13 February 2002
It seems that my day today has been nothing but vaginas. Several patients needing exams
during the day, and an evening spent at "The Vagina Monologues."
Walt and I saw this Eve Ensler play in London, but this was a production by university
actors as part of the V-Day 2002 College Campaign, a worldwide movement to stop violence
against women and girls and proclaim Valentine's Day a time to celebrate women and demand
the end to abuse.
The audience was filled with laughing and cheering women of all ages, from young to a
70-something woman in a wheelchair, clapping enthusiastically. There was a sprinkling of
"tripods," as Marn refers to men, but they were definitely in the minority.
The play is both funny and poignant, running the gamut from two very moving pieces
about women under Taliban rule and women raped in Bosnia to a depiction of various types
of orgasmic moans. And just about everything in between. (I particularly enjoyed a very
funny bit about gynecological exams--it was like being at work!)
Unfortunately, my friend Rosemarie and I missed the first half hour because the
publicity person from the university gave me the wrong time. Thank God I always try to be
early to things. We arrived at 7:30, thinking the show started at 8, and it had already
been going for half an hour. As it is a 90 minute one-act play, we would have missed most
of it had we arrived just before we thought it began!
But we were in time for the parts that I remember most from the London production,
including a touching piece about a woman who had been raped in childhood, learning to love
herself and her "koochie-snorcher." (I'm sorry to have missed the opening part
of this show where they list every possible euphemism for "vagina" imaginable.)
There is also a powerful segment about a woman from Oklahoma City who decided to take
back the word "c*nt" and make it a powerful pro-woman word that women could
embrace as a positive thing. She had the audience chanting the word with her at the end of
Now I'm going through my usual "do something else while trying to write the review
in the back of my head" routine. The review is due first thing in the morning, so it
will have to be done before I go to sleep this evening.
I don't know why I am unable to just sit down and write something--anything. When I'm
working on deadline is when I clean the kitchen, do laundry, mop the floor, get caught up
on letters I've been meaning to write and a dozen other mindless activities. Perhaps
that's the key: "mindless activities." While I'm doing these automatic
activities, my brain is "percolating" (that's the only way I can describe it)
with thoughts and phrases and then when I'm down to the wire and it has to be done THIS
MINUTE, it all comes spilling out onto the screen. It's definitely a screwy way to write.
Probably why I'll never make it as a professional writer.
The day started with good news. After my workout at the club, I went up for the weekly
weigh-in at Weight Watchers (didn't stay for the meeting itself, since I had to be at work
early today). Last week, you may recall, I only lost .4 lbs but I made up for it this
week, racking up another 3.6 pounds in the loss column, making a total of 17 to date. Baby
steps, but I'm getting there.
Aside: Is anybody else as bothered as I am by those close-ups of the faces of
Olympic athletes as they stand on the award podium? You just know the photographer
is hoping for a glint of a tear in someone's eye. It would be one thing if he happened to
catch it, but they do the tight shot on everyone's eyes, and it's almost like a winner is expected
to show some emotion as the anthem of their country is played.
Also, the Canadian skaters are putting all the newscasters to shame. I've seen
them interviewed countless times since their silver-medal win last night and every single
interviewer seems to be trying to get them to express anger about their loss to the
Russians, but those two kids have shown nothing but pure class in their acceptance of the
outcome of the competition and their desire to put it behind them and move on. I
have enormous respect for them.
I gotta stop playing around here and get this review written...