Saturday, June 21, 2003

Mash M.A.S.H.

Set out to support a newly remodeled mom and pop book store by attending its opening, I somehow make a wrong turn and end up at Barnes and Nobles (I know, bad me). I slap $3 down for an insipid drink they call cappuccino (Starbucks, really bad me) and work my way over to the periodicals (really, really bad me). I arrive at the “Women’s Interest” isle, it’s about double the “Men’s Interest” isle. I hadn't noticed that before. To all men, please recognize that women are subjected to double the amount of physique perfectionism - damn, must be nice to be a guy sometimes. Not to mention, that half of the men’s mags are of physically ideal women- damn, must be nice to be a playmate.

Flipping through The New Yorker (okay, People), I spot two young ladies reaching for bridal mags. They must be in college or fresh grads. Curious, I investigate their left hand, no ring. They show-and-tell a few pages to each other exhibiting the kind of dress they want to wear to their expected wedding. I swap my mag out for Bazaar in hopes that it will elicit an idea for an outfit to wear to a new club opening. As I do so, I wonder if I’ll ever have the bridal genes or maternal instinct. Recognizing that I’m barely at the quarter century mark yet, I wonder if I was able to be immune to all the “oohs” and “ahh’s” of becoming a wife and/or mother. It’s almost impossible to not be susceptible to it- the programming starts at an early age. Nevertheless, there are those who question the system, those who question if they’re compatible with that program.

What if you don't know what you want your dress to look like? What if you don't know where you want to honeymoon? What if you don't know how many kids you want? What if you don't have your kids names picked out? What if the idea of ending up "old and alone" doesn't sound as bad as people say? What if it's hard to know what you truly want because we've already been told what's best for us?

M.A.S.H. (acronym: mansion, apartment, shack, house) is the name of this game that young girls play in elementary school (it's probably outdated now, *sigh of relief*). It consists of a series of questions regarding certain desires for the future: type of home, husband's name, number of children, children’s names, and honeymoon locale. And that was it. There was no question on what you wanted to become, where you wanted to travel, what you wanted to study in college, nope, none of that. Just hubby names and how many boys and how many girls. The only question I didn’t struggle with was, "What kind of car do you wish for?" (right now, can't decide between the Aston Martin and the Mazerati). To that end, for those who walk the isle, congrats on finding "the one" but do not feel obliged to throw that bouquet towards everyone, some may be just fine sitting with their cake and champagne.