Fame Costs

I love Chelsea Handler. I am late to the party on this, I know. People have been loving her for years, and I just started. Her new show on Netflix is BADASSfame_quote, and I completely agree with her on everything from NOT HAVING KIDS to NOT GETTING MARRIED. Honestly I think she and I could be friends except for her obsession with dogs. But, we all have our faults.

Her show is great with one exception: When her niece is on. For someone who is constantly telling everyone how obnoxious other people are about their kids, (PREACH!) she’s doing the same thing with her niece. She has her on often, and the kid is annoying. REALLY ANNOYING. The kind of kid who is only adorable to their family…like all kids. She is twelve (I think) and says she wants to be “well-known” when she grows up. She doesn’t really care how or what for, she just wants to be famous. SO NOT CUTE.

Being famous for the sake of being famous is… weird. And gross. When I was coming up you had to actually have a talent in order to get famous. Well, a talent or a scandal. But that is a horse of a different color and I digress. I bet it’s confusing for kids today. I mean, Chelsea Handler seemed to work hard and pay her dues. But there are so many “models” out there and … whatever the Kardashians are, who make being pretty sound like a talent. It isn’t. Modeling is (barely) a job, and you are lucky if you can earn a living at it. Lucky, not talented. Maybe it takes some sort of talent to model, but not the same kind as it does to act or sing or dance or sew or cook or design or direct or teach or write.

If you look at the social media of any famous pretty person you’ll see all of the “hard work” that goes into being famous for being pretty. I call bullshit. Nobody NEEDS a cryogenic freezing chamber to be pretty. And, I’m pretty sure Kate Hudson was just as pretty BEFORE her weird electro-eye treatment as she was AFTER. It’s all bullshit. All of it. The worst are the selfies from the gym. Is this supposed to show me what an effort it is for you? Tips? What? I mean really. How shallow are you that you need to post videos of your workouts? If you want to lose my respect, just post a video or a selfie from the gym.

I guess what I am trying to say is this: Shift focus. Focus on what is INSIDE. Perhaps learn a SKILL and “get famous” for actually DOING something. And here’s a crazy idea, don’t post everything to social media! You don’t need applause or LIKES for living your life. You’ll keep living even if nobody sees it. The more we encourage kids (especially girls) to “look pretty” the longer we perpetuate the myth that beauty matters; that beauty is something you can achieve. It isn’t. Nothing subjective can ever be achieved. You will never be beautiful to everyone. Sorry to burst your bubble. Sure you can have surgery, use make-up, weaves, extensions… but you will still be you underneath all of those excuses. Instead, work on being YOU. Work on thinking you ARE beautiful just the way you are. And if you STILL want to be famous, figure out what you are good at DOING and practice it. You can be famous and perhaps be remembered for something other than your face. Cause guess what… your face won’t last forever.

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Being a Woman Isn’t A Competition

Apply-Make-upThis morning I read an article over at HuffPo called “I Can’t Wait Not to Be Sexy Anymore” by Anastasia Basil. I kind of knew what I was getting into when I read the title, but I guess I just wanted to be annoyed this morning. It starts out like this:

“I’m EXHAUSTED. I’ve been tweezing, shaving, moisturizing, defrizzing, flat-ironing, bikini-waxing, hair-dyeing, gym-joining (notice I said gym-joining, not gym-going?) exfoliating and manicuring since 8th grade, all while sleeping on a silk pillowcase to reduce wrinkles. I’m ready to grow a beard and just RELAX.”

I absolutely hate this kind of thinking. All of these things are optional, right? So do them or not, but shut up about it. And I’m sorry, but none of those things are exactly exhausting. First world problems. She goes on:

“There comes a time in every woman’s life when she has to stop competing with sorority girls, simply because there aren’t enough hours in a day to wax all the hair from a perimenopausal body AND hit up three different Dollar Stores in search of matching birthday party favors.”

For reals? First off, the author gets the entire concept of being a woman wrong. If you are competing with other women, you are just adding to the problem. I am myself, and myself is pretty awesome. I don’t need to compete with other women, and I certainly don’t compete with college co-eds. They are like little lost deer in skimpy outfits. In fact, I met a sorority girl just the other night at karaoke. She thought I was “so cool” and had “amazing hair”. She was correct on both counts, and I thanked her for it. She wanted my number so we could hang out. But she was wasted and I don’t have a phone. The point is that I’m a smart, capable woman and she saw that. Younger women are not the enemy. They are just younger. It isn’t personal.

If a grown ass woman and mother feels threatened by the supposed sexiness of a sorority girl, then she has bigger problems than her time management. The problem isn’t the sexiness of other women, the problem is YOU deciding to compete in the first place. Women shouldn’t compete with other women. We should support each other. I’m not saying you have to get along with every woman you meet, but you don’t have to look at them as a threat either. What a waste of time.

“When I’m getting dressed in the morning, I think: My boobs had their day in the sun. They turned heads, they nursed babies and there was a time when they did not require a harness that would fit a dairy cow… Helloooo strappy, push-up bra with moisture-wicking foam support pads and matching cheekini tummy-tucker.”

I absolutely cannot stand the whole self-effacing Mom thing. Stop making excuses for giving up. And stop complaining about being out of shape and not doing anything about it. If someone else had compared this woman to a cow, I bet she’d be pretty pissed. But she does it and it’s supposed to be funny? It isn’t. It’s sad and super unfunny. If you feel the need to wear Lycra and spandex every time you go out of the house, don’t blame me. Or your kids. Or your husband. Or all of the other women in the world who are younger than you. You don’t have to be uncomfortable. There is no law stating that you must have perky boobs and a flat tummy in order to go on a date. And for god sake, please stop telling the world about it. No one even noticed the way you looked until you pointed it out and gave them a map of your (supposed) flaws.

Old age, I give you my face to wrinkle and my body to sag. If that’s the currency required to watch my kids grow and to continue shopping for holiday-themed shirts, then I’m truly happy to part with the time-sucking struggle for ever-lasting youth.”

Everlasting youth? Currency required? Let me fill you in on a couple of things, lady. First, you could have parted with the “time-sucking struggle” at any moment in your forty years on the planet. There was no one holding a gun to your head, forcing you to pluck your eyebrows and shave your legs. There was no villain behind the scenes pressuring you to get a gym membership then restraining you so that you could never go. It was all your own doing. All your choice.

And for me that what it all comes down to – a choice. You can choose to play the game or not. It’s up to you. There are always going to be younger women than you, no matter how old or young you are. Be their friend, not their competition. Be their mentor, not their mother. Be the example, not the side show.

Play Again

3516206607_c0597d1ff2I have a question for you: when was the last time you played? I don’t mean watching your kids play, or even playing a game with them. Kids are easy. I mean, when was the last time YOU played? When was the last time you skipped? When was the last time you threw a ball or ran after a hula hoop? I bet for most of you the answer is: I can’t remember. For me, play is an integral part of my life. If I didn’t play a little every day I think I’d lose my marbles.

When you were little, your life was about playing. The world around you was yours, and you could turn it into whatever you wanted. We had a lackluster treehouse in the canyon behind our back yard. I say lackluster because the “tree house” was just some planks that my dad nailed into the tree. It didn’t have a roof, or walls, or even a way up, but it was awesome. For me, it was the Millenium Falcon. I would sit up there and pretend that I was outrunning Vader, or dodging laser blasts. We even tied a rope to a branch and used it to swing out over the canyon like Luke and Leia. It was a oodles of fun.

But as we grow into adulthood the idea of play is put on the back burner. We are encouraged to stop pretending and start learning facts. We are told to memorize historical dates and learn about important historical figures. We begin to learn that being a grown up is more about doing as you are told and following rules and less about playing and being creative. Creativity isn’t rewarded as much as conformity. I recall getting special prizes in school or church when I recited something correctly. I also remember more than one teacher getting mad at me for not doing projects or homework the way the rest of my classmates did. But, I was never one for conformity.

As a full fledged grown-up it is even harder to play. It isn’t socially acceptable to be playful in your 30’s. Believe me. I speak from experience. I used to get really mean looks from folks who happened upon me in the park. So what if I am swinging on the swings as high as I can while singing? Who cares if I want to play on the jungle gym or merry-go-round? You’d be surprised. One woman told me I couldn’t be in the playground if I didn’t have kids. How absurd. I asked why she thought that, because it wasn’t on the list of park rules. She couldn’t tell me so I went back to the swings and happily resumed swinging and singing. Playing is not just for kids.

Man-themed-jungle-gymI think a lot of adults are too embarrassed to play. They don’t want people looking at them or thinking that they are “weird”. But why care what strangers think of you? You’ll never see them again, and judgement from strangers shouldn’t bother anyone. I say, BRING IT ON. Think I am weird. Think I am crazy. I don’t care. I am having more fun than you are, I can promise you that. If you can get over your silly fear of what strangers think about you, then you are half way there. The rest is easy. Just play!

For those of you having trouble with this idea, let me elucidate for you. Think of something fun, and do it. Playing is an important part of staying young, happy and healthy. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Have a board game night with friends. No computer games allowed!
  • Have an “Underwear Dance Party” by yourself in your living room. I do this every time my sweetheart leaves the house. Grab a hair brush, put on a badass song and let loose. It’s fun and nobody can see you so you can really let down your guard.
  • Mad Libs! My sweetheart and I did this the other night and we laughed til we cried.
  • Go to a park and play on the playground.  Find a big park with lot’s of fun stuff to play on. Swing on the swings. Slide down the slide. Climb a tree.
  • Go on youtube and find a silly dance to learn. I am in the process of learning the “Single Ladies” dance. I am horrible, but it sure is fun!
  • Invest in a hobby that doesn’t require a screen of any kind. Puzzles. Painting. Teach yourself how to play an instrument. Make a puppet. Create a new planet out of Legos.

Top Five Products “For Her”

By now we have all heard that Bic has come out with a ball point pen especially for ladies. The only thing that is different about these pens is the package they are in. Seriously. These are just regular ball point pens in pastel colors. And everyone knows that things that are pastel pink are for her. While I enjoy all of the outrage over this silly marketing ploy I am left to wonder why it took so long in coming. Bic and their silly pens are only the latest company playing into gender stereotypes.

1.  RAZORS – How many of you ladies out there are guilty of buying the pink razor that costs at least twice as much as the blue razor? Why did you buy the more expensive razor? Think about it for a second, I’ll wait. There you go. There is no difference at all in those razors. I know that Venus did a survey for Cosmo and found that women should be using the pink razors because men razors are too sharp. Uh huh. I have a deep fear that I might slice off my leg at the knee, so I better keep using that razor that costs twice as much. Because it is pink.

2.  ToolsWhen you are a woman, it is hard enough to just get that first cup of coffee in the morning, never mind having to fix that wobbly cabinet door. Thank goodness someone finally invented a screw driver that is pink! My delicate lady hands can only hold on to things that are pink or purple. And I need to “look cute” when I do ANYTHING. They are called “Her Tools” and the tagline says this: “We may not have all the right tools for the job, but with Her Tools ($20) we’ll at least look pretty darn cute working! Her Tools 105-piece set comes with pink handled screwdrivers, pink measuring tape, pink pliers, and comes in its own, you guessed it, pink plastic carrying case.”

3. Pubic Hair Dye –  No, you read that right PUBIC HAIR DYE. I was researching for a piece I wrote about women and their desire to decorate their vaginas when I came across Betty Dye. Why let the hair on your head have all the fun? Now your pubes can be blue, auburn or (of course) pink! They also sell stencils of hearts or doves, and BLING for bedazzling that are supposed to “surprise” your man on your wedding night. I’ll bet. Just think of the look on his face when he finally gets you alone and sees your flaming pink pubes in the shape of a dove and outlined in rhinestones.

4. SmartphoneHTC has come up with a phone just for us ladies, the Rhyme. If you look at the description of this phone vs any other phone you’ll notice it talks about things like the fun colors it comes in, the camera, the head phones that it comes with, and the cool docking station you get when you purchase. It talks about how charming and pretty the phone is, but it doesn’t tell me much else about it because it’s For Her. Women are only concerned with how much FUN a product is to use, and how easy it is. We need not concern ourselves with things like price point, data, or if the phone actually works well. Just as long as we look cute taking our pictures while listening to music on our purple phones, we will be happy.

5. Latisse I included this last product as an example of how marketing and business prey on women’s vanity. I have said it before, and I’ll say it again – Women will buy ANYTHING if they think it will make them look prettier, younger, or more appealing; even if it goes against simple logic. Women will buy lotions that claim to dissolve cellulite even though deep down, they know that it is an impossible thing for a lotion to do. This is no different. All women seem to want longer, thicker lashes and will spend a smal fortune to get them. Do you see any products like this for men? No. Men would never waste money on something that is as potentially harmful as this product. I guess that’s why it is For Her. It was invented to help people with a disorder that makes it impossible for them to grow any lashes at all. It wasn’t long before they realized they could make a killing preying on American women’s insecurities. They got a few celebrities to endorse it and… boom. It’s out there. Now mascarra isn’t good enough. Now I have to use this stuff. I wonder if it comes in pink…

Vital Stats

As I sit here on the eve of my 38th birthday, I am forced to contemplate my life and the things I have done, or not done, or completely fucked up. That’s what we do as we get older, isn’t it? Judge ourselves on our accomplishments and how far we have come through that battlefield known as youth? I don’t know if it’s useful or not, but I do it every year. Here’s what I know: I am 4’11, and I weigh somewhere between 115-125 on any given day. I don’t have a scale and I haven’t been to the gym in a few weeks so I’ll just have to guess. I have some shade of long, blond hair, and a chronically stuffy nose. And that’s the easy part. Back in 2006 I did the Proust questionnaire right here on this blog, and I thought it would be fun to see if my answers have changed any in the last six years. Here’s hoping I have grown some… (I have decided not to look at my previous answers)

  1. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? – Being unable to help someone in need, watching a loved one suffer or visiting the Czech Foreign Police. 
  2. Where would you like to live? – Anywhere I haven’t tried yet. Ocean, Mountains, city, or country I am game. Bring on the adventure.
  3. What is your idea of earthly happiness? – Being able to live a life of my choosing near people I care for, and being cared for by someone outstanding. Doing a job that I love and having lots of free time to read, watch movies and cook for people.
  4. Who are your favorite heroes of fiction? – Buffy, Wonder Woman, Owen Meany, Satoru Nakata, Scout, Charlotte, and The BFG.
  5. Who are your favorite characters in history? – Elizabeth Taylor, Katharine Hepburn, Bill Clinton, Meryl Streep, Walt Whitman, Walt Disney, MLK, JFK, Marilyn Monroe, and Mark Twain.
  6. Who are your favorite heroines in real life? – Any woman who takes life and shakes it up: Meryl Streep, Oprah, Jillian Michaels, Sabrina Ward Harrison, Georgia O’Keeffe come to mind…
  7. Your favorite painter? – This changes a lot, but right now I am in an Edward Hopper, Picasso, or a Renoir place.
  8. Your favorite musician? – Tom Waits or Mozart.
  9. The quality you most admire in a man? – Honesty. That’s an easy one. I have met  many men who lie in order to “save feelings” or to not hurt me. Well, that’s cowardice and bullshit. A real man, a man worth knowing in business, friendship or in love will be an honest man.
  10. The quality you most admire in a woman? – Self reliance. There is nothing that gets my goat more than a woman who can’t or WON’T do for herself. Asking a man, and batting those eyelashes will just get you a lot of trouble.
  11. Your favorite virtue? – My favorite virtue is one found in buddhism called Upekkha. It is a concept of equanimity. It is learning to accept both loss and gain, blame and praise, and success and failure with detachment – for both yourself and others. This one I work on every day.
  12. Your favorite occupation? – Reading, writing, sleeping and singing.
  13. What is your greatest fear? – Regret.
  14. What is your greatest extravagance? – Love. When I love I do it 100%.
  15. Which trait do you most deplore in others? – Selfishness or cruelty. Both suck and both are ugly.
  16. What is your favorite journey? – Well, the last six years sure have been a hoot.
  17. On what occasion do you lie? – I tend to say ‘I’m fine’ when I am clearly not. I will also tell a woman her outfit is cute if she likes it even if I don’t. This is why I don’t go shopping with other women.
  18. Which living person do you most despise? – Just one? Well, a tie between Glenn Beck, Michelle Bachmann, Rick Perry and Ann Coulter.
  19. Which words or phrases do you most over use? – “sweet”, “nice” and “badass”.
  20. What is your greatest regret? – Being a doormat.
  21. When and where were you the happiest? – No lie, RIGHT NOW.
  22. What is your current state of mind? – I am very positive and productive and very much looking forward to my future; excited!
  23. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? – Well, for starters I would workout more. And I would ask for a new nose and sinuses. And after that I guess I would try and not to get so upset when other people act like assholes.
  24. What do you consider your greatest achievement? – Managing to live in the Czech Republic for as long as I have without being deported. 
  25. What is your most marked characteristic? – Spunk and sass.
  26. What is your most treasured possession? – Le Mutt.
  27. Who are your favorite writers? – Murakami, Atwood, King, Oates, Robbins, Erik Larson, Whitman and… me.
  28. How would you like to die? – Appreciated and loved and peaceful.
  29. What is your motto? – I remember what I wrote last time, and it still applies (“Nolite te bastardes carborundorum”). But, if I had to choose a back up it would be “Hard work! Dedication!”

2012 – Looking Forward: “The Year of Cage”

Usually I am the first person to trumpet the words, “Last year sucked. This year will be way better.” But I can’t really claim that this year. I think 2011 was pretty darn good, and in the last two weeks of said year I find myself happier than I have been in a long time. I know the trend, the common response at the end of the year is to look back and take stock of what you have done, but I am not going to do that this year. Nope, I am going to resist the temptation to list all the crazy, (Cain, Gingrich, Bachmann, AND Perry all running – who left the doors of crazy town ajar?) amazing, (OWS, I actually completed NaNoWriMo) and downright absurd (Rebecca Black sings about days of the week and becomes famous) things that happened this year. Instead, I am going to jump in my time machine and look forward to 2012. Come with me!

Jan. 1, 2012 – I ring in the New Year while singing karaoke in Prague. I kiss my fella and raise a glass to toast the new year. I also look incredibly fabulous in a floor length purple Halston style gown.

Jan. 3, 2012 – I wake up groaning at 6:22am and head back to work after my winter break come screeching to a halt.

Jan.11, 2012 – It’s my Birthday! I go out to dinner with my friends, and see a movie.

Jan. 14, 2012 – My Birthday Party! Through a miracle, I find karaoke on this night and dedicate it to myself. I sing all night while consuming many cocktails, none of which I purchased for myself.  And, I look incredible again.

Jan. 15, 2012 – I don’t leave the house. I stay in bed all day and watch movies to cure my hangover. My always sweet fella surprises me with Phó. I do not look incredible.

Jan. 20, 2012 – I remember that I vowed to read at least 60 books this year and stop playing Angry Birds.

Jan. 28, 2012 – The day I stop writing the year as “20112”

Feb.8 – I cook a birthday dinner for my man. He is happy and thinks I am rad. Later this week I will try to throw him an understated, adult Birthday party which quickly turns into a night of drinking and debauchery.

Feb. 14 – Valentine’s Day. I make a card for my guy and take him to the movies.

March 16 – I realize that my plan to wait out the New Year rush at the gym was a good one, but I could probably have gone back a month ago.

March 17 – I go back to the gym.

April 3 – The secret plot i am hatching for a new career is coming along smoothly and I start getting motivated.

April 27 – I find 100kc on the ground and do not look for the owner.

May 8 – I go to the park at Riegrovy Sady and read for three hours. It’s Spring in Prague, and therefore time to be out in the nature.

May 22 – I buy an outfit for the two weddings I will be attending next month.

June 12 – Leave for Cesky Krumlov!

June 13 – Attend Allie and Davey’s wedding with my guy. We have a great time, and I am surprised by seeing a slew of old friends. I sleep happy.

June 16 – Attend wedding number two in Prague!

July 27 – Summer Olympics begin

July 28 – I realize that I have little to no national pride and resume playing Angry Birds

August 4 – I land in the USA where I am on a road trip taste testing sandwiches across the country. (What?! It could happen…)

September 7 – I eat a sandwich that is so good it disrupts the space-time continuum. I blog about it, and then quickly delete the post out of pure selfishness.

September 27 – I wonder what I am still doing in America.

October 1 – I start planning my Halloween costume and vow it will be “dope”.

October 23 – I re think my “dope” Halloween costume when I notice that I haven’t done any shopping or planning for it. I decide to dig out that old French Maid outfit and that’s that.

October 31 – I end up going as a Zombie French Maid and feel less like a slutty 25-year-old in her underwear on Halloween.

November 1 – NaNoWriMo begins and I am off to a great start!

November 30 – I complete another consecutive National Novel Writing Month! <Streamers are thrown and I get a book deal>

December 2 – I start watching a bunch of “end of the world” movies to get tips on what not to do. 

December 3 – I try to track down Nick Cage as he is obviously the only person who will survive the Mayan Apocalypse. I vow to become his accomplice and sassy side kick.

December 22 – The world didn’t end, but I am now friends with Nick Cage and feel all the better for it.

December 25 – Christmas Day! All is well and I am happy. I Skype with Nick and he sings “Deck the Halls” dressed up as Santa Claus for me.

December 31 – New Year’s Eve and I look incredible yet again. I vow to make THIS year count and no more procrastinating. Nick Cage just smiles and laughs, he knows me better than that.

 

Brains Vs. Beauty

I write this as a woman who considers herself of average looks. On a good day above average and a little sexy. That’s right I am sexy. I know the power of sex but I don’t wield it carelessly. I don’t think I could even if I wanted to because as I said, I am an average beauty. I am laughably short, busty, I have (as Sir Mix A Lot would say) “Back” and(at the time of writing this) long blonde hair. I’m alright. Good looking enough to get by. Let’s just say I am not one of those people  you feel sorry for when you see them on the bus. I understand the power of beauty and of sexiness. I also understand that it is a conscious decision that we all make. High heels, a perfume dip, and cleavage doesn’t happen naturally, or on accident. Look in any Woman’s magazine and see the proof.

Being a woman means that I am aware of my looks every day. I am aware that I am judged by men and women alike based on my hair, my face my clothes and my body. I am aware that I can manipulate any of the aforementioned to fit my purpose and to get a desired reaction. Beautiful women are masters of manipulation whether it is a conscious or unconscious decision. 

But brains are not. You are either smart or you are not. I have always held fast to the statement that I would rather be thought of as smart rather than as beautiful. I sincerely hope that when people think of me they think, “Gosh! That Alicia is one clever lady.”, rather than, “Woo! That girl is hot!”. The second is not very gratifying and it just doesn’t last. People age and gravity happens to all of us. I’m fine with that. I do what I can to keep myself looking young (such as work out, eat healthy, take my vitamins) but I won’t ever be in line for cosmetic surgery. That’s just not who I am. I pride myself on the fact that I can carry on a conversation on just about any topic. I can hold my own when it comes to the arts, politics, cooking, film history, American history and so forth. If I don’t know, I am smart enough to fake it. And smart enough to know when YOU are faking it. Playing Devil’s Advocate is one of my favorite pass times. 

Marilyn Monroe is historically thought of as one of the most beautiful women who ever lived. And she is. But she struggled her whole life to be thought of as more than that. She was a very smart and witty woman. If you read through some of her journals and interviews you will notice how quick she is. She once said “Arthur Miller wouldn’t have married me if he thought I was a dumb blonde.” And that’s a good point. Yet most people say that he married her for her looks. He was intimidated by both her looks and her brains and often tried to make her feel bad about both.

Like Marilyn, the struggle for all of us is to be taken seriously. A woman can be sexy and smart, she shouldn’t need to choose.  And yet many women dumb themselves down in the company of men. They think that it makes them more attractive and it makes men feel important to know more. One woman I know said to me, “Men like to show off their knowledge and I like to let them. If it makes them feel better to feel smarter than me, what’s the difference? As long as he comes home with me I’m happy.” The problem is being disingenuous to boost the male ego makes the rest of us ladies look stupid. I don’t want to be with a man who has to think he is smarter than me. I want a guy who IS as smart as me. And if he is smarter? Well, then I now have someone to learn from.

But I have to say, the women who focus on looks get exactly what they want. They are the ones who get the compliments. They are the ones who get the attention. They get daily validation on their appearance and therefore focus on it more and more. So maybe those women are on to something. Maybe we all need to focus more on how we look so men will pay more attention to us. 

Or maybe there is a balance. Nobody wants to be (or be with) someone who doesn’t care about how they look. Ladies want a man who put some care into his appearance (but not too much. Nobody wants to be with THAT guy) and men want a someone who they can be proud of. And that’s alright. But what if we started placing more emphasis on brains? Instead of making women dependent on compliments about their appearance, make them crave compliments on their mind. How often does your boyfriend ask you about your opinion on world events? Did that guy you like ask you about what you think of the debt ceiling? Guys, do you ever tell her she is smart rather than hot?

I guess if I could choose I would want to be like Gillian Anderson’s Agent Scully from  the X FILES. She was super smart, clever, funny, and easy on the eyes. Her opinion always mattered and she worked side by side (not under) with Mulder. She didn’t have to convince anyone that she was smart OR sexy. You knew the minute she walked in the room. That’s what I strive for. I’ve set the bar pretty high with a fictional FBI Agent who is played by a glamorous movie star, but I have my size sixes planted firmly on terra firma. I’ll never actually be her – but I can be just as kick ass. Cause hell, the world has not seen what I am fully capable of. My kung fu is just as good as yours, Agent Scully.  

Regret

My birthday is in a couple days, and I will be 37 years old. Saying it out loud is a bit of a shock since I don’t really feel a day over sixteen most of the time. I say most of the time because some days (and those days usually involve vast amounts of whiskey, karaoke and going to bed at dawn) I wake up feeling like a 80 year old woman who has been kicked in the head by a team of wild donkeys. I am definitely at the age where I can feel a hangover. But to my own credit, I have been there for a while. I really don’t feel 37. I don’t know what that is supposed to feel like, but I doubt it feels as good as I do most of the time.

But I guess I am not your average 37 year old woman. When you think of a woman in her late thirties I am not the picture that comes to mind. I live alone in a flat the size of a freshman dorm room. I make less money than most 24 year olds. I have no children and my breasts still stand at attention, thank you very much. I don’t own an iPhone or a car, and I don’t have a mortgage. I am not on a “career track” and money really doesn’t mean much to me. When I look at the people I graduated high school with and compare myself I see little in common. And I am okay with that.

A friend of mine recently posted this article on Facebook; “The Secret Regrets of Women in Their Thirties”. I was baffled. Either I am living life way better than the rest of the Gen X females, or women are just crazy. One woman said she regretted having what she called a “retaliation affair”. Ya think?! At what point did you actually think that was a GOOD idea? Another woman regrets the pain he caused her and now blames him for her selfish behavior and changed personality. A bunch of women regret “staying in it for the kids” – to which I say, a big fat DUH. Have you never watched Oprah or Dr. Phil? We all know that staying together “for the kids” is really being a coward and scaring the kids for life. I know. I was a kid once. But my favorite regret was a woman who regretted not doing “it”. And it was LIVING, taking chances and being in the world. She regrets not traveling and living in another country. She regrets the chances she didn’t take, and she is only 33. The same age I was on my first Prague Birthday.

I read that article and I smiled. I don’t have any regrets. And let me tell you something, I am one gal who could. Do I regret putting myself in massive debt to get a college degree (at age 30) from a school that has now gone bankrupt and no longer exists? No. I don’t. Do I regret moving to Mexico and losing said degree that seems I cannot replace? Nope. How about that marriage, regret that? Not at all. I don’t regret any of my past because as lame as it sounds, it made me the bad ass chick I am today. I don’t blame anyone for the choices I have made, or give them credit either. Good or bad, this life I lead is all mine. I know some people look at me and think, “What a mess! She needs to grow up.” Actually people have told me that. But, I am grown up. I have just made different decisions.

I am looking forward to 37 and the surprises it will bring. 36 sucked. I have every chance in the world to do what I want and be who I want. Yesterday,  while in my “Hangover Movie Marathon” I watched the film 127 Hours. (It’s about a guy who gets stuck with his arm in a rock for… 127 hours) I think this year when things seem bad I’ll remember that guy. I mean, it can always be worse. You might have to saw off your own arm to survive.

Plastic Parts Are Made For Toys

I have always adored Barbie. As a little girl, I enjoyed dressing her up to go on dates with Darth Vader and a sepia toned John Wayne torso. (My mom refused to buy me a KEN doll, so I used what was available resulting in either pity dates with the quadriplegic or risking a turn to the Dark side with Lord Vader.) I loved her stiletto heels and her glamourous clothes. I loved her long blond hair and the tiny brush that came in the box. I adored “My First Barbie” because she had slick arms and legs which made for easier costume changes. Of course I went through the rebilious stage and cut all of the hair off one of my Barbie Doll, and then painted her head with nail polish. She was the “Punk” Barbie. (sigh)

As I got older, I still collected Barbie Dolls. I collected the Barbies of the World, and the ones dressed as film characters – like Sandy from the end of Grease, or Marilyn Monroe or Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. I kept them in their original boxes and never played with them, like a good little nerd. And I’ll tell ya – it was really, REALLY hard not to play with the Bob Mackie Cher Doll.

But as much as I have always loved Barbie, I never once wanted to BE her. For one thing, Barbie is tall and long legged. I am a midget with stubby, but HOT gams. Barbie has a slender figure and I, as I have been told, have a huge ass. And of course, Barbie never ages. How could she? She is a toy, a plastic fashion doll. What little girl would want to dress up a 51 year old doll?

Joan-Rivers-Plastic-Surgery-Before-and-AfterThe irony here is that there are millions of 51 year old women trying to look like Barbie, and the results are down right frightening. Take Joan Rivers for example – the woman bares no resemblance to herself, or any other human being anymore. She looks shiny and freakish. Donatella Versace is grotesque, and poor Melanie Griffith is just sad looking.

But why? Why do women do this? Are we so scared of aging that we have to turn to these extremes? I hope not. Because honestly, if you look at any man or woman who has had extensive plastic surgery, it just makes them look older. Even if you get the new boobs, the eye lift, the face lift, and what ever else – you are still going to have saggy elbows and a birthday every year. You get older and there is nothing wrong with that.

To illustrate my point I would like to point out some drop dead GORGEOUS women who have chosen to age naturally. I think that these women (all aged 50 and up) are far more beautiful than these plastic starletts trying to become something that you cannot place to close to a heater. So take head my friends: Beauty is only skin deep – and you any get so much skin.

Meryl Streep – age 50

Iman – age 54

Jaclyn Smith – age 50

Angelica Huston – age 58

Holly Hunter – 50

Susan Sarandon