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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Taming Of The Shrew

Lately, I have spent far too much time, some would say wasting my time, indulging in one of my favorite past times - checking out the goings on in Hollywood. Call it yet another guilty pleasure. There is always something going on. Somehow, whatever is going on in my world seems mundane compared to what is covered by the entertainment media.

Click after click reveals story after story of the arrival of yet another perfect Brad Pitt/Angelina Jolie offspring or two. Somebody’s gotten engaged. A little gossip here, a snip of a newsreel there. Somebody’s gotten un-engaged. The sheer abundance of “information” at my fingertips is amazing! However, one little nugget of “news” of late crossed my screen and I have to admit, I was horrified.

Ugh! I wanted to shield my eyes. I wanted to shield the dog’s eyes.

These days another Hollywood divorce is not anything new, a sad commentary on the state of things, but there it is. But this one was unique, the divorce du jour between Christie Brinkley from her now off-husband Peter Cook. Stories of he said/she said, he did/she did, improper behavior and the like. All accusations held in open court for the entire world, and for her children, to see.

What truly troubled me was that the decision to open the divorce proceedings to the media was a choice that had been made over the objection of counsel. Now, don’t get me wrong, I completely understand wanting revenge for public embarrassment and humiliation. I understand wanting to make him or her pay for the humiliation. I am sure that there is more than one woman or man out there who would like to “stick it to the bum” and hurt the other the way you have been hurt.

For her part in the debacle, Ms. Brinkley has been called a shrew. Pain displays her ugly little face in many ways. Some, present company included, may wonder what it was that drove Ms. Brinkley to demand her divorce proceedings opened to the media. How very hard it must be to come up to that line, that very thin line between love and hate, then stop, turn and walk away. Who is to say that if it were us, that we would not do the same? Though I don’t advise parading of your personal business before the entire world, I can understand the pain that had to be at the center of this tragedy.

It is too easy to shake our fingers at her and say, “You shouldn’t have.” Sometimes, when we are in the heat of the battle, we would sooner give the offender a one-way ticket to the hot spot before choosing to take the high road.

But, one or two bad decisions does not a shrew make. How we deal with it does. I guess what I am getting at is dignity. Dignity is a major weapon in our arsenal as Mid Life Divas making our journey through Mid Life Divadom.

Somebody do you wrong? I’m not saying just sit aside and look all tired and pathetic. Nor am I advising airing all of your dirty laundry and then some. Nor am I saying go completely left and unload with a verbal shotgun of insults, complaints and putdowns, Bonnie and Clyde style: “I’ll show you a thing or two!”

All I’m saying is that as Mid Life Divas, we have to hold on to the one thing that makes us the women we want to be, the person we’re proud to be when the lights go down. The authentic, genuine woman who, in the bright light of day, is the person we respect most of all.

Tame the Shrew who wants to beat this person senseless, whether it is physically – I believe that’s still called battery – emotionally or publicly.

Tame the Shrew with a little dignity. Think about the children. Think about ourselves. I know that what others say about you is not the main concern as you make your journey. But, what do you say about yourself when the lights go out and everything is quiet? Or when the “press” goes home and you’re all alone?

What can we say about ourselves when we see our reflections in the eyes of our children? Or in the eyes of the mothers who raised us? Can we honestly say that we’ve done the best that we could? Your reflection of you – your dignity – is you at your best. Our response says more about “us” than it says about “them”.

Don’t give it up, girl, not for anybody. Not to win. And certainly not to prove how bad, indecent or immoral the offending party is. I know we’ve heard it all before, but they will get theirs. Just don’t let it be at the expense of you losing yours.

That’s all I wanted to say.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this TL. Sometimes it's easy to forget this lesson in the midst of the pain. Rising above is an art in and of itself but we are all worthy of attaining that height.