It’s time for me to ‘fess up – I have a massive girl crush and I have had since time immemorial – or at least it seems that way.
You see, back in the early 90s there was a short-lived programme on TV called Naked City and one of its hosts was a young woman called Caitlin Moran. I still have an episode of it tucked away somewhere on VHS where Bob Downe performed. But I was entranced by the host. I knew she was only a couple of years younger than me and was amazed that this vivacious, sexy, intelligent woman was doing so much more with her life than I was.
A few years down the line I posted some of my wares on ebay, one of them being an Aladdin VHS. Someone called Caitlin Moran bought it, I emailed her back and asked if she was ‘the’ Caitlin Moran – she was. I was so excited for some bizarre reason.
I’ve followed her work ever since – her writing for The Times, her book, ‘How To Be A Woman’ and her tweets. I’m not stalking her, honestly, I just have a truly massive girl crush on her.
Today someone pinned this on Pinterest:
I can’t eloquently say why I think she’s an amazing woman. Why she’s so inspiring or why I want to give every teenage girl that I teach a copy of her book. But I do want to share with you one of my other favourite Caitlin Moran quotes:
“If you want to know what’s in motherhood for you, as a woman, then – in truth – it’s nothing you couldn’t get from, say, reading the 100 greatest books in human history; learning a foreign language well enough to argue in it; climbing hills; loving recklessly; sitting quietly, alone, in the dawn; drinking whisky with revolutionaries; learning to do close-hand magic; swimming in a river in winter; growing foxgloves, peas and roses; calling your mum; singing while you walk; being polite; and always, always helping strangers. No one has ever claimed for a moment that childless men have missed out on a vital aspect of their existence, and were the poorer, and crippled by it.”
― Caitlin Moran, How To Be A Woman
In her book she had written about the joys (and pains) of motherhood. As a woman heading childless towards her 40s I still feel an ache inside sometimes that I will never be called mum (apart from when another teacher walked into my registration class and addressed me as ‘mum’ accidentally; or from the numerous students who sometimes do it – accidentally). I’ve never wanted children however there is a slight ache about this. It’s difficult to explain. Anyway, as I read her book, and read about her joys with her children it made the ache somewhat heavier. Then, I read the passage above. And I know that this feeling I have inside isn’t real. I KNOW I don’t want children and it’s just a part of my age and conditioning that causes this.
So thank you Ms Moran. I know this may seem like a creepy teenage love letter to you but I assure you it’s not. It’s simply thanking you for reminding me that my desire to remain childless does not make me a freak. That I can be a whole woman without rugrats and when people say to me ‘don’t you think you are missing out?’ I regale them with the things that they are missing out on by NOT having children. They walk off more depressed and empty the local Tescos of their cheapest wines.