To the unknown benefactor who left the Wonder Woman bumpersticker in my inbox at work: thank you.
I was an abnormal child, am by many measures an abnormal adult, but at least when I was a kid I watched television and movies like every other patriotic American. My peculiar aversion to teevee and films didn’t assert itself till I was twenty.
We didn’t have cable when I was growing up. In theory we had the basic suite of television channels, but in reality our television set could only pick up three or four stations. The mountain we lived on did a mighty fine job of interfering with reception.
Rustic, I know. We churned our own butter and trudged to the outhouse in the snow, too*.
During the summers I would escape the poverty of the four-channel lifestyle by staying with both sides of my extended family—Mom’s in Wisconsin, Dad’s in Indiana. I was supposed to be spending quality time with cousins, uncles, aunts, and grandparents. I’m sure this happened. I have memories of this happening, and I am relatively confidant that I am not fabricating those memories.
What is certain is that I spent time watching cable television. Whether I learned the value of family and community is open to debate. That I spent hours watching soap operas in Wisconsin, and reruns in Indiana, is incontestable.
In front of the big television in the living room of Grandma and Grandpa Zellers I encountered Wonder Woman. I am not going to say that I had a crush on Lynda Carter, because it is not necessary for me to say so. It is a given. Every human being—male, female, straight, gay, young, old—every human being who ever watched Lynda Carter developed an immediate, irrevocable crush on her.
I was in love with Wonder Woman, of course, but it was more than that: I wanted to be Wonder Woman. I diligently practiced the technique of spinning around three times in quick succession. I never succeeded in making the complete transformation, but I made partial progress, to judge by the disoriented, woozy effect I invariably felt in my head.
I will neither confirm nor deny suggestions that I still, to this day, practice the three-spin transformation. I will acknowledge that I own a Wonder Woman sweatshirt and Wonder Woman undies, and I would like to express my profound disappointment that no one, I mean NO ONE, has ever purchased the Wonder Woman camisole set for me.
The bumpersticker is a nice start, though, and the timing is perfect. I think I need to spruce up my bumperstickers on Charlotte, my Corolla.
For one thing, my Stalin bumpersticker has completely faded (“The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything.”) For another, some of my sentiments were appropriate during the Bush administration, but are now irrelevant, or getting there. (“It is horrifying that we have to fight our government to save our environment” – Ansel Adams.)
Some of my bumperstickers are timeless. “Men who change diapers change the world” will never lose its power. It is not a coincidence that this sticker is in the most prominent spot on my bumper. Soon, though, I’ll swap out some of the stickers for bons mots that better reflect my current, Obama-influenced sentiments.
In other news, my pal Neil Gaiman has won a Newbery. He may be my favorite living writer. John Irving is another candidate, but John Irving doesn’t have a delicious English accent, now does he. Nor is John Irving dreamy to behold. These are important considerations when evaluating the quality of an author.
I feel justified in ranking Neil (I’m totally on a first-name basis with him) as one of my close buddies. I have, after all, met the man, in person. I shook his hand. Neil and I even had a conversation, which lasted nearly two minutes, about an article I’d written about him. Plus Neil is friends with my friend Ian. I rest my case. Nevermind that I haven’t seen Ian in years.
So my best bud Neil just won a Newbery for The Graveyard Book, which I read last night. (I would have read it months ago, but I was embroiled with writing my own book. Sadly, my text will probably not win a Newbery, because it is not written for children. Otherwise I’m sure it would have a shot.) I liked it very much, though I still think his best work is the Sandman series.
In yet other news, I have decided to make a career switch. Being a librarian has been fun, but I’ve realized that my real calling is to work as a sexologist. This epiphany came to me Sunday morning, as I read an article in the New York Times Magazine, What Do Women Want?
(I hope that link works forever, but if not, you can find the original in the 22 January 2009 issue.)
I do not normally read magazine articles. I want my news to be short and succinct. I do not do things halfway. Either I want to read, digest, and process my news in three or four minutes, or I want to immerse myself in a book for a day or three. Thus it was with great trepidation I embarked upon the eight-page piece in the NYT Magazine, but the topic compelled me through the whole thing.
The topic is women and sexual desire. It’s one of my personal research interests. Very personal. My wish to understand my own body’s sexual workings propels me to read widely on sex and sexuality.
Among the ideas posited within the article:
- Women’s physiological responses don’t necessarily correlate with their emotional responses
- Women are sexually aroused by the thought of being desired
- There are differences in the ways that women and men become sexually aroused
Um. This is… news?
It took professional, dedicated scientists, exploring uncharted territory in the realm of sexual research, to uncover these insights?
They could have saved a lot of time and money if they’d just talked to me first. Be that as it may, I now appreciate that I—with no formal training—am already fully qualified to be a sexologist. I shall embark on my new career posthaste. I already know what I am going to wear as my uniform: a Wonder Woman camisole set.