Thursday, March 12, 2009

Aging Gracefully

Third Blogiversary Edition

Time for a little happy dance in your cubicles, kids. Today is the third anniversary of America's favorite dog blog devoted to politics, pop culture, and basketball! It's true! Can you believe we've been hanging out together for three whole years, sniffing out all the news that's fit to rant about, making up cool new words like "Terpalicious" and new phrases like "poop on toast?" We are so grateful to all of you for your wholly inexplicable devotion to us and what we do around here. As I say every year around this time,
Without you, I’m just an old dog with two crazy moms and a laptop. With you, I’ve got a whole world in my paws.
So thanks for coming by!

I'm not the only one with age on my mind today in Roxie's World. Moose received her invitation to join AARP in the mail yesterday, in anticipation of the monumental birthday that will be occurring in a little over two weeks. How is she feeling in anticipation of that event? Suffice it to say that she got a little verklempt yesterday reading Melissa McEwan's heartfelt tribute to The Golden Girls, but she couldn't figure out whether the emotion arose from a sense of identification with the author or the object of that tribute. Moose has long been a fan of Dorothy and the gang, seeing them as rare and marvelous pop cultural examples of (white, heterosexual, middle-class) women aging gracefully and feistily, but something in the quality of her admiration shifts as she realizes that Dorothy now feels less like a mother figure and more like a friend she might meet for lunch. "How're you doing?" Moose might say to Dorothy over a glass of wine. "How's the knee?" "Oh, fine," Dorothy would gamely reply. "How're the night sweats?" "Ah, don't ask. Just keep the cool drinks coming!"

Looking for a rowdier vision of aging, one that includes unapologetic golden girl-on-golden girl sexual action? Then get yourself over to The New Yorker (you'll need a subscription or access through your university library) and read every riveting word of Ariel Levy's "Lesbian Nation" (from the March 2 issue), which checks in with members of the "Van Dykes," a group of lesbian separatists from the 1970s whom Levy describes as "a roving band of van-driving vegans who shaved their heads, avoided speaking to men unless they were waiters or mechanics, and lived on the highways of North America for several years, stopping only on Women's Land. The Van Dykes had determined that the world was suffering from 'testosterone poisoning,' and they were on a quest: to locate dyke heaven." It's a terrific story, written without any of the condescension toward the counter-culture or lesbian feminism that one usually encounters in such pieces. (H/T to Candy Man for calling Levy's story to our attention and to Historiann, who blogged it yesterday.)

So stay tuned, folks. We'll see if Moose decides to celebrate the monumental birthday by ordering the complete Golden Girls on DVD -- or by hitting the road and getting a tattoo. In the meantime, thanks to all y'all for being our friends. Peace out.

7 comments:

  1. Happy Birthday! I'm glad you liked the Levy piece, too. It wasn't nostalgic, and it wasn't condescending--I think Levy admires Van Dyke a great deal. This says it all: "A woman in her sixties who has been resolutely doing as she pleases for as long as she can remember is not easy to come by, in movies or in books, or in life." So true.

    I have enjoyed "aging" thus far (to 40), because I feel less vulnerable to worrying about other people's opinions about me, and I'm fortunate not to have any major or minor health problems (no bum knees yet.) All in all, since I was quite small, I always wanted to be older, and although I am vain and proud in some not-so-admirable female breederish ways, I still think that I'm always having the best time in my life the older I get.

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  2. Happy 3rd birthday to Roxie's World! Roxie, I have no idea how we lived our lives before you started blogging. Tell Moose to go for the Golden Girls collection... no wait.... the tattoo! One can always watch the GGs on Hallmark!

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  3. Happy birthday, Roxie's World! And I second everything qta said. That show is cuter than an interuterine!

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  4. Of course, here in Roxie's World, such choices (between the GG collection and a tattoo) are usually unnecessary, since Goose almost always insists we get both of anything we might desire. That's why we keep her around, though we're not clear what her position is on tattoos.

    With you on the aging thing, too, Historiann, though Moose is feeling a teensy bit of dread around the idea of turning 50. As she is quick to point out, however, the alternatives suck, so she is prepared to make the move.

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  5. I, too, like the Levy piece. How refreshing to see someone take lesbian feminism seriously, and to offer a flattering portrait of a woman who chose for so long to live off the grid. How nice to see the words "lesbian nation" in the mainstream cultural eye for a moment, at least. I appreciated the tone of her essay, too--that she was willing to ID herself as "queer" (I think she said, or someone with enough in common with Van Dyke to be taken seriously), and yet didn't deride or dismiss the historical project of separatism.

    And, of course, Happy Birthday to Roxie; and here's to AARP!

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  6. Moose thought of you, Jill, when she was reading Levy's article, because it seemed to mesh nicely with the similarly thoughtful reassessment of women's culture and lesbian separatism you offered in your talk last week at Queer the Turtle U. Good to see some non-demonizing commentary on this important moment in women's history.

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  7. OK, Goose has to weigh in here. One thing all should know is that when Goose was 22, she told people she was 25; when 32, 35; when 42, 45; when 52, 55. So I'm more than comfortable with my age (55) and with turning, in two months, 56.

    Historiann, I *do* think that women get better as they get older. Or at least they have a better chance of doing so. Or so it seems. Anyway, older is quite nice. I've never wanted to be younger. Never. (And come to think of it, about this issue is the only time I can remember being sure of "never.")

    Gotta go read the Levy piece. When people like Jill and Roxie and Candy Man and Historiann call our attention to it, well it becomes mandatory.

    Happy Birthday, Roxie! All I'll say is that I'm glad it's always Roxie's World here in my house.

    Much love,
    Goose

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