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Posts Tagged ‘Pecking order’

Dear Gideon,

Thanks for hanging out with me at the AEW event Wednesday night. I know it won’t be long before the last thing you want to do is hang out with your mom.

To be honest, though, not many of the moms we know would want to watch professional wrestling. Er, RASSLIN’ (as it is known in the South).

(You know, if I knocked out some of my teeth, this and the taxidermy would give me the redneck trifecta. You would never know I had a doctoral degree. Yes, I know I’m stereotyping.)

But you and I have watched AEW since it started last year. We HAD to see it live.

Luckily, we like the same characters.

Jungle Boy (i.e., Luke Perry’s kid), Luchasaurus and Marko Stunt (Jurassic Express)? Yes.

Kenny Omega, whose hair looks like sea coral? No.

The Young Bucks, who look like they were coughed up by a Myrtle Beach T-shirt shop? Yes.

MJF, someone’s bratty prep-school little brother? No.

Orange Cassidy, who doesn’t wrestle but roams around looking like a cool knockoff of Macklemore? Sure.

Cody Rhodes, who started AEW, still wrestles and tries to be cool? Sorry, but no. (I know, I know. He’s homegrown. Still.)

Chris Jericho, with attitude to spare? Yes, please.

Sammy Guevara, who always has his tongue out? Hell no.

Our seats were decent, and we got to sit in a group of folks who were ALL IN for Moxley and Hangman Page, whose beer-grabbing is killing us (in a good way).

When they chanted, “This is AWESOME,” we did too.

When they chanted “Asshole” as Wardlow appeared for the cage match against Cody Rhodes (oh the cage match), we didn’t. You’re 13.

When one dude behind us shouted to Rhodes getting his butt whooped in the cage match,” Do less of that!,” we laughed.

We both marveled at Rhodes’ epic finish.

It was a great night watching men in panties fight each other.

I’m so glad we spent it together.

I’ll meet you on the couch for AEW Wednesday night, unless you have baseball practice.

Love,
Mama

At the Marta station, we spotted the lucky fan who scored the shirt Cody Rhodes ripped off his body.

 

 

 

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Dear Fellow Strong Women:

I went to see “Little Women” with a group of ladies from a professional organization to which I belong.

Despite my love of reading and being an English major for one of my undergraduate degrees, I have never read the book.

(I’ll pause for a collective gasp.)

It’s probably because I was expected to read it as I was named after Beth March. Yeah, the quiet one. Haha!

I know of it, of course. And I’m sure I’d like it as much as Joey did when he read it.

Usually, I read the book then see the movie. I’m that kind of person. (The only movie that is better than the book, IMHO, is “Misery.”)

Anyway, I thought Greta Gerwig’s creation was spectacular. I laughed. I cried. It was better than “Cats.”

At one point, Amy says she is going to be an “ornament to society,” and I was reminded of something that happened at the weekly meeting of this professional group earlier in the day.

The group is mostly older white men. (Typical.)

The leaders of the membership committee solicited ideas for increasing membership via distributing selected topics at each table. My table had the topic of how to increase membership among women.

The oldest dude (about 90 and deaf) at a table of four men and four women actually said this:

Their husbands are working 8-10 hours a day bringing home the bacon. It shouldn’t be too hard to recruit more women as their schedules are more flexible.

Right.

And there was silence.

Now, I’m a brand-new member of this group. I didn’t feel comfortable barking at this man that I work 8-10 hours a day bringing home the bacon. Instead, I got up to get coffee from the coffee table.

A woman who is a past president of the group was sitting next to him. She looked properly mortified. I don’t know if she said something to him privately later. I’m going to ask her at the next meeting.

When I shared this anecdote with my boss, who is a former member of this group (and an older white male, it should be noted), he also was mortified.

But he asked a crucial question:

He wouldn’t have said something like that about an ethnic minority group or the LBGTQ community. Why did he feel it was OK to share outdated views of women?

Why indeed.

It’s time to stop being “ornaments to society.” How do we do that? What should I have done? What about the other women at the table? What should I do now?

Please share your thoughts.

And go see “Little Women” whether you have read the book or not.

“The world is hard on ambitious girls.” That’s right, Amy.

Yours in solidarity,
Beth

 

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Dear Karma,

Sometimes I don’t think you really are a bitch. But then there will be an experience that renews my faith in you.

I had one of those experiences this week.

Or rather, the troublesome 14 year old in my life did.

We shipped Dominic off to stay with cruise friends Patrick, Petra, Ryder and Mia so that Ryder and Dominic could be counselors at a summer camp together.

I didn’t hear from Dominic all week, so I checked in.

So I asked the head camp lady if he could come back in two weeks. She said she would love to have him, but didn’t have anything for him to do. No room on the schedule for him.

I’ve raised a resilient, motivated, intelligent child, right?

Not so fast.

He still has trouble following directions. When to get off the bus, for example.

Also, look at what he did to himself in a bike accident:

How? He was rooting around in his backpack while driving the bike instead of paying attention. The speed bump won.

Anyway, thank you, Karma, for avenging me. For all those times he drove/drives me crazy, thank you for sending a plague of toddlers.

You’re the best.

Back to believing,
Beth

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March of the Pensioners
Narrated by Morgan Freeman (of course)

Each day, a truly remarkable journey takes place. Dozens of elderly women — likely awake since before dawn — don their supportive bathing costumes, abandon the security of their single-level homes, and make the long trek to the YMCA for their life-changing morning ritual: water aerobics (i.e., boot camp).

The goal? To stave off or reverse the damage done by a penchant for butter and sedentary living.

These be-grayed specimens tumble into the water of the indoor pool, nattering incessantly about ungrateful and noisy offspring.

1950s perms encased in swim caps, liver-spotted skin cleansed by the chlorine — their leathery haunches strain to move through the water.

Intrepid cultural anthropologist and writer Beth C. — also a lover of butter — attempted to infiltrate their ranks.

The pack was immediately suspicious of this young whippersnapper. (“Young” is relative.)

The alpha female tried to warn her off with a series of loud barks. Beth responded with barks of her own, indicating she would not be intimidated.

Resolute, indomitable, driven by the overpowering urge to rediscover her long-lost abs, she was determined to stand her ground.

The journey was hazardous as the women eyed her as a predatory threat.

Yet, after many long weeks of delicate maneuvering, Beth finally was accepted into the pack. They greeted her by name. Asked about her recent vacation. Swapped phone numbers.

Beth felt vindicated. Acknowledged. And (thankfully) streamlined.

Her magical journey will continue three times a week as she becomes further enmeshed in the pack’s routine.

 

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Dear Trish the Chicken (RIP):

A former graduate student of mine (now friend) sent me a link to this article today, and I immediately thought of you. And missed you, of course.

You would have made a great gang leader. You had a strong personality and did not suffer fools. You were never too chicken (har har) to go anywhere. You also were very loyal to me alone, much to Eddie’s chagrin.

I feel sorry for the little fox in the story, but the idea of a chicken gang is hilarious.

Anyway, I hope you are having a ball tearing up the landscaping and pooping everywhere in the great coop in the sky.

Yours always,
Beth

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Dear Reader’s Digest,

Thank you for your efforts to empower women. I’m sure this title didn’t seem patronizing when you published this pamphlet in 1973 — 10 years behind the start of the second wave of feminism.

Now, though …

I’m surprised every chapter doesn’t just say, “Call a man.”

To be fair, it doesn’t ever say that, but there is a whiff of condescension. For example, in the “Starting difficulties” section of the “Six dilemmas with your car” chapter, the unnamed writer states:

If your car refuses to start, but the battery has enough power to crank the engine, you may not be using the correct starting procedure.

You must use your delicate lady feet to depress the accelerator.

To your credit, there is some great information in here. But let’s be honest: Not all men are handy, and not all women take to their fainting sofas when faced with an emergency.

Shock? Or Reader’s Digest’s expectations of a woman’s general nature?

A better title would have been the simple, “Guide to household emergencies.” Oh wait — you thought of that as you published a similar guide in the same year under that exact title. Why not call it, “Men’s guide to household emergencies?”

Anyway, lucky for us, the women’s guide is enhanced with these special illustrations:

You too can change a tire without damaging your manicure!

Yet no self-respecting woman (or man, for that matter) should heed your advice regarding toilet clogs:

Try reaching as far as possible into the toilet to dislodge the blockage.

Um … no.

My 1950s June Cleaver-style mom clearly found this guide useful, as it was one of the few things she kept. (She wasn’t particularly sentimental, and thankfully wasn’t a borderline hoarder like someone else I know.)

My mom always liked to be prepared. In fact, she tucked in the pages of your guide this clipping from the Atlanta Journal and Constitution:

Note that the AJC did not select target audience gender. So that’s nice. And rather forward-thinking compared to you.

Anyway, thanks for providing amusement for me 45 years after publication.

Dying to get my mitts on the “men’s” version for comparison,
Beth

 

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Dear MTV Programming Honchos:

I was sick for days, but now I’m cured. You get the credit.

Without you, I moved slowly through the five stages of illness (yep, just like the stages of grief).

Denial
My throat is not sore. I’ve just been running my mouth too much.

Anger
I refuse to get sick.

Bargaining
Please, I can’t get sick right now. I have too much to do. I’ll take NyQuil tonight and be fine tomorrow.

Depression
Why now? Why me?

Acceptance
This is where you come in. I cancelled all plans and did what I should have done in the beginning: Curl up on the couch and binge-watch “Jersey Shore: Family Vacation.”

Yes, y’all: Almost 10 years since the debut of “Jersey Shore,” but some things haven’t changed (including Pauly D‘s hair).

I’m your target audience. If it’s reality TV, I’ll watch it. As you know.

In case you gave the green light but stopped paying attention (and shame on you, if you did), let me recap my favorite episode of the marathon:

Ronnie was grinding on slop tarts all night, but in a 2018 development, there is Instagram evidence. His girlfriend isn’t answering the phone. He assumes she is pissed off at him. He finally gets her on the duck.She hasn’t seen the photos/videos and isn’t upset. He instigates a fight. The rest of the guys can’t believe it.

Then they act it out in the interview room like The Roots do “The Bachelor.

I’m on the edge of the couch, phlegm forgotten: Will they work it out? We’ll see when she comes to visit.

In the next episode, Deena crashes guys’ night out, gets drunk and starts falling like she does. Best line from Vinny, who did not want her to come with them:

“She’s a drunk little meatball. You have to contain her or she’s going to roll off the plate.”

I love this show. So much.

Trish, who stayed with us this weekend, was mortified.

Trish: How can you still be smart when you watch crap like this?

Me: It’s because of crap like this. It’s a palate cleanser!

So thank you, MTV people. I wouldn’t say I’m mint, but I’m not jacked hideous.

Yours in neutral,
Beth

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