I was born to it…

by Elouise

It suited and soothed me. Gave me a safe hideout from which to survey the world into which I was born female.

Quiet laughter and cautious smiles tempered by seriousness. Tamped down into double and triple-analyzed responses. Nagging worries hooked my joy. Kept it tightly tethered. No belly laughs.

It was safer that way. Not so prone to rash reactions that escalate into silliness. The bane of serious girls and women. I wanted to be taken seriously.

Long-faced and self-righteous? Not at all. Just thoughtful, cautious, keeping myself under control, on time, disciplined and orderly, not given to excessive emotions, behavior or dress. You know, the way women must be to survive. I’m not a troublemaker.

Serious colors became me, even when they didn’t. Neutrals stitched up loosely fit well without calling attention to me or to my body. Sidelines were comfortable spaces. Don’t call attention to yourself, Elouise. Take notes and file them.

Think about things – seriously. Especially when you feel emotions welling up against your will. Don’t laugh too hard, too long or too loudly. Squelch it. Sit on it. Swallow it. The same goes for anger. And tears.

That little girl in you who just wants to play today? Remind her there isn’t time—not until we’ve finished that list of Thing To Do Today. And thought Serious Thoughts. And written Serious Words.

I applaud seriousness. Seriously, I do. Some things aren’t funny or laughable.

At the same time, I applaud Life with Laughter and Joy. The kind that wells up from within unbidden, against all Serious Expectations. The kind that snatches me unawares and carries me away.

The way you light up my life……♥

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 13 February 2017
Response to WordPress Daily Prompt: Seriousness