Getting picked last for the team. Or not at all.

Growing up, my parents always involved me in activities.  I took tennis lessons, piano lessons, ballet, and gymnastics.  Even Judo.  There were certain things that I desired to get involved with.  My Mom, being overprotective and dead-set on me learning our language, refused to involve me in activities that met on Saturdays.  Luckily, she was a stay at home Mom and she shuttled and chauffeured me to all my weekday activities.  But Saturdays were off limits.  Reserved specifically for Armenian School…where I could learn my language, mostly reading and writing.  Her reasoning: “What if you want to write your Mother in law a letter some day?” or “You should at least be able to read an Armenian newspaper.”  I had to make her proud.

Sadly, there is always an added pressure to being Armenian.  Something about preserving our race, our ethnicity, and our endangered language.  It didn’t help that my paternal uncle would humiliate me from time to time, trying to get me to read an Armenian newspaper before the rest of the family.  Fast forward 20 years, a couple of his own grandchildren can’t even speak the language, whereas I perform in Armenian theater.  There’s something to be said for Karma.  But that’s a blog for…another time.

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So there I was, a little Armenian girl, thick black hair, slightly pudgy (looking back, not really!), but always taller than everyone else.  I wasn’t “indoorsy” yet.  No, not at all.  I loved growing up in my small town, in the foothills.  I loved the mountain views, the trees.  I loved holding caterpillars and pulling bark off trees.  I loved chewing on lemon grass, running outside, and I don’t recall getting picked last for any sort of PE team.  And even if I did, it didn’t affect my self esteem because I definitely made up for any of my outdoor inadequacies in the classroom.

As a first or second grader, I recall taking home an AYSO flyer and asking Mom if I could participate.  Her quick response, “Not if it interferes with Saturday school.”  Ok, Mom!  T-ball was the same.  Even Ballet performances—practices were held on Saturdays.  I could take lessons, but I was not available to rehearse for group performances.  I was simply too busy learning how to write letters to my future mother in law!

Recess wasn’t a bore, either.  I was always active—on the swings, not afraid to climb the jungle gym, not even to hang upside down, up at the top of the tower…where one fall would have left me easily paralyzed.  Thankfully, no one had sued the school yet and we walked around in wood chips, on the playground.  Today, it’s all padded and our giant jungle gyms are a distant memory. A liability, most probably.

So Recess came twice a day.  I advanced to the “server” position in 4-square…no problem.  Dodge ball was fun.  I liked competing. P.E. was ok.  Sure, I didn’t love running laps…but everything else was fine.  I couldn’t run the fastest 100 meter…but that’s ok, I enjoyed jumping rope and playing competitive sports.  Bottom line, I didn’t dread it.  When playing basketball at boot camp in my late 20’s, my leaders asked if I’d ever actually played competitively.  Heck! It turns out I am naturally skilled.  But still, I had to admit that I hadn’t. And that was that. Why hadn’t I?

Well, it was the summer of ’92, I had just graduated from elementary school and I was on my way to a brand new junior high.  Fall sports were around the corner.  I was eager to try out for the Volleyball team…and I did so, cheerfully.  Imagine the confidence. Several days later, the team roster was pinned up in our locker room.  I hadn’t made the team.  No.  Not the Junior Varsity team either.  I realized, I wasn’t an “athlete”.  I’d never be like the other girls, svelte, tan, athletic.  I’d never roll my short sleeves up, have pictures in the yearbook with sweat glistening on my forehead, wear short shorts, and knee pads.  I’d never get to miss 6th and 7th period because I had to sit in a van and go to another school to play a sport. It just wasn’t in the books for me. 

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Several months later, I signed up to play Volleyball with my Armenian friends.  I had a uniform and everything.  I knew I sucked at it.  But I participated nonetheless.  One day, they changed the practice schedule…it conflicted with Sunday school, this time. And there I was.  Off the team again.  Not as direct as it was at school, but I accepted it as a rejection nonetheless.  I’d go be a good Christian at Sunday school, instead.

In high school, I did play Tennis.  I did visit schools.  But I found myself being more a score-keeper than a competitor.  At least I had the chance. I can thank the stars for that.  It made me feel far more special than being in PE class.

But what would I say today to the coaches and teachers who made me feel like a non-athlete?  Y’all darkened my prospects at being an active adult.  You really did. I wanted to have something to look back on, a hobby, a routine, a habit.  I wanted to feel like someone wanted me on their team.  I wanted to realize that I wasn’t merely a classroom intellectual, but I was someone that could shine on the field as well.  I wanted days in the sun. I wanted to run on the grass. I wanted to carve physical activity into my day—naturally, effortlessly.  I wanted it to be done in such a way that I felt like I belonged.  I wanted to grow up with it, like I did with reading books, like I did with church, like I did with being an involved-Armenian.  I wanted that physical component to be an actual, regular, natural part of my lifestyle.

It wasn’t.

It isn’t.

Does it affect me still? Of course.  I’m the first person to say no to a hiking activity.  For me, picnics on the beach are about s’mores…not beach volleyball.  It’s a mental block, a social block, a physical impediment.  A ball comes my way and I scream.  I get stiff.  I am afraid to catch it, throw it back, block it…whatever.

It’s sad to say but I am afraid I’ll never be able to reverse it.  I’ll always feel awkward on a fitness machine, in tennis shoes, or with a weight in my hand.  The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry says sports help children develop physical skills, get exercise, make friends, have fun, learn to play as a member of a team, learn to play fair, and improve self-esteem.  [http://www.aacap.org/cs/root/facts_for_families/children_and_sports]

I’ll always be a little behind on developing certain skills for success in life.  Being deprived of sports has shaped my values, differently.  It has failed to contribute to the positive behaviors I wish I had in my adult life. And I’m completely sad that I can’t go back and change it. 

Photo credits: http://www.portcoquitlam.ca/Dynamic/Page5491.aspx and http://missoulaeditor.com/?p=1225

©2012, Leegal Deeva. All rights reserved.

School’s out. Forever.

School’s out…forever.

If you’re like me, graduation was more about photo opps and saying affectionate and believable goodbyes to people I knew I’d probably never see again. But the whole event is so archaic. I mean, pomp and circumstance, really? Why?

Anyway, congrats on graduating. Enjoy the photo session and the boring commencement speeches. Sadly, this is as good as it gets!

First of all, no one cares about college. No, really. It’s an experience, sure. But as far as true academia goes, it doesn’t have much value. In fact, it doesn’t teach you much that you can apply to the real world. I’ll even go so far as to say that the four years you spend in undergrad is merely a money-maker for your school. But don’t say that too loud or we’ll scare away the incoming class of 2016. Sounds eerie, no?

Sure, your parents probably dished out about $80 grand for you to go school. And of course, it’s all you ever hoped for during the formative years of your life. Really, it’s what you looked forward to achieving and becoming. The first real goal you ever set for yourself. You did it! Yay! Most people can’t and don’t. But even though you did, it doesn’t really matter. Cuz let’s face it, you don’t really know anything. Well, at least not yet.

If you’re not off to grad school, then…good luck finding a job. The market is oversaturated. Whether you’re en engineer or a social worker, you’re pretty much screwed. Sure, you sat at commencement, in your cap and gown, and listened to some stuffy alum from your school–someone famous, like the one guy who made it big from your school–tell you that the world is your oyster, the future of the country lies within your hands, and that you and your fellow graduates will be at the forefront of all the positive changes that the world will see in the coming years…

Enjoy it. Because…this is the last time anyone will ever really tell you that. (And actually make you believe it). Once you get that diploma cover (‘cuz you won’t get your actual diploma till July or August…and by then, you’ll be over it…) and hear your name mispronounced on loudspeaker, you’ll just be a kid, with no experience, competing for an entry-level job, that really doesn’t pay enough for you to be able to move out, eat, shop, go out, buy stuff, AND travel.

You’ll go to work. No one will really care where you graduated from (unless it was the top school in your state, an Ivy league, or a well-known school with an amazing football team). You’ll be a glorified paper pusher for a solid 10 years. Maybe 20…before someone actually trusts you enough to make real decisions. It’s just the way of the world. Your 9 to 5 will make you miserable…and if you hate your 9 to 5, you’ll probably hate your life. But that’s all life is for some. A routine of 9 to 5’s…stops at the grocery store, and weekends to run errands and be lazy. Welcome to being a “grown up”…

Post-Grad Playground

You’ll hear people complain endlessly about their jobs. But no one will do anything about it. They’ll keep working and looking forward to the weekend, a vacation, retirement, heck…even death! And it’s not that these people are lame, boring, dumb, or crazy…they just get stuck in something for a solid 43 years. They’ll be so busy paying bills, organizing their kids carpool, buying anniversary gifts for their spouses, that they’ll actually “forget” that life doesn’t always have to suck.

You’re still young though so you’ll feel a little sorry for them. Unlike them, you’ll attempt to save a portion of your paycheck but you’ll blow the rest on new technology, Netflix bills, and shoes you probably can’t afford. Most of your disposable income will go toward eating and out and buying overpriced alcohol when you meet with your friends to escape the drone of nine-to-five-to-nine-to-five-to-nine-to-five-to-nine-to-five…

You’ll get stuck because well, “If I lose my job, I won’t make rent….” Or “I have a mortgage, I simply can’t quit.” Mind you, each and every one of these financial commitments…even a spouse or kids, just keeps your feet planted at the “company” even firmer. It’s sad. It is. I’ll be the first to admit it. It’s like an addiction…one you can’t escape.

So you’ll stay stuck in a world of unfulfilling days, annoying co-workers (who don’t know when to shut up), and bosses who will terminate you the second they realize you’re no longer profitable. Yup, even the good ones.

This is when the true learning will start. This is when you’ll search in your heart, mind, and soul to discover your passion. Like those people you took classes “about”, you’ll philosophize. You’ll attempt to figure out what gives your life meaning, and how you want to make your mark on the world. This will be your education. And frankly, you’ll learn more—on your couch—web-surfing on your iPad, than you ever did in College.

You’ll eventually come to a place where writing a mere blog entry will be more meaningful than an entire legal brief that could make a big win for your client. And that’s ok. Because you’ll realize that relating to people, and making your voice heard, means more than the words “magna cum laude” on a piece of paper ever could.

If your academic life was where you shined brightly…then work will always be lackluster in comparison.

As for me…I know where my interests and my passions lie. I’m learning what my talents and my strengths are. Someday, I’ll have the courage to toss aside my diploma and focus on reading, learning, and thinking…way more than I ever did in “school”. Cuz’ the truth of the matter is, even though I always knew where I was going, I still don’t know where I’ll end up.

©2012, Leegal Deeva. All rights reserved.

One of the guys

Peggy Olson:  I know what men think of you: That you’re looking for a husband, and you’re fun. And not in that order.
Joan Holloway: Peggy, this isn’t China. There’s no money in virginity.

I’ll never be one of the guys.

Why?

Do I even want to be?

I dunno.

It’s odd though.  I hear it from my guy friends all the time.  When they think a girl, possibly a friend, or the girlfriend of one of their buddies, is super cool…they say “she’s one of the guys.”

I guess that’s not even remotely close to what I’d want to “be” to any one of them. Or is it? After all, girls who are “one of the guys” never seem to have a problem attracting guys.  But still.  Here I am, past three decades of life, and I’ve realized…I’ll never be “one of the guys.”

It might be because I don’t have brothers and don’t know how to have a completely, 100% platonic friendship with a guy.  Ok, that’s huge.  And maybe something that’s a better topic to share with a close friend or a therapist.  But I dunno.  It’s weird when every guy you ever meet is a potential boyfriend, husband, lover.  I’ve never really known any that couldn’t be.  Besides male relatives of course.  But, I haven’t hung out with them enough to perfect the art.

Though I look at Joan Holloway…Joanie to Richard [Sterling]…you know, from Mad Men?  Now, if I were into girls…she’d be my #1 crush.  She’s sexy hot, curvy, feminine, but she dishes it out…just like the men.  She’s the only girl in the boardroom.  Seriously…even Peggy only goes in when she’s making a pitch to a client.  She’s not afraid of speaking her mind.  She knows how to put people in their place…matter of factly.  Perhaps I watch a lot of Mad Men…it’s true. I’m obsessed with their 1960s’ complexities.  How women are only secretaries.  Yet even in this world, I call places and people assume I’m the secretary.  Still!

But if I could be a Joan…I’d be thrilled.  That’s not to say she’s got it all figured out. She obviously married the wrong guy.  Well, he was the first good one to ask.  She makes mistakes, falls back in to old habits, but never truly exposes her vulnerabilities.  Is that what makes her the type of guyish girl I’d want to be? Because I relate?

But Joan…she relates to Marilyn Monroe.   I mean, remember when she was laying on Roger’s couch, dabbing her eyes?  Roger had to assure her that she wouldn’t end up alone and in despair…like Marilyn had.  Yes.  Like Marilyn had.  Marilyn…one of the sexiest, most feminine, admired women of our pop culture history.  She’d ended up alone, and in despair.

Yet what did Joan want most out of life? To be a well-off housewife.  The ultimate goal of her existence.  And she was pained to think she could possibly be bored, lonely, and miserable as one. Is that the sad fate of a femme fatale? Someone sassy and bold…who never stops being a woman?  Does she end up bored, lonely…in misery?

But I’m not even close to being as strong as Joan.  Unlike her, I have a way of looking at guys, with these puppy dog eyes, a way that makes them feel like they’re more to me than they really are.  It’s not intentional.  But it’s real. A guy once told me, “Don’t look at me with those eyes…” and I thought “What eyes?” No really.  He was accusing me of flirting with my eyes.  I wasn’t.  Honestly.  I didn’t have feelings for him.  Though, I have to admit, the first time we met, I thought maybe I could.  How telling….

Let’s break it down…I read chick lit.  I smell like vanilla.  I don’t wear baseball caps.  I don’t give “thumbs ups”.  I’m scared of the dumbest things. I have a way of whining, that only girls can perfect.  I am sensitive.  Emotional.  I cry…not enough, but I do.  I like having colorful fingernails, long hair, carrying clutches and wearing cute earrings.  I don’t watch sports.  And I don’t really care about them (unless a boy I like does).

I’m educated, independent, and successful.  Yet, I’m not a feminist.

But let’s explore some more.  I’m dramatic.  “Boys” aren’t.  I try too hard.  “Guys” don’t.  I’m not elusive.  And if, for some reason, I’m hard to pin down…it’s probably cuz I’m holding out.  I don’t drink like a fish. No, seriously.  One or two drinks and I’m good.  Better than good.  I seem high maintenance…(I’m totally not…but I’m perceived that way….).  Apparently, guys don’t like that.   I seem like I’d get grossed out easily…but I don’t. I swear.

So what is it that makes a girl “one of the guys” and that makes me the girl who can’t be there “without being there”…? I stand out…as a girl? I speak up…like a girl? It also doesn’t help that have the voice of a little girl.

But it’s important to note that I lose all my wit and intelligence around boys [I like].  I get flustered.  Really.  I forget how astute, calculated, and bright I can be.  Bottom line, I stop acting like myself.  And that makes me a girl.  A girly girl.  A girl’s girl.

My bestie once told a guy I was dating that he was a girl’s man.  Ya know…the opposite of a man’s man.  Sure he smoked cigars, drank stiff cocktails, and wore suits every day.  But he opened doors, ordered for me at restaurants, served me off communal plates, walked on the traffic side of the street, didn’t care a lick about athletics, and enjoyed drama.  Maybe that’s why I liked him.  The way manly men like girls who are “one of the guys.”

And that’s ok.  Like Katy Perry said…”I wanna be one of the girls…pretty in pearls, and not one of the boys.”

 

Photo credit: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/19/christina-hendricks-joan-_n_879910.html

 

©2012, Leegal Deeva.  All rights reserved.

“you and me” (in parallel universes)

I read once about this philosopher from the 1800s named William James, and he came up with this theory about “the multiverse”.  Basically, in the multiverse, there’s a set of multiple universes comprising just about everything that can possibly exist at the same time.

So…the entirety of space, time, matter and energy is all happening at once in different timelines.  Parallel universes.  Sorta like the final season of LOST.

Get it?

Ok! So, let’s pretend the multiverse is real.

Well then, maybe somewhere in those infinite universes is one, or several, where you love me.  Maybe I’m not just your friend.  Maybe we hold hands when we walk out in public.  And maybe, we still say “I love you” before we hang up the phone.

Maybe in one of these universes, we’ve been married for 10 years.  We have a daughter, she’s 5.  And a son who’s 2.  Maybe I cook dinner for you every night.  I pick up your dry cleaning.  You wear a suit, and you go to work.  We send people Christmas cards that have our pictures on them.  We smile.  We introduce one another to people as “my husband” and “my wife”…we go to bed together every night, in our house.  The one I decorated.  I think it’s too traditional.  You are upset with me because you think that it’s too contemporary.  But as I look over at you, laying there, looking at me, we share a small peck on the lips and “good night.” Maybe that’s us.

Or maybe, in another universe, we have a torrid love affair.  You spend the night in my bed almost every night.  We spend entire days together, entire nights, our fingers are intertwined, our legs are tangled up, and there is no space between us when we lay beside each other.  We are so consumed by one another that it’s like a thirst that can’t be quenched, a fire that can’t be quelled.  We live with and in each other.  Endlessly.  And no one knows us.   At least not the real us.  We don’t know how we survive.  No one does.  All that matters is you and me, together. Maybe that’s us, too.

Maybe in another universe, I’m living in Japan.  I’m a corporate attorney for the Lexus division of the Toyota Motor Corp.  Maybe I wear a skirt suit every day, and stilettos.  Maybe my hair dries straight, and I’m skinny.  I speak Japanese fluently and I see you twice a year when I visit “home.”  Maybe you live in Los Angeles.  Maybe you aimlessly date.  You haven’t found the “one”.  You’re discontent.  Maybe I am, too.  But I don’t admit it.  Maybe I call you when I get off the bullet train.  Or maybe I sit on my pallet bed and we Skype, as I hold a cup of green tea in my hands.  We laugh.  We never flirt.  We’re friends.  We encourage each other.  Listen to frustrations.  Give advice.  You visit me.  You try to convince me to move back home.  I laugh it off knowing I’d never be happy in LA.  You miss having me as a friend in the same city.  But I know it would never make a difference where I was.  We’d still be the same. Hey, maybe that’s really us.

Or…maybe in another universe, we’re 25.  We take a vacation to Europe.  We pose for pictures on the beach.  I’m in a neon bathing suit, you’re wearing swim trunks.  We’re so tan.  There’s sand–glistening like gold–on my shoulders and my hair is dripping wet.  We kiss as you hold up the camera to capture it.  Our friends think we’re great together.  But we realize we’re better apart.  And maybe we break up, maybe we stay friends, and maybe we attend one another’s weddings.  Or maybe we just pretend we are acquaintances.  And that’s ok.  Because we aren’t co-dependent.  We don’t talk every day.  We don’t ever admit that we miss each other. Sure, we remember the past…but we don’t live in it.  And maybe that’s cool, cuz it’s healthy.  Maybe, that could be us.

Or maybe, I’m 37.  And we make a mistake.  One crazy, random, strange hookup and I find myself having your baby.   You’re shocked.  We’re confused.  We don’t know what to do.  But still, you manage to be there…in that room, as I scream in pain.  Bittersweet.  ‘Cuz I had to do this.  I mean, maybe I’ll never have another chance to be a “Mom”.  And though you don’t want to be my husband, maybe you’ll be her Dad, anyway.  You bring a teddy bear, a giant one.  There are flowers.  Impeccable flower arrangements.  You hold my hand. You kiss my forehead.  I cry.   I’ve always wanted her.  But not like this.  And there you are.  With me.  But we’re not together.  Is that us?

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Maybe I’m 19 and you’re 20.  You love me.  You do nice things for me.  You send me care packages at school.  You fly out to see me.  We kiss.  We cuddle.  We go to fancy dinners.  You buy me gifts.  I am undecided about you.  You’re too nice.  And frankly, I’m not sure if you’re the type of guy I want to spend the rest of my life with.  I begin to resent you.   You’re too sweet.  You’re too good to me.  And, I’m just not used to it.  I begin to think I really don’t deserve you.  It’s so sad.  I know.  I break up with you.  You never really recover.  Although I can’t do better than you, I’m relieved to be single, to be on the search for someone else.  Someone who’ll roughen me up a little.  And maybe he and I won’t have as many things in common; maybe he won’t know my heart like you do. Maybe he and I will never talk like you and I did.  But maybe that’s what I need.  And so I break your heart.  Maybe that’s me (and you).

Or maybe we’re 70.  And we have five grandchildren.  We sit on our swing and have tea in the mornings.  I enjoy gardening.  You read newspapers and invest in the stock market.  We wear walking shoes and go to farmers’ markets.  We’ve had a happy life.  We never run out of things to say to each other.  You’re my best friend and I’m yours.  I put my head on your shoulder as we watch the sunset together.  Though you hold my wrinkled hand, it’s still beautiful to you because you’ve held it for 50 years.  And there’s nothing more that we could ever want.  The thought that one of us could ever live in this universe without the other is unimaginable. That’s us.

Maybe in another universe, you really loved me the way I wished you would.  Just not in this one.

 

©2012, Leegal Deeva.  All rights reserved.

the day Hillary Clinton left the house without makeup

The well-known joke goes like this…

Bill and Hillary stop at a gas station in Arkansas.  Hillary recognizes the gas station attendant…after all, he was one of her first boyfriends.  Bill chuckles and says, “Aren’t you happy you married me instead of him?”  Hillary cocks her head back and says, “What do you mean, Bill? If I’d married him, he would have been President.”

As they say, “behind every successful man….”

It was the early 1970s.  They were sitting in a Civil Liberties class at Yale back when men outnumbered women in law schools (women made up less than 3% of law students…as opposed to the standard 51% today).  He kept looking at her.  She was smart, confident, not aggressive, but assertive.  She finally got up and said, “You keep looking at me and I’m gonna look back.  I might as well introduce myself.  I’m Hillary Rodham.”

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They were married in 1975 and they lived happily ever after.

What?! WAITASECOND.

She achieved national and international acclaim in the early 1990s when her husband, then governor of Arkansas, was positioning himself as the Democratic national candidate for the presidency.  No one liked her.  Really, they didn’t.  Frizzy hair.  Frumpy dresses.  Boxy suits.  Not too attractive.  But she was there.  On his arm…the arm of a charming, well-spoken, engaging, and quite debonair 42nd president of the United States.

We vilified her.  Called her a B*tch.  Now we respect her.  What did it?  I, for one, was an ambitious 17-year old, impressed by her poise and confidence as she watched her husband face impeachment hearings and public torment due to his misadventures with a buxom, brunette White House intern with a lazy habit when it came to dry cleaning.  But even then, we didn’t sympathize as much as we could (…or should).

The years unraveled.  Everyone (except for Monica Lewinsky…where has she been anyway?) escaped unscathed.  Even their only daughter, Chelsea Clinton, was able to have a legitimate, enviable relationship that blossomed in to an engagement, in 2009, and marriage, in the summer of 2010.  Bill (“the Thrill”) settled in to a life of public appearances, political endorsements, and good-will efforts.  Hillary came in to the light.  First as a New York Senator…and then, as the Secretary of State.

Now, anyone that knows Leegal Deeva knows these few tid bits:

a)     I love Power Couples…it’s all I’ve ever wanted for myself;

b)     I am intelligent and I value guys who are drawn to intelligence;

c)      I was 16 when I made my first (love) promise me that if he became President of the United States (which he said he would become…and it’s not unlikely seeing as he was an Eagle Scout, on his way to the United States Naval Academy…and now a Marine whose been to Iraq, Afghanistan, and more), he would appoint me as the Secretary of State;

d)     I’ve had a life-long obsession with politicians and royalty;

e)     I always imagined being the party-planning wife of a politician (this tid-bit is no longer…I’m over polticians , but that’s a topic for another day and another blog.)

So, it’s only natural that I would be in awe of all Hillary is and what she has achieved.  Not just as a lawyer or a politician…but as a woman and a WIFE.  I do keep up with her news.  Which is why I was stunned, appalled, pained, and emotionally plagued to hear that the blogosphere as well as all legitimate news outlets were getting their panties in a bunch because why? Hillary Clinton had shown her face in public without a smudge of makeup?

Seriously, people! Hillary had to have quit her modeling career as early as 1970 because since then, she’s been a practicing attorney, and someone who strives and achieves far more than your average Jane Doe who looks like she’s been dipped in a vat of concealer every day.  And last time I checked, the likes of Giselle Bunchen and Ryan Gossling aren’t working in Poltics.

Everyone was on her case.  I mean this is not a woman who is a stranger to having her entire life dissected in the media.  But seriously? She’s a 64 year old woman.   She’s never gotten anywhere (sorry, Hill!) based on her looks or her beauty.  And to expect “beauty” of an attorney and/or politician…it’s really unfair!  She hasn’t put herself out there as an actress.  She wasn’t our Sophia Loren or Linda Evans (I’m really sad about how Linda looks nowadays, by the way…super super sad).  We don’t get to say Hillary looked ugly.  We don’t get to dictate that she look beautiful at all times.

Regardless of where you find yourself in the world of politics (I lean to the right), the idea that any of us would hold the Secretary of State, a woman, to the beauty standards of actresses her age is simply bizarre.  No one pays her to look beautiful.  No one pays her to get her hair done, or her makeup done.  If she chooses to go makeup-free for a day, it’s her choice.  And I commend her.

But the rest of you, who judged her, like you’d judge a high school classmate for having acne or frizzy hair, sent a little message out in to the world that when you’re a woman, you have to look good doing whatever you’re doing…even if it’s serving as the President’s chief foreign affairs advisor.

Hillary, thanks for not giving a sh*t.  Thanks for having the courage to dismiss the criticism.  After all, she said, “You know, at some point, it’s just not something that deserves a lot of time and attention. I feel so relieved to be at the stage I’m at in my life right now, and if others want to worry about it, I let them do the worrying for a change.”

Seriously.

As a woman who sometimes goes without makeup but does want to succeed, I find you truly inspirational.  Thank you, Madame Secretary.

 

©2012, Leegal Deeva.  All rights reserved.

Here’s an awesome DIY blog that my bestie wrote about a gift we made for my tea-loving friend, Hannah!

bff

Thank you for being my best friend.

No, really.  I know I say it all the time but I really truly don’t know what I would do without you.  The 500 iMessages/day, the morning conference calls, the good night messages, sharing dreams (luscious ones or scary ones), having the same alma mater, exchanging frustrations over our identical career choices, Sunday mornings– in bed– watching the same show or movie when we’re hundreds of miles away…these are what make up my life.

You make me feel like I’m not alone.  You make me feel like I have something to look forward to when we celebrate Thanksgiving 2015 together.  You’re my family.  The family I chose. The family I will have some day.  Through you, I realize that I have a true friend.  One who won’t leave me out of her wedding party…no matter how much of a monster her mother in law is.  One who’ll tell me she’s pregnant as soon as she pees on a stick, or even better, the minute she realizes she’s late.  One who I’d gladly wake up at 5 a.m. for, get on a plane for, cross the Bay Bridge for, so I could be in the same city as her, sitting on an Ikea couch, watching the Golden Girls at 9 a.m. on a Saturday morning.   These things seem lame, stupid, inconsequential…but not to us, not to you, and only cuz we know how much they mean to one another.

Other people, they change cities, careers, schools, friends, lifestyles, hair color, last names, and they move on and move apart.  We just laugh at ourselves and remember where we come from, even down to the street corner…and how a change in zip code will never equal a change in heart.

It’s magical, having a best friend, not just one for photo opps on Saturday nights when the music is blaring and the champagne is pouring, but one who sits on the couch with you on a Sunday morning, who shares lazy Sundays where the only thing you can manage doing is eating and working out, maybe grocery shopping, too.  Few are the friends who really stick with you through the thick and thin (literally and figuratively), the pounds, the jobs, the boys, the crushes, the crashes, and the happy, fleeting moments of euphoria…as well as the months of sadness.  Ones who won’t judge you for crying over the same thing, seven months after you should have stopped.

More than anything, I am grateful for the magic of smiling, even when I’m feeling sad, scared, or overwhelmed.  Just dialing your number puts me in a different place.  I love the stupid things we laugh about…and how they suspend time, and snap us out of reality.

I don’t know how I could ever live without your advice…bull sh*t spared, the stuff you teach me and tell me to do that I wish you would sometimes just do for yourself.  It is really the best therapy that money can’t buy.

And when all is said and done…I love that we share a history of achieving, accomplishing, moving onward and forward…which is why, right now, we realize that we can spend a couple of extra hours in bed…because isn’t that our version of Disneyland anyway?  And hell, the world can wait.  Really.  It can.

 

©2012, Leegal Deeva.  All rights reserved.