With credit to my friend, Paul Levy, and his blog entry today, at: http://runningahospital.blogspot.com/2012/10/binder-reviews.html
Writers look for lightbulb moments. It might be in something they unexpectedly see, an overheard conversation, or a work of fine art, or a television commercial. Something clicks between the writer and that little ditty that turns on the creative moment just like a switch for a light fixture. This was a lighthearted moment, I thought. Someone began by posting a product review on Amazon’s website of a 2-inch white binder. (Oh, the word, binder….it will never be the same.) I started to read these humorous posts, numbering close to 1,000 now, and then wrote what follows….
As I reviewed what I wrote I saw how dark my writing became and wondered at the place inside of me that this one liner in a political debate touched. And still touches… It brought me back to a time when I was starting my career and joining women’s groups. Women’s professional leagues. Women’s advancement get togethers. I hated going to them. It seemed as though I shouldn’t have to. But it was how to play the game; it was promised to get me ‘in’.
My product review of the 2 inch white binder…
I see the binder on the desk. I know he wants me in it. I fear that I’ll never find my way out, even though I worked so hard to be included. I resent being stacked with other “women” – how will I stand out? Do I get to put my picture in? Head shot only, of course. Do they have tabs in this binder that say “minority-black”, “minority-Asian”, “over 50”, “single”, and “foreign born”?
I have a family to feed. Educations to pay for. These jobs aren’t getting me where I want to be. I’m running in place; or in a circle. The binder is shiny…but I see the metal inside that will lock me in. I’ve tried it on my own for a long time now…..I grow weary of the rare interview that I think is only for show or for some secret quota of “we tried to find one, see?”
So, I take off my earrings, and the cross around my neck. Where is that nondescript black blazer, and those pearls mom gave me for ‘special occasions’? I take off the plum lipstick and put on lip gloss for shine. Pull my hair back over my ears. Click! Photo done.
I write up my hopes and dreams in black and white. I’m creative, but I don’t make waves. I’m brighter than this job, but I dummy down the description. What buzz words are yours, the ones that will make you see me? My sense of humor wants me to go on pink paper, or maybe just a shade of gray.
I’m going inside now….I know the 3 hole punch is waiting for me. I accept it as something I must do. “They” say that this is how you do it. It’s part of the deal, and I need a deal, I do…Better get some of those hole reinforcers, lick them and stick them on, to keep me from moving around…because I’m not at all sure about this binder thing.
Here I am. I’m still. I’m waiting. It’s quiet…