I was born a woman (which has its advantages and disadvantages). But, I may go ballistic (a la Glenn Close in “Fatal Attraction”) if a man betrays me. I should model my homemaking skills after Martha Stewart. I should aspire to be as rich as Oprah. I should be as graceful as Audrey Hepburn, as mysterious as Jackie Onassis, and as warm as Princess Di. I can motivate reform (a la Sally Field’s performance of “Norma Rae”) but I will only earn 75 cents to every man’s dollar. I am supposed to be extremely nurturing and loving, even when having a bad day. I need to learn to juggle housework, homework, work-work and it helps if I could learn needlepoint. Health news says that when I get menopause I’ll go crazy so I should take some hormones; but natural herbs are probably better at treating my mood swings and hot flashes. Neither one can make those go away completely, though. I should have children to learn a thing or two about motherhood. I can’t drink coffee, but I can drink wine. I can’t eat chocolate, even though–some studies have shown–that it improves my mood. I should drink at least eight-glasses a day, but I should watch out for contaminated water; and, just because some water companies put the word, “spring” in their name, it doesn’t mean it’s actually fresh from a mountain spring.
I shouldn’t groom while driving, so applying lipstick in the rear-view mirror is a no-no. I shouldn’t file my nails at work or groom in public. I should smell like a Summer’s Eve in one area of my body only. Being hygenic means more than just flossing my teeth and combing my hair so now I am encouraged to wear scents that make me smell like a fruit (i.e. Kiwi or Mango) or smell like a bean (i.e. vanilla). “All natural” over-the-counter remedies can potentially ruin my body chemistry and may not be natural, after all. I should follow the pyramid chart of eating and follow the weight charts, only loosely, depending on my height. I should aspire to workout at least 3 times a week via pilates or yoga. It’s okay to use bath soap sparingly to prevent dryness. My face should be smoothe but not tight, supple but not wrinkled. I should avoid using bacterial soaps to bolster my immune system. I shouldn’t wear pointy-toed shoes or high heels to prevent sore feet and lower-back problems. I should drink 1% milk because pasteurized milk is harmful but milk’s supposed to do the body “good” and can help me fight osteoperosis. I can’t expose my breasts in public (even if I’m breast-feeding my child), unless I live in NYC. I should get a breast exam every year but could at any time be diagnosed with breast cancer. Since there is no cure, doctors could prescribe a host of drugs I may or may not respond to because they’ve never been tested on women (scientists argue that there are too many variables). It is customary for me to be a secretary, caregiver, bookkeeper, financial advisor every day of the week. I am expected to be yielding, versatile and nurturing (preferably while parading around like a Barbie-doll or Pamela Anderson–believe me, these two are one in the same). Mostly, my life is guided by a set of unwritten rules that I never agreed to. And to that I say…
What the–??? (You figure it out)