Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Queen size me.

I was drowning in a sea of toned biceps, high heels, skinny jeans, and sexy, sleeveless tops. Dressed like a puffy, 12-year old lesbian in Levis, Converse sneakers and a t-shirt, I pinched a layer of fat on my arm. Fuck. It wasn't a nightmare.

Where's the bar?

A party for a friend found me surrounded by drop-dead gorgeous women, one of whom was turning 40 and looked about 19. I missed the burning effigy of a man on the front lawn, but I knew goin' in – this was a Pilates-powered, penis-free zone. With no hope of getting felt up, I even left on my sports bra.

Why was I here again?

Oh ya. Birthday. Tough year. Shed the mommy costume, leave the kiddies with a pizza, a dad, and Hockey Night in Canada. Dress up for no other reason other than to feel like you did before you traded in the Rabbit convertible for a minivan. Celebrate friendship and survival. Gather the girls and get pissed.

I really need to sex up my wardrobe.

Men gather with purpose; Wage war; Conduct business; Watch a pole dancer; Sports. Women will gather at the sound of a kettle or a cork – if for no other reason than to share a laugh, or a bitch about babies, cellulite, money, men, books, meals, work, parents, husbands, laundry, teachers, teenagers, lack of sleep, lack of respect, lack of elasticity, lack of love. Fueled by financial freedom and white wine, women have the potential to kick ass. Fueled by a nature to protect and a will to survive – women are a force like no other.

Are they going to cut that fucking cake, or what? I want to go home.

Barb Stegemann kicks serious ass. Author of 7 Virtues of a Philosopher Queen, A Woman's Guide to Living & Leading in an Illogical World, Stegemann is a woman on a mission, and God help anyone who stands in her way. Stegemann's philosophy is simple, and leaps from the pages of her book: It is never too late to become what you envision for yourself. And, it is important for us to do our bit to empower others. Us, as in women. Others, as in those who can't afford shit, let alone $300 skinny jeans.

I envisioned a slice of that vanilla Chai icing birthday cake to soak up the gallon of wine I consumed in the name of sisterhood of the Chardonnay. I'll empower myself to go back on my healthy lifestyle tomorrow, so just wrap up a piece of that Sweetiecake's cake "to go" and let me get the hell out of here before they burst into a drunken rendition of Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" while doing the downward facing dog in size 0 pants.

Stegemann's latest stroke of genius – Afghanistan Orange Blossom Eau de Parfum, was born out of the thesis of The 7 Virtues of a Philosopher Queen. While women still don't wear all of the pants in politics or CEO positions – women own the North American buying power. So, according to the Philosopher Queen, we must harness that power to bring about change. "The more perfume we sell, the more crops we buy from Afghanistan. The more licit crops we buy, the stronger the economy of Afghanistan becomes and the people are less reliant on the illicit poppy crops that fuel the illegal drug trade. It’s important for us to do our bit to empower."

Is she a fucking pistol in pumps, or what? Save the world by shopping and smelling good. Cut the damn cake because she takes it.

Thanks to Barb, I have a copy of The 7 Virtues of a Philosopher Queen and a beautiful (and rare) bottle of Afghanistan Orange Blossom Eau de Parfum to give away. All you have to do is go to, then email me one of Barb's virtues. Moderation is one, but I blew that one at the penis-free party, so choose a different one, because my head still hurts.

Send your email to, and you could win this beautifully-packaged bundle of fragrance and inspiration. I empower you. The winner will be announced next week.

The other winner will be an Afghan woman, who – with a little help – will find a way out of her nightmare, and something to laugh about someday.