Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Indeed I am the Glam Queen also a small rant including poems

So right now I'm in Hornsby Westfield, in the food hall, hooked up to Maccers free Wifi. Next to me sits a half-eaten egg and bacon McMuffin and a cardboard cup of tea. I have made friends with the one-armed light cleaning man, after a brief skirmish regarding the use of the one powerpoint in the place - and we have discussed his unusually smart 13yo daughter's gift for all things computery.

Yes, and there I was thinking a writing life was all glamorous dark smokey cafes, surly baristas and teetering on the brink of dire poverty :) !! 

Anyhoo, my dear friend Jill sent this poem to me this morning, and I thought I'd post it here, because its awesome...

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE …
enough money within her control to move out
and rent a place of her own, even if she never wants to or needs to…
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE .
something perfect to wear if the employer, or date of her dreams wants to see her in an hour…
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE
a youth she’s content to leave behind….
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE .
a past juicy enough that she’s looking forward to retelling it in her old age….
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ….
a set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra…
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE
one friend who always makes her laugh… and one who lets her cry…
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ..
a good piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in her family…
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE .
eight matching plates, wine glasses with stems, and a recipe for a meal, that will make her guests feel honored…
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE .
a feeling of control over her destiny.
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…
how to fall in love without losing herself.
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…
how to quit a job, break up with a lover, and confront a friend without; ruining the friendship…
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…
when to try harder… and WHEN TO WALK AWAY…
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…
that she can’t change the length of her calves,
the width of her hips, or the nature of her parents..
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…
that her childhood may not have been perfect…but its over…
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…
what she would and wouldn’t do for love or more…
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…
how to live alone… even if she doesn’t like it…
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW..
whom she can trust,
whom she can’t,
and why she shouldn’t take it personally…
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…
where to go…
be it to her best friend’s kitchen table…
or a charming inn in the woods…
when her soul needs soothing…
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…
what she can and can’t accomplish in a day…
a month…and a year…

I'll just go all arts-studenty on you for a moment and note that this poem is accredited to Maya Angelou, but, it is in fact an adaption of a list written by Pamela Redmond Satran for a magazine (the poem is much better than the list btw)

I was at the doctor's office yesterday, and made the unfortunate choice of picking up a copy of Cosmo to read.  That magazine is EVIL, just breathtakingly awful.  I haven't read it for years and years and I'd forgotten.  The values and mores it was bleating on about were cringe-making;  over and over again the message it sent was that a woman wasn't quite good enough if she didn't have the right shoes, make up, clothes, boyfriend... I mean WTF??

It reminded me of the line of another much loved poem of mine "Everyone is Free (to Wear Suncreen)" by Mary Smich

"Do not read beauty magazines... they will only make you feel ugly."

 ....

 Everyone is Free (to Wear Suncreen) by Mary Smich
Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. 

I will dispense this advice now.
Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.
Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.
Do one thing every day that scares you.
Sing.
Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.
Floss.
Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself.
Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.
Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.
Stretch.
Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't.
Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them when they're gone.
Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's.
Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.
Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.
Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.
Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.
Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.
Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.
Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.
Travel.
Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.
Respect your elders.
Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.
Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will look 85.
Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.
But trust me on the sunscreen.



:)

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Mel said...

I love the poems. I never read those kinds of magazines; you are right - they are EVIL.

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