Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Color Me Surprised

Color me surprised and happy. I woke up bright and early (ok not so bright, pouring rain), turned on New York One News. The commentator reported that very few people believe Hiram Monserrate's story. Video cameras in the lobby clearly show a terrified woman--- profusely bleeding from a cut over her eye. A cut that required many stitches. I thought, thank God, nobody believes the cockamamie convoluted story the two of them cooked up. I mean I was genuinely relieved. We have made some progress.

It's common knowledge that many women recant their stories when faced with prosecuting their lovers or their husbands. It's common knowledge that men deny the beating. I am so glad that the days of the cop showing up at a domestic disturbance, and not doing anything, are over. Even if they saw the wife in the background with an ice pack on her face, or arm or leg, gamely apologizing for causing any trouble.

On another note: Here is a list (in no particular order) of women I admire.

1.) Medea. I love her. She's the ultimate mad women. Yes, I know she murdered her children. But that story has come down to us through the patriarchy. It's possible we haven't heard her side of it. I just know she kicks ass. And that's she's strong. History hasn't taken very kindly to women like this. Let's reinstate her in our pantheon.

2.) Helen Lipnicki, my grandmother. She walked across Germany during World War II keeping body and soul together for her children and her husband. She endured prison camps, forced labor, and gave birth in a bombed out building on a bed of straw and lived to tell about it. I am positive I wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for her fierce strength and determination.

3.) Sylvia Plath. I think its become unfashionable to admire her. After all she stuck her head in the oven and killed herself. That shouldn't detract from the shrieking beauty of her poetry in Ariel, written after her husband deserted her for another woman. She absolutely created her own language in the aftermath. I'm sorry it killed her.

4.) Lottie Naumowicz, my mother. I owe my lifelong obsession to perfect hair and shoes to her. When I am too depressed to get out of bed, her voice rings in my ear, get up and face the land of the living. Or clean your room you'll feel better. I follow this very simple advice on very bad days and it always works.

5.) Diane Keaton. She is a beautiful woman and gifted actress, we know these things. But I also admire the fact that she hasn't cut up her face in a desperate attempt to still look like she's thirteen. It makes it easier for me to face my own face in the mirror.

One more thing about my mother. After my shower at the gym, under the harsh fluorescent lights I can see the same patch of gray in my hair that I saw in her hair. When I see that now, I smile.

BTW: I'm a new contributor for the BHB, Brooklyn Heights Blog.

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