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Women and Deathbed Declarations

Women who make deathbed declarations of their failure to reach their potential have been in the news lately. Is this a last-ditch effort to vent, cast guilt on a spouse, or a warning to their daughters? Suppressing their goals/ambitions for those of their husband seems to be a common thread.

As mother’s birthday of January 15th neared, I reflected on her legacy and the parallel of these women and their stories. There was none. I am grateful.

No one could ever accuse mother of being subservient to anyone.

She was opinionated, over the top and quite vocal about not being “any man’s slave.” A study in illogicality; a housewife who elevated the domestic arts to an impossibly high standard and later a working mom.

Political correctness was never a problem for her, but her failure to adhere to it was a burden for me. Drama and chaos followed her like her Estee Lauder Youth Dew perfume.

Confronting her male supervisors at work about inequality came easily to her. Most of the time she won her issue, possibly in part because they wanted to escape.

This was during the fifties and I was in high school struggling through home economics, a required subject for girls. (Boys got to take woodwork which I would have preferred.) I hated the class; my home’s role model did not reflect the values of that time, i.e. making sure hubby was happy, blah, blah, blah. And, when it came to cooking, mother was a far superior cook to the textbook sawdust recipes we were supposed to re-create in class.

Much later, as life events unfolded, it became evident that home economics class propaganda missed the mark, but mother was spot on. Her opposition to submission instilled in me a resilience when I would need it most.

If Mother had deathbed declarations, she kept them to herself.

Some of her escapades, we laugh about, and others; we give her a “Bless her heart” pass.

Life for a woman during an era and in a region where feminism did not yet have a name had to be frustrating for someone like my mother. For those who believe the pink pussy hats are too much; well, you didn’t know my mother.

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The Likability Factor is Male Imposed Criteria That Needs to Cease

Please explain to me how likability influences political choices. This question seems to arise only when it is a woman who is considering running for political office.

I wonder if a female version of Trump, who had the same personal behavior/history and competence, could garner the same measure of devotion by the MAGA crowd. I’m thinking probably not. (At the moment, aside from Roseanne Barr, I can’t think of a female public figure who shares the same qualities/abilities as Trump.)

Here we are in 2019, contemplating possible candidates for the 2020 presidential election and if the candidate is a woman, the first question posed “Is she likable?”

Why is the emphasis on being likable?  When a woman announces she is running for public office, the focus is not on qualifications and experience, but her likability.  In the last presidential election, Hillary Clinton, plagued by the likability factor, was savaged by her use of the word, “deplorable.” Judging from clips of Trump rallies, she was spot on. Even worse, Trump basked in the admiration of those who carried the banner for his low standards.

Would a female candidate for the supreme court who displayed the same angry, hysterical, red-faced, tearful temperament as Justice Kavanaugh, been confirmed? Not a chance.

We elected a male television personality, despite his record of a flawed value system and appalling personal behavior, and rejected a highly qualified woman because she was not considered “likable.”

If there is an experienced, qualified female candidate for the next presidential election, I hope the next journalist or television newscaster who utters the “L” word, has to ghostwrite Trump’s next book, “The Art of Screwing Over an Entire Country.

These are Mary Margaret’s thoughts

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Mansplaining; A Name for the Last Male Frontier of Marginalization

Mansplaining – the perfect name for obnoxious behavior. One delicious benefit of arriving at a certain age is to have a woman give a name to a practice that women put up with for years.

On the Lucy Show, when her adventures backfired, Ricky huffed and growled, “Lucy, you got some ‘splaining to do.” I waited for Lucy to ‘splain to Ricky where to stuff it, but she never did.

Mansplaining rachets up the ‘splaining to give the male a platform to pontificate to the female on unsolicited subjects.

I hoped men might progress and outgrow this practice, but they did not. Women united, and named it and devised a clever name to call it out.

In the land before time, if a man called you “little lady”, you knew an unwarranted homily, was forthcoming; like when the builder who was building our new home tried to put sub-grade shelving in all the closets.

The contractor explained the pine rosin and knot holes would not be discernable once the closets were filled. Juggling three kids who did not want to go to a building site, may have caused me to be a bit impatient. I went ballistic, the oldest child covered the youngest child’s ears as they scurried to the safety of our car. The good news was the contractor never called me “little lady” again and our closet shelves were rosin and knot free.

This was not my first encounter with mansplaining. Years prior, a male interviewer mansplained that I would want a third child, and pregnancy would create a major inconvenience for this position.

Then there was the time I went to the HR director to ask for help with a delicate matter.

My boss’s body odor was so horrible he could have distilled it and marketed it as bear repellent. A few minutes spent in his office drove the aroma into my nostrils where it lodged itself for the remainder of the day. I couldn’t say anything to him, but I thought perhaps another man might could. Nope, nuh uh, he mansplained in four words, “He is an executive.”

I am waiting for eldersplain to become a word. Eldersplain is the practice of younger folks assuming the mature set require unsolicited instruction ranging from the use of electronic devices or how to “google it.”

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Mary Margaret’s Thoughts About Perfume Commercials

The perfume commercials on television are incomprehensible. If there is a subliminal message I am supposed to receive, then I’m  disadvantaged. Frankly, I believe the vignettes depicted on the perfume commercials stink smell.

 I’ve been confused ever since the old Calvin Klein “Eternity” commercial appeared featuring a couple canoodling on the beach.

Rolling around in all that grit doesn’t make sense to me; that’s what motels are for. I certainly don’t think perfume is a requirement for romance in that setting.

I never grasped the concept behind the Chanel commercial where Coco rides off on a motorcycle after a night of  debauchery with some hunky guy. The perfume did what it was supposed to do, so why the hasty morning-after departure? If a quickie one-night stand was all she wanted, she could have saved a bundle on perfume. Walgreens has a ton of cheap stuff.

Then there is the commercial where the woman climbs up a silk rope, dressed to kill and ends up on a rooftop. WTF My goodness, no woman in her right mind would go rope climbing dressed like that and worse yet end up on a roof top. I take the elevator if it’s just one level up or down. If I had a dress like that, I’d put it on eBay and sell it.

The commercial for Dolce features a beautiful woman floating out of a castle. A man picking fruit in an orchard sends her a flower. Long story short, bedazzled by the gesture she sends him a come-hither signal. I will state the obvious; most women expect a higher return on their fragrance dollar. Smart money says she should have stayed in the castle.

 To add to my confusion, many of these fragrances are available at Walmart. There is a ton of internet photos of people of Walmart, but I have yet to see one of them in a Dolce commercial.

Note: Originally published in 2014. Perfume commercials continue to make no sense whatsoever. Mary Margaret believes they are 
demeaning to women.
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These Huddled Masses are Tired and Poor after Navigating Electricity Providers

“Give me your tired, your poor / Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, “reads the inscription at the statue of liberty.

This motto could serve as the mission statement for electricity providers as well. 
We satisfy all qualifications; tired of being taken advantage of, poor from paying the monthly electricity fee and huddled trying to stay warm.

I’m tempted to call my doctor for a prescription for Xanax before I renew our annual electricity provider contract. I know I am going to flail and swear over the deceptive and sneaky, miniscule small print caveats.

We can choose our service providers, but that is small comfort when the choice is between stick-it-to-me or hello-sucker.

Now I know how a gambler feels when he/she is behind on payments to their bookie. Electricity providers are right up there with organized crime bosses. The only difference is State government sanctions the electricity  provider.

Armed with a spreadsheet, green highlighter and a realm of paper in the printer, and a giant bag of potato chips, I begin the exercise.

One might think it is simple to figure the price per kilowatt hour and make a decision. Not true, and this is where the games begin.

At first glance the rates don’t look too bad, the more kilowatts you use, the lower the rate. But wait! We don’t use that many. You’d think that would be a plus, right? Remember the scene in crime movies where the old guy who owns the candy store has to pay more and more for”protection” from the mob? Well, buying electricity is just like that.

By the time I wade through the electricity facts label my eyes feel like my feet when I postpone a pedicure. Now comes the fun part,finding out where they hide the base charge, user credit charge, and energy charge.

This discovery leads to acceptance; we are screwed six ways to Sunday. I call the provider whose website has the most colors and select that plan.

At the end of a laborious venture, I call the liquor store rather than the pharmacy. The liquor store has home delivery; the pharmacy does not.

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