thoughts on things

Wonder Woman vs. Grandma

Wonder Woman vs. Grandma

Is it wrong that a 40-something mom wants to ditch her family for a couple hours and sneak out to see the Wonder Woman premiere?  Asking for a friend.

I am old enough to remember the original 70s show.  Back then, I had my own imaginary golden lasso and invisible jet, and I was fully convinced that, if I had I been older, then I would have been cast as Diana in favor of Lynda Carter.  I was seven.  Humility wasn’t my strong suit back then.  I soon learned humility in boatloads, though, when my well-meaning mother tried to ship me off to school on Halloween in my Wonder Woman Underroos.

But I digress.

I can’t wait to see this movie, especially since I heard that Lynda Carted herself acted as a sort of advisor and even gave the film her blessing.  Gah!  I just…I’m seven again.

It got me thinking about how Wonder Woman compares to the rest of us mortals; how her origin story, in which she’s naïve and full of questions, closely resembles the rest of us as we embark on our firsts…relationships, careers, marriages, babies…

I thought of my own grandmother in the 1920s Deep South, orphaned at four, married at sixteen to a man named Red who – against so many odds – brought her happiness for the first time.  Her first child, (my mother) who was born when grandma was nineteen, never knew Red; he died of cancer a year later and grandma had to start anew.  At twenty, she’d lived through more than most.  Since then, among myriad challenges, she outlived two more husbands, graduated from nursing school at 50 and survived colon cancer.

You know what they say, “hurt people hurt people.”  She’d had enough hurt to tell the world and everyone in it to pound sand.

The woman I remember, though, held no bitterness in her eyes.  She held me and sang to me; she let me play with her costume jewelry (her gold cuff bracelets, can you guess what I used them for?), she fixed me French toast, she let me jump on her bed, and she spoke my name in a way that said she loved me the best (I have several cousins, and I’m certain she spoke their names the same way).  She loved me just the way I am, and to a child there is no greater gift – one she herself never received.

I love Wonder Woman and all, but let’s be honest.  She comes from a paradise island of immortals; she’s idealistic by nature and nurture.  My grandma?  At any point she could have shut down, given up.  If she had, my mother’s life and my own would have been dramatically different.  But she didn’t.  She’s gone now, but the strength of her memory lives in my heart.

Two Wonder Women.  One literally bulletproof, one metaphorically.  Both sacrificed much for the good of their respective worlds.

I love Wonder Woman and all but, if she went up against my grandma, I know who would win.

Photo credit: Tom Simpson via / CC BY-NC-ND

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