Monday, June 4, 2012

Some Wishful Identities

I would like to be able to say I identify with some lofty literary character like Bronte's Jane Eyre or  Sophocles' Antigone but I don't.

At my age (68) the options have become limited. There's the inimitable Miss Marple in Agatha Christie's mysteries but I'm nothing like her and completely lack her understated acuity. Then there's today's icon of robust old age -- Betty White -- but I don't identify with her either.

There's Whistler's mother who, as far as I know, is nothing more than a painting and, anyhow, not to disparage motherhood, but I'd rather not identify with any one's mother -- even Whistler's.

There's a part of me who identifies with characters like Xena, the Warrior Princess or Wonder Woman. There is much I could accomplish if endowed with super powers. For instance, I would turn my grandson's bully of a social studies teacher into a quivering rodent and place her in a cage with a very hungry cat. In the end, though, I'd have to rescue her, turn her back into a human, and hope she'd learned her lesson

As a child I wanted to be Annie Oakley or some sort of fearless, gun-twirling cowgirl. Alternatively I wanted to be a horse -- preferably a Pinto or Palomino. With my infallible equine loyalty and incomparable speed I would gallop to rid the world of evil. My uncanny ability to judge character would result in my instantly bucking off all bad guys who tried to mount me, allowing only those whose motives were pure to keep their seat. Is there some thinly-cloaked sexual meaning in this image? Maybe, but probably not. I was only seven or eight when I developed that aspiration.

In thinking further, I have probably identified most (in recent years) with Tyne Daley's character in the TV series, Judging Amy. As Amy's mother and a social worker, she was courageously confrontational and had no patience with hypocrisy and political posturing. She was brilliantly outspoken, firing off words that reduced her opponent's status to that of a stuttering imbecile. She had a soft side, too, which allowed her to fall in love and grieve deeply when her fiance died. I believe she must have influenced the creation of Mrs. Rafina Draminsky, the main character of a novel I wrote. I didn't realize it, though, until someone suggested the comparison.

These days I have pretty much given up wanting to be someone other than myself.  Not that who I am couldn't stand some improving...


  1. I'm rather a fan of Wonder Woman myself.
    I like the wishfulness of this post, as well as the down-to-earth reality of it. Thanks for joining us!

  2. Oh, you have superpowers. Like Tyne Daily's character, it's your words.
    Brilliantly written, entertainingly delivered.