⚡ October 18, 2017
Me Too 👠
Look at those three beautiful girls in this photo: Heddy is in the middle, Janice is on her right, and I am the bride-to-be on the left. My mom is in the background in the middle, and my future mother-in-law is sitting beside her, partially hidden, but you can see her fancy up-do blonde French twist peeking out. Now that the world is learning about all the various forms of sexual assault as more and more women are speaking out, can you imagine the stories these three grown women could tell, if they chose to talk?
I had just gotten off the train after a weeklong remote assignment covering the Miss America beauty pageant for two different daily newspapers, my local Philly suburbs paper and the Kalispell, Montana Daily Inter Lake. My career was budding, but I was nipping it by getting married and becoming an Army wife with a war on the horizon.
The purple dress I was wearing for my rehearsal party was brand new in this photo, and the white trim was real leather. It was expensive, and it came from the gift shop of an Atlantic City landmark called the Marlborough-Blenheim Hotel before they tore it down. I saved my entire per diem by eating hors d’oeuvres from last night’s party for the following day’s breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I used the hotel’s radiator to keep the food warm, and it’s a miracle I didn’t poison myself.
But, I’ve always been lucky. Assaulted? Of course. But lucky.
At that point in my career I was able to dictate entire articles on deadline directly to the lino operator, without pause or hesitation and after fighting for any available phone in the lobby. Later, I would write and sell a novel, head a company, go on TV, and have many adventures that I believed were a result of my talent and work ethic. But you already know the rest of the story. It turns out, again and again, your work is but a pretext because it’s all about the base. The base instincts that push all your hard work onto the floor to clear room on the desktop for mayhem.
Picking yourself up and covering everything up forever and ever is as much a part of my makeup as my actual makeup. And looking back, instead of studying Early Twentieth Century Literature and learning how to bake a pie, I really wish I’d taken weight lifting and strength training and advanced urban evasive parkour. 🐔