Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Allright, guys...

It's about quarter of ten and the big doings begin in a half hour. I'm sitting here at my computer dressed carefully in a tasteful black crepe suit with one button blazer jacket and straight-legged pants. Underneath is a gray cashmere turtleneck sweater, with high-topped black boots. Wearing one bold piece of jewelry, a lovely silver pendant brought back from Nepal years ago by my late husband, Bill. My hair is pulled back tightly and gathered into a clip that rests on the nape of my neck. Lookin' good. Feelin' confident.

We've been here before (I keep reminding myself). All that will be required of me is that I stay centered and hold to my truths. I'm usually protected by the low expectations associated with being non-white, so I'll crush a few more stereotypes.

...but underlying the confidence there are remnants of past experiences of rejection that must be kept tightly under control. There is this strange phenomenon that allows most humans to consider Europeans as "generic" people and everyone else as exotic. There are times when it would be interesting to know what it feels like to be "generic," if only for brief periods. I suppose that's why my childhood and adolescent life were so special. Being together in affinity groups based on race and not segregation allowed us that experience. I suppose this may have been the single-most influential factor in our formative years. If I'm lucky, it's that Betty who will assume the Rosie mantle this morning, hopefully. If the post-war Betty pops up unexpectedly, I'll do my best to bury her -- at least for a while.

Stay tuned ... .