Super Short Hairstyle

Judy Dench is the only woman of a certain age who can rock a super short hairstyle. I learned this the hard way after my stylist scalped me; a process not unlike dethatching grass.

The androgynous look does zip for mature women. Had I worn a white tee shirt, with a pack of Marlboro reds tucked in the sleeve I could have passed for a teamster trucker. I looked like Freddy Krueger’s deranged grandmother.

I live in Texas. Fall out from the previous legislative session and the “bathroom bill” had the potential to make it extremely hazardous to answer natures call with this hairstyle. To be on the safe side I carried my birth certificate to avoid being hassled in the restroom.

A quick look in the mirror confirmed wearing jeans was a nonstarter. A mad dash to the mall’s nearest cosmetic counter was in order. I was humbled by the cosmetic associate’s effort to smother laughter, while she rang up an impressive amount of dollars on my credit card.

The harsh light of my bathroom mirror confirmed I had been duped. The cosmetic improvements of red lipstick, pink eye shadow, and false eyelashes made me look like a drag queen reject. I was unable to duplicate the tricky turban wrap, and the huge loop earrings bounced off my shoulders.

Google is a lifesaver; they have an answer for everything. I discovered a delightful YouTube drag queen makeup tutorial, but my appearance failed to live up to those standards. I looked like an oversized garden gnome.

After a few days, cabin fever set in and I ventured out to run errands. The pharmacy tech suggested it might be time to check in with the doctor for overdue labs. I tried to ignore the check out person at the supermarket chewing her bottom lip as she sacked my groceries.

Worn out from futile attempts to deny the obvious, I returned the make-up with a middle finger salute to the cosmetic associate as I left. She gave me a nasty look, but it’s okay. The salespeople at the local sporting goods store loved it when I purchased their entire stock of wool beanies.

This has been a season of discovery for me. I discovered mature women should never ever attempt to wear wool beanies, if they don’t want to be directed to the Salvation Army shelter.

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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