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Pins And Needles: Everyone Needs Pie

"Sacrificing women abound like smelt in the river or ants in the sand. And once their usefulness is over they tumble into limbo like unmatched socks from the dryer, or lemmings hell bent for the sea.''

But the compulsion to put others first is not always a virtue, says Gloria MacKay. Receiving can be as spiritual as giving, and women deserve their share of the pie.

Gloria broadcasts on a radio station in Everett, Washington State, USA.
http://www.kser.org/ To read more of her vigorous words please click on Pins And Needles in the menu on this page.

While engaged in an after funeral contemplation of his mother’s death, my old friend Fred, so he told me, finally realized,'Poor mom never got no pie.'

Everyone knows a pie can't stretch like taffy or multiply like certain loaves of bread. Nevertheless, I was not surprised when Fred confessed he had never wondered how his mother cut enough slices of her stellar apple pie for their family of seven, from a pan that normally served six, until after she died.

Yep, poor mom never got no pie. Nothing to be gained by telling Fred she was nothing special (at least in that regard). Sacrificing women abound like smelt in the river or ants in the sand. And once their usefulness is over they tumble into limbo like unmatched socks from the dryer, or lemmings hell bent for the sea.

Not that there’s anything wrong with sacrifice: martyrs make a point of it, little lambs have long put up with it, and men are quite capable of it. Where the sexes differ is that the guys understand sacrifice is a play-by-play decision, not a game plan for the whole darn season. We women, on the other hand, don’t sacrifice in order to live, we live in order to sacrifice. We make it our reason for being.

It's our own fault, but give us a break; the pressure never lets up. Even preachers and politicians (especially preachers and politicians) still hype 'traditional family values' as America’s favorite cliché, even though everyone knows the inflexibility of roles essential for this 'fifties' kind of family requires sacrificing women, the ilk of my old friend Fred’s poor mom.

No one told her that a compulsion to put others first is not necessarily a virtue, and sometimes even a vice: receiving can be as spiritual as giving; an a resounding No as character-building as an acquiescent Yes; and a nap? Sometimes more essential than a dinner from scratch.

As for the coterie who assume one of the intrinsically and necessarily most self-sacrificing roles of all time — motherhood — they not only need to smell the roses, they need gardens of their own, and an occasional dessert.

Most mothers I know — in a valiant attempt to bring up their children properly — command, direct, order, implore, entreat and/or bribe their little ones to share. These are the same women who never get no pie? What kind of role modeling is this?

At least, today's women are not as content to sacrifice in silence as was my old friend Fred’s poor mom. I met her a few times. She was pleasant enough, filling our mugs again and again with steaming coffee, but she sighed a lot (somewhat in the manner of Fred's shaggy old dog Digger), seldom laughed, rarely smiled and almost never sat down.

She was truly a Superwoman, keeping in mind Superman was already a super 'faster than a speeding bullet more powerful than a locomotive' man, while super woman has always been a just a euphemism for sacrificing woman. She tries to be everything to everybody: packs super lunches, takes super charge, gives super sex, acts super nice, and under no circumstances does she permit herself to be even one little bit bitchy. Nobody likes that in a woman and, super women, most of all, needs to be liked.

The rebel song writer from the 1900's, activist Joe Hill, provides (inadvertently, no doubt) sacrificing women a 'reason for being' with his words, 'Work and pray, live on hay, You'll get pie in the sky when you die.' A little delayed reinforcement to compensate for all the old Freds wolfing down all the pie right in front of poor mom. Poor mom? What was she thinking? She was the one with the knife!

Superwoman, overworked as she is, needs one more superlative on her resume. Super Smart. She still has not figured out she has to like herself before she can expect the same favor from others.

There is not much I can do about it. I can't be my sisters' keeper when I have a hard enough time with myself. Except, perhaps, bake a pie, cherry, of lemon chiffon, or better yet, apple, cool it, cut it into six easy pieces and toast my old friend Fred's poor mom as I pick up my fork. I bet she made one heck of pie.


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