Wednesday, February 17, 2010
I was reading the other day somewhere, I don't know where, about a new book called Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough. It's written by a woman who was bright and successful and dated a lot of men she wasn't crazy about so she held out for someone who really made her heart sing, but woke up one day and realized she was forty and not married and had a big old insecurity seizure. She decided the solution to her loneliness problem was to write a book exhorting other women to shelve their dreams of emotional and intellectual companionship and hook up with someone, anyone, because fuck it, what good are dreams anyway. At least I think that's what the book's about. I haven't actually read it. I wouldn't waste my time on that drivel.
Books like this (think The Rules or any of the why-oh-why-am-I-still-single genre) make me batty. They feed right into the psychic vortex of sexual insecurity that our gender seems to possess that tells us we're not complete unless we've glommed onto the right man, or any man. And who better to wax forth on relationships that me, considering my breadth of experience (four engagements and two marriages, thank you very much).
If I had the audacity to tell other people how to live, I would say this: the hell with good enough. Give yourself more credit than that. Ignore the voices all around you shouting about doom and gloom and scarcity and time running out. Let them settle for each other while you listen to your own voice and find your own way in the world. Water has a way of seeking its own level.
So no, I can't recommend Marry Him. It's the worst book I've never read. If you're going to spend your hard-earned money on a book, buy mine. Don't let the fact that it hasn't yet been published stop you.*
* or, for that matter, written.
This has also been posted at Wanderlust
I was perched over my desk feeling like the lady from the AAMI ads. (for non-Australians this is her)
Headset on, best smile on face (they can feel it through the phone you know) hands nervously hovering over the keyboard hoping I could co-ordinate their words with my typing.
"Courier Newspapers , Sharni speaking" I said enthusiastically, though terrified.
"Need to place an ad in the Wentworth Courier" said the voice on the other end.
She sounded like an older lady, maybe someone my Mum's age.
So here I was nervously about to officially place my first ad into the paper with a real life advertiser.
Everything we had been taught at training about to be applied.
"What would you like to say in your ad?" I asked in my best voice.
" Big, bouncy, and expensive ladies" the voice muttered as if reeling off items at a garage sale.
I felt a lump form in my throat. My voicebox attempted to reply but the lump rose and suddenly I was frozen in my tracks.
This had not been in my training!
"Um.... sorry?" I asked, hoping I had severely misheard my first client
She took an exasperated sigh before repeating again " Big, bouncy and expensive ladies"
"Oh, ummm.. what section did you want to place your ad in? " I asked looking around at the other operators.
One of my more senior colleagues was looking over absolutely lost in hysterics at me.
She realised who I was talking to and could see I was ill prepared for what I was hearing.
"A place to rent, what do you think?" the now annoyed lady on the phone replied
"Oh you are placing an Adults Service ad?" I said, trying to sound like I took these sort of ads all the time
"Derrrr.." she replied.
"Just hold the line for a sec"
My colleague was now falling over her chair in laughter, my face had turned white and I did not know what to do.
"Can I put her through to you?" I asked my colleague in desperation
"No!" she said " Just take the details down!!"
I got back on the phone and apologised to my client.
I decided honesty was the best policy here.
"I'm sorry, " I said "First day here and my first Adult services ad."
This seemed to soften the lady a little
"So," I said regaining my compusure "Big, bouncy and explosive you said?"
"EXPENSIVE" she said
"Oh no, it is $8 per word" I replied
"No, the ladies are expensive, not the ad" she said
I was totally confused. I quickly typed the words in - went through the booking and had successfully placed my first ad into the Wentworth Courier and it went straight to the Adult Services section.
When I hung up - I burst into laughter. I wasn't ready for that for phone call number one.
A week later when the paper came out I was called into my bosses office.
She asked me about the Adult Services ad that I placed as there had been a complaint.
In the advertisement I had typed "Big, Bouncy, Explosive ladies" but it should have read " Big , Bouncy and Expensive ladies"
"Really?" I asked my boss.
"Surely explosive sounds better than expensive??"
I couldn't believe these words were coming out of my mouth!
My introduction to newspapers and what a baptism by fire!!
Luckily my boss saw the funny side of it, whereby apparantly the client did not.
I called the client up to apologise for my mistake - in the end she saw it funny.
A week later, the lady in question turned up to the offices and asked to see me! I nervously went out to the foyer where I met up with my 'adult services' client.
She eventually come around to thinking that explosive did sound more appealing than expensive.
Would you believe from that moment forward she made weekly trips to the FPC offices for advice on how to write her ads, yes little old me - kid from the country, being asked if it sounds better to say "Naughty but nice" or "She loves to be spanked".
Apparantly I had a way with the words.
My boss found it hysterical, and I will never forget my introduction to working at newspapers in the big city.
Also on my blog.
I appreciate your honesty.
I appreciate your quiet support and your vocal critiques.
I appreciate your non-conformity.
I appreciate your silent love.
I appreciate your determination.
I appreciate your patience.
I appreciate your forgiveness.
I appreciate your sharing your life with me.
I found myself telling my husband all of these things in front of strangers a couple of weeks ago. It was part of a structured exercise to take two minutes to put in words what you appreciated about the people in the room. It was hard to “appreciate” the folks we had met just an hour ago. But it was even harder to open up and appreciate my significant other in public.
It’s difficult to verbally acknowledge all that a person means to you. We have been together nine years but I don’t remember any time where we took two minutes to spell out what we really appreciated about one another. We say “I love you” to encompass all those feelings of appreciation. We give each other greeting cards on special occasions. We write poems. Letters. E-mails. But there’s something so different about looking a person in their eye and telling them you appreciate something specific about them. And even though it may seem so, there was nothing artificial about it.
For those two minutes, I could speak from my heart. For those two minutes, he was the center of my world. It was about enjoying him. Acknowledging the little and big ways he makes a difference by being who he is. Admiring, applauding, respecting, celebrating him. It was about forgetting everything else and focusing on the goodness in this human being I call my best friend.
I had goosebumps all over when he got his two minutes to appreciate me. I hadn’t heard him say those things out loud … ever. It made me tear up because even though I “knew” what I meant to him, it was nice to hear it. And it was a humbling experience.
I felt blessed. I felt grateful. I felt loved.
It taught me that I don’t have to wait for a special occasion to come around to express my gratitude. It reminded me of the wonderful person he is in his ordinary ways on an ordinary day. It gave me pause.
Gestures are great, but saying the actual words sometimes means so much more. Try it sometime.
ok. why do I need to wear a bikini? When i went on honeymoon with my husband of now 16 years, to the beaches of the Aegean Sea in Greece, i never wore one, ever. I wore a one piece - and I was 25...and actually had the body that could pull off wearing a bikini. I was not necessarily modest - I just remembered trying one of my friend's on as a teenager and my dad thought it looked terrible, or at least thats what i thought he meant. Funny huh? I never seemed to take his advice if i didn't agree with it - but this, i quietly stored inside and accepted it as God's truth.
My body has created and fed three darling children, loved and touched many. It has swam and ran and hiked and biked and canoed and skied and cooked and baked and painted and gardened and created. It has loved my husband and children. It has turned 41 - i have wrinkles and spots and and a belly - my thighs are pocked...I feel all used up - as my friend Kendra says. Who do I think I am trying to wear a bikini in a month's time - anytime? What will I prove, or what will I gain if I manage to do it? Will it just reveal how taken in I am by our culture of eternal youth, by the gloss ads, the still prevalent idea that a woman's worth is in the beauty of her body - as a pleasing picture for others to enjoy?
I have come a long way. My journey has not been easy. But my body brought me here, faithfully carrying me along to this moment. It has been a witness to all of my life and bears the moments in topographical memory. My body has been good to me. But I know my worth is far beyond my body - and as I age, this is becoming more and more true. As I concede that the aging woman in the mirror is indeed me, I am delighted to discover that something within this body is growing larger, stronger - entering a room steps before my body. As the body fades, our spirit do become brighter...the picture we are for others to see is more and more about the inside picture, the visions we dream, the things we've accomplished, the way see the world with newer, wiser eyes, the images of the next new stage in our life, the photographs of our life spent - all seeping through and greeting another - we turn our insides out and wear them as our new adornment, all the clothes and make-up fade away for the brilliance of our spirits.
Now THAT reclaims a youth mis-spent in a onepiece . . . its like an internal bikini....with donut-benifits.
- heres to fading bodies and brighter spirits! ~Marcella
(also posted on my blog belly UP - do come over and visit!)