Saturday, June 13, 2015

Girls Just Want to Have Fun!

Barb Polan
Barb’s Recovery
Posted 23rd October 2012

News flash: Men and women are different. I recently had an experience that I bet not a single post-stroke man has even come close to encountering the male version of. Here goes ... Last Thursday, I went with three girlfriends to a “Mama Gena” show in Springfield. Mama Gena is a persona created by Regena Thomashauer, founder of “The School of Womanly Arts,” which teaches women to adore themselves and all other women. Bottom-line: Mama Gena considers every woman a sister and every woman a goddess. Self-introductions MUST be along the lines of “I’m Sister Goddess Barbara,” etc. She wants every woman to believe herself to be luscious. This is not a mode of thought I was interested in pre-stroke. While I appreciated being cheerful, energetic, active and athletic – components required in order to be attractive – I was not interested in over-the-top femininity or sensuality. Post-stroke, though, I find myself missing admiring looks, and spend most of the time feeling inadequate, as women go. My saint of a husband does not help at times like that; he despises dealing with me when I’m obsessing about shoes or dresses or how this pair of pants looks compared to that. His attitude is that I’ve had a stroke and that dressing up is a waste because I will always end up looking like I had a stroke. True, but it makes me sad. Since having the stroke, I have started dying my hair back to its natural chestnut, having facials and getting my eyebrows waxed. All too-feminine practices I rejected pre-stroke, but they do help me feel better about myself now.

But I have a very girly girlfriend who arranged the outing to see Mama Gena. A few days beforehand, I asked her what I should wear. “Pink,” she replied instantly. Now, pink is not a color in my wardrobe – black, I’ve got, everything a woman could ever want in black. For color I’ve got dozens of shades of blue and green, plus a few red items. Pink? No pink. The closest to pink I have is a black dress with red roses and a ruffle at the bottom. How close, really, is that to pink? When I went to Lisa’s house to get dressed, I took my black dress, a little black cardigan and a black cape (think: 1950s nurse); of course, there were also my black walking shoes and socks, which together look like army boots. For starters, it took me 15 minutes and a lot of tears to get the clothing into a bag to take to Lisa’s house; I HATED those frigging wadded clothes by the time I left my house, But when I got to Lisa’s, she had a gauzy electric blue dress that was too big for her despite the fact it was a Small. She’s a Small, I’m a Medium, and we decided the dress was a Large Small. It fit me perfectly – long-sleeved and buttoned up the front. Did I mention it was gauzy? Gauzy, as in see-through. “What do you think of it being see-through?” I asked. Her response? “See-through with black panties and a hot-pink bra? PERFECT for Mama Gena!” Obviously, I lied about the pink issue – I do have a hot-pink bra, but only because it’s easy to pull on over my head, not because it's pink. Given the brilliant blue of the dress and its fabulous fit, I decided I was presentable, but just in case, threw on my black cape. We then picked up two other friends – one a gorgeous and sexy Brazilian and the other a pretty and slender woman who always looks well put-together. Both in pink. As we got out of the car in Springfield, Lisa handed around pink feather boas that we all wrapped around our necks. Each of them tweaked mine to make it look better. At the start of the show, Mama Gena arrived carried in by half a dozen buff guys, with “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” as the music. She wore a tiny pink sequined dress. The show, which was interactive, was also raunchy, funny and, yet, it somehow built our self-esteem. With 100 women watching, we got to talk about our desires, how to tell a desire from a goal, learned how to brag and how to put together a “pleasure basket” for our bedside. Women talked about pleasure and feeling luscious, about being single and having sex (which Mama called “research”), about being married and having sex. She had us all stand, point to our butts and say, “I have a hot ass.” “Smoking” was also an acceptable adjective. And we laughed and laughed, increasing our serotonin level, she said, something laughing has in common with orgasm. At least in women; she didn’t mention men, not in that context. Is that why women always love men who make them laugh?

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