birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Role Playing

I am writing this in the Vancouver Airport after an almost full day of travel and it will not be good. But it is a chance to sit still and put words to paper after a day of playing roles across two countries and many miles.

My friend and I are headed to Whitehorse, Canada, in the Yukon to watch her son headline a comedy show. I'm just tagging along for the adventure, which will be considerably adventurous since we are headed to a place where the temperatures drop to below zero while our temperatures back home in Alabama have already risen to 80 degrees F.

A number of people have already asked what two middle-aged (or maybe well past middle-aged) women are thinking heading off on such and adventure. It never crossed our minds not to, especially that being middle-aged women would be a reason to not go.

But I digress. My point when I sat down to peck this out is that all of us--men and women alike, have been put in roles by others that seem to define us in our own minds.

Boys will be boys. Or will they? Girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice. Or are they? So many questions about what roles we play and how we came to believe we should play those specific roles.

I grew up watching television and movies that defined the feminine mystique--being pretty and quiet chief among the things one had to do to be a "good" and desirable girl. And then there were the rules put on boys, that they had to be tough and distant chief among those. But we are all so much more than those things and the older I get the more I believe that those stereotypes hold us back.

We are, after all, all human beings and while there is no doubt in my mind that each gender has some innate differences (outside body differences) I think we are more alike than different. I wish we could find our similarities and celebrate our differences and stop all the gender-specific role playing that we have grown up doing.

"A Dog's Walking On His Hind Legs"

Kiss My Elbow