“We should do a spa weekend.”
I’m sitting at my kitchen table with my two best mom friends. We’ve spent the last half hour talking about how stressed we are, when one of us comes up with the idea of taking some time off. We’re so overdue for relief that we skip over reasonable options like grabbing a coffee or a meal, and go straight to the outlandish idea of taking TWO WHOLE DAYS off from our families for a pamper weekend.
Fast forward two years and the three of us are once again back at my dinner table. We’re still stressed. We still haven’t taken any time off. We never found the time to organize our weekend, or a meal or a drink or even the cup of coffee. Chances are we’d still be sitting here 10 years from now if something absolutely earth-shatteringly amazing hadn’t happened:
I’m sure men everywhere are scratching their heads wondering how a superhero movie managed to get hundreds of thousands of women out of the house. These are the same men who presume that we only think with our ovaries and seeing a little bit of blood will make us feel icky inside. For those men, let me break this down for you.
30 years ago Linda Carter taught my generation of women that we could be fearless heroes. We pulled on our Wonder Woman underoos, grabbed our jump ropes and spent hours rescuing our dollies from evil doers. Then we grew up. We fought for our right to education, access to careers, equal pay and opportunities. Now we have children, and somewhere in the midst of our sleepless nights and leaky boobs and endless loads of laundry we forgot just how damn amazing we are.
So while a spa day is nice, wine nights are fun and coffee is mandatory for our sanity – none of those things make us feel invincible. They are short term pain relief, providing our stretch-marked bodies with temporary respite from the weary doldrums of family life. They don’t inspire us to look past the piles of dirty clothes and remember just how much we are capable of accomplishing. They soften the blows of motherhood, but do nothing to remind us that we are so, so, so much more.
I saw a recent interview with Gal Gadot, the actress who plays Wonder Woman. In the video, she told a cute story about her young daughter. Five years old, Gadot’s daughter announced to everyone at the playground that her mother was Wonder Woman. No one asked for Gadot’s autograph. In fact, they didn’t even look at her that closely. All they saw was a cute little girl who was convinced that her mother was a superhero. That was good enough for them.
When we sit in our theatre seats and eat our popcorn, we aren’t the forty-somethings our bodies claim. We’re cast right back to our childhoods, when we knew that women could right the world’s wrongs and look damn good while doing it. It isn’t Gadot’s face we’re seeing on the screen, it’s our own. It our mothers, aunts, sisters and daughters.
Wonder Woman’s superpower isn’t invincibility or immortality, it is giving moms like me a 140 minute superboost of determination and strength. Wonder Woman reminds us that we don’t need a massage, a glass of wine or a shot of espresso to conquer the world. We only need ourselves…and maybe a kick ass pair of shoes.