Monday, August 22, 2011

All The Women Independent...

We created The Independent Woman’s Association (IWA) when I was a Freshman in high school, because , as I am sure you know, one doesn’t just wakeup angsty one day-- at least I didn’t. For me, angst is genetic—it has been a part of my DNA since before I was born. When I was a child I had traditional worries like being kidnapped or experiencing the death of a parent. I also had less traditional concerns like a nagging suspicion that I was a social experiment dropped into a fake family being paid to feign some level of affection for me while scientists outside the home watched my every move through the windows of our double-wide trailer. And of course, I always, always have had plenty of worries about boys.
In first grade I was in love with my neighbor, Fred Savage. He was a fifth-grader and I worried that he would let the age difference come between us.
In third grade, there was a new boy at school who looked like an eight year old Bill Clinton—thankfully his escapades were nothing like that of the President’s, but he did have his charm. We were all head-over-heels in love with him but obviously only one of us could have him. This worried me.
In fifth grade I was the only one of my friends who did not have a “date” to the annual Country and Western Dance at my elementary school so I began to think, and this is a direct quote from my journal , that I was “ugly as a gorilla and fat as a pig”.

By seventh grade, I was certain that there had never been another individual on God’s green earth who had waited this long for a suitor and I hate to be catty but some girls who were even uglier than me were already pregnant by eighth grade. The world can really be unfair sometimes.

And when the world is unfair, we as humans have to make meaning of it all somehow—it is our only shot at angst management. So it makes sense that one day, while all of our friends were presumably busy making out with their fancy junior and senior boyfriends and as Amanda and I sat there in world geography bemoaning our single ladyness we had a shared stroke of genius.

Shouldn’t we get a little credit for this consistent demonstration of feminine independence—a lifetime achievement award of sorts? I mean for all of our able-bodied lives we had been the type of women who carried our own books, picked our own flowers, bought our own stuff and taught our own selves how to kiss (shout out to all of our old pillows and stuffed animals, btw).

Yes, we should be awarded! We should get to be just as proud of ourselves for abstaining (by default) from romantic relationships as our girlfriends who nabbed that hot tuba player or chess club vice pres.. (We weren’t the absolute coolest group in the world.) And thus the IWA was created.

The Rules:

1. Each of our girlfriends, having at one time been an independent woman can be members
2. ONLY those of us without boyfriends can hold office in the IWA
3. Offices will be determined by length of time since the candidate’s last relationship. Ex:
                      President=August Angst: No boyfriend ever
             Vice President= Amanda: Boyfriendless since Kinder
                       Treasurer= Liv Tyler, No BF since eighth grade.
                        Members= Amy , Juliette Lewis and eventually Gwyneth P.
This silly little club gave us lunchroom fodder, something to be mock-proud of when we were single and some crumb of happiness to offer each other when one of us got our heart’s broken: “Well at least you will move up in the IWA ranks,” we would say each time we heard about the dissolution of one of our friends’ relationships. It was the perfect existential expression for our teenager dilemmas.
It should come as no surprise though that as soon as Amanda and I finally got boyfriends we included rule 4.

4. Boys are allowed to me honorary members of the IWA if they are single and committed to its aims OR if they are dating one of the members.
Both of those boyfriends did turn out to be gay and everything, but at the time they did wonders not only for our confidence but for our wardrobe and hair choices as well.

Today the IWA status looks like this:

Liv, Amanda, Gwyneth- Husbands
Juliette: Divorced with Boyfriend
Amy : Cohabitating with Boyfriend
Me: Boyfriendless
And if I was still 14 or if I didn’t have some way to make meaning of it all—It might really suck. But writing for you all each week makes this time of life practically angstless. And for that reason I proudly sign this essay with my full blog name and the credentials I have worked hard (by default) to earn,
Ms. August Angst, President IWA Established: 1996

And I just decided we are now taking New Members, so if you think you meet the qualifications, please "throw yo' hands up at me" in the comments section!
Also, in the mood for something a little more serious from August Angst? Check out  my recent review of The Help on a new Spiritual Cinema Page or just click here.


Bethany said...

hahahahaha oh just a glimpse into the life and minds of us as high school girls. That was fun reminiscing. And "but at the time they did wonders not only for our confidence but for our wardrobe and hair choices..." literally laughing out loud.

Alana said...

On a totally unrelated note, here is one more reason for you to visit Seattle!

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