Gutsy Women

 

A few nights ago I was privileged to attend a discussion about a new book. It was held at the 125-year-old Ebell Women’s Club, a place I’m pretty used to visiting. I was there with all kinds of chicks I love (another privilege), so I knew I’d have a good time. What I got was much more.

 

Maria Shriver

 

Maria Shriver led the conversation with the book’s authors. When she came out, she said she intended to steer the conversation in a positive direction, to stay away from ugliness and hate. She’s pretty damned sharp. She’s also a humanitarian. She would have been enough of a draw, but we got more.

 

Maria Shriver, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chelsea Clinton in Conversation

 

Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chelsea Clinton have written The Book of Gutsy Women: Favorite Stories of Courage and Resilience and when they walked out on stage, it was amazing. The theatre roared and I was on my feet in an instant. There was so much positive energy. It was really beautiful.

 

Speaking about the book, the authors told of important women and the impacts they’ve had in our world. Unfortunately, history has often refused to acknowledge these women, history mostly recorded by men. My curiosity was piqued and I can hardly wait to read the book. I fully expect to learn a great deal and to be inspired. That was certainly my experience last night.

 

Chelsea Clinton

 

I have to tell you – I expected Mrs. Clinton’s speech and demeanor to be intelligent and confident. I didn’t know what to expect from Chelsea Clinton, however, and I could not have been happier. She was brilliant, personable, witty and assertive. Maria Shriver did an excellent job of keeping the conversation moving and she asked some pointed questions. The three women on that stage were amazing.

 

As I drove one of my friends home, she and I talked about the night. We both felt it had been a bit surreal, that we were amazed to have been there, to have witnessed the conversation. We were so impressed with what we saw and heard. And we were grateful.

 

Hillary Rodham Clinton

 

Before entering the theatre, attendees were given an opportunity to write questions for Mrs. Clinton and Chelsea Clinton. I thought about it a bit, and realized the only question I had was this: Can you imagine how quiet our country’s political front would be had my fellow Americans done the right thing and voted for the betterment of our country, how much more safe the entire world would be, how fewer service members lives would have been lost, how much lower our national debt would be, how much better our reputation in the world would be, how much more respectable our supreme court would be without a seated sexual predator, how downright boring our day-to-day government functions could have been? I know – it was a lot. In the end, I decided I wouldn’t write my question, that I would just listen. I made the right call.

 

Shriver’s intention of a positive conversation had been achieved. There were gutsy women on the stage and in the theatre. It was a love-fest, and I got to see it. From the front row.

 

Hillary Rodham Clinton - a Gutsy Woman

Who Am I? Why Am I Here?

 

The other night I was at this thing at my ladies club, a sort of mixer, and there was this ice-breaker game. This gist of it was this – upon entering, each attendee had a sticker placed on her back. She couldn’t see it, but others could. Each sticker had an image (likeness) and description of a woman of note. Some were recent (Rosa Parks, Queen Elizabeth II) and some were ancient (Sappho, Eleanor of Aquitaine). The wearer of the sticker asked yes/no questions of other attendees, in order to try and figure out who was on her damn back. It was fairly simple. How hard could it be?

 

When that sticker was slapped on my back and the game was explained, I immediately declared that unless the broad over my shoulder was T-Swift, I was unlikely to figure out shit. It was a joke, of course, but it was also kind of true. I don’t necessarily have a clue about, well, anything. Let me cut right to it. I wasn’t excited about this game. But I’m a go-er. So I did my best to encourage others to ask questions, to involve and engage them and make them feel welcomed at the club. That was not only easy for me, but fun. But wouldn’t you know it – there were other people there who also wanted to involve and engage others. That means they turned to me and put me in the hot seat.

 

As a friendly introvert, social stuff takes a certain amount of energy. And that usually means stress is involved. I’m a grown-ass woman, though, so I can generally muster the strength and deliver the goods. At least I think that’s the case.

 

Anyhoo – once I chilled the hell out, I went for it.

 

Living or dead? Dead. I liked that.

 

European? Yes.

 

World of literature? Yes.

 

The UK? No.

 

France? Yes.

 

And so I asked, “Am I Simone De Beauvoir?”

 

Yes. I freaking was.

 

Simone De Beauvoir

Distracted

 

 

Yesterday I attended a presentation given by the First Lady of Los Angeles, Amy Elaine Wakeland. The event was held at the historic Ebell, and it was lovely. Ms. Wakeland was a compelling speaker and her presentation was educational and interesting. There was much to learn, and much to enjoy. And yet…

 

I was distracted. In my line of sight, there sat a stunningly beautiful woman. Of Latin descent, she was perfectly composed and impeccably dressed. She responded appropriately (with applause) to various parts of Ms. Wakeland’s speech and silently nodded her head in agreement at other times. Though I was paying attention to the speaker, my eyes couldn’t help but focus on the beautiful woman before me.

 

I’ve met this lady before, though I don’t recall her name. She is probably at least 75 and she is fabulous. She once told me that decades ago she started some sort of group for Latin women in L.A. She accomplished quite a bit as a young woman. And now, in her dotage, she still attends meetings and lectures, and takes it all in. There is no end to her learning.

 

After the luncheon, I wanted to speak to the lovely lady whose beauty had distracted me so. But I missed her. I looked across the room and saw her as she was taking her leave. She was wearing glamorous sunglasses and as she turned to face the exit, the sun rested on her dark, perfectly coiffed hair, as if the light had found a place to linger. I do hope I see her again. No such thing as too much beauty.

A Night at The Ebell

 

 

Last night I went to The Ebell Club of Los Angeles for a play reading. It was in recognition of the first “Ebell of Los Angeles Playwright Prize” and its winner. One of the actresses who participated in the reading is a friend, so I was able to support a creative person and get a night out. Jackpot!

 

Anyhoo, the reading was super-engaging and that was a good enough reason to spend an evening at The Ebell. I also met some awesome folks after the reading and hung out with them for a while. That was pretty cool, too.

 

 

Just before leaving the venue, a few of us went upstairs to see the old auditorium. Turns out this was the last place Amelia Earhart spoke before taking off on her final trip. Look at the wires on the bottoms of the auditorium’s seats. Back in the day, when gentlemen always wore hats, they needed a place to store them while indoors. These wires are handy hat holders! History and history. Double jackpot!

 

I am completely enamored of the Ebell. And of the charming souls I met there. As I learn more about the place, its history and its future, I’ll try to share some of that with you. Until then, I plan to appreciate my time there last night. What a lovely Sunday evening I had.