Thursday, August 23, 2012

Warning: Not A Cheerful Post


But! Some days we must take a moment to reflect on interesting things, and interesting things are not always bright and sunshiny. And so I share with you the following, a passage from Clarissa Pinkola Estes' WOMEN WHO RUN WITH THE WOLVES:

"“Her idea of a really good time was to board the train to Chicago and wear a big hat, and walk down Michigan Avenue looking in all the shop windows and being an elegant lady. By hook or by crook or by fate, she married a farmer. They moved out into the midst of the wheatlands, and she began to rot away in that elegant little farmhouse that was just the right size, with all the right children, and all the right husband. She had no more time for that ‘frivolous’ life she’d once led. Too much ‘kids.’ Too much ‘woman’s work.’ One day, years later, after washing the kitchen and living room floors by hand, she slipped into her very best silk blouse, buttoned her long skirt, and pinned on her big hat. She pressed her husband’s shotgun to the roof of her mouth and pulled the trigger. Every woman alive knows why she washed the floors first. A starved soul can become so filled with pain, a woman can no longer bear it.”"

I found this via the always amazing Ask Metafilter, because I was looking for--no, not ways to kill myself, Lordy!--but because I was looking for the best MOP.

And the Ask Metafilter discussion continues:

Another responder: "While it doesn't quite fit your description, being a play and all, it also sound quite similar to Marsha Norman's Night, Mother, where jessie makes sure everything in the house is settled before committing suicide."

And yet another responder: "Also, it's the opening scene of the pilot to the TV series DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES."

And yet one more: "Although the character is male, that's also the opening scene of the film Wristcutters: A Love Story."

And finally: "I recently read the same thing in an article about an elderly woman who legally (in her country, with medical supervision) killed herself. Her son told her, Mother, you don't need to bother with that. But she had some powerful inner need to get everything cleaned up before she departed."

And finally, the original poster:

"Thanks, all! I had no idea that 'Woman cleans, then woman kills herself' was such a commonly repeated theme in literature. Or life. This has been both enlightening, and a little depressing. I suggest that we all let those floors go for awhile! :)"

And, as often, I think the hive mind has churned out some good advice, here. I do in fact suggest we all let those floors go for awhile. 

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