Let's be clear: I am not pretending to understand women much less feminism. Heck, I don't even claim to understand myself. So don't read into this more than is there.
This blog is in its infancy. I hope it grows up to be something worthwhile. Even though it's early, I'm afraid I may be seeing a fear confirmed. I was afraid that my target audience, 50 to 60-something men, might not be, to a large extent, blog readers. So I either need to add a swimsuit edition or quit calling it a blog, or quit worrying about whether anyone in particular reads it. Because in reality, at least for now, it's largely a therapeutic experiment for me.
Why do I assume About-POPS is not being read by its target? At this point we've been fortunate to have an encouraging number of subscribers and followers (I use that word in the virtual world sense and not in the sense that anyone truly sees me as their Leader), but most of these are not past-mid-age, and in fact most are not even men (in the literal sense; not as if I'm calling them pansies or something).
Let me give you an example. This is from an email subscription we received:
"I'm not a 50-60 year old male, but I'm a lady in my twenties that appreciates the wisdom you pass along!" -- Brooke
You need to know this, I know this girl and she is an amazing young lady, and for her to say to me essentially that she anticipates some wisdom here is humbling and encouraging because I know that Brooke is a discerning soul. She knows wisdom when she sees it. So, to you Brooke, I will do my best.
I hope all of that doesn't sound pretentious or even worse, somehow superior.
I have a friend named Kathleen. Kathleen can be very challenging and I mean that in a very good way. I remember one of the early meetings I had with her. We left the coffee house, she walked to her older VW® and I to my newer Volvo®. She commented on my car and said that would love to have something newer but guessed that she would drive her VW until it died. I told her that I planned to drive my Volvo until I died. I meant that to be more of a statement of the longevity of Volvos than a prophecy of my own demise. Kathleen laughed at my morbidity.
I should tell you that Kathleen is a wonderfully creative person, who has made me better; more courageous in many ways. Once in a discussion she asked me what I was afraid of. I told her that I was afraid I had squandered opportunities and maybe resources. I told her how I consider even the word squander to be one of the ugliest words in our language and that I so hoped I would not squander my days now.
Once I suggested to Kathleen that I could be a mentor to her and she could be a muse to me. (You need to understand that all of this is healthy. Don't try to read something weird in to it.) As soon as the words left my mouth, I thought, "Who do you think your are to offer to be a mentor to anyone."
But I hope in some way I can be -- to Brooke, to Kathleen, to my family… And I hope that doesn't come across as condescending. I'm willing to earn the opportunity.
I think I have found the qualifier in Jane Eyre's words to Mr. Rochester:
“I do not think, sir, you have any right to command me, merely because you are older than I, or because you have seen more of the world than I have; your claim to superiority depends on the use you have made of your time and experience.” Jane Eyre
My interpretation of that: squanderers don't get to be mentors.
By the way, if you would like to meet Kathleen, you can see her blog here: http://andkathleen.com