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I'm pretty certain that I'm the last woman on earth that has not read Tina Fey's Bossypants. It's been on my list since it first came out. Six years ago.
Bored with music while using the exercise bike, I renewed my long-slumbering Audible (Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks) account. Tina's book populated under recommended reading and I wasted no time getting it. And, yes, I feel like I'm on a first-name basis with her. She's been telling me about her life for at least seven chapters. We know each other. Her life could be my life. Minus the success and money, of course.
Chapter four starts off with the question - When did you first know you were a woman? An adult woman. She shares her experience attending a workshop by the author of Queen Bees and Wannabes. Tina was writing Mean Girls at the time and it's based on that book.
During the workshop, Rosalind Wiseman asks that question. Most of the responses had to do with a boy (guy, man, what have you), but not Tina's and not mine.
This simple question sparked a memory. The day I felt like a woman. It had nothing to do with a boy or winning an award in math. Both of which I was dreadful in until college. It had to do with the gifts my mom gave me for Christmas my senior year of high school.
My mom never had the 'birds and the bees' talk with me. Her advice to me about dating was, "don't go to the airport to watch planes with boys. They don't actually want to watch planes." She stopped there. Her crude jokes told me way more than I ever wanted to know about sex.
Side note: my first boyfriend took me to the airfield one-night, "just to watch the planes." We parked on a secluded road next to the airport and we watched planes. Just watched planes and talked until a policeman sent us away. My point is, we just watched the planes.
It's Christmas 1992, I'm 18 years-old, and I open my first gift from my mom. To my disbelief, mom had given me Victoria's Secret panties. That could not be right. I opened the next gift - more panties from Victoria's Secret. I reach for the next box, amused at what my mom had done. Can you guess what was in the next box? Wrong! It was the Miracle Bra from Victoria's Secret in hunter green satin. It was the sexiest thing virgin me had ever seen. (It would be another year before someone unwrapped that gift.)
I was beside myself. My mom was terrible at buying clothes and shoes. Terrible. This was the only time she got it right. Don't get me wrong, she was a great gift giver as long as it wasn't clothes.
My mom was so full of surprises. That was the first time she treated me like a woman. I had already felt like an adult. My father's cancer forced me to take on responsibilities early. But, once she started to see me as a woman, I started to do so as well.