Archive for the women Category

PASSIONATE LADY, GIVE UP YOUR VOWS

Posted in social commentary, women, writing with tags , , , , , , on July 19, 2010 by kimmy

Indulge in what’s before you.  The only limitations are those you place upon yourself.

You’ve played the game well, but it didn’t yield the promised results.  You did what you were told, obeyed the rules of society and kept a low profile.  It was all sawdust in the end.

And you blamed yourself for years.  If only you had worked a little harder, sacrificed a little more, ruminated a little less…

But you forgot that you were partnered in the dance, not whirling around solo.  You weren’t expected to carry the load for another.

If you hadn’t been absorbed in redressing the imbalance, you would have learned the corrections were not yours to make.

Instead, you saw only your own shortcomings and vowed never to visit them upon an innocent again.

But their inactions are not those of innocence.  And withholding your participation is needless.

Live your life without apology, lady and forget about fixing the ruin of others.  Save your own city.

A VERY GOOD GIRL

Posted in social commentary, women, writing with tags , , , , , , , on January 3, 2010 by kimmy

“She’s a gem,”  I overhead them say.  “A very good girl.”

I glanced over, expecting to see a child in a pinafore.  Instead, I saw a fully grown woman, elegantly dressed.  She wasn’t aware of their commentary, walking by her admirers down the concourse to some unknown destination.  And as I resumed my reading, I couldn’t help but wonder how she might react to such an assessment.

There were dozens of families, lone strangers and couples crowded into our Southwest gate that afternoon.  I casually looked at their faces, trying to discern which of them were good or bad.  Was it possible to determine merit based upon appearance alone?

It made me reflect upon the strange duplicity with which we as women are reared.  We are expected to exhibit virtuous behavior in public and intuit how far we may abandon it in private.  Most of us spend a lifetime on a tightrope, afraid to stray to either side for fear of losing our balance.

As a consequence, we drive our natural impulses underground or wildly act upon them.  It’s no surprise then that the two usual epithets hurled at women, bitch or whore, reference love… either by its absence or its unrestraint.  A grim reminder that as the appointed keeper of unconditional love, we must dole it out conditionally.

It’s a curious thing to be assigned a task and not being allowed to perform it.  As such, we fail by default and foster generations of women frustrated by limitation, most of whom are not aware of why they are angry.  We assume that carrying the mantle bestowed upon us should provide the fulfillment we seek, but when it does not, we rarely question it.  That would not be appropriate for a good girl.  Instead, we smile, confide in our equally-frustrated girlfriends, and hope for the best.

So it was with a sigh that I returned to my book.  Did I think I could overturn millenia of habit with a single thought?  Maybe it was better not to question unnatural order; a good girl operative can maneuver more efficiently if no attention is drawn to her.

GIRLY GIRL AND PROUD OF IT

Posted in social commentary, women, writing with tags , , , , , , , on September 28, 2009 by kimmy

“You throw like a girl.”

At first I took offense.  “You mean my trajectory and spatial skills are not up to par?”

“No, I mean you throw like a girl,” he said, dramatizing the statement with a limp flip of his wrist.

I almost wanted to cower and issue an apology for being the wrong gender.  Fortunately, I quickly recovered and walked off the field after bestowing a digital flip of my own.  If he wanted a tomboy to help him perfect his curve ball, then he shouldn’t have asked the lady in the slinky dress and spike heels.

Since when did femininity become a liability?  Contemporary mores dictate that the modern femme fatale should be a unique hybrid of classic womanliness and macho swagger.  Who made up these rules?  Being a woman is difficult enough without the added burden of being a man as well.

I don’t want to be a man.  If I did, I would have had a sex change years ago.  Instead, I happily accept my XX assignment and furthermore, I’m going to shamelessly revel in it. 

Why should I feel inferior if I can’t throw a ball or pee standing up?  I don’t know many men who feel ashamed if they’re unable to walk in heels or nurse a baby.  I simply refuse to buy into the argument that the attributes of my gender are lesser.

But then, I never thought it was necessary to compete with men.  There’s no need for hostility if both parties have equal footing.  And although I can appreciate the male drive for competition and dominance, I am not obliged to adopt them.

Why would I?  The full expression of my own sex is wonder enough.  It surprises me then when I’m asked (by women, no less!) why I bother to dress up.  Invariably my questioner is festooned in boy clothes -tee shirt, sweat pants or jeans- and resentment.  The implication being that I must be on the prowl because no woman in her right mind would wear anything else.

Maybe gals do primp excessively for the benefit of men, but I’ve been playing dress-up without cease since I was 4, and able to clunk around in my mother’s stiletto boots (with the rabbit fur trim!).  Were my efforts done solely for an imaginary male audience?  Doubtful.  I just loved to swath myself in ladies’ acoutrement and dream of the day when I could wear them without hearing the patronizing remarks of well-meaning, but clueless adults.

I’m still waiting.  Just last week a colleague questioned my wardrobe, chuckling as he remarked how previous contractors had never strayed from shapeless hospital scrubs and orthopedic oxfords.   “Boy, you sure like to get gussied up,” he said, giving me the once-over.  “Are you sure that you can perform your job?”

Although I patiently explained to him that my decision to wear a summer dress under my lab coat would in no way hamper my ability to think and behave rationally, I had to suppress a strong urge to smack him upside the head.  Just because a lady likes to use a powderpuff,  it does not make her one by association.

It would be a mistake to judge the girly girl as a pushover.  Her femininity does not replace common sense, but enhances it.  Only a woman who is confident and comfortable with herself, and not a stereotyped or dictated version of self, has access to unlimited reserves of strength.  Not the superimposed variety hawked by men and fashion, but the unwavering type that grows exponentially in the presence of truth.  It may not be truth of all womankind, but for those who feel an affinity, it is.

GEOGRAPHICALLY CHALLENGED

Posted in love, men, relationships, women, writing with tags , , , , , on May 12, 2009 by kimmy

It was nearly three months since I last talked to Diane.  At the time, she was nearly giddy, just having met the man of her dreams on e-Harmony and spending every available moment on Skype.  She fell in love, and off the radar, into what I hoped was well-deserved domestic bliss.

So imagine my surprise when she called me on Sunday, interrupting my otherwise placid Mother’s Day luncheon with sobs and an urgent plea for advice.  Through her tears, she explained that Prince Charming had scuttled the new-formed relationship before taking it out to sea.

“He refuses to meet me,” she wept. 

“Uh, he refuses to greet you?”  It was a little hard to understand Diane when she was in the middle of a crying jag.

“No!  Kimmy, he won’t even meet me for coffee!”

I admit I was a little puzzled.  Had they had a lovers’ quarrel and the Prince refused to kiss and make up?  Apparently not, I soon learned as she hastily brought me up to speed.  It seemed that despite their torrid exchanges via webcam, they hadn’t actually met in person.

“He says I live too far away.”

It made perfect sense to me.  Why else would they lurk on Skype?  Romance is difficult enough without the challenge of distance.   

I tried to remind her of this as she bemoaned her fate.  “Didi, you can’t exactly meet at Starbucks if you live in New York and he’s in L.A.”

There was long pause.  “Kimmy, he lives only 20 miles from me.”

Oh, one of those predicaments.  I didn’t know what to say to her; it seems that even the most desirable women are not immune to the scourge of poor location.  Of what value are charm, grace and accomplishment if the lady at issue is not conveniently located?  It’s not enough that we must be attractive, fit, solvent, employed and sexually adventurous.  If we’re not within easy reach, we don’t merit the effort.

It’s a bitter thing for a woman to hear.  Nobody wants to be judged unworthy.  But esteem issues beg the real question here:  Just how lazy have men become anyway?

I remember one such fellow years ago.  After a few preliminary dates, he announced in a rather self-satisfied way that he was pleased with me.  Not because I was an interesting female, but that my apartment was conveniently situated between his home and place of work.  “Now, I don’t have to go out of my way to see you,” he said blithely.  Needless to say, that acquaintance ended badly.  If a man is determined to torpedo a budding or established relationship, all he need do is mention his partner’s lack of specialness.  The world is full of unremarkable people; to be lumped in among them is the kiss of death.

It was little comfort to Diane, who insisted that her life was over.  “This is worse than high school when my boyfriend dumped me for the head cheerleader,” she mourned.  “Her locker was right next to his.”

I agreed that his behavior showed an absence of vision, but cautioned her.  “Maybe he’s just not that enamored of you, Didi.  If he was, wouldn’t he move heaven and hell just to be with you?”

“Yeah, I guess he would,” she snuffled, “but only if hell was next door.”

LOVING WHAT IS

Posted in musings, social commentary, women, writing with tags , , , , , , on February 7, 2009 by kimmy

storyWoe to the woman who flaunts more curves than are deemed necessary by the fashion élite.  Think of the public humiliation endured by young women like Jennifer Love Hewitt and Jessica Simpson, ladies of voluptuous figure who dared cross the haute couture line by appearing less than skeletal.  The commentary was so great that their stories were plastered across the media.  What’s more important than war in the Mideast and global economic meltdown?  Apparently women who refuse to comply with impossibly rigid standards.   Scandalous! 

The people who wring their hands, despairing over the sad lack of esteem among pre- and post-adolescent women are the same who snipe about the waistlines of public figures.  You can’t discourage your teen daughter from binging and purging if you’re buying copies of People magazine.  The volume of stories featuring weight loss and dieting is astounding; it has to be the extreme sport of the 21st century.

Who decides what is fit and what is fat?  The medical community?  They can’t even agree amongst themselves.  The fashion world?  It seems ironic that an industry designed for the benefit and beautification of women would go to such lengths to alter them.  It seems a woman is only truly fabulous if she is less than herself.

With the current vilification, even acknowledged sirens like Marilyn Monroe would be considered too hefty for notice.  No doubt had she survived the 60s, she would have hired a personal trainer, nutritionist, stylist and assistant hired for the sole purpose of counting every calorie she consumed.  Strange that the camera, in spite of its notorious 10 pound distortion, captured her allurements just as well as the scrawny waifs on Gossip Girl.

Perhaps the real issue here is not beauty standards, which apparently fluctuate with the generations, but self-acceptance.  Inner confidence cannot be assailed from without.   No matter how many high-strung fashion mavens gather round and hurl unsolicited advice, a woman sure of herself doesn’t care.  She knows that the criticism is borne from their own fear of rejection and has nothing to do with her at all.  In fact, she might even smile and swing her hips a little more provocatively.  Those hostile skinny bitches might tear her apart in public, but every last one of them would jump at the opportunity to switch places with her.

FREAK SHOW

Posted in musings, personal, rants, social commentary, women, writing with tags , , , , , , on January 21, 2009 by kimmy

Why don’t they just put me in a side show and charge a dollar per viewing?  Come see the two-headed lady!  She lives!  Children and grown men will turn away in horror as I creep out from behind the ragged curtain and drag my misshapen body to the stage, the living embodiment of what will happen if you dare to live outside the box.

Will I suddenly be dropped from phone trees and potluck dinners because my principles do not marry well with the liberality of opinion at the table?  Heaven forbid I fail to carry the cause du jour without the proper amount of enthusiasm; somebody might suspect me of free-thinking and then I’ll be subject to ridicule and ostracization.  Isn’t living the cookie cutter American life the absolute pinnacle of achievement?  Brave people have suffered and died so that others may live quietly in suburbia.  Shouldn’t I show more gratitude by eagerly signing on and abandoning individualism?

Bad, bad Kimmy!  We’ll show you what happens to defiant young ladies. . .   First, we will humiliate and make an example of you.  We can’t have any loose cannon running around here, upsetting the natural order!  What would happen if every woman refused to resign herself?  Unacceptable!   Someone has to be responsible for all the world’s ills. . .  Then we will hunt you down like a dog and force you to wear a scarlet R for rebellious.  If any of your friends or family try to take you in, we’ll punish them as well.   Guilt by association is a chargeble offense.  For all we know, you might have learned these behaviors from your mother or grandmother.

It’s off to the circus with you!  Let’s see if a few months of hardscrabble life with toothless carnival workers and a jeering public won’t soften you up.  A vagabond’s life only sounds romantic.  Sooner or later, you’ll yearn for the comforts that only defeat can provide.

FENCE SITTING DEMYSTIFIED

Posted in men, musings, personal, relationships, social commentary, women, writing with tags , , on December 18, 2008 by kimmy

It is astounding how long one can perch.  If all creature comforts are provided, one could in theory stay up there for an entire lifetime.  How marvelous it must be to sit in judgment above it all and watch people scurry below.  Being removed from the action gives one a sense of purpose, a smug satisfaction knowing that the trifles in life need not ever be a bother. 

Tedious colleagues at work?   Try selective hearing.  Annoying relationship difficulties?  Pretend the other doesn’t count and go about your business.  Eventually, your indifference will be interpreted as wisdom and people will flock to you for advice.  That you have none to give is irrelevant; people always admire the fixed and unassailable.  You could tell them virtually anything and they’d believe you.

You need never reveal the true reason for withdrawal.  You could blame the other party, the environment, the economy or karma.  We are such a litigious society that blame is not only expected, it’s rewarded.  So, go ahead!  Blame somebody else for your woes.

With time you might even forget the reasons why you’re sitting on the fence.  You may actually come to believe the lies you’ve told yourself.  All those niggling self-doubts are forgotten, blanketed under a thick cushion of inertia.  It can become so deep, there’s no way of knowing what’s underneath unless it’s stripped away; something that will never happen since you’re so vested in maintaining appearance.

So, sit back and relax.  You can bide your time, endlessly if that’s your choice.  Nobody is forcing you off the bench and into the game.  You can watch it from the bleachers and make snide comments about the ineptitude of the players.  Of course, never having actually played the game, you’re in no position to judge, but who cares?  If somebody calls your bluff, you can lie about that as well.