Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Because March is Women's History Month...or Life Tips from Thelma and Louise

I should talk about the role of women in history- how we have changed the world both with our own actions and voices and also by our encouragement and support of those weak-kneed bumbling idiots ruled by two heads, yes... men.

I could send you HERE to test your knowledge of the role of women in our history.
or link you to historical books and
films that toot the feminine and not so feminine horn of achievement...
or I could just offer this:

13 Life Tips From Thelma and Louise

1. You get what you settle for. “I still have to ask Darryl if I can go,” Thelma said. “He never lets me do a g-d damned thing. “You get what you settle for,” said Louise. Darryl treated Thelma like crap - but the thing is, she let him. She took everything he dished out without speaking up for herself, and that’s now way to achieve your life goals.

2. Stay connected to your friends. Women need each other. We need to talk, gossip, laugh, cry, pray, exercise, eat, and vent together. And, like Thelma and Louise, we need to get out of town together….not that I’m saying you need to drive cross country, kill a guy in self-defense, or run from the police to bond with your girlfriends! But, you do need support when you’re setting and achieving goals.

3. Celebrate your differences. This life tip from the Thelma and Louise movie involves not just tolerating your friends’ differences, but celebrating them. Thelma was a married stay-at-home housewife with a domineering, annoying husband. She wasn’t as mature or jaded as Louise, who worked as a waitress in a coffee shop and had a lot more life experience (including being raped in “past life”).

4. Take care of yourself. Always, always watch your back, even when you’re having fun, even when you’re surrounded by people you trust. At the bar a few hours after their road trip, Thelma drank too much and ended up in the parking lot with a guy - Harlan. Louise stopped him from raping her. “We’re just having a little fun,” Harlan said. “In the future, when a woman’s crying like that, she ain’t having any fun,” Louise said, voice trembling. “I should’ve f-ked her,” said Harlan. “Suck my —.” So Louise shot him. “You watch your mouth, buddy,” she said. Louise knew not only how to take care of herself, she knew how to take care of Thelma, too. And Harlan.

5. Keep a cushion of money in your account. You probably won’t need it because you’ve just murdered a rapist, but it’s still a great life tip from the Thelma and Louise movie. Always have three months of “mad money” that you can easily access, just in case you lose your job, run into health problems, or decide to take an extended vacation. Not having a fluffy cushion of money is a common financial mistake many women make - and it’ll stop you from achieving your life goals.

6. Trust your gut. Louise did not want to pick up that hottie hitchhiker (Brad Pitt); her gut instinct told her to stay away. Thelma, who doesn’t seem to have much of a gut instinct to trust, wanted to give him a ride and wouldn’t stop talking about it. So, they ended up giving him a ride, and it was the second biggest mistake they made.

7. Pick your battles. “He is an asshole,” Thelma said about her husband. “Most of the time I just let it slide.” This life tip from the Thelma and Louise movie isn’t about letting things slide; it’s about knowing where to draw the line. Setting your boundaries is about self-respect. People will treat you the way you let them - in fact, you teach people how to treat you by how you treat yourself and what you’ll take from others. To achieve your life goals, be aware of how you let people treat you…and how you treat them.

8. Figure out why you’re into the bad boys. Despite their different personalities, both Thelma and Louise were totally into bad boys! Thelma found hers on the road (J.D., the hottie hitchhiker who taught her how to rob a store). Louise’s bad boy boyfriend was hers all along. It’s cool to be into bad boys - as long as you don’t expect them to change.

9. Buckle up for the consequences. This life tip from the Thelma and Louise movie runs throughout the whole movie: If you’re hooked up with a bad boy or the most decent husband in the world, be prepared for the natural consequences. Like what? The possibility that you’ll get hurt - whether he’s never around when you need him or he’s around a little too much. Or, he could steal all your money…like J.D. did to Thelma and Louise. Don’t let this stop you from taking risks to achieve your life goals, but just be prepared for what happens next (both good and bad!).

10. Take turns being strong. Louise was the strong woman throughout most of the movie. Until J.D. stole their money; then, Thelma became strong. Sex with J.D. gave her the self-confidence she needed to take control of her life. By the end - when Thelma was putting the crying cop into the trunk of his police cruiser - Louise wasn’t the only strong woman in the movie. Thelma overcame her fear and grew into a strong, self-confident woman.

11. Take risks to get what you need. Thelma, in her new role as the strong woman, robbed the store to get the money that they needed to get to Mexico to start their lives over again. Now, I’m not advocating robbery. I’m stressing that this life tip from the Thelma and Louise movie is about taking risks despite your fears, and taking what you need to achieve your life goals.

12. Be open with your friends, because keeping secrets creates distance. Louise waited until the end of the movie to tell Thelma that she was raped in Texas, in her earlier life. Throughout their friendship, Thelma never really knew Louise - she didn’t know her motivations, fears, or past experiences.

13. Be comfortable with loose ends. The last life tip from Thelma and Louise has to be about the ending. Ah, that glorious, mysterious ending in which we really don’t know what happens next! Could they actually get away? Will there be a sequel? That’s exactly how life is. We don’t know for sure how it’s gonna end because it’s never really over…until it’s really over.

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