The stereotypical gay man is someone whose company I enjoy, someone who makes me laugh, someone I'd want my kid to be. The stereotypical gay woman makes me insecure, conscious of my failings as a feminist.
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APAAyelet Waldman Quotes. (n.d.). Jar of Quotes. Retrieved , from JarofQuotes.com Web site: https://www.jarofquotes.com/view.php?id=the-stereotypical-gay-man-is-someone-whose-company-i-enjoy-someone-who-makes-me-laugh-someone-id-want-my-kid-to-be-the-stereotypical-gay-woman-makes-ayelet-waldman
ChicagoAyelet Waldman Quotes. Jar of Quotes, 2019. https://www.jarofquotes.com/view.php?id=the-stereotypical-gay-man-is-someone-whose-company-i-enjoy-someone-who-makes-me-laugh-someone-id-want-my-kid-to-be-the-stereotypical-gay-woman-makes-ayelet-waldman, accessed .
MLA"Ayelet Waldman Quotes." Jar of Quotes, 2019. . https://www.jarofquotes.com/view.php?id=the-stereotypical-gay-man-is-someone-whose-company-i-enjoy-someone-who-makes-me-laugh-someone-id-want-my-kid-to-be-the-stereotypical-gay-woman-makes-ayelet-waldman
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Before I was married, I didn't consider my failure to manage even basic hand tools a feminist inadequacy. I thought it had more to do with being Jewish. The Jews I knew growing up didn't do 'do-it-yourself.' When my father needed to hammer something he generally used his shoe, and the only real tool he owned was a pair of needle-nose pliers.
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A good mother remembers to serve fruit at breakfast, is always cheerful and never yells, manages not to project her own neuroses and inadequacies onto her children, is an active and beloved community volunteer. She remembers to make play dates, her children's clothes fit, she does art projects with them and enjoys all their games.
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I learned that I suffered from bipolar II disorder, a less serious variant of bipolar I, which was once known as manic depression. The information was naturally frightening; up to 1 in 5 people with bipolar disorder will commit suicide, and rates may even be higher for those suffering from bipolar II.
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Perhaps my children will one day pledge their loyalty to the Republican Party. Or perhaps they'll dismiss my liberalism as mild pap, and become anarchists. Either way may well be a reaction to my manipulation, my values. We are all the product of the indoctrination we received at the hands of our parents, even when we are repudiating that ideology.
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Gym class was, of course, where the strongest, best-looking kids were made captains and chose us spazzes last. More important, it was where the figures of supposed authority allowed them to do so. Forget the work our parents did molding our minds and values. Everything fell apart as soon as we put on those maroon polyester gym suits.
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Even if i'm setting myself up for failure, I think it's worth trying to be a mother who delights in who her children are, in their knock-knock jokes and earnest questions. A mother who spends less time obseessing about what will happen, or what has happened, and more time reveling in what is. A mother who doesn't fret over failings and slights, who realizes her worries and anxieties are just thoughts, the continuous chattering and judgement of a too busy mind. A mother who doesn't worry so much about being bad or good but just recognizes that she's both, and neither. A mother who does her best, and for whom that is good enough, even if, in the end, her best turns out to be, simply, not bad.
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That was true, Iris would sometimes think, about marriage: it was only a boat, too. A wooden boat, difficult to build, even more difficult to maintain, whose beauty derived at least in part from its unlikelihood. Long ago the pragmatic justifications for both marriage and wooden-boat building had been lost or superseded. Why invest countless hours, years, and dollars in planing and carving, gluing and fastening, caulking and fairing, when a fiberglass boat can be had at a fraction of the cost? Why struggle to maintain love and commitment over decades when there were far easier ways to live, ones that required no effort or attention to prevent corrosion and rot? Why continue to pour your heart into these obsolete arts? Because their beauty, the way they connect you to your history and to the living world, justifies your efforts. A long marriage, like a classic wooden boat, could be a thing of grace, but only if great effort was devoted to its maintenance. At first your notions of your life with another were no more substantial than a pattern laid down in plywood. Then year by year you constructed the frame around the form, and began layering memories, griefs, and small triumphs like strips of veneer planking bent around the hull of everyday routine. You sanded down the rough edges, patched the misunderstandings, faired the petty betrayals. Sometimes you sprung a leak. You fell apart in rough weather or were smashed on devouring rocks. But then, as now, in the teeth of a storm, when it seemed like all was lost, the timber swelled, the leak sealed up, and you found that your craft was, after all, sea-kindly.
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