Monthly Archives: April 2012

Keep Your Hair Down Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton Having FunFor any woman out there going through mid-life crisis and wishing you had buckled down and partied less, Hillary Clinton has come to relieve you of any regrets. This week photos broke out showing Hillary downing some beers (straight out of a bottle it was noted) and dancing with her girls from work flashing a massive smile on her face. The result of this one night mess was a new love for the Hilly. Websites everywhere started taking a look at Clinton’s surge in popularity, and on KPCC’s Madeline Brand show, guest Margaret Carlson said she believed Hillary could even win the presidency in 2016 now that people have seen her let loose. So what can the rest of us gain from one woman’s move from the bottom of popularity to the top? Stop shunning your inner party girl ’cause she’s your ticket to getting ahead in your profession!

As women, many of us are made to feel that we need to seem serious and grounded to succeed in our careers, which is a huge shift after being raised to be cute and giggly. Soon after leaving the nest we learn that joyful giddiness is not a sign of heart-melting enthusiasm but rather an obnoxious trait signalling a lack of self-esteem. I even had a freshmen high school teacher and nun we called Big Bird who was so worried about this transition for her students later in life, that she made it part of her curriculum to make our lives hell. Each week she’d pick on a different student and if you survived her taunts without whining, she’d leave you alone the rest of the year. If you couldn’t handle her telling you things like, “If you keep stuttering when you read I’m gonna throw you out the window and hope a truck comes by,” or, “If you keep saying “ax” instead of “ask” I’m gonna get an ax and ax your head off,” then she’d badger you until you stiffened up and grew up.  She knew about the pressures ahead of us, and believed as so many women do that we need to become stern and dour if we ever hope to be taken seriously.

I wonder if men ever go through this need to be taken seriously? When they’re growing up they’re never encouraged to be bubbly, but they are encouraged to know how to play with other guys and have fun through activities like group sports.  Sure women play team sports as well, but they’re usually the exception and not the rule. Which is a shame since group sports are one of the few areas where you can experience the balance of fighting hard to achieve something while bonding with others and having fun. No wonder there’s a boys’ club mentality, it’s ingrained in men the minute they play their first game of football.

Now most women talk about the boys’ club mentality like it’s a bad thing, but I say why don’t we just learn from it. After all people just want to work with people they get along with. Instead of suffering our way through life trying to be a boring overachievers, why not take note of those CEO’s in suits playing golf, grabbing drinks with their buddies and having a good time? If only more women did this they could also experience the kind of confidence that comes with being able to enjoy what you do because you’re enjoying life. I mean sure you’ll see department staffs here and there go out for lunches and happy hours, but it’s usually to let off steam rather than play. I want to see top-level female executives getting together laughing over champagne, having fun discussing money while, I don’t know, going out sailing. Does it not happen now because we’re afraid that we won’t be seen as hard-working? Well guess what hard-working gets you, ladies…Secretary of State. Want that grand prize of President…let go Hillary Clinton and keep having fun!

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Ladies Only Weekend Getaway

I’ve heard of these fancy lady outings where a group of women take a vacation alone together and do nothing. For women who do them it’s a getaway they look forward to and make time for. I, on the other hand, never understood them. Does that say something about my hormonal make-up? Is there something wrong with me that I’m not thrilled to just hang with the girls? Maybe it’s because of the four years spent in a same-sex high school, or maybe it’s because I can’t sit still, but for whatever reason, these kind of trips don’t come naturally to me. So imagine my surprise when a friend of mine proposed going to Palm Springs for her 40th birthday celebration. Of course! So exciting–hang with one of my best friends! Then she went into greater detail, “Yeah just me, you, Florence, Jessica, and not sure who else. Just a bunch of girls.”

There ended up being eight of us. All women. That’s right. No men. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a woman who loves the company of women, but in larger groups I prefer a mix of both sexes so I’ve never done a vacation with just the girls. Okay once I did when I was living in Seattle, but it wasn’t a vacation. It was just eight college roommates who scored a free hotel stay in Vancouver where we dressed up and spent the whole night out dancing and controlling our one drunk friend who couldn’t stop telling guys at the bar that she was from Australia in a really bad fake Australian accent (I swear it even sounded Vietnamese at times). Somehow the next morning we found the hotel in time to check out and drive back to Seattle. But a grown up, for-real, relaxed ladies vacation? Nope, never done it.

For those of you have never been on a women only retreat it consists of a few simple things: staying somewhere at least one or two hours away from where you live, weather that is pleasantly warm not scorching hot, a nice hotel with a pool, and a dreamy bed that is yours alone or lucky you, you get to share with a friend or friend of a friend you’ve never met. Then there are the activities: laying by a pool, reading trash mags, eating snacks your inner teen loves you for, and of course, drinking. That’s it. No going out and exploring your new surroundings. No meeting new people. No gettin’ into trouble. You just sit there by the pool. Literally just sit there… by the pool.

Not my pretty feet.

If it sounds Zen, that’s because it is. I don’t know if it’s my age or thoughts of my stressful calendar that did it, but somehow I found myself in Palm Springs taking pleasure in just sitting there a whole afternoon reading, chatting with friends, and doing nothing by the pool. Any other thoughts of my life in LA were nowhere near our mid-century escape. Later that night us ladies were so satisfied with our accommodations that we ordered take-out and stayed in by the pool. That stupid pool was incredible! Another great thing about this getaway was that nobody cared what anyone did, so while some of my friends went for a late-night jacuzzi dip, no one batted an eye when I opted to stay in my own private little room to finish some writing and work that I had been so desperately in need of completing without distractions. Pure heaven.

The next morning I woke up rested, jogged around the neighborhood, came back and took a swim in the salt water pool. Was I ready to enjoy another half day of bliss? Hells no. I don’t know what happened, but my nature set back in. As the other ladies slowly came out of their rooms and went back to their positions from the previous day, I suddenly had to get out, walk around, do something. Why don’t you just sit around and have some more delicious mustard flavored pretzels? No!! Oh come on, trash mag #2 has a whole article on the worst Hollywood butts in a bikini. No!!!! I looked around at all of the Zen Masters laying about the pool. I desperately tried to recall the peace I felt the day before. I even put only my special flowy and colorful moo moo and tried reading another chapter of Game of Thrones. Nothing. It was lost. That ladies who lunch type lady had exited the building and the regular can’t do nothing woman sunk back in. Since I had caught a ride with friends and couldn’t head back home until they were ready, I left the girls behind and strolled down to the center of town to wander and explore until it was time to head back.

In the end, it was exciting to be one of the girls in such a traditional way. All women need to be especially girly from time to time. It brings some ease and a feeling of pretty that is good for the soul. So would I do one these trips again? Yes, but I would drive myself to the destination so I can leave once my less ladylike self comes raging back out.

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Is Mitt Romney’s Flip-Flopping All That Bad?

Talk has already begun about Mitt Romney being a flip-flopper–which in the world of Republicans is a big no-no. After all, you have to have conviction as a leader and stand by what you think at this particular moment for the rest of your life. Forget change or growth, that’s for weaklings. The first time I learned that going back and forth on an issue was a bad thing was during the presidential debates between George W. Bush and John Kerry in 2004. President Bush repeated the term against Kerry so many times that viewers finally got the message that flip-flopping must not be tolerated.

As a flip-flopper myself who never seems to know what to order when she sits down at a restaurant, I couldn’t understand what’s so wrong about it. I mean, shouldn’t we all weigh the good and the bad of eating a House Salad over a Veggie Club Sandwich with Fries? Sure the sandwich is what I said I wanted, but suddenly the ingredients for the two dishes make me think of my waistline, and I see the price for the two items and I don’t have a job so why shouldn’t I be able to change my mind to make the better decision? Well as long as you change it for yourself and not for the sake of different people. Are you kidding me?! That’s part of the decision-making process too! If I’m on a date with my husband, it’s a salad (husband or no, a date’s a date). If I’m with girlfriends that are super depressed for no reason, I better order that sandwich with fries or I’ll be ostracized. But no, if I was a Republican, I would have to uphold my convictions and  get that fattening overpriced sandwich I said I wanted from the get-go, and stick to what I want and who I am!

Come to think of it, there’s something kind of freeing about that. To just know what you like and do it no matter what. Perhaps life would be simpler and easier to manage. See I’m flip-flopping right now! It just seems impossible not to do it since flip-flopping is the result of these evil little things in life called “Options.” They come at you the minute you step out into the world. In fact, the last time I had such strong convictions and clear manner of thinking was when I was a kid; I was stuck at home and my parents told me what I thought and why. Their reasoning made lots of sense until I met other people  with different ideas. Since then I began living as an incessant flip-flopper. If Republicans are going to keep bashing candidates for changing their minds due to options that come before them, then perhaps their only recourse will be to find a man-child who never left home and has never changed his mind.

This dreamboat of a Republican candidate would be easy to understand. He would have no problem yelling out that he loves war. Playing it is just so much fun! You get to engage in strategy, move little green men in place and decide who gets shot and killed. You also get to choose who are the good guys (with God on their side) and who are the bad guys. Everything black and white, no room for gray; that would mean taking time to know people who are clearly your enemies and therefore too evil to understand. Must hate! But no worries, morals would stay in high regard as this presidential hopeful would mandate that everything be G-rated since kids shows are way more fun to watch and don’t have all that kissing and stuff. Euw!!! Have a problem with any of this? Well too bad. This grown-up child candidate would not like to be told what to do. Hey stupid hippie liberals–you’re not my mom! He wants to be able to set up oil pipelines where he wants and be friends with people who are against regulations on emissions, labor or anything.  But the number one selling point of this candidate amongst many conservative Americans would be his eagerness to kill any public healthcare legislation that would be brought before him because… kids hate sharing. Boy, kids are cute aren’t they?

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