You see them everywhere: men and women jauntily wearing scarves around their necks, even in the summer when it’s hot as heck outside! Don’t get me wrong, I love scarves, which is why I was really hurt to discover that they didn’t love me back.
Imagine my surprise the first time one actually tried to kill me. It was when my scarf got tangled up in my seat belt while exiting my car. Luckily, I got it untangled before any real damage was done.
I blame my near death experiences on the fashion experts who tried their best to make us believe that scarves were our friends. You’ve seen the teasers: 100 unique ways to turn your scarf into a fabulous fashion accessory! They never warn you that you are taking your life into your own hands by wearing one! And, no matter how hard I try, my scarves never look on me the way they look on others.
Desperate, I bought a book for help. The instructions were confusing from the start. You know: bring the left end over the right end, and finish by tucking it counter-clockwise—say what? Thinking I had somehow misinterpreted the instructions, I reread them. Again, the instructions went awry. The end result? A scarf that looked like it was tied by someone high on Crack.
Placing a pretty pin on it, and with my head held high, I went merrily on my way. The trouble was, with my head held high, I almost fell before catching myself.
Each episode starts out with the best of intentions. So the day that one looked passably like one pictured in the scarf book, I was stoked. That’s when it happened. The scarf I was wearing that day got caught in my desk drawer. The next thing I knew, my neck was caught in a vise. My eyes started watering, causing my mascara to run. The final insult—one of my false eyelashes came off!
So what’s a diva to do when her scarf tries to kill her? First, she throws out the scarf book. Then, she simply loops it over once. It may not be pretty or even interesting, but it still gets the job done.
More than surviving a murderous accessory, my scarf dilemmas validate that anything can be beautiful, when worn with confidence.
I am an adoring wife, a loving sister, aunt, cousin, friend, mentor, book author and business owner. These are the things most people know about. I am also a diabetic and a stroke survivor. All are part and parcel of what makes me—well—me.
When people learn that I served in the Air Force, they say, I don’t look like a soldier (airman). “You look too soft, too feminine looking.” I have always taken that to mean that I didn’t fit their idea of what a female serviceman looked like. You know, the ‘hard looking I can shoot a gnat at fifty paces” kind of woman. (Actually I earned a military marksmanship ribbon).
My love of perfume and all things girlie aside, I am pretty tough. Indeed, life has demanded that I be. After all, few people have the fortitude to spend six weeks on their hands and knees cleaning grout from bathroom tiles—with a tooth brush. (Military Basic Training). Or once eaten Octopus Tempura in Okinawa, Japan (octopus dipped in a breaded coating and fried), and lived to tell about it. (I was told by one of my troops that it was some kind of fish).
Seriously, once I was able to banish the image of those bumpy tentacles from my mind, and discretely spit it out, he was lucky I didn’t make him drop down and give me 50 push-ups, then and there. Consequently, the military guided my life’s trajectory, affording me an education, opportunities to travel, and to learn about other people and cultures.
Likewise, few know that growing up, I dreamed of writing the great American novel. I began with writing little short stories to entertain my younger sister. Poems followed. Two, “Ode To That Lying Scum” and “Swinging From Chandeliers, Do You Suppose The Warranty Covers That” came about after dates with first “Mr. Wrong” and then “Mr. Crazy” who really was crazy if he thought I was doing that on the first date. Besides, I didn’t, and still don’t care for heights.
Finally, came my debut book The Venus Chronicles, followed by a robust freelance writing career. Four books later, and by retaining faith in my dreams, I’ve finally done it. Become a writer! To paraphrase a quote from the 1948, police drama The Naked City. “There are eight million stories in the naked city. This is mine.”