Question: Do you find there are more things to do in the summer or during the winter? I’ve been getting mail in response to a recent column in which I mentioned being on the go six days out of seven. Readers said things like, “Wow, your schedule makes me tired!” And that mail came from folks who live in places like New York, Tucson and Los Angeles. The fact there is always so much happening on the Oregon coast is one of the many reasons we live here.
Last week, if you are a local reading this, how many things did you take in, such as the various parades up and down the coast, the fireworks, the performances by the Newport Symphony Orchestra? We never miss the symphony’s Fourth of July gift to the community with one rousing patriotic piece of toe-tapping music after another. At this event, the big finish is a medley of music honoring each branch of the armed services – and it is so inspiring to see men AND women stand up with pride when their song is played. When Burt hears the first notes of Anchor’s Away, he is standing tall, representing the Navy while I am wiping away tears.
We usually see most of the same faces at these things, with the exception of Saturday night when my good sport of a husband escorted me to see The Hot Flashes at the PAC. I recognized plenty of women friends enjoying a girls night out, but there was a noticeable lack of men. Way back in our early days here, this talented group, headed by a funny, very creative gal named Kate Finn, brought her then group the Fallen Angels to the PAC during the Christmas holidays. At other times, they called themselves “Summer Angels, Some Are Not.” You cannot be a straight-laced fuddy duddy and enjoy the words and music of this group, which has now re-grouped to become The Hot Flashes, still featuring Kate Finn.
So where am I going with all this in the way of column fodder? Keep reading. The Hot Flashes left me with a mental hot flash back to the ‘70s when I lived in LA and was a very active member of a women’s charity group. Through the years, we raised a great deal of money for women who could not afford breast cancer treatment. The members were what my dad might have referred to as “hoity-toity.” Monthly meetings were held in one another’s homes, a catered luncheon was served, and one did not attend any of this group’s activities in jeans. My daughter knew when I was going to a meeting because she said I was wearing my “big lady clothes.”
One day at a luncheon meeting, a member made a suggestion that, frankly, shocked my socks off. Not that I’m a straight-laced prude by any means, but I certainly wasn’t ready for the suggestion: “Listen Girls,” she said, “I just found out the Chippendales are performing on the Sunset Strip, and I think a bunch of us should go.” Well! You’d think she had suggested we all get naked and stroll through Beverly Hills. I sat back waiting to hear the reaction.
“I’m game,” said one member, “but I’m NOT telling my husband.” This was echoed by a dozen other ladies and, of course, you readers know I’m not about to miss an adventure. I told them to count me in. I arranged to hitch a ride with three women who lived near me, but neglected to mention Burt had a meeting that night in Hollywood and would be picking me up after the performance. In case you’re wondering, I have a very secure husband, and he had no problem with me going to this show.
I had never seen The Chippendales before, but certainly knew they are a group of sexy young male dancers who come out fully dressed in break-away outfits and strip down to itty bitty Speedos. Their audiences are primarily women who yell, scream, laugh and let their hair down for the evening. I had more fun watching the 12 hoity toity ladies in my group go uncharacteristically crazy. One even managed to get close enough to tuck a dollar bill in the back of a dancing Speedo. I’m privately convinced husbands do not want to see The Chippendales because these young guys work out several hours a day to look like they do. A husband would not want to sit there comparing his beer keg gut with all the dancing six packs on the stage.
Here’s the funny part, folks. All 12 women in my group had told their husbands they were attending a book club meeting. We walked out of the nightclub, and there stood Burt, as promised, waiting to pick me up. The women screamed when they saw Burt. Several tried to run back inside. One hid behind a pillar. They all were terrified that Burt was going to tell their husbands about Chippendales. We have laughed about this for years, and we certainly did not “out” any of the hoity-toity ladies.
The Newport Performing Arts Center featuring The Hot Flashes was packed with maybe 85 percent women, and I would like to believe, now in the age of more liberated females, that nobody told her husband she was going to a book club meeting. Burt, and the other guys who were there, maybe didn’t laugh as much as we women did, but then parody songs about menopause, over-active bladders and middle-age mustaches (on women) aren’t as funny to a guy as they are to a gal. I’d like to finish with the title of the Hot Flashes signature song: “I Am Woman, Hear Me Snore!”
How true, how true.
Bobbie Lippman is a professional writer who lives in Seal Rock with her husband, Burt, their dog, Charley, and a shelter cat named Lap Sitter. Bobbie can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.orgFor the complete article see the 07-12-2013 issue.
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