September 2011

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laugh It's a Dairy Product, not the Holy Grail By Laura J. Gallagher I'm pretty sure I'm a female. I've got female parts, a feminine name, and people have been calling me miss or ma'am (which, stop it!) my whole life. But, if certain advertisers and television shows are to be believed, I should be concerned. For it seems I am miss- ing the gene that makes you love shoe shopping, not be the least bit interested in sports, and think yogurt is an acceptable substitute for cake. Seriously, yogurt isn't new is it? I remember having it back in elementary school mumblety years ago. Greeks have been dipping grape leaves into it since Nero was on book one of "Fun for Fiddle Fingers." So when did it become this wonder food? A wonder food that apparently only women need or want? You've all seen the ads: A woman who would be difficult to see behind a ballpoint pen stands in front of a piece of cake, or a cook- ie, or a single M&M, beating herself up mentally (and occasionally berating the pastry) for even thinking for one second about, you know, (whispers) eating it. Because if she does, she will instantly gain 20 pounds. No one will ever love or respect her. And she will deserve every bit of scorn heaped on her because she ate a flippin' chocolate chip cookie without running a marathon or taking a yoga class immediately afterward, and that's just not done. Instead, she turns to yogurt. Of course, when you're in the mood for something chocolatey and maybe a little crunchy, a small container of thickened fermented milk that sorta kinda tastes like Boston cream pie or apple turnovers will definitely do the trick! But that's what you'd better reach for, because you're a woman, and you need to lose weight. Even if you don't. But you do. Thing is, I like yogurt. I eat it because I enjoy the taste, not be- cause I really want a brownie but can't have one because "swimsuit season is right around the corner." " " …I like yogurt. I eat it because I enjoy the taste, not because I really want a brownie but can't have one because "swimsuit season is right around the corner." Along with the obvious need to lose weight, every woman in the world also seems to have significant issues in the, um, elimina- tion department. Did we all, collectively as a sex, decide this (hell no, we won't go)? Or did we just really want another excuse to eat yogurt? Come on, bifidus regularis? Is that even a thing? If I have a headache, should I eat peanut butter because it contains cranial feelbetteris? You know, I'm far from a prude, but between the yogurt ads and the bears that can't wipe their backsides to save their lives (don't get me started on that whole concept), I think we all know too much about each others' Number Twos. I'm also starting to think the Amish have the right idea, what with the no electricity and hence no TV. There's even an ad that equates the yumminess of yogurt with the wondrous appeal of shoe shopping, for an annoying stereotype two-for-one. Don't get me wrong, I like shoes, and I'm sure I have more of them than a) my husband, but he dresses like a tackling dummy half the time anyway; and b) I need. But the implication that an obsession with shoes is woven into that second X chromo- some—to the point of bouncing checks to buy them, taking over entire closets to store them, or naming each pair, if advertisers and sitcom writers are to be believed—bugs me. You wear them so you don't step on rocks. They should marginally match your outfit. When you take them off, your feet shouldn't be bleeding. If they make you fall and break your ankle, maybe you should try a dif- ferent pair. They often smell. Dogs like to hide them. They're not accomplishments. Of course, the reason we women even have all that time for shoe shopping and yogurt eating is because we don't like sports. Our menfolk do, which means wackiness and hijinx ensue when the "big game" is on and I want to do something feminine, or need him to run to the store for more yogurt. I can't, you see, because I'm on the phone with my girlfriend talking about shoes. Also, Berating the Pastry would be an excellent band name. ••• Laura J. Gallagher is a long-time communications professional. When not teasing her husband, Triple M's Pat Gallagher, she is curating her shoe collection. Find her on Facebook at the Laura J. Gallagher page! 80 BRAVA Magazine September 2011

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