Friday, October 17, 2008

Bees and Knees

So I'm thinking about bees. I just saw the movie, 'The Secret Life of Bees', which adapts a truly meaningful book into a truly meaningful visual event. I don't like to use the word 'film' because it sounds sort of high-brow and self-important (on the part of the 'visual event', not me). Besides, the word 'movie' had already occurred in the sentence and EVERYBODY knows that using the same word twice is unacceptable and makes one appear to be a moron. Oops. I think I just did that.

I'm really not thinking about bees. Bees are simply a metaphor in the movie for dealing with our own scars and learning to love. To love ourselves, specifically and others, generally. Because we've all got them--scars I mean, not necessarily bees.

Of course the movie is about women, because let's face it, my dear trophy wives, women know how to love. And love powerfully. Maybe sometimes so powerfully that we can hurt ourselves in the process (I could use the word 'sting' to extend the metaphor, but no thanks). And the story encompasses the idea that our wounds can be healed through the power of that love.

I have lots of scars, literally and figuratively. One hot August day, my friend Annette was "pumping" me on her bike, which means I was riding on the handle bars. It's seems dumb that as kids we so routinely did stupid things and survived. But that day was unfortunate as we crashed and I was sent sprawling into the gravel on the side of the road. My knee was a mess and I hobbled--barely--back to the house where, in my mother's absence, my brother washed the injury a bit and wrapped it in gauze. Mostly so I didn't have to look at it, I think.

I remember my beautiful, powerful mother coming home hours later. She lay me in a tub of warm water to soak the bloody bandages from my knee, so gentle. When she saw the tangled mess of skin and road debris, tears sprang to her eyes as she realized that I was in pain. It was the same mother--the same tears--years later that lay beside me in a hospital room as I was hemmorhaging and flung her arm out. Crying to the doctor she demanded, "take my blood and give it to her. Take all of it if you need to." It was the same mother that stroked my hair every night while reminding me that I had the ability to become anything I wanted in this world.

When you see the movie, think about a powerful woman in your life. And think about how to BE one of those women (unless of course, you are a man. In that case, consider changes in your life that could help you be a powerful man.)

But remember, it's love that is empowering.

On forth, trophy wives!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

My Mamms Got Grammed

Note: October is breast cancer awareness month, or something like that. Although I am not necessarily a big breast-health advocate (although I think it's a grand idea to be sure), I had a mammogram today. Go get yours! (Unless you are a man. But if you ARE a man, encourage a woman or trophy wife you love to take good care of herself. And, if applicable, check her breasts periodically. As a means of showing you care, of course. But I digress.)

I arrived for my mammogram ten minutes early, minus deodorant and already feeling a little less than fresh, and browsed through an edition of Bon Appetit from July 1999, which is about the last time I had a mammogram, come to think of it. Yes, I had been putting it off. But not for the reasons you may think. I wasn't afraid of the discomfort or worried about the results and choosing to stick my head in the sand. Actually, I'm a bit (okay, maybe a LOT) lighter than I was back in the day and I was a little embarrassed to stand there in my lack. Of. Breasts.

I could imagine the tech trying to stifle a giggle as she pushed and pulled and stretched and compressed before finally pulling out a magnifying glass to see if she could find my breasts.

Luckily, that didn't happen. The pushing, pulling and stretching perhaps, but she didn't need the magnifying glass. Maybe she relied on the braille method, but I don't know that for sure.

When it was over (and it was quick) I admired my breast on the radiograph (Okay, I admit that I made that term up. It was a computer screen, but I don't know what it is officially called. Just don't call it a magnifying glass). I was quite pleased with the impressive little mound on the 'radiograph' and went my way with my Love-Hope-Strength-Courage breast cancer pencil, my pink breath mint (one of those yummy smooth kind that are served at somewhat cheesy receptions--sorry, but it's true) AND a 'I Had My Mammogram Today' sticker.

Oh, I also left with a free consultation for esthetic services. I admit it was the real reason I had my appointment today. Vanity sometimes takes precedence over health. Luckily, today I was able to kill two birds with one stone!


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

TROPHY: a highly desirable symbol of wealth or success [Greek tropaion]; A TROPHY WIFE: You! [Dianne-said-so]

I became a trophy wife about a year ago, when I retired from my job. Retired might be the wrong word. I was simply TIRED of my job, although it had been a good one. I had run my own private piano studio for about 15 years, but with my own kids' tuition payments done(!), I decided to hang up the ivories and pursue a few of the zillions of things I find interesting.

Thus said, please do not assume I lead a life of bon-bons and soap operas, although I've watched 'All My Children' for three decades. It's the only time I really sit down during the day (with my TiVo, the hub, the dog and popcorn) because I'm busy with those zillions of things. Retirement was pretty awkward at first when I realized that I didn't "do" anything. I had become accustomed to "being" something (in my case, a piano teacher, and a darn good one if I say so myself). I couldn't help but notice a few raised eyebrows when I explained that I had retired from teaching to pursue other interests. It's not as if I had taken up pole dancing or something, but I sort of felt like I wasn't "enough" anymore. I needed a title of some sort, a reason for my day-to-day existence.

But somewhere in the process that someone might refer to as a 'mid-life crisis,' my real identity began to emerge. Okay, I admit that first it was sort of joke. "I'm a trophy wife," I began to reply to the questioners and found that it sort of diffused the whole issue. But the more I thought about it and the more I said it, I realized that it was true. I AM a trophy wife and I want YOU to become one, too.

Seriously. I'm not talking about breast implants and shopping and hobnobbing with the jetset. Heck, I don't even know what that last one means. But in the last year of self-discovery, I have honestly determined that I am indeed a trophy wife. It's all a matter of perspective. MY perspective. MY perspective of my worth is the only one that matters and I'm here to champion YOUR cause--be a Trophy Wife!

Lest I begin to sound like Oprah, who has clearly beat me to the punch on this one, I'm actually an ordinary wife like you. I don't have personal trainers or chefs or gardeners or maids or nannies or dog walkers. But I do have a husband (whom I love) and so I qualify for trophy-wife-ness. I've learned to love being domestic, but you don't have to be crazy about it. You don't have to be retired; in fact, trophy wives can wear lots of hats--executives, mothers, telephone repairwomen, grandmothers, airline pilots, sisters and even piano teachers. I didn't have to dump my other titles to become a trophy wife. A trophy wife can encompass it all and find fun, friendship, and hope along the path.

So, consider me to be your personal cheerleader and coach all combined in finding your 'inner trophy wife'. My musings are really not meant to be as much of a guidebook of a trophy-wife-in-training as it is meant to provide amusement and occasional inspiration. Days are going to pass and months are going to disappear. Why not become a trophy wife along the way?

Phew. Enough musing for one day. I'm worn out. See you tomorrow.