I was shocked that she was shocked. My young friend was riveted as I explained history to her. MY history, which was only from about 40 years ago. [Read more…]
When Mom reached her seventies, she’d ask me to do her eye makeup for her if she was going anywhere fancy. Now at 89, she doesn’t wear it. The skin around her eyes is too delicate to hold it.
Does anybody care or notice? [Read more…]
Excerpted from Middle-Aged Crazy: Short Stories of Midlife and Beyond –
The Complete Collection
by Lynne M. Spreen
In the blue cold of late afternoon, Rita set out a row of traffic cones around the eighteen-wheeler to warn oncoming drivers, but of course there were none. Travelers had been advised not to attempt Donner Summit for at least another day. [Read more…]
You probably have your own dream celebrity, someone you’d like to have lunch with and chat. One of mine is Gloria Steinem. [Read more…]
We Boomers may have tried too hard to give our kids a sense of self-esteem. [Read more…]
I need your help with something. When a woman says, “I don’t care for women friends. I prefer men,” it gets my back up, and I don’t know if it’s because I’m insecure (yeah, probably) or overly sensitive (yup) or if there’s even more to it. Nevertheless,
I feel so rejected.
Here are the possibilities that run through my mind:
- She’s been burned by women friends.
- She doesn’t dig the estrogen thing and feels more comfortable with men.
- She perceives women to be on the losing team and wants to hang with the perceived winners.
I’m embarrassed, because by guessing at the above I’m revealing more of my inner workings than I want you to know. But come on – how can you dismiss half the human race that way? And your own gender! It seems like an admission of self-hatred.
I’m not saying generalities aren’t based, at times, to some extent, in truth. For example, here’s one:
“I hate working with all-women.”
Don’t ding me for grammar. That’s how we say it, the old complaint about women working together being a real pain, more so than a mostly-male workplace. I used to object to it, but now as an old broad I think there’s some truth to it, because women tend to fall harder and faster for each other, and then when the initial glow fades, they feel more rejected. Maybe this is because our ways of womanly warfare, being more suited for brain rather than brawn, are more sneaky, snarky, verbal, and cutting.
Hey, you work with whatcha got.
But back to my point. Are you a woman who subscribes to this preference for guy friends, and if so, does it spring from an alternative meaning than what I’m getting?
How do you feel when a woman tells you she prefers men friends over women?
PS The tests came back fine. I have to go back in six months for another ultrasound to confirm it. Thanks for all the love, dear friends.
Kindle readers can email me at LMSpreen@yahoo.com.
For all my women friends, and maybe especially my younger friends, the following poem by Claire Braz-Valentine is for you – for us (Claire was delighted to give permission for me to run it):
The Last Will and Testament of This Woman
To every woman who is my daughter
To every woman who is my sister:
I will to you first of all, my diets—
my grapefruit diet, my orange diet, rice diet, wine diet, water diet,
banana diet and fasting diet.
I will you every time anyone ever said to me, “Have you ever
thought of going on a diet?”
I will you TOPS clubs, Weight Watchers Clubs, Pill Pushing
Doctors, amphetamines, water pills, thyroid pills, and laxatives
that I have known
and I have known many—
I will you all the times I wished the scale would say 125 instead of 145
I will you a living girdle,
an eighteen hour girdle,
a four way stretch girdle,
a two way stretch girdle.
an I can’t believe it’s a girdle girdle,
a rubber girdle full of holes that “breathed” when I couldn’t.
a girdle with legs so tight I left it in the public bathroom in the waste-
a garbage can full of girdles,
And the day a man told me, “You got an ass that could kill a man”
And all the time it was killing me.
I will you my bras,
my bra with under-wires that pushed me up,
my cross-my-heart bra that pushed me out,
my padded bras that made me fuller,
my natural bras that made me natural,
a garbage can full of bras—
a dresser full of bras—
and the everlasting indecision about whether to or not to.
I will you something called a Merry Widow
which is something like an iron maiden.
I will you all the tears I cried lying on the bed at six o’clock in
the morning after my junior prom,
trapped in the damn thing
till I thought I was squeezed to death
And my mother finally freeing my tortured body.
I will you my diaphragm that didn’t fit,
that got stuck,
that got a hole in it,
that I forgot and wore for a week.
I will you my diaphragm pregnancy.
I will you my coil that made me bleed every day for a year.
I will you my bow that made me bleed every day for three months.
I will you my pregnancy that I lost because I bled so much.
I will you my birth control pills
that made me throw up,
grew me big breasts
and then spots on my face
and a terrible case of nervousness
and a good start on a beard.
I will you my douche bag
filled with lemon flavored scents,
mint flavored scents,
flower flavored scents,
washed rinsed and flushed with flavored scents.
I will you all the foams and jellies and sprays
and suppositories that I was ever
tempted to insert into that most mysterious warehouse of undesirable
I give you them all.
I give you them all.
I give you my false eyelashes
my pancake makeup
my eye shadow
my mascara that made my eyes bigger,
that made my eyes darker,
that made my eyes like a distorted clown
when I cried.
I give you every ad I ever read
that made me think I needed these things.
I will to you every bit of shame I ever was made to feel
about being the woman I was born to be.
I will you all of this
in the hopes that once you have all these things
you will realize that you don’t need them
much sooner than I realized that.
From Time Magazine, this is heartening: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1929152,00.html