Bianca: Behind every engineer is an awesome woman who is probably smarter than him anyway. Just sayin’
Stacey: Except if that engineer is a woman. And then it might just be her mother behind her!
It’s actually Day 14 and I am trying to remember what the hell happened yesterday, other than Dave came home and the quietly and hardly cultivated routines all fell apart. Thus its 6am and I’m playing catch up before I go and dissolve into the novel.
Ahhh, yes. I remember. There was an outstanding spat between Tabitha and the Sculptor to engineer. And it was the toast the Ramsey give Tabitha that sets it off. Her rally against ‘the woman behind the scenes’. Like a few days ago, I was able to draw on information from, of all things, an Engineering documentary from 10 years ago and insert some feminist righteous anger about Emily Roebling who was the wife and daughter-in-law of the original designers. She is merely a footnote in the story of the Brooklyn Bridge even though she oversaw the construction of the bridge for 14 years (until completion), taught herself calculus and advance engineering design, project managed it from the day to day onsite issues to consulting with politicians, other engineers and the workers.
While I try and find my feet again, take in a little of Tabitha’s righteous anger as the scene is set up for these two to tear each other to pieces in the not too distant future.
NB: After getting all excited that I could roll out my second dare today, it’s been put back to another dinner party conversation.
* * *
“It’s a good thing, Christian’s not here,” the sculptor leaned in and whispered in her ear as the food arrived, placed at strategic locations along the shorter table.
“And how is that,” sneered Tabitha.
“Your opinion wasn’t asked for.”
“My opinion wasn’t, what?”
She glared back at him. “Just saying, what?”
“It’s not the time and place for it.”
“And where would be the time and place for it?”
All those times she’d sat back and said nothing. Hell, she would not sit back and say nothing. Or worse, apologise to this bohemian fossil.
“My art,” Tabitha spat. “You are telling me I should sit here and allow terrible things be said about me and wait to write them down, deal with them when I get to the page, because… because then no one is upset by a little passionate debate.” Tabitha took a moment to catch her breath. “The very act of that, of waiting for the right time to bring it up, perpetuates all this shit.”
“So you said.” She took the lid off the turine and filled her bowl, thinking soup would be kinder on her stomach folded in on itself like a flattened origami figurine. She replaced the lid and turned to the sculptor who was helping himself to the warm bread rolls. “Perhaps you can do us all a favour and just say nothing unless you have something to add to the conversation.”
“It’s the typical response isn’t it, to batter down any dissenting opinion.”
“When your dissenting opinion is relevant and adds to the debate, I welcome your views. But you know what, I live day-in and day-out the dissenting opinion and I can tell you it does nothing to add to my life, or that of my best friend, or my daughter. Patriarchy is –”
“I was under the impression we were talking original thought. The patriarchy –”
Tabitha pushed her bowl away and the clear vegetable soup slopped onto the starched tablecloth. She pushed her chair out and stood.
“I’m feeling unwell,” she announced and walked out the door without a backward glance, her stomach erupting with hunger as the smells of dinner followed her down the hallway.