When the esteemed Dr. Rachel Maddow, Ph.D. (that’s Pretty hot Dyke, for those unfamiliar with academic acronyms) blew onto the national TV scene as a commentator for MSNBC, tons of gals’ undies got all up in a wad. And I mean that in a good way.
Coast to coast and up and down the internets, the Sisters of Sappho were all: Jumpin’ Jehosephat! It’s one of us up there! And of the butchie stripe, heretofore The Gender That Dare Not Speak Its Name! (At least it dare not speak its name on the television set, and according to reports by those who watch the series, if you were to search for this in between part of the gender spectrum on even something like The L Word you would be searching a long, long, long time.) But back to Dr. Maddow: She’s smart, we all said! Plus she’s leftie! Plus she’s not apologetic about any of the above! I even got a little giddy myself (exhibit A).
There was just one eeensy, teensy problem I hadn’t anticipated, in my initial glee: having one of my kind representing on the TV set meant that I got to witness my beloved watching one of my kind representing on the TV set. (Cue sound of record player needle being scratched violently off the vinyl.) Yeah. So when we all laugh at Dr. M’s rapier wit, the beloved laughs just a leeetle bit harder than I do. You get the idea.
Okay, now before a bunch of you accuse me of being a wimp, I have two things to say. One: you’re right! Wimp wimp wimp! Monsieur Wimp, c’est moi! But two: Hey! Gals like me, we don’t have any practice! One of the side-effects of being virtually invisible in the sphere of popular culture is that you don’t have the opportunity to inure yourself to your sweetie swooning over tempting, if improbable, alternatives to yourself. Which, surprise surprise, Dr. Maddow’s appearance nightly has provided. You know, alongside probing and insightful analysis of breaking national and international political events.
What’s a gal to do? Carpe carpem, that’s what I say! Don’t suffer alone, quietly! Suffer with others, noisily! And thus was born the Maddow Widowers’ Support Group. Membership is open to all who find themselves bobbing adrift in the sea of their sweetie’s Dr. M-induced mooning. Most of us MWSG members will be mannish lesbians, but let’s face it, straight women and gay men have found themselves mooning over Dr. M too. So befuddled straight and gay guys are more than welcome. I am a very strong advocate of coalition-building across difference. Basically, come one, come all, long-faced and cranky.
Why am I uniquely qualified to call the MWSG to order? Glad you asked. My mind has been boggled, lo these many months of Dr. M’s ascendency, by an eerie number of coincidences between my biography and that of the esteemed left-wing lesbian commentator. To make matters more excruciating, each one is a “close but no cigar” type deal, again making me the gal for the job. Allow me to draw your attention to just some of the highlights:
- We grew up in the same town, only I’m older. By like ten years or something. Unfortunately, we’re in the age range now where older is not better. It’s just, like, with more gray hairs, crow’s feet, and a paunch.
- We went to the same high school, only when I went, it was still staggering in the wake of Proposition 13’s devastating public education budget cuts, and it had absolutely no academic distinction whatsoever. In fact, my recollection was, it was crappy (sorry, but that’s my recollection. Could be that my entire high school experience would have been crappy anywhere, what can I say). Later it won some kind of “California Distinguished School” award, but when I was there it was distinguished only by a trend-setting “smoking section.” Now of course it’s distinguished by being Dr. M’s high school alma mater. (Is there an emoticon for “bitter”?)
- In high school, I was on the swim team and the basketball team. Sounds nice and jock-y, yes? No. Because Dr. M? Swim team, basketball, AND volleyball. One-upped again. To make matters worse, she’s described as the type of player who was “frequently injured diving for balls.” We all know there are two kinds of people: people who dive for balls and people who would never consider it. I’ll just stop there.
- She attended Stanford University as an undergrad, whereas I went to that low-cost public school across the bay that is constantly complaining about Stanford and defensively citing our greater # of Nobel Laureate professors. You brats.
- She attended graduate school at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, and completed a Ph.D. in Political Science. I, on the other hand, was in a Ph.D program in the great upper midwest at, again, a fine, low-cost public school. Dropped out before orals, meaning I can officially only place M.A. after my name. Don’t even get A.B.D. (All But Dissertation). I haven’t devised what M.A. stands for, but sadly, Pretty hot Dyke is already taken.
- One of the several jobs I had after grad school was one that entailed advising would-be Rhodes Scholars’ at my alma mater. Again, I think I’ll just stop there.
- I’ll finish with the biographical factoid that I find the most devastating. I like to think I’m tall for a gal — 5 foot 10 and a half inches, and don’t think I don’t count that last half-inch. And guess what. Go ahead, guess how tall Dr. Maddow is. No, really, guess. I’ll wait. Uh huh. 5’11”.
I think I’ve made the “single white female” case pretty well here. Now the only question is, what activities should the Maddow Widowers’ Support Group undertake? Uplift is my main concern. Healing. Helping equip ourselves with the skills and capacity to move on, and with self-love. We could do other stuff. I’m open to suggestions.