On Martha and the Harm in “Perfect” Womanhood
In the etiquette class, everything had a proper place and use—even me.
no one was here
If someone doesn’t see you as fully human because you’re a woman or because you’re not white or because you’re not cis or whatever it might be, chances are that you knowing how to hold a salad fork won’t really change that.
The many etiquette books I read as a child, the seasonally appropriate greetings I draft first in pencil, then in pen, the soup spoons and dessert spoons; none of these will erase the fear, anxiety and longing I feel about my half-way-immigrant, half-way-lady self.
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A Le Creuset Dutch oven telegraphs contentment and cheer—but for me, mine is a token of complicated bitterness and longing.
My sister is not my best friend. She is my sister. Those are fundamentally different relationships.
What a gift it is to be asked to feed a person, but what a further gift for that person to ask if they might be taught to make what you make.
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While Ruth’s words— “where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay”—made for a heart-stilling pseudomarital vow, I was not selfless enough to promise the same.
Succubus, siren, gold-digger, temptress: There are so many words for a woman with money in her hands.