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The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Independent Lady

Driving through Manhattan Beach on my way to Palos Verdes, I couldn’t help but notice the hundreds of gorgeous beach homes, ranging from Arch Deco, Venetian, Classic, to Modern architecture. They were, of course, million dollar condos and homes that one could only dream of inhabiting someday.

I turned to my girlfriends in the car, and pointed at one of the gorgeous homes to our left. It was a stately red brick home, with a white picket fence, white door with a gold doorknocker, and a bright green grassy front yard with a white wood swing chair on the front porch.

“I want to live there,” I said. “I want to buy that house….I want to do it myself and I don’t want a man to buy it for me,” I added. Then we all laughed and said how the only way that would be possible is if we all moved into to the home together and shared the mortgage payments.

As we drove past my dream home, I couldn’t help but thinking. Am I, as a woman, incapable of buying myself a nice home such as the one in Palos Verdes, by myself? Is the only way I can reach that dream, through the help of a man?

Since I was a little girl, my ultimate goal has always been to support myself. I have never wanted to depend on a man for financial support. This mainly stems from watching many of the women in my family get (for lack of better words) ‘screwed over’ financially by their husbands after a divorce, trying to find menial jobs to support their children, while he lived a life a luxury only paying a grand a month in child support. This observation caused me to open my eyes to the idea that had my aunts supported themselves originally in the marriage, they would not have had such a hard time finding jobs when it failed.

However, I’ve always been curious how my views would effect my ability to create relationships with men. When I repeated my desire for independence and my ability to support myself to my male entrepreneur friend , he responded, “That’s great, but from a male perspective, I would never want a wife like that. I want to support her, I want her to need me.”

I was shocked. I always thought that my views made it so I wouldn’t put so much pressure on the man in my life. I thought that with dual incomes we could live a more comfortable lifestyle, and that my lack of codependence would in turn make me more attractive to men. However, as I’m getting older, I have begin to find that many men are intimidated by a woman who doesn’t want her only place to be in the home.

In order to grapple with this understanding that I could end up a very lonely woman if I continue to pursue my dreams as a ‘career woman’ I turned to the wisest man I know, my father. I remember when I was younger my mom told me that she sat down with my father after they were married and they decided together that she would be a ‘stay at home’ mom. I couldn’t help but wonder if this was her decision, or my father’s, so I asked him.

He explained to me that when he looked for a wife, he just wanted to be with someone who did what they loved. My mother always wanted to be a mom, so he supported that, knowing that in turn he would have to be the only one ‘bringing home the bacon’ in our family. He told me that had she wanted to work, he would have supported that too. He said that all he has ever wanted for her is to be happy.

And so I learned that ultimately, I need to find a man, who feels the same way as my father. I need to be with someone who roots for my success, and is comfortable with my independence.

A wise person once told me that true love is putting your happiness in the happiness of another. I understand now that I don’t have to do everything alone. Having a man’s help doesn’t make you any less of a woman. It makes you a partner, a confidant, a trustee. And as long as I don’t lose ‘me’ in the process, then I’ll be just fine purchasing that red brick, white picket fence dream home, with a little help.

Courtney M. Myers


Anonymous Ian M. Johnson said...

Wait, I’m confused. I thought we were living on the Upper West Side.

March 21, 2010 at 10:35 PM  
Anonymous Alex M. Mead said...

Although I'm saddened by the fact you no longer want to live with me in the red brick house I have to say I love you for your beliefs. I hope by spending so much time with you your tenacity will somehow rub off on me. I still feel as though I will somehow end up dependent on a husband (who hopefully won't screw me over). And I KNOW that you will end up with someone similar to Phil, someone who is loveing, driven,and will only love you more because of your own ambitions.
Love you C. Myers

March 23, 2010 at 11:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, my word verification is SQUAT which is not something I'll be doing anytime soon.

Anyway - your g'ma sounds like a wonderful ol' biddie :) You must be a very fine person to love her so much! Only the very best people appreciate the wrinkled faces across the table. I love you more with each blog, and I don't even know you!
-Mama Mead

March 25, 2010 at 2:40 PM  

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