Archive for February, 2013

The Connection Question

February 23, 2013 5 comments

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMaybe you’ve seen the auto-insurance commercial about  a younger fellow with long hair and a stocking cap who has just rear-ended an older, business-suited man’s car.   In exchanging insurance information, the two discover that they share not only the same company, but the same agent.  “It’s like we’re connected,” observes the younger man with zen-like pleasure.  “No, we’re not,” protests the other, obviously not liking that idea at all.  But as the younger man’s facial expression points out, there’s no denying it. 

In somewhat the same way, the “accident” of being born the first female in our families is a connector that’s not always or immediately apparent.

It’s been surprising to me to realize the number of oldest daughters in my life.

  • My first housemates after college were all oldest daughters.  So were the four of us who subsequently shared an apartment.

That common characteristic was not realized, I’m fairly sure, at the time.  But it’s continued to be a fact in the people with whom I find myself associating.

  • Four out of the five women in my writer’s group are first-born females.
  • Six out of the eight women in the movie group my husband I belong to are oldest daughters.
  • The majority of my close friends, business associates and colleagues in education fall in the same category.

In none of these situations has our family position been identified or discussed beforehand.  But our similar experiences, expectations, resulting feelings and personality traits have come to light in the course of conversations.

It’s those common connections that led me several years ago to begin researching this topic.  As one person I interviewed told me, “It’s like at some level we simply recognize each other.”

How do you see it?


Or opportunities?


Come Dance, February 14

February 2, 2013 2 comments

You may be familiar with “Some Days You Gotta Dance,”  a hit recording by James Taylor and the Dixie Chicks. The lyrics, written by Troy Johnson and Marshall Morgan, explain “you gotta dance when the world doesn’t make sense…you gotta loosen up those chains and dance.”

One of those “some days” is February 14, 2013.  That’s the day when the organization One Billion Rising is inviting one billion women and those who love us to “walk out, dance, rise up” in protest of the violence against women.

According to the stats, one in three women will be raped and/or beaten in her lifetime.

Two months ago, people around the world were horrified  by the because-they-could, repeated rape/murder by six men of 23 year old “Damini”  on a public bus in New Delhi, India. Then last month a second second, similar rape took place on public transportation.  The audacity of these rapes made headlines.  The commonplaceness of rape does not.

Now you are invited, encouraged, urged to help put an end to this violence. To come together on February 14 in planned flash mobs/dances to show “our collective strength, our numbers, our solidarity across borders” in demanding an end to the violence against women.

For those of us who are oldest daughters, it’s something we’ve traditionally been asked to do — to protect, nurture, be responsible for those not (or not yet) capable of caring for themselves.

For more information about the event, the organization and where and how you can participate, go to .

See you on the 14th.   I’ll be at the event taking place at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kansas.  Wherever you are,  I hope you’ll be dancing too.