"The white fathers told us, "I think, therefore, I am" and the black mother within each of us – the poet – whispers in our dreams, I feel, therefore I can be free."- Audre Lorde

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

When I grow up...

When I was little Shannon, I had a very very detailed vision of what Grown-Up Shannon would be and look like ( In fact, I held onto this vision from pre-school 'till highschool...maybe even later). In this vision I would, undoubtedly, be a highschool teacher. (All part of the plan, until last Fall). Notably, according to my early-aged goal-orientated -life-plan, I would officially be a grown-up upon graduating teacher's college at age 21, where merely weeks after graduating I would score a full-time position teaching Creative Writing to disgruntled and justifiably angsty inner-city (and culturally diverse) kids. I'd make my students call me the French word for "Miss", because i thought "Mrs." was too formal, and I liked that "Mademoiselle" reminded me of motzerella, and as a kid, I was really into my cheese. Twenty-One= real grownup. Everything would come into fruition then. And I'd have come into the peak of my physical maturity- the image I maintained of grown up shannon partly stemmed from a drawing I did of myself in second grade entitled "when i grow up". I'd be tall. No shorter than 5"7. (I decided I'd take after my Dad). I'd have satisfyingly ENORMOUS breasts. No less than a D or E or...F cup. (This buxom prediction was based on the fact that said picture, was the first time i ever drew boobs, and so they turned out massively disproportionate but the image always stuck with me. and i liked the face my 7-year old crush made when he saw it). I would have long silky calves that would be accentuated perfectly by the high-heels i would wear EVERYWHERE to EVERYTHING. and my long straight brown hair would, upon adult-hood, transition to dark-black. Why? Because when i grew-up, I would become a real Italian. (This was during my "im-going-do-deny-i-am-metis-phase"). I'd wear tight pencil skirts everyday with a tucked in cream cloloured blouse (that i'd secretly untuck and peek down when in the washroom, to admire the final state of my lovely lady lumps). I'd drive a bright-red car; a fire-bird. and wear red-lipstick to match. I'd be married, to a man with brown hair- who'd wear sweater vests to all our dates. I never saw his face. Only his hands. All of this would have happened, had i played my cards right, close to three-years ago now.
My vision was to take a sabbatical from teaching, at 23. ('cause after nearly TWO loong years of teaching you'd need it) and sell all my possessions. (As a kid, I invisioned this to be the moment that I parted with all my toys officially). After free-ing myself of all earthly goods, the plan was to leave my husband for a year, or so, and travel to Ethiopia to wet-nurse sad orphan babies while teaching them about the good lord. I would have went all the way to become a nun at this point, but i was a fairly sex-obsessed child, and couldn't quite commit to a life of Chasity. (I would have amaaazzzing enormous D or even E cup boobs, that would be totally wasted under a nun's habit). Anyway, after winning all Ethiopians over to Christ, I'd spend the rest of my life as an old lady (30's) in Calcutta- shoe-ing away flies from children's faces and sharing food. Eventually I'd return home to my husband, maybe have a few kids myself, live in the country, have a purple door, drink red wine with every meal and teach my son to be gay, but that was so so sooooo far in the future, I barely thought about it beyond those minor details.
It's kind of funny that I am at an age now, I am "Future Shannon"- the grown-up. Apart from marrying a brown-headed husband, (who, unfortunately, refuses to wear sweater-vests to all our dates) nothing else has really come true. My dream of teaching fell down the drain when teacher colleges/schools became flooded with students and sustainable jobs were less and less. I fell in love with feminism. social theory. and 1960's-lesbians- switched my three-year English undergrad degree, to five-years of gender-studies. Spent my first year as an 'adult', semi-un/underemployed. My boobs are a B cup. My calves, short and thick and sometimes I don't shave. I'm not Italian. The word "mademoiselle" still makes me happy, but somewhat guilty, as a struggling vegan. I don't know how to walk in heels- and got married barefoot. I'm too poor to fix my free bicycle, let alone own and drive a red-firebird. (My G1 licensee also expired, about 2 years ago...). I wear red-lipstick, from time to time, but only to be ironic, and pretend i have lip-botox. My height took after my mom, not my dad, and I can't pull off pencil skirts. (however, i do still secretly look down my own shirt sometimes just to remember whats down there and giggle). I didn't spend this last year in Africa or India, nor have I mastered wet-nursing. I still think nuns rock and the likelihood of becoming one is still rare. And Sometimes I still dream about having a house one day with a purple door, drinking red wine with every meal, and maybe, just maybe, raising an ultra-feminine son. It's interesting thinking of the woman, your childhood-self created of and for you. It's weird when you realize, to former-shannon, you are future-shannon- a grown-up now.
I'm glad I'm happy; even though my path deterred away from that second-grade drawing- I think childhood self would like Andrew, my community, the fun I have, the places and people I love, the things I've done and the ideas I built myself around. I think in her own little way, She'd approve. bra-size and all.

snail coitus makes me smile