I just took a maniacal drive to get some McDonald’s drive-through, and had all sorts of thoughts running through my mind. And I got to thinking, if Aphrodite was a real woman, and alive today, would she indulge in the pleasure of McDonald’s? I have found McDonald’s to be such a polarizing topic. I come across people who haven’t touched it in twenty years, who have never had it, who eat it weekly, or who try to stay away, but often give in. I’m the latter, in case you’re curious. So, whenever I’m questioning my actions, I always defer to the goddesses. And I ask myself what they would do. And since Aphrodite is the hottest of them all, I really want to know if she would say Yay or Nay when presented with Mickey D’s.
[When I used to live in New York City, my favorite thing to do was convince a friend who hadn’t had Mcdonald’s in years to go get some with me. And they always caved. And they always loved every minute of it!]
ME AND APHRODITE ARE LIKE TWO PEAS IN A POD
I recently wrote an article about THE MAGIC OF FLOWERS AND WHY I NEED THEM IN MY LIFE. Often, my articles take on a life of their own as I’m writing them. And with this one, for whatever reason, I completely justified all the ways in which Aphrodite and I are basically twins. No lacking in the self-aggrandizing category am I. Anyway, as I was exploring all of our various overlaps, I felt inspired to describe her as a real-life woman. And in this description, she totally came to life for me.
“A black-locust-laced breeze is reminiscent of Aphrodite’s perfume. Like, if you knew her personally, and called her Adie, and were standing next to her at a party. She would be wearing a floral tube top sundress, her wavy locks piled high and loose on top of her head. And she would have just the right amount of jewelry, with that dewy skin glow that we all long for. And standing beside her at the party, you could like, smell her. She would smell like black locust blossoms.”-Me
So, since I feel so akin to Adie, maybe that’s why I deferred to her on my drive today.
FOOD ADDICTION AND MCDONALD’S
I think it’s safe to say we all have our vices. I’m great with money, and I don’t do drugs or drink. But I love me some sugar and I love me some junk food. I still try to keep things in moderation for the most part. But we are all human, and today I just went for it.
And as I was driving, I couldn’t help but think of my dear mother. My mother, may her soul rest in peace, was an active alcoholic for most of her life. And she loved her junk food as well, although almost always abstained. Recently, my sister and I found an old bank statement of hers when we were going through her files. And this bank statement told a horrifying story of one of my mother’s alcohol binge benders. [Make sure you read all the way to the end]
CHRISTINE E. WEBER | CHECKING ACCOUNT STATEMENT | 3/13/2003-4/10/2003
Seacoast Cab – March 31 – $28.00
Angelo’s Pizza Newark De – April 1 – $8.45
Pat’s Discount Liquors – April 1 – $5.24
Lampost Liquors Newark De – April 1 – $4.99
Seacoast Cab – April 2 – $45.00
Angelo’s Pizza Newark De – April 2 – $17.00
Lampost Liquors Newark De – April 2 – $4.99
Fairfield Liquors – April 2 – $4.99
Seacoast Cab – April 3 – $25.00
Lampost Liquors Newark De – April 3 – $8.99
ATM Withdrawal Wilmington De – April 4 – $42.00
Angelo’s Pizza Newark De – April 4 – $11.75
Comfort Inn Newark De – April 7 – $456.79
Lampost Liquors Newark De – April 7 – $8.94
Ewing Towing Newark De – April 9 – $225.00
ATM Withdrawal Wilmington De – April 9 – $100.00
© Libby Saylor, Death Collage 10, mixed media on paper, 11″ x 15″ 2018
PIZZA AND BOOZE GO TOGETHER LIKE ME AND APHRODITE
I hope you know that I’m not meaning to exploit my mother’s exploits (yes, I meant to use this word twice in one sentence) by sharing this. The discovery of this document sent me into some deep emotions, and as always, sharing about them is my way of attempting to heal.
That being said, if you follow the bread crumbs of spending history, you can see the movie pretty clearly. And it appears that she spent several days in a hotel, getting wasted. This sad movie ends with some sort of car crash, despite her efforts in the beginning of this journey to take a cab, knowing she would most likely be in no condition to drive. Keep in mind that my mother owned a car and lived in a home, so the need for the hotel and cab rides are quite telling. This was obviously a planned affair.
But what strikes me kind of funny about this whole saga, is the pizza component. I guess she felt like, fuck it, I’m just gonna go for it. Three days straight of nothing but liquor and pizza, Amen! Along with booze, she did love her pizza.
And I thought of this on my car ride today. I felt a bit crazed myself heading to McD’s, and I wondered if this was how she felt on the start of her binge. In my car ride today, I was thinking thoughts like, “Oh boy, this is gonna be great.” I actually even thought to myself, “If I died of cancer from McDonald’s and was asked if I regretted any of it, I would say no, it’s that good.” And I wonder if my mother felt the same way when she gave into her vices. No regrets, and only pleasure. I doubt it, since she lost her children, her friends, and all of her money to her alcoholism.
I still remember, about a year before her passing, my sister and I would always bring her pizza, knowing it made her so happy. Her favorite was Pizza Hut. And I can still picture her in her wheel chair, in the sun, moaning with pleasure from it.
“Mmmm, this is living.”-My mother, eating a slice of Pizza Hut pizza
THE HISTORY OF APHRODITE
Unfortunately, I’m so not a history buff. In school, I always preferred math, English, art, and basically any other class besides history. However, I will try my best not to butcher the facts. And speaking of facts, this question is so compelling because it’s about a fictional, mythological character. Therefore, Aphrodite’s personality profile is finite. There is only so much written and painted about her. And beyond that, we are left to our own imaginations to fill in the blanks.
She has been depicted in various ways, and even my own impressions of her have changed over time. I used to associate her with beauty and fragility. But after reading Jean Shinoda Bolen’s Goddesses in Everywoman, my ideas about her have expanded. She was of course beautiful in every way. Perhaps more than anyone. But I’m not so sure about fragile. She was perhaps a woman of impetuous spontaneity. A bit unstable perhaps, but not fragile. I now imagine her avatar as free, and open, and seeping with love and passion.
She was also a bit of a drama queen, in that drama seemed to follow her everywhere. She did not live a calm and peaceful existence. No. There was always some guy, and some emotional storm, and lots and lots of sex. But she genuinely always seemed to mean well. Okay, maybe not all the time. I mean, all of the gods and goddesses were guilty of murder here and there. But in general, her archetype translates to vulnerability, pleasure in the present moment, and a deep desire to connect. And not from a place of neediness, but from a place of pure joy.
Beauty was another driving force behind Aphrodite. She made things beautiful, was inspired by beautiful things, surrounded herself with beauty, knew what was beautiful, and understood beauty at the level of the soul. She lived and breathed it in every moment. #imsoher
APHRODITE AND MARILYN MONROE
I could probably write an entire article comparing these two icons. There is so much to unpack, but I will try to stay focused on McDonald’s.
I can’t help but first think of Whitney Cummings’s stand-up comedy bit about Marilyn Monroe. It’s super harsh and very non-goddess-supportive. Sorry about that. She’s ultimately calling out the fact that this icon was heralded for being beautiful and “slutty,” “standing over a sewer grate,” and dying young. But otherwise, she was basically a “slob” and an “asshole,” for showing up late to everything. I’m paraphrasing here, so if you are interested in hearing the bit, you can visit the podcast episode with Chris Hardwick and start listening at 37:03.
I appreciate stand-up comedy, and this bit made me laugh. I also don’t think it’s completely untrue. However, I do think there was more to Marilyn Monroe than all that. I think she was a deeply troubled woman who found comfort in substances, not unlike my precious mother.
Marilyn Monroe did have a tremendous drinking and drug problem. And I believe this ultimately led to her untimely death. However, I do believe that there is still much overlap between Marilyn Monroe in Aphrodite. They were both stunning, and charming, and captivating, and charismatic. Men in particular LOVED being around them. And their ability to magnetically attract all who came near them, is a skill I believe they both shared. I happen to imagine Aphrodite more like this…
Filled with joy and radiant light, glowing and free in her body.
However, I don’t know how much of a drunk Aphrodite was. I think this goddess enjoyed her pleasures, enjoyed the party, and loved attention. But I think she mostly just loved love.
So, I know I did a terrible job of keeping focused on McDonald’s during my Marilyn Monroe comparison. But I was laying the foundation for my point. And my point is that…HELL FUCKING YES, APHRODITE WOULD INDULGE IN THE PLEASURE OF MCDONALD’S. And would she feel guilty about it? I would go with a HELL FUCKING NO on that one. In general, I don’t think goddesses experience many feelings of self-hate, but I might be wrong. Also, I think her body would like divinely metabolize everything, so it’s not like she’d gain weight or get sick if she ate it anyway, right?
Aphrodite, first and foremost, is all about pleasure. And eating McDonald’s is about 99% pleasure, with about 1% payback. Like, it’ll nourish you if you’re starving. But, it’s honestly probably doing more damage to your body than good. So, McD’s is really about pleasure and nothing more than that. You’re not gaining anything of substance or value from eating it, except needless weight, which most of us don’t want. But Adie wouldn’t care. She doesn’t plan and she doesn’t worry. She just does. And if it feels good, she really does. So, I think she would definitely do this!
MEET THE MODERN-DAY APHRODITE
Since there is no existing personality profile for a modern-day Aphrodite, I’m going to end this article by creating one now. Er, at least, the beginning of one, like first impression vibes. Mostly because I’m obsessed with her, and I feel like I kind of already know her. And I want you to get to know her too.
I was at first going to write this like a dating app profile. But Aphrodite would NEVER date online. Not because she was above it or anything. She would just never need to. And would have more than enough men around her on any given day to keep her occupied. Instead, I will write this profile from a writer’s perspective, as if they were profiling her for a Vogue or Rolling Stone article.
When I arrived at the hotel for my interview with Aphrodite, I was surprised to find that she was already there. Most goddesses keep me waiting. Instead, she had nestled herself comfortably among the cushions of a powder blue arm chair, and was sipping on something pink and icy and refreshing. I don’t believe I have ever witnessed such relaxed confidence in one’s own body. She looked as if she had just had a 5-hour massage.
She rose to greet me like a true gentlewoman, and kissed me on both cheeks. I caught a whiff of her during this exchange and can’t even describe her fragrance. She smelled like a flower that I have never smelled before. Instantly, she asked me to call her Adie, and looked me directly in the eye when she said so. Not in an aggressive or intense way. Just in a way that says, “I am not afraid of you and I am an open book.”
Adie was wearing violet upon violet. It was everywhere. She wore her hair kind of up and kind of down, all at once. It seemed to have a life of its own, and was beautifully wild like an animal. Her top was sleeveless and slinky and her skin was covered with hints of glitter and shine. She wore a long skirt exploding with flowers and seemingly endless. And her slipper shoes had already been removed as she was enjoying a barefooted experience in the hotel lobby. She cozied herself back into the seat cushions and gazed at me intently with twinkling eyes as we began to talk like old friends…
Don’t you just want to meet her? I’m sure I would feel envious of her, but in love with her at the same time. I think I would just want her to like me. But I believe she had this way of making everyone feel important and paid attention to. So, any jealousy or intimidation would simply melt away because of her warmth and charm.
So, what are your thoughts? Doesn’t she sound lovely? Do you think Aphrodite would eat McDonald’s? Or, do you think she would abstain? Why? I would love to know!
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Featured photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash
Aphrodite sculpture photo obtained here
Marilyn Monroe at the beach photo obtained here