I don’t tell many people what I write. It makes some people squirm. Others react negatively (often vocally with abuse that I think is uncalled for and unwarranted). But yesterday I had the best reaction from people.
My aunt knows about my writing. I was visiting her. She asked about it, in front of a cousin who didn’t know. I had to confess that not everyone knew my habit. My cousin was shocked but laughed (in an embarrassed, OMG way). My aunt asked why I’d told her. It’s because she’s always been forthright, open in what she discusses and thinks. I’ve always admired this openness about her (openness and humour, a great mix). She was pleased.
My aunt had been in a job for years where everyone was around the same age. Then she had to change jobs. She was now one of the “oldies”. She said it shocked her that the younger girls would be talking about something and giggling, then when she came in, all went quiet. If she made flippant/sex-related remarks, they all tittered like she said something wrong. She realised she’d become “a grandma” and they didn’t think she should know these things. I didn’t know about this until yesterday. At about this time, I told her about my writing, she said it made her feel good that I didn’t think her staid and old-fashioned.
During the conversation that ensued, my cousin’s hubby supplied the name of a film-star my aunt couldn’t remember… for films not from Hollywood usually with a rating of at least one X. My cousin nearly fell off the chair. More of that OMG laughter, blushing, hands across mouth. But when no one else was horrified, the conversation continued as if there was no embarrassment. We conversed about sex in a normal manner – no personal conversations, just films and books.
It was refreshing. Refreshing to be with open-minded people in the majority, who carried on a conversation without having to squirm, abuse, or die of shame. It was amazing to have such a reaction, to feel unashamed, to discuss openly.
It made me wonder if I’d cheated others of such a discussion. Have I invented “grandmas” who would be open to my writing but I’ve kept it away from them, making them feel old and left out?
I know I haven’t told my Book Group. Some of them would be very supportive. Maybe I should be a big girl and own up to my writing. What’s a little more abuse or embarrassment anyway!?