Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Bitch

I’ve been thinking about this Hillary Clinton thing. You know, how she is in a horse race with other Democratic candidates, and how “she’s polarizing,” and how freely men and women call her a bitch.

For clarification, Mrs. Clinton is not my candidate of choice. Not because she’s polarizing or because I don’t believe she’s qualified. She hasn’t sold me on her platform. But I’m proud of her because she has tossed herself into the lion’s den of presidential politics. You go, girl.

But back to this bitch business. I wonder how many times I’ve been called a bitch? Was I a bitch because I have strapped “them” on and wrestled the proverbial bulls? Did I wear the title because I stood for my beliefs? Is it bitchy because I’m the boss and confident with decision making? I don’t know. However, I suspect that because I have refused (or been unable) to act subservient or lesser-than, that the bitch word has likely been attached to certain conversations about me.

Have I ever called another woman a bitch? Guilty as charged. I’ve regretted it every time. What makes me think I have the right to assume that another woman’s crankiness isn’t completely justified? And, yes, there are women who I’ve seen misconstrue power and behave badly—just like our buddies of the opposite sex. But only one in these circumstances is nailed with bitch.

Recently, a wealthy man said that what makes a person whole and successful is compassion. I guess he was simply saying that compassion towards others is good karma. I haven’t the foggiest as to whether it was his compassion that made him wealthy, but at least he brought the single most repetitive precept of Jesus Christ to the forefront, compassion.

I don’t know why these simple rules go unnoticed except that a sage woman once told me, “Charmaine, when you look at others you see them through your own soul first. So if there is darkness in your soul, your vision is unclear.” Don’t believe for a moment that I’ve mastered the art of a clear soul. I’ve an Irish temper that is wise to avoid fueling, and barely an ounce of patience flows through my veins. However, when I hear random shouts of “Bitch!” it makes me mindful of how I can better myself and the world in which I dwell.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Butt Crack Fashion

Yes, sometime back in the late 1960s, I wore khaki-green jeans--poncho topped--with a tambourine tied to a leather string slung over my shoulder. My pierced ears held long dangling rings and beads that often tangled with my waist-length hair. The fellows around were jean and Mexican shirt attired. Colorful, defiant and full of ourselves, we looked good--in our eyes.

Would I dress the same today? Sometimes I do, except for the green jeans.

Recently, vehicle registration forced me inside a local DMV. Lots of sitting and observing time there. First, a heavier guy, say around 30-ish, heard his number--927--called. The minute "Number 927, to window 3, please," echoed through the state chamber, every face turned and watched that lucky duck make his way to the counter. However, I wished this lucky duck had feathers on his butt end instead of 4" inches of serious crack mooning the crowd.

Okay, he was a little sloppy. Forgiven. Sort of.

Number 1012 out did 927. Britches below his ass, I hoped that his tucked-in shirt stayed that way. "Please, don't stretch or bend," I prayed. His fashion was purposeful. I get it. It's fashion. Sort of. Butt crack fashion.

The best part was watching him try to walk. That's when I began to doubt the wisdom of this look.

Probably everyone has experienced a time when your drawers were dropped, and for unexpected reasons you had to get up and move. Did you ever play the mountaineer game with a bowl-legged character that must find the right maze to reach the top? That's what it's like walking with pants below the butt. Miserable. (This brings to mind a Big Sur camp out. Nature made her call. Half a mile inside the tree lined canyon I found a sheltered place for the moment. Making my self as comfortable as one can get at this time, I exhaled, looked up at the parting fog when suddenly, a huge snake slithered its way across my bare feet. I became the bowl-legged, pants dropped, person running back to camp.)

I know this brands my up and coming 60th year: I don't want to see any one's butt crack, even Brad Pitt's. (Don't misinterpret this as me being prudish. The entirety of Mr. Pitt's bareness is just fine.) However, as the butt crack makes itself present, then the thought of britches dropping to the knees gives me the heeby-jeebies. Why? I will watch, then feel like a pervy old lady.