Friday, August 17, 2012

High Heels, Cleavage and Hopes For A Cold Beer

Amid menopausal surges of electricity between my skin, high-alert wakefulness at 3 am, and the over-processing of 49 years of intermittent social anxiety, I decided to throw caution to the wind and reinvent myself.  With little more than hope and a prayer I take on the awkward wallflower, social buzz kill of myself and decide to get myself adorned in high heels and cleavage and set my scope on a MAN.  Already, we can see where this is going, but I can’t seem to stop, determination and disaster seem to be my only guides.  A whole bunch of hope, with a side of prayer have lead me to hopeless.

I typically try to speak from my personal perspective and I like to avoid generalizations and blanket statements.  But today I’m feeling somewhat grizzly and aggravated, I decided to make this a little broader and apologize in advance if this appears somewhat oversimplified. And I am wearing the heels, so I feel like I can do things a little differently, you know, outside of myself.  The Birkies, are in the closet for the time being.

I’ve come to the conclusion, for today, it might change later on down the road, but for today my conclusion is that women are hope mongers and men are hopeless. Well maybe not exactly hopeless but they don’t move or live and breathe in the land of hope, they may visit the bordering lands of hope from time to time but they aren’t springing from it. I imagine this is seen most clearly in couples. It seems these roles are played out or in need of being filled, by one and another in spite of the generalization of male and female coupledom, the hopeful and the hopeless. 

I’ll try to stay focused on my experience with hope mongering of late but I have that tendency to veer left and right and backwards before springing forward and then hitting the brakes hard to turn and look back at what I just ran over.  So buckle up, or get out of the road, fast 'cause I'm a comin'.

Hope seems to be the elixir for lifting us out of darkness or helping us calmly move across the street to avoid it.  I won’t say that I have been mired in a great deal of darkness over my lifespan, but I will assert that I seem tethered to it of late, stretching across two years. The ten years prior was my hope march, as I continually renewed hope and colored hope and decorated it with streamers and sparklers in an effort to keep hope alive.  That would be called the second half of a marriage that wasn’t working, or failed hope.  Maybe I can name my cottage that, in the way that people name cottages.  “Failed Hope”.  I would want it faded and crossed out and have another sign next to it:  Rapture Rebounds C’mon Down, or  probably Up, hope lifts us up, right?

Hope is like a drug for me and sometimes I lose sight of the fact that I am shaking and sweating and wearing my hope like a junkie.  I can’t see what that hope looks like to others and why they run from it.  Hope is a good thing, No?  Maybe not when I’m jonesing for it because I can’t quite see what I am being hopeful for, or about, or on top of.  I need hope to keep me moving and lately I might not be moving at all without it because I hit into one dark wall of hopeless that I have been tripping and running from.  It might be time to slow down and notice, it's not coming after me anymore, I can wipe myself off and move forward out of the shadow.  

I might also want to reframe this and imagine that this is a special gift Not too many people can take hope and twist it into something macabre and grisly.  It’s hope after all and damn it, why isn’t that a good thing?

So let me explain where my sense of hope-mongering and hopeless comes in tied to the sexes.  Here's my theory, although not entirely formalized: Women have cleavage.  The cleavage is because we typically have children.  And even when we don’t, we have nieces and nephews.  We have friends and sisters and colleagues that do.  We live in a world with children and the care of them.  Women raise children and it is impossible to raise children up without each day planning a hope fest.  Rockets and firecrackers to rally them into clothing.  Cartwheels and high-kicks to get them to eat a meal that will help them grow big and strong and hopeful.  Rainbows and moonbeams to get them to share a toy with a brother or sister or fellow friend.  We hope they get invited to the birthday parties, we hope they make the team.  We hope they get good grades and kind teachers.  We hope they don't suffer our flaws and our sometime weak dispositions.  We hope they don't have too many zits.  We hope they are healthy and capable, and if not, treated with dignity and offered love. We hope they reach their goals and don't ever fall too hard. Hope and more hope and bigger hope through middle school strife and high school pressures and college and workforce entry.  Women go to work and spread more hope.  We come home and hope the house didn’t burn down or the children didn’t perish. Women hope that when these children go they will now have time for themselves and their spouses.  We hope ourselves into faith and believing.  When things fall apart, there is always hope, or more hope to be found.

Men, in contrast, are hopeful for a cold beer....but.... they’ll settle for a warm beer if they must, while the rest are chilling.  They are hopeful a woman can get the kids to stop making so much noise and just do all that business quietly. They are hopeful for quiet, or a TV screaming at them that they don’t need to answer but occasionally can yell back at if they are so moved.  They might be hopeful for attention but they don’t want too much of it.  Unless it's bursting with cleavage and heels, or barefoot.  (The Birkies are often associated with body hair and that's not so hopeful).  Men work hard and hope has nothing much to do with it.  They curse the gods when things fall apart and they hope for a cold beer but they’ll take the warm one while the rest are chilling.

I’ve been hopeful for a man.  But I might have been more hopeful for hope or using hope as some means to attract him.  And maybe it was difficult for him to fit all the mile high ecstatic expectations of hope and dreams and promises of the future of mankind, and the end of global warming, and freedom from poverty, and world peace. But y'know being all hopeful like, I really imagined he was cracked up for the task.  I don’t entirely understand why that was too much to present in my Technicolor hope van or yellow submarine of abundance and joy.  Honestly, it should have been flattering in its suffocating size and closing ceremony copiousness.  If you go for that sort of thing.  Which I never have before, so I might need to bring this down a few notches and just throw in a cartwheel.  I’ve been hopeful for a man, but a cold beer might have been more filling or at least a more logical starting point.  Tomorrow I put on the Birkies and regroup for a while....

No comments: