Friday, June 7, 2013

The Sisterhood of '68

Asalamu Alaykom,

Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein of Jordan is part of The Sisterhood but you don't have to wear a hat.  There isn't any dress code.  It's all about the year you were born.  I'm in The Sisterhood because I was born in 1968.  Were you?

Bethany Hughes, the coolest historian there is, was born in 1968.  You've got to see her documentary, "When The Moors Ruled Europe."

Let's meet some more Sisters!

Singer Carnie Wilson is someone I thought of blackballing from The Sisterhood because she is too outspoken and flawed and especially outspoken about her flaws.  Then I realized that I needed to own my shadow and embrace her within the circle too.

Dancer and critic Carrie Ann Inaba proves there is also a refined grace among us.

I was never a big fan of Celin Dion yet I can't argue that she's a superstar.  She is!  I used to want to be a star.  I used to want to be famous.  I don't now.  I'm OK simply being me.  It's working better than way.

Chynna Phillips was one of the singers of my high school years who was too perfect yet she's aged along with me.  I see her face as proof that time passes.  Time didn't stand still for either one of us.

Funny lady Debra Messing is known for "Will and Grace."  She recently divorced and has said that she wished her life had gone differently.  She's definitely a '68 Sister.  None of us wanted to screw it up like our "Me Generation" parents but somehow we did.  Look at her!  She's so talented and beautiful.  She's also sad.  We can be many things at once.

Jeri Ryan is another Sister I didn't know I had.  She had this incredibly lithe body on Star Trek.  You almost didn't recognize her face from how amazing her figure was in that skintight bodysuit.  She's physically so different from me.  I don't envy her.  I don't need to.  There's room for both of us in The Sisterhood.

Gretchen Carlson!  She was Miss America once upon a time.  I was proud of her because she haled from Minnesota.  She ended up on Fox News hating me---or at least people like me.  Funny how we hate people we don't even know.  She has nooooooooooooo idea that she's in my Sisterhood.  It's OK.  She doesn't know so many things.  Maybe some day she'll learn.

You gotta love Kristen Chenoweth!  I wanted to be in theatre but I didn't want the lifestyle.  I wanted to have a normal life.  Yes, somehow I thought I could have a normal life.  Ridiculous!  So, Kristen Chenoweth took my place instead as the Theatre Queen.  She can have it!

Kylie Minogue looks so old in this picture.  She's been through so much!  I love that she looks older...until I remember we're basically the same age.  She looks older so I have to wonder if I do too.  I make excuses and conjure up ideas of Australian women getting more wrinkles in The Outback than me here in Egypt.

The lovely Lisa Marie Presley is among the members. I remember when her father Elvis died.  I identified with her since we were the same age.  Neither one of us had our fathers the way we wanted.  She tried to find the right man but didn't...until now...I hope.  I hope that's true for both of us.

Warrior Princess Lucy Lawless doesn't look like Xena here.  I love that she looks so gorgeous without looking sleazy.  Not very many of our Sisterhood reverted to sleaze.  We are too old mature for that.  We don't need to put on airs.  We seem like a very down-to-earth bunch.  We have spent our time pretending long enough to know that the best person to play is ourselves.

Lucy Liu is another effortless beauty.  She shines.  Doesn't she?  That glow is not from make-up or lights shining on her.  She has an inner glow.

Margaret Cho!  I didn't know she was one of us!  She seemed older somehow.  She seemed to have an agenda for longer and gotten under more skin than most.  I'm proud to call this gutsy gal a Sister!

Molly Ringwald is no longer celebrating her sixteenth birthday.  Do you know how many times I watched Jake lean over the 16 birthday candle flames to give her that kiss?  Ahhhhh, Jake!  You were such a honey. Molly...or whoever you were in the were so innocent.  When I rewatched "16 Candles" after coming to Islam, I was shocked to realize that it wasn't a movie about getting your first kiss; it was a movie about losing your virginity.  How did that escape me?!  Molly, you were the ideal John Hughes teenage girl.  You were truly pretty in pink.  You are a Sister of '68.

I'm including Neelem Kothari because I love used to love Bollywood.  I really framed my life around Bollywood for a year.  I regained my existence, to a large degree, by remembering what I loved in Bollywood movies.  I loved music and dance, colors, romance, laughter, family, children, exotic food, travel to beautiful places and faith.  Eventually, my faith would become such a focus that it pushed a lot of the other essentials to be secondary, tertiary or even caused them to  fall from my mind.  Subhanallah.  She just married.  She married late.  May God bless her new life.

Patricia Arquette was the ditz.  Weren't we all at one time?  I hope we have moved on from that place.  I hope we laugh at ourselves when we goof up but that we don't remain stuck there.  Patricia is the sister of one of my 80s icons Roseanna Arquette of "Desperately Seeking Susan."

I loved Patsy Kensit in "Absolute Beginners," back in 1986.  It was this great date with my first big love (that's both figuratively and literally since he was 6'3 and close to 300 lbs).  We went out to this expensive Italian restaurant with his brother and his fiancee and then the four of us went to The Cedar The Cooper.  I had to look it up.  Here's some photos.  It was this big life experience of dating like adults (even though I was still a teenager).  I had graduated high school and I was now in college.  I bought the soundtrack and listened to it on my Walkman when I'd do my brisk walk to catch the bus.  David Bowie sang the title track.  Ray Davies is on it too.  Awesome stuff.     

Sarah Mclachan is someone I don't really know but I know her voice has been there on my life soundtrack.  She's lovely and she's looking older too.  No one looks younger oddly enough.  We have all aged.  Alhumdulillah the majority have aged well.

I loved Tisha Campbell on "Martin".  She was so sassy and silly.  I've been that too.  Sometimes I still am but only when it's safe.

Yasmine Bleeth was a Baywatch babe.  Remember her?  She has a famous mugshot from drinking and driving.  It's made her into a joke and that's too bad.  Remember:  men only put women on a pedestal to look up their dresses.  We need to keep our feet on the ground and stop asking men if we look good enough.  Obviously, Yasmine is a beautiful woman.  Let's hope she's a sober one as well.

Alhumdulillah.  I'm glad for many things.  I'm glad I'm about to be (inshahallah) another year older.  I hope I will be better.  I'm going to be 45.  I'm not shying away from it.  I'm not pretending I hate the number.  I don't.  45 is truth.  There is truth in my age.  There is truth in The Sisterhood of '68.

1968.  None of us knew who we were going to be that year we were born.  It was the year Laugh-In premiered.  The musical "Hair" opened on Broadway. The musical "Oliver!" is released in movie theaters and eventually won Best Picture.  Zeferelli's "Romeo and Juliet" set the movie screens on fire.  The soap opera, "One Life to Live," the crime drama, "Hawaii 5-0", and the news show "60 Minutes all debuted on TV.

The Tet Offensive began and the My Lai Massacre was covered up.   "2001" and "Planet of the Apes," hit movie theaters days before Martin Luther King Jr. was hit with bullets.  Saddam Hussein grabbed power in Iraq after a coup.  Bobby Kennedy was shot and his memorial service was held on the day I was born.  Jacqueline Kennedy married Aristotle Onassis.

Charlie Chaplin died.  Helen Keller died.  John Steinbeck died too.  I know I could have lumped them together but somehow each life deserved his or her own sentence out of respect for their greatness.  Each one of us has our chance at our own greatness.

NASA sent astronauts for the first time into outer space on Apollo 7.

Matchbox cars were introduced.  The Intel company was formed.  The Beatles formed Apple Productions and released "The White Album".   Led Zeppelin performed live for the first time.  Brendan Fraser, Owen Wilson, Will Smith Tony Hawk and Ziggy Marley were some of The Brothers of '68.  Both terrorists Mohammed Atta and Timothy McVeigh were born then too.

We have all been through a lot----45 years of a lot!  That's an amazing amount of time to live through and still keep smiling.  I don't just mean that we have kept our teeth but that we've kept our spirit light enough to remain resilient.  We can be proud of who we are even if we're not perfect.  We're not  immune to failure, flops, wrinkles or sags.  We're The Sisterhood of '68.  Let's celebrate that bond of age, beauty and inshahallah wisdom.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Assalamu alaykum,
I'm a big sister born in 1960. I enjoyed your post!