Totally my mother’s daughter

I was over at my dad’s house one day when I was in middle school and my half-brother was about four. There I was at the kitchen table, writing down all the colors in the Victoria Secret catalog and what number they were (or something equally bizarre), when my brother kept trying to get me to play action figures with him. I honestly had no idea what to do with the action figures. To this day, I can make up all the fiction you want but if you give me action figures I’m probably going to make them kiss and that’s it.

My stepmother gently let him down, seeing my lack of interest. “Shira’s not a player, she’s a worker.”

That stuck with me. I mean, seriously stuck with me. That must have been twenty years ago and she isn’t even alive any more. But she was right. There’s something about my brain that recreates by “working.” Sure, I like goofing off on the internet or watching YouTube as much as the next gal, but usually there’s a half-knit sweater in my lap or beads being strung onto Tigertail.

I just finished drawing two of my beloved characters and I was all set to go watch videos and work on my sweater. “What a perfect day,” I thought to myself. “I got to do more than one of my hobbies!”

And then I realized — that was something my mom would say. You see, my mom‘s idea of a perfect day is a day in which she gets to exercise (run or work out) and practice both her instruments — piano and banjo. In other words, she’s a “worker” (by Stepmom’s definition) too.

And right now I feel so in tune with that.

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About Shira

Queer Jewish feminist author
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