Saturday, February 6, 2010

A Double Standard?

I find it incomprehensible that no one objected to Senator Scott Brown having posed nude in Cosmopolitan magazine. Granted it was in 1982 and can be considered a youthful indiscretion, but can you imagine the uproar it would cause if it were discovered that Nancy Pelosi had posed in the nude? Or Hilary Clinton? Or any female member of the Congress? It boggles the imagination!

We have become so inured of misbehavior among our elected representatives that we seem to have grown tolerant of it. That is, if it is MALE misbehavior! Women have not yet achieved equal status with men. Oh, we can misbehave, but not if it involves sexual impropriety. Fiscal impropriety, yes, but sexual, no.

Some women can and do commit sexual improprieties. But it is not acceptable to be found out, unless of course, you’re a movie star. Men seem to enjoy a greater impunity, unless the misbehavior is outrageous. I rather suspect that other men secretly relish the sexual exploits of wayward men.

I am not advocating that women should behave the way that many men do and doubtless will continue to do. I am simply advocating that we all be honest about recognizing that a new kind of double standard exists. Some behaviors are allowed for men but not for women. I would advocate that men and women behave with some dignity and set a better example for our children.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Women Over 50

“As I grow in age, I value women over 50 most of all. Here are just a few reasons why:

A woman over 50 will never wake you in the middle of the night and ask, 'What are you thinking?' She doesn't care what you think.

If a woman over 50 doesn't want to watch the game, she doesn't sit around whining about it. She does something she wants to do, and it's usually more interesting.

Women over 50 are dignified. They seldom have a screaming match with you at the opera or in the middle of an expensive restaurant. Of course, if you deserve it, they won't hesitate to shoot you, if they think they can get away with it.

Older women are generous with praise, often undeserved. They know what it's like to be unappreciated.

Women get psychic as they age. You never have to confess your sins to a woman over 50.

Once you get past a wrinkle or two, a woman over 50 is far sexier than her younger counterpart.Older women are forthright and honest.. They'll tell you right off if you are a jerk or if you are acting like one. You don't ever have to wonder where you stand with her.

Yes, we praise women over 50 for a multitude of reasons. Unfortunately, it's not reciprocal. For every stunning, smart, well-coiffed, hot woman over 50, there is a bald, paunchy relic in yellow pants making a fool of himself with some 22-year old waitress. Ladies, I apologize.

For all those men who say, 'Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?’ Here's an update for you. Nowadays 80% of women are against marriage. Why? Because women realize it's not worth buying an entire pig just to get a little sausage!”

Andy Rooney is a really smart guy! An email I recently received that I really like!

Monday, January 25, 2010


As a very young bride I remember meeting my husband’s aunt for the first time. I was greatly admiring her home, which was filled with treasures, reflecting her impeccable taste. Her sage advice, which I did not understand at the time was, “You spend the first half of your life collecting things, and the second half trying to get rid of them.”

I grew older and remember my Mother, in her later years, wanting to get rid of things. They were lovely things and I couldn’t understand my Mother’s seeming obsession to be free of them. Now, at age 76, I understand. I have become my mother! I frequently lament to my friends that I wish I knew how to get rid of the things that I once held dear.

One of the tasks of growing older is getting rid of things. We accumulate a lot of clutter as the year’s progress. What seemed precious and invaluable at age 30 begins to lose its luster at age 40. We become aware of the important things of life and begin to desire simplicity. The things that used to make us happy, no longer make us happy, and eventually begin to limit our freedom. I don’t know why this phenomenon happens; only that it happens. Perhaps we try to immortalize our memories, but in so doing, there is less room to make more.

In some respects it seems that it would be liberating to be rid of so much stuff, but in others, it feels like throwing your life away! How can we part with things we have valued in the past? Objects of no intrinsic value perhaps, but they take on meaning because we give them meaning. Am I withdrawing from engagement with others? Or am I longing to free my spirit to enjoy whatever the future may bring?

I long to live in a sparse, pristine home with only a few of my books, my music, my scrap booking materials, my computer and all the paperwork that it generates, my camera and the thousands of photos I’ve taken of the family, and the many projects I had planned to accomplish sometime in the future…………….I guess I’ll start with carrying out the trash…

Thursday, January 7, 2010


(The following blog was written today about an event that occurred yesterday.)

Yesterday I took my friend to lunch and the movies, my Christmas gift to her. We are both at the age when you try to get rid of all the things that clutter your life. So, giving an experience that can be enjoyed by both is the gift of choice! After lunch we browsed in Borders until it was time for the movie. We are both avid readers and can pleasantly pass the time in a bookstore. As is usual I wandered to the back of the bookstore to the “Religion” section. After a few moments my friend joined me. I happened to be standing in front of the Judaic section. My friend caught my attention by remarking, “You should convert.” It startled me! I have been an Episcopalian for 55 years and even considered ordination. A process in which many people supported me, several of whom were priests.

I had begun studying Judaism when my daughter converted 18 years ago before her marriage. I was ignorant of all things Jewish but realized after the initial shock that I would have to learn about it, if I wanted to have a close relationship with her and any grandchildren that might be born. I eventually received a Certificate of Study in Jewish-Christian Relations and have undergone a great transformation in my beliefs. Learning my “family” history has given me
invaluable lessons and has enriched my faith.

I can’t say that I have never thought about conversion. I have. I guess I was startled because it shows! But I have concluded that I am a Christian, by choice. An Episcopalian, by choice. An Episcopalian who loves and respects the Jewish faith. I am active in interfaith groups and I think that it is now time for me to explore the Muslim faith, about which I am totally ignorant.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Year's Resolutions

It is the third day of the New Year. 2010. Significant because I have not yet made a list of resolutions. Several people have remarked on Facebook that they are not making any. As if there is no reason to do so. I think it is a tradition that we would benefit from reviving. Taking an honest look at oneself and determining how we could improve ourself. January is named after the Roman God Janus, who had two faces, one facing forward and one facing backwards.

“In Roman mythology, Janus (or Ianus; "archway") was the god of gates, doors, doorways, beginnings and endings. His most prominent remnant in modern culture is his namesake, the month of January, which begins the new year. He is most often depicted as having two faces or heads, facing in opposite directions.” (Wikipedia)

I was browsing one of my favorite sites this morning, Aish, a Jewish site and came across a thought-provoking video called “Questions From God.” I have adapted it and offer it as my resolutions.

Make an effort to improve communication with my family members and to tell them I love them.

Increase the amount of time I set aside for spiritual growth.

Do something to decrease the suffering of the world.

Search for the answers to my many questions.

Practice an “attitude of gratitude” for my many blessings.

Look for the beauty in others.

Six goals for twelve months.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

A National Diagnosis

Is there such a thing as a collective diagnosis? Rather than individuals having symptoms of a disease, could a country manifest those symptoms? As an older woman, living in a sex obsessed culture, I am growing weary of seeing women clad in bikini panties and bras designed to promote one’s décolleté. One advertisement promotes the sale of bikini panties and a bra by three women clad in only bikini panties and a low cut bra boldly walking across the screen, and it can be seen at any time of day.

I am tired of seeing women in low cut dresses barely designed to cover their breasts or derrieres when sitting. I am tired of soap operas whose “stars” bounce in and out of beds with abandon.

We are a society with few restraints. Where are the mothers who explain that certain behaviors and modes of dress are inappropriate? Or perhaps they still do but are drowned out by our sex-obsessed culture. Where are the social norms that establish standards of behavior? Are there arbiters of taste anymore? Or does anything go as long as it is SEXY?

I was, and am, a feminist. Desiring equality of men and women. But I never understood feminism as being a movement to establish the sameness of men and women. Men and women are not the same. I thought that the women’s movement would bring about equal pay for equal work and equal opportunity. I did not foresee that it would lead to everyone at every age trying to look “sexy” and young!

There has not been an equivalent response from men. It is not men, as a general rule, who flagrantly flaunt their bodies. Why should they? Their fantasies are being fulfilled daily, by feminine nudity on television, the movies, magazines and the Internet

When will more women seek to break down barriers and achieve goals that have been considered for men only? Surely our minds are as important as our bodies!