Don’t call us, we’ll call you

April 18, 2011

Making history . . .

On Saturday morning, Addison and I hosted a small book group — it was meant to be a bit bigger, but most of the planned attendees had to cancel at the last minute.  But no matter because two of my all-time favorite ladies came to chat: Jen and Sara (listed in alphabetical order to indicate that I could never choose between them).

We read the book Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History, which you may remember I mentioned before when I was quoting one of Jen’s fabulous blog posts (did you follow that?).  I was glad to finally read the book since Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, a history professor, visited BYU when I was an undergrad studying history.  I was quite taken with some of her more esoteric work about the historian’s craft, particularly on how to use material culture to tell the stories of those who, for various reasons, did not have a voice.  Alas, I decided not to become a historian . . . *wistful sigh*

There is a lot that could be said about the book because, seriously, it covers A LOT of territory.  From Amazon women to runaway slaves to second-wave feminists to medieval artists and writers — whoa!  But since I don’t have time to cover that much territory (paper still not quite finished on account of hitting a wall health-wise on Saturday, after aforementioned book group with cranky baby), I wanted to give you the very final sentence as some food-for-thought:

Well-behaved women make history when they do the unexpected, when they create and preserve records, and when later generations care.

You can “misbehave” and make waves in the world and other people will write your history, for good or ill.  But you can also “behave,” keep to a smaller sphere of influence, and write your own record — and I promise, you will make history.  Someone, someday will care about what you have written, no matter how mundane it might seem to you.  My good friend Jenn (with two Ns, not to be confused with the aforementioned one-N Jen) is writing her memoir and posting it on her blog (I would link to it, but I’m not sure if she would want that — I’ll have to check).  It’s a tough endeavor, not like shooting out a blog post with little premeditation.  It’s brave to undertake something like that with two small children craving your constant attention.  And it’s even more brave to post what you’ve written for the world, or even just your family and friends, to see.  Jenn is making history.  I marvel at that.

I think that’s what I love about blogs so much — so many women (I know some men blog, just not the men I know), who in the past would have been invisible, are making their own history.  Keep doing it.  It’s amazing.*

*I just started tearing up, which I know is like par for the course with me but still, it means I really mean it.

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7 Comments »

  1. I have not been keeping up on comments for you, but for this, I just have to say, I teared up too. Sounds like I should read that book. I love that quote. Thank you!

    Comment by vblanchard — April 18, 2011 @ 8:26 pm

  2. Oh man oh man I wish I could have been at that book group. What a treat!

    Comment by Krisanne — April 19, 2011 @ 2:16 am

  3. Oh, Lindsay. I love reading your blog — and not just because I got a blog mention (YES!). 🙂 I need to read that book — sounds like something I would enjoy. I appreciate your comments, though. I have been SO close to deleting the memoir off the blog because when no one says anything, it makes me feel edgy, like “What in the world did I do??” (by posting it). But your sentiments have given me the courage to keep it on there and keep writing. Thank you!

    Comment by Jenn Morrill — April 19, 2011 @ 3:17 am

  4. Lindsay, why not keep the historian hat along with other endeavors? You are doing it with this blog, which although it is not the same as a memoir, takes you towards record keeping. Many people we look up to are multifaceted; in fact, it would take some effort to remain one dimensional, me thinks. When, not if, you write a historical book, readers will follow you. You also know how to create a loyal readership, a talent in itself. *Wistful sigh*…has no home here!

    Comment by Lorie Call — April 19, 2011 @ 4:31 am

    • Your point is well-taken; I do think I am a historian of sorts. But I was referring to getting a PhD in history and becoming a professional historian, which I think would have been my absolute favorite job, but I decided that it was not my true calling in life.

      Comment by llcall — April 19, 2011 @ 4:26 pm

      • No law saying you have to earn your Ph.D this year! Get through August first, work on some of your “true calling,” whatever that be, then in 5 or so years, begin to claim that Ph.D. while Neal is claiming his–and he does need to earn one, too, even if August necessitates a break. Family is game to remind you if either of you start to forget! The world needs your minds, writing ability, and credentials.

        Comment by Lorie Call — April 20, 2011 @ 11:54 pm

  5. And perspectives…

    Comment by Lorie Call — April 20, 2011 @ 11:55 pm


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