Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Fat With Promise

One of my favorite memories from childhood flickers in my mind in dappled 70's film light. My friend Jill and I roaming her family's farm, playing in her treehouse, eating a picnic her mom made for us, fighting imaginary crimes. The group of  kids we played with at school were avid fans of superhero play, shaped mostly, if not entirely, by our television experience of the comic book stories.

I was thinking of this memory the other day as my work partners and I were talking about our favorite characters that we had growing up. Those days with Jill had a funny pattern for me. As would be expected, Jill would want to be Wonder Woman. And, of course, I would want to be Wonder Woman too. I mean, who didn't want to be Wonder Woman?
Or, rather,who didn't think that she was supposed to want to be Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman was good, she had a strong spine, she did the right thing with a very focused look on her face. She stood tall.

Catwoman was bad. She had a whip, she enslaved men's minds, she wore that damn hot suit that would forever shape my fashion choices.

But, with another girl around, there was the option of being Catwoman if I wasn't Wonder Woman and I really, really, really (although fairly secretly) loved being Catwoman.  I remember wrestling with this idea constantly.  Not wanting to be Wonder Woman must be should want to be the virtuous, good, solid character; the person who does what is right. Wanting to be Catwoman was definitely showed that other side that nobody gets to see, the side that likes to be naughty, shades of grey between the stark black and white of Batman. Delicious.

Thinking through this little-person-starting-to-grapple-with-fucked-up-whore/virgin-bad/good-guilt line of reasoning and all of the fallout that has gone with it, something just finally clicked. [I mean, Jesus, I am 42 years old and it finally just clicked.] This warring of my two sides has been with me for as long as I can remember. I live with it in spades every day. It's the me that wants to get up to go to yoga every day but hates the virtuous air of what yoga seems to be about. It's the side of me that likes to drink bourbon until late in the night and shake my ass to funk, even though I know I should be home. It's the me that wants to be a perfect mom, but the me that loses track of time and shows up late. It's the chaos muppet in me that my order muppet tries to corral. But, in truth, it is the manifestation of intense creativity that lies within me that must be allowed to prowl. It's the me who comes up with irreverent ideas, the me who speaks her mind, the me who is passionate and fierce and loyal. The one that the more she is constrained, the more she needs to claw herself free.

I am not sure why it has taken me years and years and years to come to terms with this idea and the bigger question is what to do with it. I'm fairly sure this is as common as dirt and that a million dissertations in feminist theory have been written on this experience of young females along with the gazillion theories of why young girls love horses, but I'm going to play here, unlock it a bit, try to find that place where Diana and Selina can co-exist; lighten each other up or calm each other down.

No comments:

Post a Comment