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TRANSLATION: MEMPHIS

TRANSLATION: MEMPHIS

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V-DAY Trying to define the difference between the “male” and “female” sides of human personality can be mighty difficult. It’s kind of like attempting to pontificate on the divergence of the “in case of rapture this vehicle will be unmanned” bumper sticker fanatics of the world from the “when the rapture comes can I have your car?” set. In terms of specific adjectives, just like in the language structures that define their expression, the two camps emerge almost too easily. “He” words and “She” words. To some extent these assignments aren’t arbitrary, I guess. But when it comes down to it, most people that I know utilize both of these realms pretty freely nowadays. I know that I do. So here I am, and it’s National Women’s Month. This weekend, in celebration, I tried to look around me for all the pretty pinks and blues, the little essences that make up the differences between the coexistent worlds of the ladies and the gentleman. Sunday, at 3 o’clock, the University of Memphis staged a performance of Eve Ansler’s The Vagina Monologues. My plan was to meet up with several of my closest chick friends at Bosco’s for their Sunday Brunch, and then catch the show. Incidentally, a mouthpiece workshop for clarinet players was going on in town at the same time. One of the beautiful things about Bosco’s brunch is the $2.50 Bloody Mary. Veggie juice, Tabasco, pepper, and vodka delivered in one fell swoop to draw the mind away from any lingering Saturday night aftermath that might be going on in your life. They’re even good without the hangover. We were three women banded together for the very sake of being women banded, which definitely means that we deserved the indulgence or something. We talked up a whole plethora of girl stuff. You know, confidential information, beauty tips, the psychology of things we did to our Barbies as young children or adults. My Barbie, a very mouthy little thing, had a green Mohawk and partied like a rock star. The Ken-as-Freud doll that lived in the same trash bag as the rest of my dolls undoubtedly spent many hours ruminating on that trollop’s issues. Eventually 2:30 rolled around and we made our slogan-chanting way to the University of Memphis campus. It was V-Day! We could shout out things about our nether regions and nobody would look at us funny. That was sort of fun. Perhaps I’m reading entirely too much into the symbolism of this, but the sign posted after we walked across Central instructed us to continue past the tower, and enter the Rose Theatre! OK, OK, so it’s the Michael D. Rose Theater. I’m trying to get in the spirit here. On principle, I’m all for any production or event designed as a benefit an end to violence against women. In Memphis, as anywhere else, there are dangers and abuses that are disgusting to anyone with a sense of decency. If problems like that are to be solved, people definitely need to work together. But here’s the thing. After Bosco’s, I just didn’t have the $25 needed to pay for the show. The first thing that popped into my head was that $25 can easily feed me for a week, and I think that the Bloody Mary in me may have quipped something to that effect. Alas, our celebration of the vagina was going to have to be enjoyed at home, where it could be enjoyed for free. I think I said that too. At this point it probably wouldn’t help my case to point out that $25 is the equivalent of seven Bloody Marys, right? Surely, they can be symbolic. In self-defense, I grew up near the water. There must be some sailors in my lineage. I fear, however, that this exchange may someday lead me to feminist hell. Many people argue that hell is the here and now, but I have a clear vision of my personal feminist hell. It would be a roomful of Fabio clones doing aerobics to Ricky Martin songs in perfect unison. My blood curdles at the thought. So, my girlfriends and I ended up celebrating V-Day afternoon the cheap way. Three women, a baby boy, and (gasp) a man sitting on the porch on a Sunday watching life roll by. We talked some girl stuff, talked some guy stuff, and didn’t have to go into the red to enjoy our pink sides. Actually, it was good enough for me. Maybe even better.

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