The Art of Stepford

04.09.14

Posted by Mikie Baker  |  No Comments »

When I was growing up, the only working mother I knew was my own. All the others were busy being perfect June Cleaver stay-at-home moms. I was the rare latch-key kid whose mother had no problem with letting her child eat Chef Boyardee Ravioli straight out of the can.

The rest of the mothers were busy preparing Betty Crocker recipes, sewing clothes and actually ironing. Life for their children was perfectly delicious and wrinkle free. So, when I saw the movie, The Stepford Wives, I understood because that was the type of neighborhood I grew up in. I just never realized my mother was the only one who wasn’t a robot.

 Now for those of you not familiar with the movie, the sequel or the upcoming cable series, The Stepford Wives was about a town where husbands brought their bra-burning wives to live so they could turn them into perfect female robots. These Barbie dolls never got fat, never talked back and never, ever stepped out the front door without being starched and pressed.

 I was confident that my generation of women would never end up like Stepford wives. After last Friday night, I’d like to take that statement back.

 I was invited to spend an evening at a “First Friday Artwalk” in a neighboring town. I had never attended this type of event before as I’m not one to spend thousands of dollars on something to hang on the wall. Plus I think you have to reach a “certain age” before you’re even interested in art at all. I fear I’m just about that old.

 An Artwalk’s concept is this – they give you plenty of wine and delicious appetizers so you’ll stroll from gallery to gallery until you’ve had just enough to pull your checkbook out and prove you’ve become cultured enough to buy something.

 Frankly, I wasn’t really interested in looking at art – I was much more interested in looking at men. In the first gallery I visited with my friends, I saw plenty of art and hardly a man.

I met most of the women in attendance and they all had one thing in common. They looked liked well-aged Stepford wives. In masse, they were coiffed, jeweled and had obviously been lifted a time or two. They were hopelessly unattached and desperately seeking a male companion, no matter his age. I felt like I was in the middle of a Merle Norman sponsored AARP convention.

I whipped around to one of my girlfriends and said, “Where are all the men?” She looked down, shook her head sadly and said, “There just aren’t any here in this town.” Evidently the Stepford wives can fight back. And when they do, it looks like they don’t leave a man standing.

Actually there was one unattached man I had a conversation with. At one gallery, there was no bartender, so I was forced to open a bottle of wine myself. When I was about two-thirds the way through my struggle, this man walked up. He just stood there and watched me until I was done. Then he stuck out his cup and said, “Pour me some.” I whipped around and said, “Excuse me, but what I think you meant to say was, ‘After you worked so hard, might I pour you a glass of wine?’”

 At least now I understand why there are no men in this small town. They’ve all been corkscrewed in the art galleries.

Spreading laughter throughout the world…one robot at a time.

Mikie Baker
www.mikiebaker.com