“As a woman I was treated differently my whole life,” my mom said as she told me her story. “It was a cold, dark night. I just came off work at my waitressing job. It was a busy night so I got off around 2 am. I got in to my car and started driving home when I saw a man crossing the street. I thought nothing of it because he was a normal guy, wearing a winter jacket and jeans. I glanced away for a second and moved my gaze back when I saw this man start running toward my car. He pulled out a gun and was pointing it straight at my head. My heart was coming out of my chest as I swerved around him. My car spun and nearly did a 180. I think it must’ve scared him, because when I looked up, he was gone. For the next two years, every time I saw a crosswalk in my car I felt an intense anxiety.”
I imagine my mother sitting in the car thinking about her next move: how to get out of there. She looks up at this man with the wild eyes. There is intense eye contact between the two as her heart beat rapidly. Maybe what is on her mind is running him over or maybe even getting out of the car and surrendering. Then maybe she wouldn’t have been here and I wouldn’t have been alive at this moment. I think that when my mom chose to swerve, missing the man with the gun, and almost getting in a car accident herself, she thought of all of the possible solutions to this dilemma. I’m glad she chose that one.
My mom first told me this story when I walked into the DMV to get a driver’s license. She has continued to remind me of it every time I get in the car alone. It proved itself as a sort of old wives tale, but it was personal to my mom. It was personal to her because she had experienced it. I could never imagine how I would be in that situati...
... middle of paper ...
... relationship, at work, or even in a family. I realized that this is a new age, a different one from when my mom grew up. Now I had to create my own realities.
I think my mom’s story showed me something other than what was intended. It showed me that men and women could both get what they want. I don’t believe dominating behavior is biologically imbedded in male minds, but instead it is a culmination of decades of this hierarchical culture where men are always at the top. That’s maybe why men are statistically more violent towards romantic partners. Or maybe it’s our Victorian culture coming to bite us in the butt. Traditional gender roles are still noticed today but non-traditional gender roles are way more common. Today, my mom has a serious boyfriend. His name is Brian; he makes her happy. My mom hasn’t told me this story in a while. Maybe it’s time to move on.
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