Tuesday, September 13, 2005

What Women Want

[Before I begin my rant, I just want to thank everyone who has been calling me for computer help - my business is growing at a steady (though not explosive) rate, and week after week, amazingly, I've been able to pay the bills. Thank God. I just sit back and see my financial needs being met! Although I am feeling more ignorant about computers daily...]
So anyway... The other day, I was attempting to explain to a younger friend about something that ever so slightly annoyed me in an older, married women-friend. I was trying to articulate the alarming wholesale enthusiasm she had for the current trend of mass-produced, artificially-cheerful, girlfriend-sharing, bubblebath, margaritas, chocolate, shoes and shopping-bedecked STUFF. You know what I am talking about, although it's just now reaching the point where it's becoming really noticeable, especially at places like TJ Maxx and the gift / cards section at Borders. I'm talking about the product lines that have descended like a hailstorm upon the market that make quippy little remarks about our EXTREME PASSIONS for things like the aforementioned chocolate, bubblebaths, and shopping. With our girlfriends. 
I'm talking about the birthday cards that inevitably feature 3-5 older women, usually from about 20-50 years back, doing something outrageous as a group and "celebrating" their girlfriend-ness. See? Even old ladies from way-back-when had fun with their girlfriends!
I'm talking about the notecards in bright fuchsia and black with a single high-heeled pump or an Audrey Hepburn "Breakfast at Tiffanys" hat that just screams how much the sender/recipient loves fashion, especially Manolo Blah-niks.
I'm talking about the Chick Lit that is inevitably bound in hot pink, bright orange, or robins-egg blue. Usually all three.
I'm talking about the margarita/martini kits, anything with the I-Live-To-Shop philosophy emblazoned upon it, and the assumption that chocolate is a longed-for source of comfort to all women.
I don't personally care about any of this stuff (except occasional chocolate, but not for medicinal purposes), and yet it seems unkind and cruel to mock it to friends; usually because many of them were married too young, never discovered their personal tastes and preferences, and so are gladly latching on to these proffered escapes from their husband-work-kids existences, because they don't have time to develop anything on their own. The free time I take for granted (well, not entirely for granted; I certainly suffer when it's taken away from me!) to read and drive and watch TV and movies and do stuff blissfully alone is denied to so many women.
So I don't feel inclined to make fun of it; rather I grieve for the women who find these offerings novel and entertaining... because they don't have the time and freedom to find anything beyond them that their own soul really responds to.
If you see yourself in this, try reading The Enchanted April by Elizabeth Von Arnim. It's a cure-all for what ails you. Yes, I know you saw the movie. Yes, it's very good. Read the book anyway.