Tuesday, July 05, 2005

American Woman's Dress Code Is Immodest and Golf Unfriendly

I went to a driving range this Independence day, joining many of my fellow Americans in what I understand to be a common pasttime and even pleasure for lotsa folks, especially on a sunny summer holiday in the country. I had never been to a driving range in my life before, and it felt glorious: the cloudless sky, the manicured course, the spirit of a strong and independent America breathing in us all. I learned how to hold the golf thingie--thumbs down, index finger lodged in there somewhere. And I learned how to swing--knees bent, weight forward, solid whack. And I supremely sucked. Over the course of the two dozen or so swings I took, I think I improved from apallingly bad to barely less apallingly bad. Towards the end, when the ball finally got airborne, I felt so exhilirated! I wanted to do a Venus-winning-Wimbledom leap of joy! But this might have caused some consternation to those around me and might have been cause for pretending like they didn't know me, and leaving without me.

It's possible that, um, I have no skill. That I couldn't hit a soccer ball with a golf club, let alone a goddam micro-ball the size of a frickin' pea. But I don't think so. What I think is that I was dressed all wrong! In today's New York Times, in an article entitled, "Iranian Women's Dress Code is Modest but Golf Friendly," I discovered that Iranian women are--much like me--newly coming to golf. That after years of being hindered by mullahs, sexism, and mostly their billowing chadors, they are now allowed to golf again, wearing just a headscarf, a visor, a long raincoat, and long pants--that they can finally hit the golf course and swing freely!

And here's the thing: I was wearing a mini-skirt and a t-shirt, hell, I wasn't even wearing socks, let alone anything on my head. Over in Iran the gals have a golf rule book that starts: "In the name of God, the merciful, the compassionate." But I had no rule book at all! It's like I was trying to hit balls half-naked and totally unguided by Allah or Mohammed or Yaweh or anybody up there, really. Given the obstacles I now realize I faced, I think I actually outdid myself.

Just imagine how I'd do in Tehran...


Blogger The Noon said...

When you play in the tropics all you'll want to wear is a bikini & tons of sunscreen.

In an unrelated matter, I've added this blog to "Limelight Shining" -- the blogroll I keep in mine.

July 05, 2005 11:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A Princeton friend sent me a link to this site with the question: "Is this the most childish author website you've ever seen...or just the most pathetic?"

Well, definitely not the most pathetic (I work in the publishing industry!). But, yes, a bit juvenile. I don't know if this is simply an adopted pose or if you both really see the world this way. The snarky tone about writers you've never read bothers me, but it's difficult to explain the concept of a "community of writers."

It's late at night and I've got more to read, but I will make one comment. Believe it or not, writing -- good writing -- is NOT about validation from strangers, TV interviewers, your mother's friends (and esp. your mother herself). In the end, it never quite satisfies and you keep wanting more.

If you ever want to write anything of any meaning, think of the work itself. It can reward you -- as it has rewarded many of the writers I've worked with over the years.

Back to work...


July 06, 2005 6:56 AM  
Blogger Robin said...

Wow, Anonymous bookbaglady, thanks for the lesson about good writing. But, to pose a question to a person of such authority (albeit someone who feels the need to remain anonymous) and who objects to gratuitous snark: did you actually read our book?

July 06, 2005 9:13 AM  
Blogger Renée said...

Dear bookbaglady,

I really appreciate that you took the time at the end of your long, tiring, meaningful day in publishing, to tell us about the righteous satisfactions of good writing. Because...who knew? Perhaps this difficult concept of a "community of writers" to which you refer could teach me what I've evidently missed in my juvenile rush for validation and mommy-love. Is it really true? That one day all that just won't be enough amnymore?

Maybe one day I'll be saved from this hackneyed outpost of snark and self-promotion, and I'll find my way to that mystical community where those serious writers you've worked with over the years actually do real work.

Until then, keep praying for me that I find my way to real reward.

July 06, 2005 11:21 AM  
Blogger The Noon said...

Ta, ta, whoever takes "Shaking Her A."'s blog seriously, needs to think again! I consider this a mostly lighthearted place, where Robin & Renée unedited, go satirical, rant, joke, tease, shock, test out whatever....

Leave destructive blog criticism untyped, blogbagcrybaby!

July 06, 2005 3:22 PM  
Blogger Robin said...

Thank you, The Noon. For a moment Renee and I feared our readers had no understanding of concepts like "satire" and "self-deprecation," so we appreciate the confirmation that someone reading this does, in fact, get it!

July 06, 2005 4:01 PM  
Blogger Danielle LaFleur said...

Ohh! Bookbaglady sounds like a great character for a book. The heroines nemesis! I would suggest ignoring but I believe there is more satisfaction with sticking your tongue out.

You two have a great blog and have written a fantastic book. You and your mothers should be proud!

- A new found fan

July 07, 2005 12:25 AM  
Blogger Renée said...

thank you very muchly.

July 07, 2005 10:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would appreciate more visual materials, to make your blog more attractive, but your writing style really compensates it. But there is always place for improvement

July 07, 2010 3:40 AM  
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