Archive for March, 2010
Planning de blog, I had ideas I wanted to communicate. One was reminding women, that no matter the age, being a female should feel fabulous.
For me, it just keeps getting better. Everyday I’m older–that part isn’t totally fab, but I’ve gained more than I’ve lost. Among things gained are knowledge & power, the knowledge of who I am and the power to be more. I’ve also gained the ability to face my fears head-on.
Over the last couple years, I’ve had to confront two individuals who were pure evil. I’ll save the details for another time, but those incidents changed me. Full of fear, I looked into the eyes of a man I believed to have blood on his hands,. The fear made my heart race, and my hands shake. Then it was gone and I’d become a different person.
Since that day, very few things frighten me. Previously, there was much that intimidated me, not so much now.
The topic of yesterday’s post, was frightening–even to me. I am not afraid of the cowards who choose defenseless children as targets, but it terrifies me to know until we figure out how protect children from them, there will be too many victims. It has always been in my personality to advocate for others, but I’m better equipped for that now.
That’s one kind of empowerment, tomorrow’s post is about a different kind. My hope is you are also finding strength & power with each new season of life.
No matter the scale, these bits of information, are usually guarded, to protect those who would be harmed by them.
Perhaps you have a secret. Maybe you are privy to the secret of someone else.
If your family had a dirty little secret, wouldn’t you want to keep it?
My family had a secret. For many years, the secret was known only by those who had first-hand knowledge of it.
I’m not big into keeping secrets. I’m good at keeping them for other people, but I have very few secrets of my own.
Maybe if my family’s secret were a crazy uncle, I’d be inclined to protect that person by keeping the secret. If the secret were a surprising revelation about someone’s paternity, I would want to protect those who might be affected. I could feel good about keeping a secret, if it meant protecting an innocent person from harm, but this is not the case with the secret I know.
Thinking about it, reminds me of my first day at university. Upon arriving, I was greeted by dozens of enthusiastic students wearing buttons that said, “Ask Me.” Over the last couple years, I have often wished for one of those buttons.
It would provide a good opener, when people would ask me “what”, I could tell them what I know.
There is a pedophile in my family. I’m not proud of it, but I’m not ashamed to spread the word. I’m happy to tell. I’d like to tell everyone. I’d like to buy a billboard or take out an ad in a major newspaper. I’d like to name names–oh, how I’d love to name names!
I would, if I could, but doing so would most likely land me in a courtroom—a place this person has never been, and will likely never be.
This isn’t the kind of stuff that flows easily into polite conversations. I manage to work it in, but an “Ask Me” button would make it easier. I am committed to exposing this secret—his secret. Each time I tell someone, I am hoping they’ll tell someone else. I’m hoping telling this secret will protect an innocent.
Most sexual predators are never brought to justice. In some kind of strange mind-twisting process, victims bear the guilt and shame that belongs ONLY to the predator. This causes them to keep the secret that most needs exposing. Their silence serves to protect the perpetrators.
I understand this, but only in a very theoretical way.
Many years ago, I worked in a home for unwed mothers. There, I got to know very young girls who had been the victims of rape or incest, and since then, I’ve met more than I care to count. Their stories are varied, but similar. Every person I know who has been victimized by a sexual predator, carries the incident with them throughout their life—scars of an injury that never fully heals.
They are forever marked by the abuse. This is why I consider sexual trauma to be like indelible ink. No matter how much time passes, it can’t be washed away or erased. It might be over, but it’s never really gone.
To me it’s a big deal: innocent children whose future is forever altered by someone whose morality has been trumped by a deviant sexual appetite, that’s a very big deal.
So will I tell my family’s dirty little secret? Ask Me.
Deb’s note: My community is reeling with anger and grieving over the most recent high profile case of sexual abuse. In this case, the victim’s body was recovered after allegedly (and probably) being molested and murdered by a registered sex offender. My city is angry that this man was allowed the opportunity to abuse again. I am angry too. I am angry because for every high profile case and every registered offender, there are countless others that are secreted. I am committed to anything that will eliminate the opportunity for molesters to commit their unspeakable acts.
I’d never heard a more inspiring sound. Not the surf. Not thunder. Not Bach. Not Clapton.
Nothing could compare to the sound of her bat hitting the ball, over and over again, with a big powerful thwack.
Sometime ago, I happened to be at the batting cages watching my older son.
As he stood ready for the barrage of balls that would soon challenge his bat, I looked on.
He’s a pretty solid hitter.
Contact. Good hit.
Contact. Foul tip.
Whiff, no contact.
Contact. Hard & long.
He would have looked great, except for one unfortunate circumstance. In the cage next to him was little Missy Watson.
As the machine launched ball after ball, onlookers had to wonder if the machine was capable of delivering one she couldn’t hit.
Every time I heard that sound, I was inspired.
In that sound was power, capability and determination.
I wasn’t just impressed by her. I wanted to be her.
Missy’s hitting prowess, made my son’s good effort, look feeble by comparison.
I wondered what it’s like to be her.
She is the antithesis of me.
At that age, sports terrified me.
Sports are a part of her.
I turned to my other son and said, “I wish I were an athlete.”
With the kind of wisdom, that my youngest often delivers, he said, “There isn’t any reason you can’t be.”
I’ve thought about this since.
Would it be possible to recreate myself at this point in my life?
In pondering that question, I realized it wasn’t that I wanted to be an athlete, I just wanted to know that kind of physical mastery & power.
I’ve spent a good amount of time at those batting cages, but until that day, it had never occurred to me to stand on the other side of the chain link. The idea of being the one wearing the helmet & gloves, began to entice me.
Could I be a Missy Watson? Probably not. Even if I could, I haven’t the time to pursue that.
No matter. This weekend I’m going to stand on the other side of those cages. It’s not important how well I do. Stepping inside will allow me to experience the same kind of power, capability and determination. Without being her, I’ll know how it feels.
Deb’s Note: I am often inspired by others. When a specific person becomes the subject of my writing, I always try to give them first read. Last night, I got in touch with “Little Missy Watson” who really isn’t a “Little Missy” at all. She was surprised, amused and flattered to know she had inspired me. She laughed, then graciously offered a couple of suggestions for my first foray into the cage. I made her promise not to show up to watch me.
There are plenty of toothpastes out there, but there isn’t a much variety among them. There are a few dozen unremarkable flavors. There are a handful of toothpastes that are a little different, but for the most part there just isn’t that much difference between them.
When I first saw Aqua Fresh Iso-Active in the drugstore, I was sure it would earn a place on my favorite things list. I was hoping it would be right up their with my vibrator–the Phillips Sonicare Healthy White toothbrush.
Baby, I use this thing every chance I get. Starts my day out right and makes my mouth happy-happy-happy. Read the rest of this entry »
fondnesses–we all have proclivities.
Unless you are possessed by sordid curiosity, you’d probably rather I don’t share mine.
Sorry, but I’m sharing.
It’s show & tell time for grown-ups.
Some women get weak at the sight of a great tush. Some swoon for a nice chest or broad shoulders. Some can’t resist facial hair. (I don’t share their enthusiasm, but I admit a weakness for men with long hair. In my opinion, there are far too few of them out there. ) Wanna know what else turns me on?
This is going to sound like a lame cop-out, but near the top of my list is a great smile.
Okay it’s out there. You know my secret.
I’m a tooth freak.
I love clean. I love groomed. Fresh & clean are always sexy–especially in the mouth.
Oral hygiene turns me on and a great mouth causes my imagination to run wild.
So I when I told a a friend about my plan to review a toothpaste. The response was, “Geeez, you’re such a mom!.” Kids, it’s ain’t like that.
Here’s my take. Teeth are important. It’s just basic quality of life stuff. The use of the mouth for stuff like eating & talking should really have a rank on Maslow’s Hierarchy. All that aside, teeth are aesthetic. If it weren’t so, most of us wouldn’t have sprung for the orthodontia of our offspring.
No matter who you are, or where you find yourself in life–married, single, looking; your teeth are in the equation. Unless you’re not smiling enough, everyone sees your smile. Baby, trust me on this, smiles open doors!
There’s nothing quite like scary teeth to guarantee you personal space. On the other hand . . . .
Sorry, my mind was wandering.
Unless you’re hoping to never be kissed, you really should take care of those pearlies. Most of us don’t have spectacular teeth, but it’s in our best interest to do what we can to make them their best. It can only help your social life, and no matter what they look like, the ones you’ve got are better than the ones that sleep in a cup.
So now that you know my little secret, you’ll understand why I chose my new toothpaste as the very first product to debut on de blog. You can find it under “debuts“.
Deb’s disclaimer: I’m working with the teeth God gave me. Together, they add up to a pretty good smile–despite the fact they aren’t Hollywood. So? Is it hypocritical for me to be judging other people based on their teeth? I figure, men lust after stuff they don’t have & gals like stuff they don’t have. There’s no double standard here.
One more thing. See that photo up top? That’s my kind of porn!
I haven’t always been a lady, but I’ve always been a girl.
Being female is all I’ve ever known.
Actually I know men too. I have a teensy bit of experience, of various kinds, with them. They are one of the things that make being a girl so fun–at least most of the time.
Even though I think I understand men well, I wouldn’t be vain enough to suggest that I have a notion of what it’s like to be one. So following the advice of every freshman comp professor, I‘m stickin’ with what I know–what it’s like to be a girl.
Our society often identifies women as the fairer sex and/or the weaker sex.
Being a member of the “fairer” sex sounds like a compliment. Sometimes it is. It feels like a compliment, when a girl is working her look. It feels unfair when that same girl isn’t feeling the beauty. What isn’t fair is the emphasis placed on a woman’s outward appearance.
Forget the media messages, blah, blah, blah . . . .Even without the media making us wish we were taller, thinner, or prettier; on any given day there are people of both genders giving hints about how fair we are.
That’s not fair, but it’s our reality. Most unfortunate of all is how many truly beautiful women are overlooked because their external qualities don’t pass the “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall” test. Women are naturally caring, loving, and nurturing. Even with unreal expectations placed over our fabulous heads, we ARE the fairer sex.
Sure, there are some genetic differences that make men physically stronger, but in this era when women train and compete in so many athletic activities, those differences are smaller than ever.
I’m a big fan of brawn, but it’s a pretty weak indicator of true strength. We all know guys who could bench press two times our weight, but most of us have the stuff to level them emotionally. (Not that we’d want to, I’m jus’ saying. ) Our emotional strength is enough to make even muscle-bound hulks look like sissies.
Men just aren’t as tough as they seem–ask any woman who has tended a man with a cold.
Without even going in to the fact that we bear live young under extreme duress; try to imagine how tough men would be, if they had a few days each month feeling of out of sorts, trying to contend with bleeding man parts.
Needless to say men haven’t a clue about what kind of courage it takes to leave the house in cream-colored linen, hoping for the best.
Are women really weaker? The mixed-gendered jury is still out on that.
I contend women are much stronger than the label implies, however being female is fraught with vulnerabilities.
The first is emotional complexity. Females live with a cocktail of full-strength emotions.
I’m not talking a little fru-fru umbrella’d Shirley Temple, I’m talking 100-proof emotion. Straight, no chaser. Potent enough to impair both judgment and driving.
Sure men have feelings, but they don’t feel stuff the way we do, and they don’t get how we feel things. It’s something only a woman can understand.
Our emotionality causes us to crave connectedness. This makes us particularly vulnerable to rejection.
We can be rejected by anyone, but when it comes to men, we’re sitting ducks. (Sitting chicks, if you prefer.) We’re groomed to let men take the lead, and to wait for them to make all the moves.
While we wait, we wonder. Does he care? Is he not interested? Is there someone else? Is he playing games? Is he just bad at time-management? When it isn’t all of the above, it’s usually just the latter.
They make us emotionally vulnerable, often, pathetically so.
They also make us physically vulnerable.
The biggest difference between us and them, is they regularly want to occupy our bodies. Sometimes they come as invited guests, some times as intruders. Most men don’t live with that kind of vulnerability.
Despite vulnerabilities, women have staying power. We put up with stuff we don’t like and find a way to keep on giving. We put up with more stuff. We keep on giving. More stuff. Still giving. Just about the time they’ve almost worn us out, we usually outlive them.
Throughout our lives, things come that cause us to believe we can’t continue. Somehow, with amazing strength and courage, women do find the strength to bounce back from unspeakable hardships, illnesses, betrayals, divorce, and even loss of loved ones. aving the staying power to get past the hard stuff, that’s true strength. We may be the weaker sex, but if so it’s usually only for a season.
Coming back stronger, that’s when nobody can deny our beauty.