16 August 2005

The Park Ladies.

I rarely have an occassion to pass Washington Park at ten in the morning, but, today I had a dentist appointment and had to stop home before going to work, so I did.

I shouldn't be surprised. There is nothing really remarkable about it. But, in the 21st century, gender expectations are always suspect.

So, who is in Washington Park at 10 a.m. on a Tuesday? The Park Ladies. Dozens, if not hundreds of them. Oh, there is the odd gray haired man, or college student, or grounds worker, but 90%-95% of the people in the park are adult, non-retired women walking for fitness, walking their dogs, jogging, playing tennis, or whatever. It's Lady's Land.

The sexual revolution may have happened forty years ago, before any of these women were adults, but we are still a society with large numbers of housewives who pick their kids up from school when it gets out at 11:30 or 2:30 in the afternoon, and men who work from 8-5 in the office. The school schedule expects it. No one accuses a woman walking in the park with her friend at ten in the morning on a Tuesday of being a bum. And, like any married man with a wife who is a homemaker, I'm well aware that being a homemaker is no easy job. The chores never end, the kids can be a pain, and there are no real vacations. But, that doesn't mean that there isn't downtime. And, in my neighborhood, lots of homemakers like to spend their down time walking in the park.

I have no idea what suburban homemakers in subdivisions with no sidewalks and pathetic parks do. I guess they watch soaps.

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