Old age…and treachery

Today began with a doctor’s appointment where he pronounced me in “fantastic shape,” and asked me, “How do you do it?” I laughed and responded with part of my favorite David Mamet quote. “Old age and treachery!”

The entire quote is, “Old age and treachery will always beat youth and exuberance.”  Has a ring to it, doesn’t it?
I need to have that printed on a black t-shirt, maybe with a skull-and-crossbones thrown in for good measure!
If you look up ‘treachery’ in the dictionary, it is much more sinister than the jovial nature I’ve always attached to the quote.  It’s definition includes words like Duplicity. Chicanery. Deception. I think politics when I hear those words, not old age!

Maybe it’d be better if it were instead ‘old age and wisdom‘ or ‘old age and experience‘. Either way, the bottom line is never underestimate an older person who is current, aware and involved.

It may still be winter, but it’s sunny and beautiful in Austin this week, and was made all the more beautiful by getting to catch up with loved ones. I had lunch with my son and his girlfriend to celebrate his 44th birthday. Forty-four, wow. We had a great lunch in a cozy bistro and talked about his art show this weekend. Good food, great company!

two heartsAfterwards, I met another friend for tea. We talked about our grown sons, our mother’s china, and baby birds nesting in our ferns. I hated to have to leave…I always feel so calm and peaceful when I am with her. That night I got to talk to another sweet friend living in the mid-west who is getting to go to CA for a much-needed warm up this weekend. I am so happy for her, it’s been a tough winter for northerners!

Today I met a fellow foodie/photographer/blogger at the restaurant North, and we brainstormed for a couple of hours about our blogs, the books we are working on, and re-invention. (It’s not just for Madonna anymore!) Are you in the process of re-invention? From what, to what? Please write and tell me what you’re doing!

I hope you have lots of people in your life that inspire you to keep reinventing yourself. If you don’t, then reach out. Take a class. Start a group. Teach. Learn. Share the love.

Speaking of love…Happy Valentine’s Day to every one of you!
XO Donna

She’s No Lady

I admit I have always had an aversion for the word ‘lady’…unless it’s someone’s title. My underlying feeling is that it’s a judgement.

frogWhen I was little, my father used to remind me regularly that I wasn’t acting the way I should (in his mind). Then he’d remind me that my name means “lady” in Italian.  This sermon was usually delivered when I was covered in dirt, being a cowboy (never a cowgirl…they stayed home, minded the ranch and had no shoot-outs or adventures!) or playing with worms or frogs.

Look up “Lady” in the dictionary, and it says “woman”. It also says, “used as a polite or old-fashioned form of reference.” It doesn’t speak to the expectations and implied judgement that accompany the word.

Consider these lyrics, the first by Lyle Lovett and the second by Frank Sinatra.

The preacher asked her, and she said ‘I do.’ The preacher asked me, and she said, ‘He does, too.’ The preacher said, ‘Son, I now pronounce you 99-to-life. Son she’s no lady, she’s your wife.”

“A lady never leaves her escort. Never get out of my sight. Luck, if you’ve ever been a lady to begin with, Luck be a lady tonight!”

Woman, however, is “an adult human female.” Simply a statement of fact. There are people who might disagree with me if I claimed to be a lady, but none would disagree with the fact that I am a woman.

I think it was Lauren Bacall who said, “The secret to being a woman, is knowing when not to be too much of a lady.” That’s one thing I know well.

I also don’t like using the term girls for a bunch of women. Look up ‘girl’:

  1. A female child
  2. A young immature woman
  3.  Informal (sometimes offensive) “She’s having the girls over for bridge.”

Here’s the challenge as I see it… We, as women, don’t have a casual term for a group of our female friends. Men can say, “Hey, I’m going out with the guys.” What do women usually say? Right.

I’ll admit it, gals doesn’t roll right off my tongue. But I don’t want to diminish any of my friends by calling them girls. And one of the things I value most in my friends is that they aren’t hung-up on being ladies.

I suggest that we quit using the terms ‘Ladies’ and ‘Girls’ when referring to each other. Women act as if they are afraid to climb into that word and embody it. WOMAN. Let yourself be strong. WOMAN. Acknowledge both your wisdom and intuition. WOMAN. Acknowledge your passion. It’s alright.

“It’s the fire in my eyes. And the flash of my teeth. The swing of my waist. And the joy in my feet. I’m a woman, phenomenally.”  Maya Angelou

Go be phenomenal!

XO Donna