have not experienced the lovely travelling conditions in Connecticut consider yourself lucky.
Oh, did I mention I was on the second day of my period? That’s the day where if I am not by a toilet on the hour – I look like I have been in a slasher film from the 80’s.
2 hours later, I missed the entire cocktail hour. I was ready to cry.
I knew my mother was going to be disappointed/mad, and also I really had wanted to corner Ashley and stare at her. I was beyond annoyed as I peeled into a parking lot and waddled out of my car.
The dinner party was held at the Wadsworth Atheneum, which is essentially a small museum that I didn’t know my way around. I desperately needed a restroom. I entered the building where the party was being held. I ran through the lobby and an abandoned ballroom. I saw people filing into two dining rooms getting seated for dinner.
I wanted to find my seat before everyone was seated but there was no way. I needed to change my tampon ASAP.
I turned down an empty corridor and saw a small little door with a “woman symbol” on it. Thankfully, I shoved the door open and found myself in a very small little bathroom with just 2 tight little stalls in it.
As I looked into this small space this is what I saw:
Finally something fun happened in my life!!
I got to change my tampon next to Ashley Judd!!!
That made up for the fact that I didn’t get to drill her about her mother and sister like I had planned.
So after dinner we went to listen to these amazing women discuss many of the issues plaguing women today.
There was lots of great discussion, but in particular I was most interested in the topic of “women having it all.”
Here I was on the brink of a nervous breakdown from trying to DO IT ALL! So I was interested in everyone’s answers to this question.
Can women today really have it all??
I don’t think so.
Mr. Gaga helped me incredibly, as usual, with the party. On Saturday morning I left him home with a to-do list of things to do, which included cleaning up the house, putting up a tent outside and decorating it, setting up fog machines, tying up pinatas…..the list was endless.
He fully supports me going to work and takes the kids to their games and parties when I am not available. I have even been known to dump them off at his workplace.
While I know I am lucky to have a supportive husband, it doesn’t mean I can “have it all.”
I am the one making the “to-do list.” I am the one going to the store at 10 PM buying 16 perfect pumpkins to decorate. I am the one in the craft store looking for little skull candies to decorate 75 cake pops.
I am the one up all night worrying while Mr. Gaga snores.
I am the one envisioning this cake and wondering if Michael will like it, and how I will get the black frosting out of his white vampire shirt…..
But I had to think about it! I had to find it in a Halloween desserts book!! I had to hire someone to create it!!!
This is what mothers do! Mr Gaga, God love him, would hand out Halloween Oreos and call it a day.
So can we have it all? Can we even do it all?
I know I can’t.
Or if I can I sure as hell don’t look good doing it.
Because guess what? If I go to work, and I make it to the CT Forum with my mother, and the party is a success, and my house is clean……chances are I have let my own needs go by the wayside.
This means I haven’t had time for the gym, sleep, dying my gray hair or waxing my moustache.
I feel a bit duped by my mother’s generation.
They said we could go to college. They said we could be “the boss.”
They said we were
just as smart smarter than the boys.
They said we could have a career and a family.
They told us that we could do it all.
They were so
high on marijuana excited about the new freedoms for women in the 1970’s, that they believed the sky was the limit!
They thought that the glass ceiling would be gone and everything would be perfect for us.
“You can have it all,” they would whisper in our ears, as they tucked us into bed.
And we believed them.
There was no doubt in my mind when I saw Geraldine Ferraro campaigning for vice-president that a woman would someday be president.
I absolutely believed that I would go to college, have a career and have a family.
That would be what I did. It would just work.
But it really doesn’t always work!
And even if it looks like it’s working, we are filled with guilt and doubts.
These are feelings that men can never take over for us, no matter how much they are helping.
Let’s face it……even the best Dad in the world isn’t a mom.
I just don’t know if it’s possible.
But Gloria’s answer to this was perfect!
“I just want to say, why aren’t men asked about having it all? Until men are asked about having it all, it will mean that women are doing it all….”
Ok Gloria, well-said but I still don’t know the answer.
Do any of you women out there feel like you can do it all or have it all??
If so, share your secrets with me!!!
And in the meantime – while we are all trying to conquer the world is it too much to ask for someone to make us a goddamn tampon that lasts more than an hour??
PLEASE SHARE THIS ON FACEBOOK AND SEE IF WE CAN CONQUER THIS DILEMMA WITH SOME GOOD OLD FASHIONED SOCIAL MEDIA!!!!!
I LOOK FORWARD TO HEARING ALL OF YOUR SECRETS:)
XO, LADY GOO GOO GAGA