Both Sides of the Fence

A Tosa resident since 1991, Christine walks the dog, cooks but avoids housework, writes and reads, and enjoys the company of friends and strangers. Her job takes her around the state, learning about people's health. A Quaker (no, they don't wear blue hats or sell oatmeal or motor oil), she has been known to stand on both sides of the political and philosophic fence at the same time, which is very uncomfortable when you think about it. She writes about pretty much whatever stops in to visit her busy mind at the moment. One reader described her as "incredibly opinionated but not judgmental." That sounds like a good thing to strive for!

What's with the diva thing, anyway?

Wauwatosa, Diva Night, Midwesterners

I missed Wednesday’s Diva Night in the village. Driving home from work, though, I did see some sprightly young girlfriend types entering Sassafras, and a slightly more weathered pair considering their fender-bender behind Robertson’s Hardware store. Everyone seemed distinctly non-diva like: polite and attentive to each other, the first group expecting fun, the second one with the calm courtesy good insurance makes possible. Towanda!

To tell you the truth, I don’t really get the whole diva obsession thing. I’m hoping some of you will explain it to me.

I mean, it’s okay for fabulous opera singers, as long as you don’t have to live with them. But why would you want your daughter, wife, or girlfriend to be a diva, especially without the money-making voice? Or anyone? I’m not excluding men here: some of the biggest divas I know are guys.

A diva is, by custom if not definition, imperious, self-centered, expensive, and rude. All sorts of money “invested” in pressure tanning, nails, and hair--dead cells all--and that’s before you even get to the clothing. Which, I’m just being frank here, is not always in the very best taste.

You can see why a commercial district would love to encourage diva-tude, as it requires endless feeding with something new and something newer.

Here’s my guess: at least here in the Midwest, where we secretly know that not everyone is above average, Diva Night is really Girl Friends Night. It’s about companionship and play with people who get you. You don’t really have to impress them. But you can be childlike again, playing dress up and pretending that everyone, not just those who’ve known you since Brownie Scouts, can see what’s most wonderful about you. You can laugh as loud as you want, as often as you want, about whatever you want.

Girl Friends Night has no commercial potential. It would be harder to package and market. You can get it for free.

So call it Diva Night. The shopping, sipping, and noshing aren't really the main fare. But no one needs to know that.


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