30 Day Lady Positivity Challenge- Day 17

by - Thursday, October 03, 2013

Day 17- Someone who Sticks it to Gender Norms- Pam


I have to preface all of this by saying that I hope nothing in this offends Pam, because she has made it quite clear she can kick my ass, and I know it is true. Her daughter can probably do it. Once, she pointed out her old sister-in-law to me, casually mentioning that she had punched her in the face. Note taken. That girl is a badass.  Pam is an extreme combination of hot pink girly girl and super tough tomboy. In her own words, "Barbara is amish, Ashley is a go go dancer, and I am a tomboy" (this is actually a pretty fair summation of the three women married into the Alfeos).


 Pam is the youngest sister to four brothers, and God gave her enough strength from a young age to take all four of them on.Now, as an adult, she is the summation of "anything you can do I can do better." There is no "Man's job" in her house. If the roof needs fixed, you are guaranteed to find Pam up there, doing it herself. I am pretty sure her favorite pass time is mowing the lawn. She is like an old man and a young girl in one woman.


She is also incredible honest and badass. I feel like so many girls are always trying to be pleasers or to be nice, even when it is fake. Pam is unflinching. Take the story of this picture (from her wedding day) for instance:
Barbara: "Pam, Smile!"
Pam: "No."



Part of Pam's personality is like an old man, but a really tough and mean one, like one who keeps a gun near his front door to shoot people who step on his lawn. She LOVES fishing.She is weirdly amazing at fishing. Like if there is a puddle in the driveway, she will pull some large shark out of it. She won't drive a van, and will basically end up with a hummer. She is a country girl through and though, and I think she also rides horses? Maybe she is just a pretty and feminine John Wayne? It weirdly works the more I think about it. I guess this isn't gender bendy in the way I originally intended, but Pam is this crazy combination that is completely original. I don't know anyone else like her (and I love people like that).
Pam  can also be incredibly girly and she always has her stuff together in that way some girls (but never I do). She has really beautiful curly hair most of the time, and she plays with the color, but it always somehow works. She also has a really defined sense of style (she can be really sporty and casual, but she is one of the few people in this world that can pull off neon), and she bounces back from pregnancies in like five minutes.

 


I think Pam's toughness partially comes from being a total survivor. She has been through a lot, but she has been completely resilient, and the life that she has built herself is pretty great. She also has to struggle with her own health and the health of her baby, and she is so strong through it (sometimes so strong that I just want her to get more help!) I really admire her for taking on so much in her life and handling it. She is all kinds of strong.




If I had to sum her personality up in one sentence, it might be Pam gets it done. She gets it done. If you put any sort of task in front of her, she will finish it.She doesn't need to talk about it, or get other people to help her, she will just do the whole damn thing by herself. I think she is actually blown away by people's inability to just get things done, because she is such a badass that it comes easily to her.


Pam is ridiculously hilarious, and her sass sort of spills out in all directions. I love our conversations on the phone, because she spends about half of it yelling at her children and dog. She may be the only person on Earth who can make that completely entertaining for a good long phone call. She and her kids (especially her mini-me daughter) can sass eachother like nobody's business.



So even though she is such a tough cookie, part of what makes her beautiful is that she has an incredible softside for the people (and puppies) she loves.She loves her family. She loves her mom. She loves her babies. And in brief glimpses, you get to see that soft side, and that is so lovely, but so often she articulates her love in this kind of teasy way. The things she loves drive her the craziest, and it takes a trained eye to see the glowy love behind it.

 
I can remember meeting Pam at Alfeo's for a night of Uno, and when she got in on the cheating (specifically from Elizabeth who was like 11 at the time), I knew she would fit right in. When she first moved in with Carlo, she and I spent some really long nights laying around on the couch and talking about everything and anything for hours. HOURS. Oh, to be WoW widows. At first, I thought I was doing The Boy a big favor, but I started to look forward to those nights because she was so funny and honest and different. Now, even if I am home by myself, I try to go hang out in her living room so I can hear her stories and watch her fight with her kids and dogs. I really don't care if the boys are there or not. I feel lucky to have a sister-in-law that I can just like to be around. And I try to imagine she likes being with me to, because it is a thin line between love and disdain with her! She is so tough!!!


So here's to you, Pamela Alfeo. For being a total badass and a hot pink girly girl at once. For liking nothing more than mowing your lawn and beating people up. For wanting to spend every day at the beach. For finding us all totally annoying. For being tougher than everyone else I know put together. God doesn't give us more than we can handle, and clearly he has decided you can handle everything at once. For being impossible to catch smiling in a picture. For being such a softy deep down for your kids and Hera Lu. For the way you scream Pietro and Hera Lu. For saying it like it is and genuinely not caring who likes you and who doesn't. You are so beautiful because you refuse to be prim and proper or to wait for someone else to do it for you. You do it for yourself, and that is so beautiful! Get it, girl!

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