Right next to words promising security and Easy Glide in Plastic Applicators are these more profound ones:
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Eleanor Roosevelt
This is my daughter Devon’s favorite quote by this first lady. She first discovered the message on a pink box from a tampon dispenser on the wall of a smelly high school bathroom. This closest to a favorite far cozy, corner stall under the warmth of a heat vent. Small pleasures in surviving a day of high school and enduring another seventh hour period.
Wow! I have to wonder: Did tampons even exist back in the day of that First Lady? Dunno. Devon tells me the story of the quote and I think…I have been in that bathroom on a few occasions. Like the night of the high school musical, middle school band concert, Homecoming Alumni Assembly, and I can not say that I was all that impressed by anything in that bathroom. No person, no thing, no event. That space is definitely over rated. Not even almond smelling soap and warm water gushing in the sink can make it better. It is overly warm, and ripening in odiferous ways, needing ventilation. Ugh!
The quote is a good one. Much better than the stall door etchings of “J.T. is a slut!” and “Go die Brave! until you become a Wild Cat!” At first glance, in crazy juxtaposition, while the Roosevelt quote is superb, I think the bathroom to be inferior. I do this anytime I am in a public place and must reduce myself to using the facilities. I do the look over. I am discriminating. Not even sure there are paper toilet seat covers available in that school bathroom. Hah! I have to laugh in thinking these things are not recyclable. Recycling a thing we are increasingly being asked to do. I feel every time I use one of these icky facilities I am recycling an injured soul in consenting to doing something WRONG! Dunno. It’s just a me thing.
Back to the Eleanor Roosevelt quote. When I think of this first lady, I think of her teeth. Her choppers. Like after a long day of mining, she wipes her sweaty grimy face with the back of her hand, and then slowly opens both a gritty hand and drooling mouth to produce an ore cart of….teeth! Ahhh! Not sure where this image came from, if not the Park City Mining Museum on Main Street. Main Street, home of the Sun dance Film Festival. Ahh! That’s happening now! On Educators Night, I read on an exhibit sign at the museum that in the 1800s women were NOT allowed to set foot in the PC silver mines, much less the camps. It was BAD LUCK! Guess that was not true for the brothels and saloons. Hypocrit mining men! Definitely not BYU honor code.
I think if I were in the high position of First Lady, and I was Eleanor Roosevelt, I would have seen a specialist. This would have been THE first thing I would have used my “Presidential First Lady” card on: to get braces or a mouthful of white Hollywood capped teeth. At least a few professional whitening sessions. Ouch! I have a thing for teeth. They are a fetish of mine. Maybe I’ll go to Sun dance this year and partake of some celebrity smiles.
I also think of “Birds of a feather flock together.” Not teeth. Not celebrities. I’m over that. I won’t poop on anyone elses shoulder in this one. Maybe. The idiom mentioned refers to an amazingly liberated friendship in a time where gender roles were highly defined by the men in American Society. And yet these ladies of notoriety were able to escape and break through barriers like great white sharks. To some extent they did this in the public eye keeping with defined roles all the while fooling everyone. They staged little known escapes on fixed wings and in fast cars over and through the streets of Baltimore, and Washington D.C.. These girls were fast friends, disallowing any man, or woman for that matter, the right to define them. And men and women tried. Still do, if not only in the writing and rewriting of history. Now days the slant is a little less taciturn with a more liberal, feminist slant. Thank goodness.
So while I am feeling inferior for judging a person based on outward appearance and not entirely for the content of character, I will not have the privilege of speaking with Eleanor Roosevelt herself. She is dead and cannot defend herself from me in anyway but with her own words. Honestly, I think I would have liked to hang out with her and Amelia Earhart. Adventurers. The secret three. A triangle of mystery.
But since I can not hang out with these women, I will have to settle for befriending the quote on a tampon box. “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” I hope my daughters remember this. Sometimes in spite of everything wonderful, and everyone around us we are our own worst enemy. We writhe unnecessarily in self induced emotional cramping. We are good at hurting ourselves. We need to remember to gently glide our own soul applications as we tread lightly on others integrity. I need to remember this most of all. Next time I reach for a box of tampons, I will remember Eleanor Roosevelt. ha ha.