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Posts Tagged ‘Women’

I think I figured it out. Sexy, I mean. My intention was to rant about how the media—and everybody else – has sexed up everything, but then I had an epiphany. Sexy in many cases doesn’t mean pole dancing, slutty trollop. No. It is really a code word for feminine. Oh, they don’t mean it to be and probably are not even aware, but in many cases, I think that’s exactly what it is. Hear me out.

Do you watch “What Not to Wear?” or “How Do I Look”? They often ‘say’ they are showing the poor tomboy she needs to be more sexy, but is that what they really mean? The poor maligned woman doesn’t end up slutty; she ends up looking feminine. But for goodness sakes, we can’t say “feminine.” That would upset the whole struggle for equal pay and the right to wield a jack hammer. So we make her “sexy.”

Once in a while those shows get a woman who actually does dress slutty. What to do, what to do? What they do is show her “curves” but less of her skin. They know better than to take her all the way on the scale to tomboy or even too close to “classic.” All meet in the middle at—ta da — sexy.

I am still perturbed by the overuse of that term—you know—but now I know how to calm myself — besides the glass of wine. Every time they say “sexy” on those shows, I just shout over them, “FEMININE!”

I feel so much better.

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I know there are shallow, silly women, but I often  meet  another kind, such as two ladies from the aptly-named waiting room of the eye clinic.

 

Lady No. 1: Who knows who spoke first or what was said. We are women. We talk. After the usual medical exchanges she mentioned she worked at the police department.

 

“What do you do?” I asked.

 

“Work cold cases.”

 

“Are you a detective?” Somehow it didn’t seem a strange question to be asking a woman in her sixties or seventies.

 

“No, I volunteer.”

 

“It must be very interesting,” I said, truly intrigued.

 

“Gory,” she corrected.

 

I’m sure her work could be gory, but I felt her one-word answer masked considerable satisfaction, especially when she contributes to solving a case, bringing answers to a family waiting for years. So if you are a senior volunteer, obviously there is more to do out there than stuffing envelopes. Who knew? Assignments such as hers are probably rare, so “gory” might be as good as porcupine quills in protecting your turf.

 

Lady No. 2:  She balanced a laptop on her knees, and  turned to ask me which kind of diabetes she must have. After a few questions, I told her Type 2. Then she remembered. She had brought her own laptop, but was apparently filling out forms for the clinic. Five minutes later I knew she was having lasik surgery and throwing away her glasses, that she had lost forty pounds with a trainer and sheer will power to bring her diabetes and cholesterol in line. And by the way, that she was diagnosed with MS as a teen. She knew little about the disease, even at what I would guess was age forty. Her doctor said she was so high strung she was better off not thinking about that, but taking things as they come. She was bubbly and cheerful and had obviously taken his advice.

 

She checked her emails, then smiles at the man walking to sit beside her.

 

“You just texted me!” He was communicating from another place in the building.

 

A few minutes later she squealed, showed something on her laptop screen to an office worker.

 

“Not bad,” she said as she sat back down. “I went on the clinic website and found a $200 discount!”

 

That is a woman who knows how to live!

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endeavour… the random talk of people who have no chance of immortality and thus can speak their minds out has a setting, often, of lights, streets, houses, human beings, beautiful or grotesque, which will weave itself into the moment for ever.

Virginia Woolf

 

T minus 10, 9, 8, 7—   I grabbed my camera and bolted out the front door to the middle of the street, dark except for a dim street light and murky full moon. I felt my neighbor Chris’ tap on the shoulder before I saw or heard her. How many shuttle launches had we watched together? Usually Bonnie from across the street was with us, but not tonight. The car at the intersection came our way and we dared it to make us move and miss what would soon be appearing in the east at the end of our street. The car pulled over and stopped. Bonnie popped out, not bothering to close her door.

 

“Our pastor just died,” Bonnie said. The diffused light of the street lamp revealed her smeared makeup.


Then our eyes fixed on the familiar glow on the horizon. It expanded like a sunrise and became brighter and brighter until it formed a bullet shape with a reddish golden hue, the most brilliant we had seen in all our years of shuttle watching.

 

 

“This is the first launch Jerry has missed in over thirty years here. He’s in the hospital and I’m filming it for him,” I said.

Greetings from Bonnie and Chris went on the video.

 

The moon, diffused by clouds, seemed to know its place as Endeavour cleared a sharp, brilliant path through the sky. Then the spacecraft appeared to hesitate as a bright, white light burst against the dark background. The booster had jettisoned.

 

“I woke in the middle of the night recently and knew my father had pneumonia and called my mom in the morning. She took him to the hospital, though she didn’t think he was sick. He had pneumonia,” Bonnie said.

 

The shuttle was a small, but still bright spot in the sky, like a shooting star. Our eyes never left it.

 

“My son and his family moved out last week,” Chris said. “It’s nice and quiet, but I miss my grandson. He visited today and barreled toward my knees to give them a bear hug.”

 

A tiny spec still streaked across the sky as our front doors closed behind us. That this launch had been visible much longer than others was fitting. Three women on a dark street had important pieces of their lives to send into the night sky.

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