the reticent role model

I give Dianne my lipstick. It was not quite the right color for me anyway and she was so happy to receive it. We have hit it off over several months as she works at one of coffee places I sometimes go to. We would banter as she made my coffee and sometimes she would sit down with me for a few minutes. I seem to serve as a surrogate mother offering little bits of advice here and there or just listening. Dianne tells me I'm cool and the feeling is mutual as she is mature for her tender age of 24. She speaks to me very frankly in a woman to woman fashion that I find very humbling.

Adopted at birth and transplanted from New York City to Montreal by her parents, she has done her best to assimilate into the Quebec culture and is even working hard on her French.

I love this generation for their openness and easy going nature. Yes, some of them can seem entitled but this young woman is dealing with dysfunctional divorced parents where the mother was the caretaker and the father the patient in the relationship. Their arrangement suited their pathologies but made for less of a marriage than a parental structure. As a result, Dianne has had to grow up quickly and branch out on her own because of the unreliability of both of them.

I don't look for these rapports with people but they develop organically I think because I am happy with myself and maybe exude that to others. It is my pleasure to listen to someone else and perhaps interject a nugget of wisdom I have picked up over my 56 years on this earth.

At the same time my womanhood is being validated because these young women like Tani and Dianne perhaps see something they want to emulate. Just maybe they see an older woman who has seen a few life battles and has lived to tell about them.


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