One year ago, I found myself in a deep chasm of grief, my father having passed just two months before. I was also unemployed for the first time in over ten years. My daughter was in tenth grade and going through her own set of tsoris, and as her mother, I would envelop her anxiety into mine. I was juggling, that tenuous act of keeping on my game face while masking everything within, for the sake of others, which includes but is not limited to my Daughter, my Mother, my friends, my lovers and my potential colleagues.
On a brisk February day, I found myself in the office space of an established recruiter. I knew he had the keys to career greatness, if not for the role I was up for, then for others that would make their way to him. I was excited, for the job at hand was the first job in my new status as an “in-betweener” was a dream gig; I wanted to be hired. I stood nervously, waiting for him to appear in a neatly appointed conference room, looking out the window at the adjacent brick buildings, my mind working hard to push my grief away. When he finally appeared ten minutes late, he was strained smiles, eye contact flitting fervently. I could see in the way he assessed me that he was assigning his judgment upon me; my heart ached. We were not connecting, he was only doing me the courtesy of his company, and within twenty minutes, I was politely dismissed.
I went back out into the world, my face stinging. I was speechless. I spent precious tap-dancing minutes in the presence of a professional who built a steel wall that I was unable to penetrate. I didn’t want to talk to anyone; I’d just shriek if I did. My mind was swirling, my grief, compounded by my anxiety and my stress and my worry and all of it, all of it, all of it. So I did the most irresponsible thing I could do: I went into a clothing store, my absolute Achilles Heel. My body leading my mind, as it were, knowing I needed a distraction, a salve, a sanctuary. I wandered around, touching beautiful wool tops and corporately-inclined dresses, fantasizing about what everything would look like on me. I could feel the stink of what just happened begin to dissipate. My mood started to thaw; I felt the blood pouring back into my body, my mind becoming clear, the tears perched go dry. Being around these beautiful things–material objects–was a huge reminder to me that I could be anything, do anything, want anything.
All I needed to do was to keep my game face on and keep trying.
So I put my credit card down (ignoring the small nuisances of debt and unemployment and hello, limited bank account), I bought my daughter a piece and I bought myself a piece and I walked out of that little clothing shop like Mary Tyler Moore in her show opening, humming “You’re gonna make it after all.”
This morning, in the wake of everything, everything, everything, I’m remembering that feeling of lightness and hope. Keep your game face on, ladies, it helps get your from point A to point B.
Oh, check out my interview with Hallie Bulleit, of Hiccup and The Chris Gethard Show’s house band, the LLC. We talk about feminism, what we know now we didn’t know then, and her fascinating career as a modern dancer.
Oh when the disgusting loudmouths fall. Bless you Roxane Gay for being fearless, for speaking up and out, for having the power to be heard. “When his comments about pedophilia/pederasty came to light, Simon & Schuster realized it would cost them more money to do business with Milo than he could earn for them. They did not finally ‘do the right thing’ and now we know where their threshold, pun intended, lies. They were fine with his racist and xenophobic and sexist ideologies. They were fine with his transphobia, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. They were fine with how he encourages his followers to harass women and people of color and transgender people online.”
Meet the woman who now puts the capital L in Librarian, Dr. Carla Hayden: “My early experiences with libraries were all about being comfortable with being around books, being around stacks, feeling free to be around them.”
Les Amazones d’Afrique are a collective of West African award winning singers, championing for gender equality: “We want to stop violence against women not only in the African continent but also in the rest of the world.”
When you write about health for a living and yet you do not like cooking.
Now it’s time to perv out over Charlie Hunnam.
Don’t you dare censor these titties, you sexist &$#&’s!
For those of us who remember VHS workout tapes as well as everyone else, there’s a new podcast you ought to be listening to: Missing Richard Simmons.
Bravo, Anna Deavere Smith.
Now have a laugh with Marsha Warfield.