Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Mature and female~

I went to the bookstore today to find something about photography. But first I did the circuitous route I always take, starting with the bargain books outside on the sidewalk, and then the half-price book tables inside, then on through the various genres, whether interested in them or not. There is just something pleasant about being surrounded by books, even the ones I wouldn't read if someone paid me.

I watch people no matter where I am, and watching someone pick a book from the shelf and browse through it is interesting. I always wonder if the man in the "relationships" section is conscious that he's being observed reading a chapter called "How to Please Your Mate." I glance sideways from the corner of my eye while unobtrusively flipping through a book. Who knows? Maybe I'm being observed reading, "What You Wish Your Husband Understood About Emotions." Totally made up book, but someone should write it.

The pile of books in my arms grew until I finally went to the coffee bar to sit and sip and look them over. As always happens, I left more books behind than I took home. I left with two photography books and The Female Brain. The Female Brain cover blurb says, the author "follows the development of women's brains from birth through the teen years, to courting, pregnancy, childbirth and child-rearing, and on to menopause and beyond."

I probably should have just stood and read the pages on menopause and beyond, but you never know who might be watching you from the corner of their eye in a bookstore. So instead I paid $14.00 for the 22 pages entitled "The Mature Female Brain" that pertain to me.

I find the brain fascinating and have read many books about brain research. I actually had a bit of a reputation for a while in the teachers' room for being the "brain expert," as my friend Nancy dubbed me. I suppose dropping terms like "anterior cingulate gyrus" into the conversation made me seem likes an expert, but I'm far from it.

To be honest this book attracted me because of the dialogue I saw while skimming. Apparently a man asked his mature-brained wife where his lunch was? Hadn't she brought salami? He'd wanted a sandwich, poor thing. Unbeknownst to him, the hormones in his wife's brain that used to nurture him had faded, and now she no longer did all the nesting things he'd come to expect. Fortunately for the husband, his wife took hormones for other issues and her former cooking and sock-picking-up self returned.

I don't take, nor intend to take, hormones of any sort. Ever. Instead, I've marked that chapter to show my husband when he asks, "What's for supper?"
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose."~Dr. Seuss


Barbara said...

Isn't it nice to have time to hang around a bookstore on a school day? Our bike ride yesterday was so pleasant without the hordes of riders that come out on the weekends.

Bob Sanchez said...

It's always struck me as odd that our brains have so little self-knowledge. We have to observe others to better understand ourselves.

People watching is a great pastime. When I have a book signing, I love to watch the people strolling by, all shapes, sizes, and moods.

Great blog topic, as always.

RiverPoet said...

Oh, a brain expert! So you'll understand when I tell you that my cerebellar tonsils are descending 4 mm in my spinal column as a result of an underdeveloped posterior cranial fossa, and that I may have to have surgical correction? (Chiari Type I Malformation) :-) Couldn't resist...

I find the brain fascinating, too. Loved my BioPsych class in college. Fascinating! And bookstores? Girl, I spend all my milk money there...

Peace - D

Tere said...

I love this post. And love the photos too. I am also fascinated by the brain, especially as it relates to children and teenagers. Guess that's why I do what I do. And I think my mature brain has started kickin' in. Some might wish I would take hormones but I'm with you on that! Can I borrow your book?

Janice Thomson said...

I'm with you on the hormones Ruth. At the time I was asked to take them they were made from mare's urine - say what?? No way in God's little green acre is anything like that going to be in my system - or any other concoctions they came up with. Interesting that they found years later these drugs increased heart attacks and strokes in women.
The alternative holistically was shark's cartilage - wow, everyone needs a little of that too in their system :) So menopause came and went...naturally and without the help of any drugs whatsoever.

leslie said...

Oh how I love the smell of new books! I actually riffle (rifle?) the pages and sniff them! Yeah, I know - sick! lol

And I love the smell of a school at the beginning of the year, too. Freshly sharpened lead pencils, rubber erasers, scratch 'n sniff pens, fresh new textbooks, etc. Wha???? *giving myself a shake* I'm retired now! Fogeddaboudit...

Anyway, I'm laughing away here by myself because I could just imagine myself standing there with you in the bookstore. I often go to my local Chapters and do just what you described! Wish we lived closer so we could be lookouts for each other! lol

Pauline said...

Just read The Male Brain, Explained by Laura Schaefer. It's lighthearted and funny but informative. Now I have to read The Female Brain Explained to see if I can figure myself out!

When I was small, I dreamed of living in a book store. Some days I still do!

sc morgan said...

So, I want to know, was there a companion book for the opposite sex? What would the title be for that one, do you suppose?

Ruth D~ said...

Barbara~ Weekends? I hardly know the meaning of the word any more.

Bob~ I never really thought that maybe I was learning more about myself when I people watch . . . but I probably am.

River~ Without looking up that procedure-- and you sound like you'd give me a run for my money on brain trivia-- this sounds like an operation the daughter of a friend of mine had . . . quite successfully.

Tere~ So much of the research explains the teen years, doesn't it?

Janice~ If the things that happen to are bodies, happen for a reason, then why try to drug that into oblivion? Good for you. I thought shark cartilage was a cancer preventative or treatment.

Leslie~ We'd ptobably cause a rucus in the books store, but it would be fun. Your into the sensory things I see. Smell is strongly linked to memory in . . . the brain. :>)

Pauline~ The male brain, huh? Oxymoron ;>)Just kidding, guys.

Sarah~ I'm sure between the two of us we could come up with "the perfect" title. :>)

Ladybug said...

Oh, you sound so much like me! I've been known to spend many hours in libraries and bookstores. BTW -- If you do come across a book on husbands understanding women's emotions, please let me know. :-)

Angie said...

I know that same route in the bookstore. Too funny on the hormones! I'll have to remember that.

I met you over at Wanda's site. I love your place here. From your bio, I can tell we have much in common. Looking forward to perusing your writing sites...

Nice to meet you,

Jo said...

I love the photograph. And I had no idea there were different stages to the female brain. I would love to read that book. I think I'll see if I can locate it at my local Duthie's book store.

And no, no, no to hormones. I took them for a few months and they actually made me feel worse. Dreadful, in fact. And as Janice says, it's horse urine. Premarin literally means pregnant mares urine. *shudder*

Annie said...

What a delight reading this post. I swear you were watching me as I took my usual route through Borders. My visits often include settling in with whatever crochet project I've brought along with me as well. Oh and YES, I'm in total agree with you - No hormones, EVER!!