Learning from Life

Or, rather, raiding life for story ideas. Here’s what happened…

I have some fairly unpleasant neighbours. I knew, at some point, that my period of grace after my husband’s death would have to run out at some point. After all, I’m not from the area, I don’t drink the Kook-Aid unless I see merit in it, and I’m artistic and possibly a little eccentric. I also don’t subscribe to the kind of cliquism which is rampant in this area.

Thursday night, I was informed by a friend that the rumours had started. I’m broke and desperate. I’m expecting a large insurance settlement. My horses have been without water for the entire winter and I haven’t had their feet done since the fall.

I expect there will be more. I haven’t heard yet how many men I’ve been sleeping with, but since none of the other rumours required any basis in fact, I expect the ‘woman as whore’ stories will soon start. Maybe they already have–I’ve had a few visits from masculine neighbours who’ve never said boo to me in the thirteen years we’ve lived here.

It’s depressing, because it’s a ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t’ situation. And symptomatic of the way society has educated women to attack any of their number who appears to have more freedom from control or empowerment than others. If I confront the rumour monger and set them straight, they’ll find other ways to undermine me. If I ignore it, the stories spread and mutate unchecked. And, from the text of the rumours (my God, someone was actually oblivious enough to put it in writing), it’s pretty obvious that it has less to do with me, and more to do with someone seeing me as maybe getting something they don’t have, and trying to punish me for it.

I’ve been thinking about it for a couple of days, trying to find the ‘path of least destruction’ through this temporary minefield, and I think I’m going to ignore it. For one thing, I have too much to do to be bothered attempting to correct this, and little hope that it would actually change anything. For another, there are enough people out there, I hope, who know this woman for who and what she is, and will roll their eyes at it. And for another…

I discovered a lovely little cowboy plot bunny in the middle of it. 😀 If they only knew…

In other news, we had a small birthday party sleepover at a local hotel for my daughter’s thirteenth. This morning, I woke up to find one of my daughter’s bras hanging from the ceiling fan. I think I’m trouble. :O

About the author: Kate Lowell

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