Funny Isn’t it?

I planned to be writing this month about my wonderful vacation in Spain, but alas, no dice. Oh, we went all right and the trip was terrific (though covering seven cities in 10 days is a bit of overkill for this old broad), but in the last few days of my holiday, I contracted a nasty flu and didn’t enjoy much of anything. Suffice it to say that after a 10-hour flight to Atlanta and a five-hour drive home, coming home was bliss, even with a temperature of 103 degrees.

By the way, our GPS said Atlanta was about a three and-a-half hour drive from Asheville. They obviously did not compute that the airport was on the far side of the city and that traffic around Atlanta closely resembles millions of lemmings stalled in their cars for hours.

The next day when I finally got to the doctor, I found out that my flu had blossomed into pneumonia and was bed ridden for three weeks. So, no. I will not bore you with how swell it was to come home. Not this time. However, I do want to share with you an exciting happening that occurred once I was out of my sick bed and back on my feet.

Here I was, a poor little brunette girl stuck in a world that clearly worshiped blondes.
First, I must explain something: as a young girl, the only comic book I really loved was Wonder Woman. Oh, I dabbled with Mandrake the Magician because I loved Narda and Lothar. I think both of these comics appealed to my seven-year-old psyche because both Diana Prince (Wonder Woman) and Narda (Mandrake) were brunettes – a rare breed of heroine in those days. Like in Archie – Betty, the nice girl was blonde. Veronica, the brunette, was witchy. Also, most Cinderellas prior to the Leslie Ann Warren movie were blondes.

So, you get my drift. Here I was, a poor little brunette girl stuck in a world that clearly worshiped blondes.

So, anyway, it was with shaky hands that I bought two tickets for the flick. I asked Matt to come with me because all my girlfriends were out of town visiting friends, children, or grandchildren. I hate it when that happens. Because, clearly, this was a movie to see with a woman.

I felt great trepidation. What if my heroine was lame? Like Linda Carter when they translated the comic pages to television – Linda Carter was NEVER my idea of Wonder Woman. Her costume was too sexy, and she wore way too much makeup to be embraced as my kind of warrior princess. Matt disagrees with me on this matter, which just goes to show you how susceptible he is to any female with big boobs. I sometimes wonder why he married 34B me.

Anyway, I’d read about Gal Gadot, the Israeli actress chosen to play Diana. I knew she’d been a former combat trainer in the Israeli army (good sign). However, at age 18 she’d also been Miss Israel, which gave me pause – a pageant girl as a Warrior Princess? I thought not.

How could a beauty queen handle the Golden Lasso of Truth and the Shield that withstood machine gun fire? What if her bosom spilled out over the skimpy bodice of her red-white-and-blue costume like Linda Carter’s did? And how about her ability to deflect every bullet with those bracelets? I wished for them every Christmas for five years, but Santa never delivered.

I figured with those bracelets I could single handedly wipe out all the communists who threatened my world so much in the 1950s. Why, with those bracelets, I would have taken on the Nazis, too, just like Diana Prince did, but they were a bit before my time.

And the Lasso of Truth? Yeah baby! With that, I could pin the blame on my former best friend, Janice, who claimed I had copied from her in fourth grade when in actuality, it was the other way around.

So, it was with considerable fear that I sat down beside my husband, greasy popcorn clutched to my chest, and watched the credits roll.

Gal looked good. Tall, strong, and with bosoms nicely covered. I learned about the back story of Diana Prince – how, as the daughter of Queen Hippolyta, the ruler of the Amazons, she grew up on the all-female island of Themyscira, which by the way looked like a perfect spot for vacation. But back to Diana Prince. Queen Hippolyta wanted to keep her daughter protected. At first, she wouldn’t let her train with the other Amazons until Diana proved herself stronger and fiercer than any of them.

With tears in my eyes, I was reminded of the day Diana sailed away from Themyscira, waving goodbye to a mother she’d never again see in her lifetime. SOB!

But, you see, Diana had a mission – to save the world! In the battle scenes, this beauty queen from Israel proved herself the perfect Wonder Woman of my girlhood dreams. She was unbeatable and yet compassionate. She fell in love with a hunky pilot and grieved deeply when he was shot down. In other words, she was a Real Woman! In spades.

I think that when I was growing up, strong female role models were scarce in my hometown. As a little girl, I craved such a person to show me how formidable a Woman could be. Gal Gadot did that, and I’m grateful.

When we left the theater, I walked a little taller and flexed my muscles a little harder as I hummed I am Woman, hear me roar.

Funny, isn’t it, how good that felt?


Jeanne Charters is a New Yorker blissfully relocated to Asheville. She lives with her husband, Matt Restivo, and their dog, Bucky. Her novel, Shanty Gold, is available at Malaprops and Mountain Made in Asheville, at Highland Books in Brevard, at Blue Ridge Books and News in Waynesville, at The Book Shelf in Tryon, and of course, Amazon. Her second book, Lace Curtain, will be available soon. Jeanne invites you to enjoy her blogs on Irish jokes and historical tidbits at www.jeannecharters.com. Contact her at jcharters@bellsouth.net. She loves to hear from readers.

Jeanne Charters
Written by Jeanne Charters