Girls…in San Francisco
We were twenty-something: dreamy, hopeful, and optimistic. As children, we were told we could do anything and “be someone.” We were fraught with no dates, too many dates, boring boyfriends – exciting trysts – which ended in hours of analysis with roommates over wine coolers, Double-stuffed Oreos or Sara Lee cakes.
Unlike Girls on the popular HBO TV show, we wore robes, kimonos, baby dolls, negligees, and cover-ups. Nude? Not so much. Our speech was peppered with “Gag me with a spoon,” and “Righteous,” and “Like, totally.”
As girls, our cooking repertoire defaulted to Lean Cuisine, Hamburger Helper, the miracles of Cheez Whiz, and Bisquick. We drank Tab, frozen daiquiris and Cosmopolitans.
We shopped at Joseph Magnin’s then slipped into Blum’s for a slice of Coffee Crunch cake. We popped into the exquisite, green- marble, ladies room at I. Magnin. We hiked over to the Emporium and bought Japanese water-flowers in Chinatown.
We knew we looked stunning in leg warmers. We wore mega shoulder pads, mini skirts, and knew a lot of guys in Members Only jackets.
In the 80’s. our haunts included Henry Africa’s, Lord Jim’s, the Balboa Café, the Cadillac Bar, and Perry’s.
Marin was “Over there”- famous for the No-name Bar and Jules Broussard at Sweetwater. We rarely went South of Market and the tacky Tenderloin was a “Do Not Enter Zone.”
It was a decade of “I am woman hear me like roar… or whine, or like, totally, like exclaim.”
One by one, our Girls number dwindled as we got into real boy-girl relationships. HBO Girls makes it look hard. And weird.
We gave up our lives as Mary-Ann-Singletons in San Francisco and join ‘The Marrieds.’
Our parents- as newlyweds- had all moved into Park Merced. We found flats and apartments in the Richmond, the Sunset District, and the Marina. Visions of babies were dancing in our heads. Many of us started families and juggled careers along with the PTA meetings, carpools, endless homework, expensive orthodontia, exhilaration and challenges. Sandwiched – we care for our kids and our aging parents.
As girls, we thought we were Kool and the Gang – never expecting we would become the Golden Girls. We had our “Wonder Years” – they have lasted decades – and then we will become: dames.
We will have a penchant for comfort over style. We still love shoes and spend our money on comfortable Mephisto’s and Munro’s and Merrill’s. There are grandchildren in our futures – or our laps.
After years of headaches with the glass-ceiling syndrome and we leave careers and marriages and start new chapters. We will be dames. There is nothing like a dame…like a Maggie Smith, Nora Ephron, Angela Merkel, Hilary, Melinda Gates, Helene Gayle, Sister Simone Campbell.
HBO’s young Girls are famously awkward – in so many facets of life – as evidenced by the multi-talented Lena Dunham as she staggered on stilettos to the Golden Globes stage to receive not one – but two – awards. Go, Girls. One small bit of advice for the staggeringly famous: comfortable shoes.
Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young. Henry Ford
“An archaeologist is the best husband a woman can have. The older she gets the more interested he is in her.” Agatha Christie