Foiled Again! I missed a deadline…a heinous crime I rarely commit. Albeit this was a self-imposed deadline so maybe I should cut myself some slack.
The deadline? Oh , it was the one I set for the publication of my late mother’s book. That’s it on the left. Actually, it is pretty much ready to go right now, thanks mainly to my niece, Zoe Kuhn Williams, who did the grunt work of prepping for publication some 46 pieces of her grandmother’s writings.
I decided to wait until next year before birthing this project. This decision is based on something I learned–eventually–after years of attempting promotional events once Thanksgiving hits. It just does not work. People’s minds at this time of the year are busy on the holidays, finishing up the year with any deadlines that were to be met (ahem!) and otherwise being distracted in one way or the other. The result? Most nonholiday-related promotions do not succeed nearly as well as they do during other times of the year.
So as soon as January arrives, I’ll be launching Lois Unboxed. This is a selection of my mother’s writings that have been boxed and stored for a half-century. My mother was not a best-seller author but she sure could pump out the material. Within this potpourri of observations of her time, readers will encounter a variety of styles and lengths. There are pieces of pure fiction and others that are a mix of fact and imagination.
My mother arrived on the work scene in 1931 after a typical high school education that had her locked and loaded with secretarial skills. She, however, had the abilities and brain power that far exceeded many of her bosses. But these were different times and the era in which she lived precluded that she would rise to a certain level and from that point upward society’s elevator was reserved for men only. While she was not a street-marching rebel, she refused to be a proper housewife who remained home raising the kids, keeping house and feeding her husband. Here’s a quote:
“I will endure the bosses with the dispositions that give me the ulcers or what-have-you, all in exchange for a chance at a handbag sale at Wanamaker’s and an escape from a discussion of laundry soaps and lamb chop prices on the home front.
I am sure the neighbors gossiped and scorned her for leaving my brother and me to fend for ourselves in the 3-4 hour period between the end of school and when my parents arrived home (usually at 6:20pm if I remember correctly!) We were latch key kids far before the term originated. But I have never discovered any scars because of it and, in fact, it taught me independence and responsibility…and how to cook. To this day I have the original house key I was given when I was eight. Yeah, I know, pretty anal.
I was lucky. I had great parents who loved their children and did all they could to ensure they grew into decent human beings and prospered. Like many working moms today, my mother worked it out with no loss to the family. It’s a shame time and attitude blocked her from reaching her true capacity, but I was never made aware of it until I reached an age when you realize a lot more about your parents than you did as a kid.
“I believe in a double standard. I even find it desirable. It is still a man’s world. I’m still a woman and I don’t want to be a man’s equal if it means digging ditches or building roads or erecting subways. I dote on lipstick and girdles and high heels and all the frou-frou a woman is supposed to like – and usually does.” — Lois Harris Kuhn