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

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Blue Jean Baby Queen—(Thanks Elton) can do anything in blue jeans without your ass or your bits hanging out. You can sit with your legs together or apart. You can climb trees or play in the dirt, without hearing the little ditty-I see London, I see France... You can wear them with sneakers, when you're feeling sneaky, or with heels when you're not-or feeling a different kind of sneaky! You can wear them with a pencil, screwdriver, drill bit or any number of handy devices in your back pocket.

Oh, I'm so glad I am a woman who's parents did not inflict societal gender norms on us when we were kids. I never remember my mom dressing us in frills or girly clothes, neither my sister or I, two girls with 5 brothers. None of the pink is for girls and blue for boys BS that seemed so rampant at different periods of my life and probably still is in some circles. I never remember hearing that I couldn't do something because I was a girl. That shit didn't fly in our house. If you wanted to do something, you tried it because you had the interest. In middle school I took woodworking and a small engine repair class, taught by a woman, BTW, in the 70s! It was wonderful to be able to explore these things at an early age and not be told that I couldn't do them. It wasn't until much later, in early adulthood, that I experienced sexism in relation to cultural gender expectations-a trip to the parts department at the auto dealer, guys behind the counter scoffing at my request for an unusual DIY car part. I like to do stuff. I like power tools and how they can make a task so much easier. I'm happy that my dad gave me a chop saw for my birthday the year he helped me replace the facia boards on my house. The Christmas my mom stealthily suggested I might want to try makeup, by giving me a giant Estee Lauder make-up kit, the kind the cosmetic companies push around the holidays. It was an intro, but it wasn't forced, just a here it is, try if you want. Mom was never, and is still not, a big makeup person or primper. Guess that influenced me. We're both low maintenance kinds of gals.
The cool thing about being a woman is that it has become totally acceptable to wear the jeans, play in the dirt, and then cleanup and put on a nice dress, if you so desire. I don't think men have the same freedom to explore clothing in the same way. Society still sees it as freakish if a man wears a dress. Kind of sad, really.

I Just Know