How To Start A Rumor

My fifteen years living in Ireland have led me to believe that women are judged 
harsher than men. Not to say that men are not judged, they are, but in response
to a man staying out all night he might just be referred to as a feckin' eejit
where as a woman gets labelled a slapper. As much to suggest that the man is a 
harmless fool caught up in the moment but the woman a Jezabel looking for any
harmless fool willing to take her. It seems to me that women's liberation 
stopped in Ireland outside our obvious ability to hold down full time jobs,
keep the house clean, organize the children, take care of our aging parents,
cook the dinner, attend extra curricular activities for our children and
of course keep our men sexually satisfied. That's right women have been liberated
to do it fucking all. I feel with a great deal of certainty that the pressure
of everything was not what our fore sisters had in mind. My ex-husband used 
to tell me I would be bored if I didn't go to work. Wow. I always replied
well, I have not had the luxury of finding out.

I had a child when I twenty and was married, divorced at twenty one, remarried 
by twenty four with my second child on the way at twenty seven. At thirty-six
my marriage became completely un-workable and ultimately resulted in what I
can only describe as another statistic - 'failed marriage' (rolling my proverbial
eyes). When it broke down living in a small village as I do I didn't go out, I
didn't date for two years. For the fear of what people would 'say' about me.

Then I had an epiphany and some very pushy friends: it doesn't matter what 
anyone says, I pay my own bills, raise my children, do my thing, I have
started going out again, I have started dating again. When my children don't
come home I have the odd 4am wine night with my girlfriends, we laugh, cry
and solve the problems of our micro lives that remain unsolved the next morning.

I had a male friend who I was rumored to be seeing for a while. I suppose I liked
hanging out with him and he wanted more. I wasn't emotionally ready to give 
anything more (remember it took me two years to leave the house). When I made
my debut back to the village and the dating world well, rumors went flying. I
was thinking of taking an ad out in the local paper to clarify what I was 
really up to. But decided it was best to let people's imaginations run with
what I am really up to. I mean, realistically, I just make single motherhood
look glamorous.

My male friend got a girlfriend which makes me happy for him because I was 
never going to be his girlfriend but I do miss his friendship. Albeit old 
fashioned often comes to mind when I think of him. Anyways, the other night
I had a 4am finish which I am still recovering from. Having been drunk the 
night before I had to leave my car and walk home. I text my male friend who
now has a girlfriend to come collect me and bring me to car which he did.

Getting out of the car I leaned back in to the car and said, 'will I stand
here until someone sees me getting out of your car and start the rumor mill'.
My friend said, 'uh no'.


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