Simone de Beauvoir

Friday, September 21, 2012

Red Dresses

I think of my blog often, but not often enough to do something about its continuity, probably because it requires time and thought. And research. I am in constant pursuit of information regarding Simone. There are times when I regret this blog. It’s dependent upon me for its survival and there are days when I just don’t have any more resources to give to it. If only it could whine, my maternal instincts would respond in a nano-second.

So, today, many months since my last post, I write with motives that are not exactly honorable:  I am avoiding the completion of an on-line a test with a deadline of seven hours from now. I’m at work—where the noisy atmosphere isn’t conducive to studying for the exam, let alone taking it—where I’m encouraged to attend to academics when time allows. So I turn to Simone.

Simone, who had numerous published books through-out her lifetime, has a bridge in her honor, and has been deemed a feminist icon, empowers me to take on the world and leave my mark. Simone’s first book was published when she was 35. I’m officially behind schedule. Moving on.

I also feel some sort of weird expectation to live up to an award I received as an undergraduate which bears her name. She haunts me. Her books line my shelves. I read her work and want to write. And empower other women. And inspire them.

deBeauvoir's The Second Sex, Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter  and several other works, live happily on the same shelf as Memoirs of a Scandalous Red Dress, and Confessions of a Little Black Gown, romance novels by another favorite author of mine, Elizabeth Boyle, who creates heroines which are strong, smart, determined, and beautiful. They also attract men based on these formidable characteristics.

Boyle inspires me, too. Author. Wife. Mother. Friend. She has written numerous books—seventeen earning their spot on The NY Times Best Seller List. Not bad for a woman who started out as a paralegal. Today, Boyle tweets about her personal adventures in everyday life—pie-baking, kid toting, book-promoting, knitting wife. Boyle inspired me because she’s genuine. Life is filled with opportunities when it’s a full as hers. But when I visit Boyle’s website, I want to become a Boyle heroine. I want to take my own personal adventure.

Memoirs of a Scandalous Red Dress was one of the first Boyle historical romances I ever read. It invoked the idea of a party where all the attending women wore red dresses (as scandalous or ‘non-scandalous’ as they want. Why a red dress? Wear one and you’ll understand.

Don’t believe me? Check out the “Red Dress” episode on the Katie Couric Show and “The Traveling Red Dress Revisited”.

My red dress was donated to a local thrift store benefitting a women’s shelter. It will live on and change the life of another woman. In the meantime, I am going in search of a new one. Probably not scandalous. Certainly empowering. I hope it will make Boyle and deBeauvoir proud.

I'd be willing to bet Simone had a red dress, too.

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