Thursday, August 30, 2012

Thanks, my friend! (August 30)

At the urging of the formidable forces at missrepresentationorg, I've been posting a weekly tribute to a woman who has had an impact in my life and/or generally deserves recognition for all her endearing qualities.  The least women can do to support each other is to give one another some kudos from time to time.  Anyone reading these posts are also introduced to some pretty damn cool people.  

Funny, I have several friends who are so nice I've never heard them say an unkind word about anyone (or at least only in jest).  Funny because I'm the sarcastic one who unashamedly talks smack on a pretty regular basis.  Someone who never does is my friend Karen.  She's one of those perpetually smiley people who's always looking at the bright side of things and people.  I was lucky enough to meet her soon after moving out on my own and invite myself along with her friends on many an adventure, along with a few mis-adventures.  Those are the most pleasurable to remember, btw.

taking my boy on his first seado ride
Most of our pictures together are at Lake of the Ozarks, where Karen and her sisters own a cottage that has accomodated a multitude of friends, their kids, their kids' friends, etc., etc.  My fondest memories are of fun times at the lake.  I would never have tried to slalom water ski if it wasn't for Karen and her sister.  Coincidentally, many flashbacks are of Karen trying to keep the rest of in line, as she seemed to have the most level head (and that's scary).  We can always look back and laugh about most incidents.  Even the craziest episodes are funny after the fact.  

We've traveled together to Memphis, Chicago, Las Vegas, San Antonio, and gone canoeing with a group of whacky women.  Karen is always the one laughing softly at the antics but never at the expense of anyone else being such a light-hearted and kind person.  She graciously hosted my baby shower with my friend, Amy.  Karen is generous with her time, volunteers in her community, and is involved in her son's activities.  

Even though we've all tried repeatedly to convince her there's a great guy out there for her, she's perfectly content by herself.  That's the strong confidence many women should aspire to have.  Karen is comfortable in her own skin, is friendly and welcoming, and takes care of what needs to be done.  Her self-deprecating humor is also a great asset, and we can all learn a lesson or two from her example.  So for all the good times and your comradeship, I thank you, my friend!

Those interested can take their own "pledge" to discern how women are represented in the media.  Part of the challenge is to pay homage to each other in an effort to contradict the negative images and cruel criticism amongst ourselves.  We are more than our looks, age, clothes, children and careers.  My personal pledge is to: 

"... make a concerted effort to see women as allies instead of enemies; and let's stop judging other women for their success, their talents or their looks" (MissRepresentation).

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