There exists a black and white photograph of me, taken over twenty-five years ago in the Lake District, next to a horse. I am wearing a long silk skirt and hold the bridles, while keeping the animal at an arm’s length. I look positively terrified.
Category: Women’s issues
Until she divorced, when I was already in my 20s, my mother was a homemaker. Being the disgruntled teenager that I was, I criticized her to martyrdom for her choice not to work, as I saw it, and spend her time cooking two meals a day, shuttling my sister and I all over town and, the worst offense of all in my book, waiting on my father hand and foot.
I am no stranger to old, naked bodies, especially female. During the course of the hours I spend volunteering at the hospital, I see bodies ravaged by disease, scarred by surgery or just plain old. There is something about a hospital setting that allows for intimacy and a shedding of prudery. There is also a generosity in women who share their stories, complete with images to match.
Years ago, while interviewing candidates for a pastry cook position, I ended up hiring a woman older than me. She was fresh out of cooking school and was looking for her first job in order to build a resume. To me, it was a no brainer. I knew she would be reliable, committed and with sound judgment – what she might have lacked in stamina (kitchen work is physically demanding) she would make up in work ethics.
She came on stage wearing a long, white organza jacket over black pants and a smile that could not be contained. She was beaming, savoring the historical moment, proud even. And why shouldn’t she? Hillary Rodham Clinton will be the very first female nominee of a major political party to the Presidency of the United States. It has taken long enough.
As a lover of all things old and odd that can be found on Netflix, last night I started watching a 1976 mini-series based on the Irwin Shaw’s book, Rich Man Poor Man whichI vaguely remember reading as a teenager under a boyfriend’s recommendation. At one point, the father of the Jordache brothers accuses his wife of being an old-looking 40 year old. I gasped. 40? I thought she was meant to be 60. Without the benefits of filter lighting, fillers or cosmetic surgery, the actress looked all of her maybe 45 to 50 years but I assumed she was much older, conditioned as I am to see only wrinkle-free faces on the screen.