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Today is the day ~ Shirley Valentine

I am 48 years old, married with three children, three grandchildren, a dog, two cats, two rats and a whopping great mortgage. That is me in brief but not me in my entirety. There is actually a lot more to me than that first sentence would seem to suggest. Just recently I have had much more than my fair share of Shirley Valentine moments. Of course there are some of you reading this, that may not have a clue as to who Shirley Valentine is or was. However, those women out there of my age give or take a few years, and those who are older will most likely or just maybe know just who I am referring to, as will some of the men out there who watched the film panic stricken that their wives would run away to an idyllic setting in the sun, having taken leave of her senses and leave them with the kids, the bills and just about everything else that represented the reality of working class life. Actress Pauline Collins gave a marvellously funny performance in this role, which when I first saw the film meant little to me. At the time the film first came out I was a long way from being Shirley Valentine or anyone like her. I was still just a girl with dewy skin and even dewier dreams. Now at 48 with hair which would be grey, white even if I let it be natural, which I shall not just yet as I am just not ready for that sort of declaration, and with me approaching menopause at motorway speed I understand only too well what the film was about now. I think and am sure that all women feel like Shirley Valentine at some stage in life and particularly so in the fourth and fifth decades. To say I want to run away some times, and be me all by myself indulging in something more than housework is I have to admit a truth that probably does not surprise the wifely sisterhood. I think a woman suddenly realises with an almighty crash back down to Earth, that when her mother told her that marriage really was not a bed of roses, she was actually telling the truth and telling it from a place of experience, and not trying to put a downer on romance. However, that is not to say that marriage is never good because of course it is sometimes. 

© Liola Lee 2010

‘Today is the day’ …was a collection of musings I wrote during the Peri menopause years. It’s spoken in the first person, and was based largely on my journal entries written around that time. Journalling is a wonderful way to express this, that and whatever else needs to be said whether aloud or silently…





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November 2018
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