December 30th, 2008 | Uncategorized
I just bought these rawhide bootlaces, and they make such a beautiful little object wrapped up in their Kiwi bi-directional label band, I’m loathe to undo it. See the tiny little kiwi? Such an elegant, unpretentious logo, and so deeply familiar. I guess it’s emblazoned in my brain from childhood, when I had to polish my hideous red corrective shoes with Kiwi shoe polish–some kind of clear version, since they didn’t make any that was the exact hideous red color of my shoes. Who designed this logo? Has it been the same since 1906, when the company was founded? It occurs to me that logos are kind of like visual jingles, but unlike advertising jingles from childhood which take up valuable RAM and play themselves annoyingly when you least expect it, logos just sit in your brain quietly, waiting to be reactivated by a shoestring shopping mission.
Can you think of other comforting, unchanged-for-decades, so-familiar-they’re-invisible logos?
Thank you for all the kind comments on the Sydney and Mo drawing I made in the last post. I’ve been having a funny realization about my comic strip, which I probably wouldn’t share with you if it weren’t now well over two months since my last period. (For that matter, I wouldn’t tell you that it’s been more than two months since my last period if it weren’t more than two months since my last period. But all my customary instincts are going awry lately.) Anyhow, I really am reading that book that Mo gave Sydney, The Wisdom of Menopause. Holly politely suggested it to me some months ago, when I seemed to be inexplicably hot all the time. She has some older friends who liked it a lot. And I was like, yeah, right, I’m gonna rush right out and get The Wisdom of Menopause. And then I’m gonna buy one of these, and rent some grandchildren. I really didn’t think I was having hot flashes, I just thought I was, you know, hot.
But then I calmed down and got the book anyway, just to have on hand. And recently I started reading it. And it kinda rocks. The author, Christiane Northrup, starts out by saying that as she approached menopause she found herself getting really irritable with her husband and kids over things that didn’t use to bother her. Like her eighteen year old asking her “when’s dinner?” All of a sudden, she just couldn’t take it any more. I’m vastly oversimplifying her thesis here. But the gist of it is that one of the things all those female hormones do is keep you focused on other peoples’ needs. So you can raise children and stuff. So as they wear off, you start getting all crotchety.
So I started thinking about how curiously easy it was to stop doing my comic strip last spring, and how I haven’t really missed it. Hmmm. My comic strip, which for the past 25 years I’ve been producing at four week intervals, like a little ovum. Northrup says, “Biologically, at [perimenopause] you are programmed to withdraw from the outside world for a period of time and revisit your past. You need to be free of the distractions that come when you are focusing your mothering efforts solely on others. Perimenopause is a time when you are meant to mother yourself.”
Which isn’t at all to say my comic strip has only been some kind of community service–I’ve absolutely derived a huge amount of personal satisfaction from it. But there’s a way it doesn’t feel as necessary as it once did, both inside myself, and outside, in the world. Whatever it was I was creating, it’s old enough to get its own dinner now.
And now here I am, setting the comic strip aside kind of abruptly and impatiently so I can work on a memoir about my past relationships, notably including the one with my mother.
It’s all hormones!
For fucks sake!
Or is it “fuck’s sake?”