Sharon April 10th, 2008
One of the best things about blogging and doing this stuff is the relationships I’ve built with all these neat people I would never have met anywhere else. One of my favorite such relationships is with Crunchy Chicken, she of the Diva Cup, the polls on whether it is environmentally wise to dye your pubic hair and the ability to make low energy living funny and enormously fun. I feel like a celebrity visits every time she comments on my site.
Even cooler, now that I know her better, I’m getting to work with her Poultriness and the equally remarkable Simplicity Goddess Shasha Cedar (along with some guys whose names I won’t even mention because this post isn’t about guys ) on an amazingly cool new project, that I can’t tell you about yet but you’ll be hearing a lot about soon.
I’m incredibly lucky to get to work with these smart, funny, wise, wonderful women. Oh, and not that I’ve noticed, but both of them are incredibly gorgeous. Now these are not 14 year olds – these are grownup women of my approximate age with a history of childbearing, and both of them are just as beautiful outside as they are in.
Which, despite my sheer delight in knowing them, every once in a while brings out the anxious teenager in me (something I try and keep resolutely stamped down), a part of myself I call “Reptilia” that looks at the world as though I was still a dorky 14 year old who was never, ever, ever even going to get to be kissed, even though every other kid in the 9th grade had a boyfriend or a girlfriend, and she was the only one who no one could ever love ;-).
The thing is, no one, other than my husband would ever call me beautiful. Unlike my co-environmentalists, I have not kept what there was of my figure, and I was fairly plain to begin with. Now don’t get me wrong – this is not something I think about very often – I’m pretty content with myself most of the time. Not being 14 anymore (and may we thank G-d for that mercy), I don’t live in a world where I have to worry about myself in comparison to others. And my husband does think I’m beautiful, which is one hell of a lot of consolation.
But I also am a woman, live in the fucked up world, and have the occasional moment of world-supported self loathing. Hanging out with women are not only smart, but cool, unbelievably energetic, funny and rich with accomplishment – and drop dead gorgeous does, every once in a while, bring out the most pathetic part of myself. On the one hand, my teenage reptile brain says, “You are finally hanging out with the cool kids!” On the other hand, Reptilia, my adolescent self says, “Yeah, but it is just as well you live too far away to actually stand next to each other too often.” Note, this is not the part of myself I’m most proud of .
I hadn’t even been aware that that part of myself was around, since I do keep the evil Reptilia under tight lock and key, until today, when the Divine Miss Crunch emailed me to let me know about her current project - raising money to find a cure for multiple myeloma, a horrible, incurable cancer that her husband is struggling with. And if she can raise 10,000 dollars in the month of May, she’ll shave her head.
So my first thought was “Of course, I want to help Crunchy and her family!” I honestly can’t imagine how Crunchy manages to deal with her husband’s illness and also do as much good as she does in the world. My second thought was “I have to find a way to point others in Miss Crunch’s direction so that she’ll meet her goals.”
My third thought (and remember, this is not the part of me I’m proud of) was “Well, she’ll still be prettier than me, but baldness will definitely close the gap a little. Maybe if Shasha would promote the Riot for Austerity by getting one of those fist tattoos on her forehead, and it was a really big one, then we could go out for beer and take pictures.”
Generally speaking, the appropriate reaction to Reptilia’s emergence is for me to get out a metaphorical stick and whack Reptilia until she retreats back to the closet, and I become a grownup again, and get to come on the blog and pretend I’m totally over all my insecurities and I’ve got it all together. But it occurred to me that her emergence today might actually serve a purpose.
Now if I were really a good friend, I would offer to shave my head in sympathy, to raise even more money for a noble cause. And there are a lot of things that I would do for a good cause – cut back on electricity some more, eat only out of my yard… But friendship has its bounds, and there’s no way freakin’ way. But I did want to do something to help. So my contribution (besides a forthcoming donation, of course) is this - I thought I’d bring Reptilia out and dance her around the room for charity . Crunchy is mobilizing those motivated by generosity, compassion and admiration for her and her family. But I can bring another group of potential donors to the table – all those small, petty people who have an inner Reptilia of their own, and who think it just isn’t fair that Crunchy is funny and smart and wonderful, and extraordinarily beautiful, *AND* gets to have hair. I’m sorry, but there has to be some balance here – I don’t know why no one has ever stepped in before and just said, “Ok, Ma’am, you’re all that and a bag of chips. Time to shave off the chips.”
So please donate! Please publicize! If you pray, pray for Crunchy and her family. And help Crunchy meet her goal, either because you care about her and her family and the victims of multiple myeloma, or for the highest of all possible reasons – to help Sharon stop being a weenie, and because no one really should get to have hair and all those other good qualities.