This morning while dropping my daughter off at school I noticed something – there’s only one male teacher in her school!
Being a male, I’m probably not too qualified to write about the state of being a woman but I do know one thing – women go under appreciated.
My wife Mary is the most important person in my life – she actually saved me. She taught me what love is all about and showed me it’s o.k. to trust people. When my daughter was born in 1999, it was probably the most exciting day of my life. Most men I know, who are expecting fathers, usually want a son – but you know what, deep down I really wanted a daughter.
When I think back to the women in our neighborhood, some who come to mind are Mrs. Dolan, Mrs. Kawas (16th and 8th), ‘Rae’ from Rae and Otto’s, the lady who worked at the Driving school on 9th avenue, Mrs. Thomas (Sherman Street), Angel Flood the crossing guard on 9th avenue, Mrs. Tripi holding it down on the corner of Windsor and 11th avenue; all my female teachers from Holy Name (Sister Barbara, Sister Maureen, Miss Herlihy, Miss Mauro, Miss Monzillo, Miss Prescott/Hertel.)
Closer to my heart were my late mother Carol, sister Sharon, Aunts Eleanor, Sheila, and Helene. My cousins, Liz, Lori, Nu-Nu, Lizzy, Suzy, Ellie, Dori and Susan Corbett.
I can never forget my first girlfriend when I was 15- Maureen; who tried her hardest to show me what love was all about but I was too stubborn to listen.
Even more from the neighborhood were Fanny Hyman, our landlord for a very long time, Betty Trapp, Kathy Cottingham, Mrs. Rutter, Dee-Dee Dixon and her mom who was always putting the discipline into us, Kristin Rower, Mary Kawas, Noreen Davis, Karen Artz, Karen and Laura Cox, their mom who put up with us hanging out in their apartment on 16th street. Tammy Triolo and her mom, Patricia DaRossi and her girl Stella, the late Sheila Woods, Marion from Rae and Otto’s who worked the counter, and who would give me an egg cream on the house when I was broke.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Mrs. Deere who yelled at me for crossing the street when the light was red. Mrs. Cullen and her Irish accent, her sister in-law Margie with the Yankee tickets, the late Rita Brick, the Russian lady from the Video store, Elvira who lived over Harry’s Barber shop. We would hang out in the hallway leading to her staircase and she’d come down to chase us with her broom. I really think she didn’t mind us down there, she just needed to get out of her apartment and wanted to have some fun.
There was a sweet old lady on Fuller Place with a very bad skin condition (name escapes me) who used to have us run errands for her. She was a generous tipper. Do you recall the woman who worked in the rectory and cooked all the meals for the priests? If you played in the schoolyard you always could smell the food being cooked right around 5PM.
Secretaries, receptionists, nurses, teachers, team trainers, housewives, attorneys, waitresses, cleaning ladies, they all should be recognized as outstanding people.
I always hear about certain ethnic groups being discriminated against and how they are treated unfairly. But to tell you the truth whether you agree with me or not, women have faced discrimination just as long. Domestic abuse is rampant, women are verbally and physically abused every day. And for what? Is it really necessary to attack a woman? What kind of person strikes a woman?
And just like this country recently voted in the first African-American President, I firmly believe we will have a woman in the White House some day running our country.
Plus, there’s a reason why during sporting events, when the camera roams the sidelines, an athlete looks into the lens and says, ‘Hi Mom’!