The Naked Woman Who Didn’t Brush Her Teeth

August 15, 2008

My friend K in Austin, TX has a friend who is a Naked Woman Who Doesn’t Brush Her Teeth.


“So… how does that happen?” I asked K, on the phone. “Does she march in your apartment and strip? Does she always walk around sans clothing? Does her breath stink?”

I was horrified. Fascinated. Troubled. Disgusted. Intrigued.

Apparently, this woman felt like clothing and tooth-brushing were both… well, bunk… social ideas that she could live without materializing in her daily life.

This woman had eggs. Ovaries. Guts. Balls. Hutspah. Cahones. Nerve.

A lot of confidence and not a lot of modesty…

At the base of my sputter-sputter laugh-laugh reaction to K’s description was a small seed of jealousy. There are many times I wish I had the gall to state definitively that I oppose Conventional Wisdom, even Science, Propriety, and What They Say, to just strip, stink, and stew in my own juices.

My own rebellions are small.

I hate bras, for instance. Truly truly. I am aware that for some people, the lack of a bra denotes a foundational neglect of one’s personal respect, hygiene, style, adherence to custom, logic (your boobs will sag like the women in National Geographic!).

I, however, have seen my grandmother’s boobs; and, despite 80 years of stringent stringing up of the old things, they sag. I don’t even think she breastfed. Put in her in a hulu skirt and my granny is a native.

And what is the custom about, anyway? Don’t let anyone see them bounce, swing, move? Don’t let your nips show?

That reminds me of preparing for my first ballet recital as a young girl, our teacher telling us we needed to stick bandaids over our “headlights” to keep them from protruding to the audience under the hot stagelights… ballet is, of course, all about strapping and stringing up your body parts to make them aesthetically pleasing, whatever the blood from your feet speaks…

I also remember my mom’s story about when she first went to college, back in the 50s, when the school officials would watch female students to make sure they were wearing bras and girdles… not wiggling and waddling their flesh too much, you know…


But real life? I feel like if the boys can’t take Real Live Women, unrestrained, then the boys need to go back to training pants. What’s so scary about nipples?

I’m not only sick of this anti-breastfeeding crap in our culture, I’m sick of this “I have raging hormones and I can’t control myself because I’m a guy” schtick from the males. Learning control, and accepting the functions and shapes of the human body, these are marks of maturity, for men and women alike; grow up.

If you think my anti-bra stance is irrational, please do me a favor and go read Egalia’s Daughters, a novel that flips our gendered society on its head. Instead of women wearing bras, men have to wear ‘pehoes’ to hold in their male members; they even have a pehoe-burning in their masculinist revolt. The book is a lot of fun, but it also really makes you think again about what you believe to be true and factual with regard to gender and sex in our society.

But back to the naked woman with the dirty teeth – can you imagine?!!

What crazy anti-social thing would you do, if you felt you could get away with it?



August 7, 2008

Thanks, Cvillain, for giving us a mention!

Save Water & Money

August 6, 2008
Spreadsheet Queen shared with me how she inexpensively cut her water bill by 40%:
At Blue Ridge Eco Store, I bought:
–3 sink aerators (1.95 ish ea.)
–3 toilet poppersĀ  (9.95ish ea.)
–2 low flow shower heads (9ish ea)
–note: already have front loading washer
Great ideas, yes?
I would also add that having a bucket to collect water while waiting for the shower to heat up and using a rain barrel together would be helpful… I just don’t have a place to store all the water I would use… ideas?

What Others Should Blog

August 6, 2008

I have a friend who should have a blog. I actually have two ideas for her: 1) a blog called Great Target Finds in Cville, because she always knows how to find cool things I never ever come across, and 2) Spreadsheet Queen, because she uses spreadsheets for everything – from deciding on a preschool to planning parties to cleaning material research – it’s so organized and interesting and useful.

I have another friend who always has interesting thoughts about “green” issues and economic disparities and buddhism and motherhood, and her blog would be widely interesting, too… Maybe she could call it The Cost of Everything. Yeah.

Yet another friend of mine should blog about how wacked Cville is – call it Crapville or C Ville Run or The Cville Critique or something… she has lived in both New Jersey and California, and her critique of some of the more asinine social mores of this little self-important town crack me up – and would be a nice counterbalance to much of the self-hype that goes on in this place.

The fun thing about blogs is they do make you think: What do I bring? What can I share? What do I rant about? What kind of perspective do I have?

Thank you

August 6, 2008

Thank you, AA; thank you, EH –

thanks for reading, and missing me when I wasn’t writing. You guys really make me feel like a million bucks.

And thank you, PIC (Partner in Crime, Husband of Mine) – thanks for reading, even though you don’t always like it. Thanks for telling me over and over what a good job I’m doing with the house and the kids. Thanks for telling me that I AM a working mother. Thanks for being my best friend.

And for insisting I use this laptop, so that I could write again.

DIY Hack

August 6, 2008

The other night I met another woman who, like me, saw a mobile and said to herself, “It can’t be THAT hard…!” and went about trying to make her own… failing miserably.

And the other day, I met a woman who, like me, approached potty training with the attitude, “It can’t be THAT hard, who needs to read a book? I’ll wing it!” only to find herself in poo hell.

I’m so glad I’m not the only one who approaches new things with this cowgirl attitude. I was beginning to think everyone else in the world studied up and prepared fully before doing everything, and that my cavalier, possibly arrogant, maybe lazy hack-it style was a flaw I was going to have to dig deep, unearth, toss.

Oh yes – but that’s the REAL reason that Into the Wild book felt so familiar – because the kid went off on his adventures with little preparation. He didn’t take a map on purpose. He wanted to follow instinct, trust himself, learn as he went, have a direct interaction with the world around him, without the interference of others at all… stupid, right? Brave? Foolish? Risky? Interesting?

Give Me Space

August 5, 2008

Do you share your towels with your roommates? With your domestic partner? With your kids?

What about your laptop?

What about your working space/home office?

I’m happy sharing the kitchen, the living room, the bed, but I have my own personal ideas of MINE.

This may, perhaps, contradict the constant mantra of SHARE! that I recite to my toddler with the religious-fever of an OCD Tibetan monk, but I can’t help it.

I need my space.

I need my territory. And my territory is my journals, my towels, my laptop, and my work space.

My husband understands the first one. But he doesn’t get the towel thing – neither did my roommates in college, junior year – they dried themselves with whatever was nearby and I took to hanging up my towels in my bedroom.

I’ve given up on this one.

The laptop is a major point of contention in our house. My laptop, bought before we moved in together, is now kind of old. It moans and hums constantly, like a refrigerator about to take flight. It’s slow. It’s now missing keys, thanks to a curious toddler obsessed with her Letters. It’s an old, toothless, overweight specimen that I can hardly use for much. Even as I type right now, I’m on the newer, lightweight laptop that my husband’s been trying to get me to use for about a year now.

The problem? This computer is his. It’s got his stuff on it, his settings, his bookmarks in the browser. And he still uses it from time to time.

His argument: Why can’t we share?

Mine: I don’t want to.

I know; I’m being ridiculous. But I can’t help it. There’s some things I don’t want to have to negotiate time for. At the library, one checks out books and returns them, takes turns at the computer stands. That’s the library. At home, I want books I can thumb, drool over, even take notes in the margins of; I want a computer I can use at 4 a.m. when I wake up and need to write. I want a Laptop of my Own.

It’s even more important, right now, than the Room of One’s Own – though that is important, too, and another thing my husband doesn’t get. I have a desk set up in “our” office that I never visit, but a workstand in the art – laundry room that I love. The difference? “Our” office is full of his stuff, the art room is filled with mine. I’m fine with that. I don’t mind not sharing. He thinks I’m anal. He thinks I’m nuts.

I know I am not, because from Virginia Woolf to the author of The Mother Trip, women artists and writers and seekers and just women of all kinds have insisted upon, repeated their claim for some space in which to be alone, to sink into the relief of having to deal with only one’s own mind heart and soul. It’s not that we don’t like collaborating with our partners and children and friends; in fact, my ideal would be that I could sit at that desk in our office and work, laugh, trade ideas, share silent space… but I would still need that other art room for my own space.

Am I nuts? I was an only child, no siblings – did I just get used to having things my way, unto myself?