“Why do women cry at weddings? We went to George’s wedding yesterday, and some of the women were crying. Mummy says it’s because they’re so happy for the bride.”
“Mummy’s full of shit, Laura. Women cry at weddings because they hate seeing another woman make the same stupid mistake they did and sell herself into slavery. Men are arseholes, Laura.”
That was Laura’s introduction to feminism, Nanna-style.
Later in life, she discovered that Nanna had been one of the feminists of the bra-burning 60s, full of righteous anger about the oppression of the 50s and the rigid walls trying to keep them out of life as they wanted to live it. Regardless, Laura never forgot her nanna’s words, because they struck a chord that her mother’s flowery sentiments missed – women cried because men were arseholes. That sounded right, especially when she looked at her father. Arsehole incarnate.
Stuff being a crying woman. When she grew up, Laura wanted to be an arsehole like her daddy.
“Hi, Honey, I’m home!” Laura yelled.
“Laura! Sweetie! Why didn’t you call? I would’ve picked you up!”
“You know I don’t like fuss, Robert.”
She dropped her bags in the bedroom and walked back out to the hall to hug him close.
“I did miss you, though.”
Robert chuckled and drew back a little.
“You know you’re too independent for your own good?”
She nodded, pretending contriteness.
“Huh!” he said gruffly, and kissed her.
Laura slid a hand up his neck, pulling his head closer for a deeper kiss. Without breaking apart, they stumbled back into the bedroom.
“Kara! Darling! What are you doing in Sydney, I thought you hated this place!”
Laura kept walking.
“Laura! I think that woman’s talking to you.” Robert whispered.
“Kara!” the woman yelled, and grabbed her arm.
Laura turned around, careful not to show an ounce of recognition.
“I’m sorry, have you mistaken me for someone else?” she asked her best friend, icily.
“Oh my god, I’m so sorry, I thought you were a friend of mine – God, you two could be identical twins, though, you look so alike!”
Laura smiled briefly.
“Wow, that is amazing! We have to go, though…”
“Oh, right… umm, sorry again!”
The woman left, casting glances behind her, and Laura and Robert continued to the cafe.
“God, that was freaky!” said Robert, shaking his head, “a long-lost twin? That woman still thought she knew you when she was looking you straight in the face.”
“Mmmm… genetic convergence.” Laura said, and sipped her coffee, “They say we’re all blending toward one basic genome, because of the global economy.”
“Well, you’re the gadabout, I’m the homebody,” he said, “You’d know. Now… did I tell you I fixed the shower in the ensuite?”
“You did? I love you!”