The written and spoken word are the essence of power. This week, I have been especially inspired by the awe-some and complex worlds that artists of the word have created. I do not want to talk about why the word is amazing or how beautiful, wrenching or clarifying it is; I believe that to be self-evident. I also need not go on about how such texts should be read on the daily, in order to return to us our humanity and point of perspective. Instead I humbly put forth three poems, by three master women poets, which have moved me. They are “It was not Death, for I stood up” by Emily Dickinson, “Mock Orange” by Louise Gluck, and “Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou. I encourage you to take this Friday to reflect. Read the poems once, or twice or read one of the poems five times. I hope they inspire you as much as they have me. If you know of any more poems that should be read, please feel free to add them. Without further ado…
Some days at the restaurant, things just don’t go right. It could be anything. There could be a rush of people sitting at the same time, I have to pick up the slack of a coworker or the internet will just not connect to the Ipad to make a reservation. On those days, it may seem like the universe is testing me in a way that I am TOTALLY prepared for, but why do things have to fall apart now?!? For me, working in this industry always provides me with countless stories of patron idiocy, catastrophic food mix ups and endless dirty dishes. The worst days are when I have to deal with customers who are just not having as good a time as my pretend-to-care smile wants them to have. Luckily, I have my generation’s reliance on the media to help me out of just these types of situation. This source of wisdom? TV. Specifically my favorite TV show, Bones.
There are many types of relationships that people build and experience throughout their lives. Friends, family, pets, locations, pictures…and bras. Just as dogs are a man’s best friends, bras could be said to be a woman’s closest companion. And I don’t only mean that literally. Now I can’t speak for all women, but I feel confident saying that I love my bra. It’s going on 13 years, and since my first training bra to my newly fitted Vera Wang, my bra has given me a sense of security and sexiness throughout.
History has seen the many transformations of the bra. It is clear that its many changes are a result of not only increased diversity of materials and changes in fashion, but also because of the shift in how the female body is viewed and the power women have gained in society. The bra is the descendent of the corset, though images have been found as early as the 3rd century of women playing sports with bound breasts. The corset entered into society in the 17th century and continued, bindingly, up until World War I when the need for steel brought the end of the corset. Up until the 1930s, a rough version of the bra was circulated, but there was no sizing. Then in 1928 a couple, Mr. William and Mrs. Ida Rosenthal, invented the familiar system of bra measurement, which included the circumference of the waist along with a cup size. The National Geographic video clip below gives a concise history of the bra and how the Camp measurement of bra sizes was created. It’s quite an interesting little clip…I am only being a little bit sarcastic. You won’t believe what cups are actually measuring.
The funny part of the history of bras doesn’t arise until the 1970s with an alternative inventor for the bra by the name of Otto Titzling. Humorist Wallace Reyborn wrote a book, Bust-up: the Uplifting Story of Otto Titzling to introduce the urban legend that Otto was the real inventor of the bra. In fact, the name is a pun: Otto Titzling = “a-two tit-sling”. In the book, it describes Otto’s journey to invent the bra and the stealing of the idea by his nemesis Phillip de Brassiere or “fill up the brassiere”. In the 1980s movie Beaches, Bette Midler gives a hilarious rendition of this tragic tale.
Despite how bras may be represented now in society, I know I am grateful for the number of occasions from which my bra has saved me from either embarrassment or the inability to do an activity. For instance when the strap to the halter of my senior year prom dress snapped mid dance and the stick on bra I was wearing saved me from flashing the school. Do you have a bra story? Do you love or hate your bra?
– typical Lenten for-swearing and goals
Next week is Lent, a very important Christian holiday that begins on Ash Wednesday and continues until Holy Thursday or the day before Easter. Traditionally, in western denominations of Christianity, it is viewed as a period of time during which Christians pray and do penance, in order to cleanse themselves and feel closer to God. Additionally, the crucial aspect of selflessness is involved, in which Christians practice almsgiving or other acts of community service in order to help others. While there is a lot more to Lent religiously, spiritually and culturally, I have come to understand Lent as a time of meditation, reflection and empowerment.
As life tends to get, it gets busy. And so, in an attempt to revitalize my social life, I have become part of the multitude participating in online dating. And what an experience that has been! More than any of the dating aspects, online dating has left me with a few questions, some of which I have not answered yet.
1)First off, does online dating eliminate or at least deter from appearance as the prominent mode of attraction?
Primarily, I signed up for OKCupid. Now, I would be remiss if I said I had never judged someone immediately by their looks, I have, and still do, despite my best efforts. The façade, attractiveness and general superficial (in the sense of being discernable by the eyes) are only too easy to rely on as evidence of character. But is that the only way to choose a friend, an employer, a lover? I should hope not!
On the OKC site, there are a ton, and I mean a ton, of questions provided in order to increase your percentage of compatibility with another individual. For people unfamiliar with the site, questions range from favorite activities, the rating of the importance of politics, to preference for intimacy. But it is not the questions that one usually sifts through in order to determine attractions (or at least, I usually don’t), but the profile. Complete with photos section. For me, while physical attraction is important, I like to think that in order for there to be chemistry, there has to be something more.
This weekend is my birthday, and for the first time in my life, it doesn’t signify anything, except the normal I’m getting older. Ok, perhaps, it’s not the first time, but it is definitely the first time I FEEL like it’s just another day. But instead of it being all about me, my birthday made me think about how ME came to be. I’ll leave the stork part out and focus instead on the major influences that have propelled me to this present moment, on the precipice of another birthday. And the majorist of major influences is my family.
About 2 and a half years ago, I studied abroad in Madrid, Spain. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life, except for one tiny detail…the dating scene. Specifically, something that yesterday’s post mentions, a preference for the blonde, skinny, white girl. Which, for the record, is not me.
Now let’s get this clear, I was not looking for anything concrete, anything long term, since I was only in Madrid for 6 short months. But after the first month when most of the guys I met were asking about my two friends in the program, who were both blonde and blue eyed, I started to feel a bit peeved. We had been warned that racism was rampant in Spain; immigration had just opened up about 20 years ago and Spain still had a lot of issues to work through. In fact, women of color in our program were specifically told about how we could be treated, as sexualized prostitutes, because, people of our color, where “always” selling ourselves on street corners. Lucky for me, I only experienced a little of this discrimination, with cat calls of “hola morena” (literally hello brown girl) or blatant studies of certain parts of my anatomy. However, a fellow female of color peer got it much worse; people asking her how much for a night, touching her and calling to her, that she left the program early.
I’d like to share with this lovely blog another chronicle from the restaurant. There seem to be an epic amount of stories, but the one that stands stark in my mind is from last Sunday Brunch. Now, for anyone who needs a quick catch up, there are two crucial facts that will put this post into context: 1) I work at a restaurant and 2) I am a very chill person.
– there is no room for sexism in this spread
At this particular brunch, I felt an anger that seems unparalleled to any anger I have felt before. It all started when two bros came in. They were tall, broad and attractive. Oh, and another fact, Sunday brunch isn’t just any brunch, it is drag brunch. Continue reading
I love yoga. Especially hot yoga. Some may call me crazy, but the peace of mind I get from sweating myself silly, bending myself into difficult positions and then remembering to breath is a phenomenal experience. Today, the yoga instructor, during our rest in the middle of class, talked about not letting our past practices dictate how we felt about today’s practice. We must take our bodies at its current state, assess its ability and then do our yoga being compassionate considering how we are doing that day. We shouldn’t, the yoga instructor cautioned, allow our desire for a future perfect form force us to go beyond our capacity today and thus hurt ourselves. As the sweat made rivlets down my face and dropped onto my purple towel, I took her words to heart and decided to apply them to more than just my yoga.
– Think doing this in a 100 degree plus room…now that’s what you call relaxation