Saturday, November 6, 2010

Perfume and Spaghetti Sauce

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . watching Elder Scott's recent fireside on marriage with my sweetheart.

. . . watching a space shuttle launch on YouTube with Joy. It was awesome. Joy liked the Saturn V model video better, though. Maybe it was because of the background music.

Not-so-favorite moments:

. . . when Joy asked me to click on the video of the Challenger explosion. Then kept asking to watch it again. I told her once was enough.

. . . glancing up from my grocery list just in time to see Daniel pull a glass jar of spaghetti sauce off the store's shelf. The cleanup crew was very gracious.

And another thing . . .

. . . I recently happened upon a random blog post about what it means to the author to be/feel feminine, especially now that she's a few years into motherhood. It made me consider where my sense of femininity comes from. Is it from my appearance, what I do and am, or some combination thereof?

I was reminded of Audrey Hepburn commenting on her role as Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady. In the opening scene of the film her character was dirty and unsophisticated, but Hepburn recalled, "I was wearing my perfume. Inside I still knew I was a lady." I don't wear perfume, but I do have a few little things that make a big difference in how I feel about myself. I keep my toenails painted, I always wear my silver hoop earrings when I'm awake, and I rarely leave the house without putting on lipstick (when I'm at home there's no point, because I just kiss it all onto Daniel's cheeks). It's a simple regimen, but I stick to it and feel like a frump when I don't. Ironically, my fashionista sister who owns every cosmetic on the planet feels little inclination to wear earrings or lipstick. I guess between the two of us we cover all the bases.

That said, is femininity really about appearance? How we look impacts how we feel and how we act, so I'm sure there is some visual aspect to femininity, but in a larger sense I think it is more about what we do and are. I believe the ultimate expressions of femininity are nurturing children, being a supportive wife, cultivating good character, and lifting others (and likewise the ultimate expressions of manhood are raising children, being a supportive husband, cultivating good character, and exercising the priesthood to serve others). It is those activities that realize each gender's similar yet unique mission in mortality. It's a lot easier to focus on applying lipstick than refining character, but down the road the latter will have a far greater impact on my happiness and destiny, and those of my loved ones, too.

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