Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Cheeky But Honest Black Bra Wisdom

About a million years ago, back when the internet first launched and AOL was likely the only service provider; back when we had to listen to that horrid buzzing, whizzing, whirling dial tone sound before we finally got to hear those charmed three words, “You’ve got mail”, I got this e-mail that stuck out in my brain. It was when there were very few clever e-mails going around and connectivity was so unheard of that I got it more than once. That was probably, I may have to refer to Megan here because we were working together at the time at Cameron Newell Advertising, 1997. It was an e-mail about certain qualities, and items, women should possess. I wish I would’ve kept a copy of what was entitled, “Black Bra Wisdom.” If you remember it, fabulous! That was bloody fourteen years ago. If you have a copy, please share it because it was really funny. If not, here is my version:
What every woman in 2011 needs (Deserves? Has earned?):
Your own workshop – Be you a woodworker, a crafter, a tailor, an artist, a writer it is important to have your own space. In 1929, Virginia Woolf said, “A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.” You may not be a fiction writer, but in today’s world you absolutely need your own space. Take it. Make it your own.
Knowledge of our government – Girls, don’t rest wearily on your laurels because you’ve spent the day in the office only to come home to a house full of siblings screaming at one another and a spouse fussing at you about dinner. Make the time to read, or watch, the news. You cannot rely on the idle conversation you encounter around the water cooler. You need to read, or listen to, the facts and formulate your own ideas and opinions about our leadership. Take advantage of your right to vote, recall this is the right that took us until 1920 to earn, and get some of those close-minded “ole boys” out of office. I implore you.
A “black” bra and panties – Sadly, this advice has long since gone the way of the dodo. Though some women may still prefer black, go with what you love but make certain you have a bra and panties in the drawer for special occasions (i.e. a date night, just to feel good, a little luck for a job interview). There are so many cuts, styles and colors out there you could have your favorite. Mine is hot pink! Can I have an AMEN?
Tools – No, not just power tools, all tools. Talk to your dad, your granddad, or a good guy friend and begin to garner some idea of what you might need tools for and then start accumulating said tools. Here are some examples of things I have done and what you might need to complete the job:
  • Changing out water stops. Don’t know what a stop is? Know those little knobs under the kitchen and bath sink that cut off the water would you need to? That’s a stop. They typically come in copper and attach to copper so be prepared to break out the heavy equipment. You’ll need a torch, solder, solder paste, a wire brush, etc. Pick up the “How to do just about everything” book at Home Depot and you’ll get the idea. Same tools are needed for changing out a water heater just FYI. And, the answer to your next question is…yes, I have.
  • Switching out the kitchen faucet. This is not as complicated, but be prepared to take the sink out becasue you aren’t going to be able to get any torque behind that tight-ass, rusty nut that is holding the old faucet on. Get the screw gun (aka drill) and be prepared to take the entire sink out. You’ll need channel locks (looks like a wrench that you can make bigger or smaller), you’ll need a screw driver (yes, do-it-yourself faucets come with set screws – please tell me you know what a set screw is), and along with a few other things you’ll need patience. Hire a sitter because you cannot do this with a three year old underfoot.
  • Tacking the gutters back to the house. What? Your gutters don’t pull away from the fascia? Mine do. In order to fix them you will need gutter screws, not gutter nails, again with the screw gun, a long metal drill bit (long enough to get through both sides of the gutter – sorry I don’t know length off the top of my head but it’s probably six inches. Right boys?).
  • Trimming the hedges (not the personal kind). Electric hedge clippers that look a bit like alligator teeth and a really, really long extension cord, unless, of course, you don’t mind plugging and unplugging repeatedly. Be careful not to bite (I mean with the clippers) the cord whilst you are trimming said hedges otherwise you might be in for a bit of a bite yourself.
Contact cards – These are akin to business cards but instead are used for networking the more personal side of you. I have business cards and I have contact cards. They both come in handy in very different situations.
Your own money and knowledge of how to manage it (retirement, spending, savings) -  I believe that is all that needs to be said on this subject.
Knowledge – Every bit of education you have obtained in the umpteen years you’ve been around. It doesn’t matter if your knowledge came from a book, the street, an event, emotions, or drama what you know is what you have. Use it.
Fearlessness – In my opinion, the worst of all character traits is fear. It can paralyze you, create self-doubt, and even defeat you. Don’t let it! If you don’t know something then pick up a book, take a class, call a friend, or for goodness sake, just try it. What’s the worst that can happen? You might have to practice or try it again. You might hear “no” right out of the gate, but eventually, if you keep at it, you’ll hear a “yes!”
Friendship - Like Megan said in her post yesterday, connect with others and share yourself, and your wisdom. Life is too short to be experienced without good friends, fabulous wine, and rich dark chocolate. When you possess these things you need little else.
What do you think a woman needs to be empowered?
Life in Penned Perspective by Lindy Chaffin Start
Forgive me for today's excruciatingly long post, but these things had to be said. :-)


Pam Asberry said...

Great list, Lindy! The only thing I can think of to add is a great hairdresser. ;-)

Playground Monitor said...

And a good doctor.

When I was going through my divorce, I had power underwear -- animal print. I wore it to court under a black sweater and black dress pants. Nobody knew but me, but I felt like "I am woman, hear me roar!"


WritersLiPP said...

Thanks Pam! A great hairdresser is a fabulous addition and I think you have one of the best in town! Smooches - Lindy

WritersLiPP said...

Marilyn I love the fact that you felt so empowered in court. I must try your animal print tip and see if it doesn't render me a bit stronger next time we must appear. Otherwise, I'm with you on the good doctor tip. Great add!!! - Lindy

Julee J. Adams said...

Man, I remember that post too--but it was at least three computers ago. I so agree, knowledge is power. And while I may wear big ol' cotton granny panties, they're in some hot colors......

WritersLiPP said...

I'll bet they are Julee. Thanks. I'm glad someone besides me recalls that e-mail. It made me laugh then and I'm sure it would now too. Wear those granny panties with pride girl! - Lindy

Megan said...

Fabulous. Brilliant. A bit terrifying (in a good kick-in-the-rear way). :) But altogether wonderful, Lindy. AMEN!