Zoe & Sophia find Buddhism and Need Your Advice as the Sublime Consumers of the Lightness of Being

December 31st, 2009

December 30th

Do you have advice to offer two middle-aged, single women whose lives are suddenly crashing in chaos?  Zoe and Sophia, BFFs for thirty years, find themselves unexpectedly cast into the world of re-creation and redefinition after decades of being faithful wives to George and Marty.  They need advice from anyone willing to offer it.  For instance, what advice would you give your Bff  if she wanted back her copy of the book WHEN THINGS FALL APART by Pema Chodron? Any advice you can give to Zoe would be helpful, but this is the advice Sophia gave her.

When Zoe’s and Sophia’s marriages splintered into matchsticks, the first thing they did, after crying like feral cats, was to become Buddhists.  Zoe’s therapist gave Zoe the book When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron.  Since Zoe’s marriage collapsed a few months before Sophia’s, Zoe had time to read and apply the concepts about living in the moment, accepting herself as she was, trying to replace anger with compassion and so forth.  Zoe kept the book next to her computer at all times and read it in between corresponding with dozens of Match.Com guys who wanted to date her.  Occasionally, she spilled food and drink on the book in a fit of sexual excitement, after particularly graphic exchanges with her growing stable of men, but she was always careful to clean off the book.

When poor Sophia found herself gazing into a metaphorical mirror of herself as an old, lonesome woman, no man would ever want, Zoe naturally handed her the book and said, “Read this.”  Sophia took the book home and finished it that night.  The next day she read it again, and the day after that, she read it from back to front.  This went on for days.  Sophia found Pema’s messages especially profound when she was in bed.  With one hand she tossed onto her tongue fistfuls of Chex Mix, and with the the other, drew spoonfuls of Nutella, (the hazelnut chocolate spread) to her lips.  Pema’s pages lay precariously in her lap, sopping up the residue of bits which failed to make it to her mouth.

A few days later the two women were travelling on I-95 South in NH, discussing the powerful notions from Pema’s book.  Sophia turned to Zoe, who was driving, and said, “Pema’s ideas have changed my life.”

Zoe said, “Mine too.  I knew you would love her.”

“Hey, Zo, I think I’d like to take formal instruction in meditation.”

Zoe’s face lit up.  “I was thinking the same thing.  There’s a place not far from here where we can do that.  Let’s go check it out.”  Infused with sensible purpose, they smiled and remained silent for a couple of minutes until they saw signs for the Foxrun Mall.   A fork in the road lay ahead of them.  The right fork would take them to a place where they could learn how to be meditating Buddhists.  The left fork would take them to the stores at the Mall they loved like The Loft, Old Navy, and Victoria’s Secret.

Suddenly, Zoe said with undeniable defensiveness, “Well, we do have a double date tonight.” Sophia looked at Zoe baffled, sensing that Zoe thought Sophia had accused her telepathicallyof backing out on formal Buddhist instruction.  The never uttered, inferred accusation could not have been further from the truth.

Sophia smiled widely.  “So we do,” she said nodding, “and I need a new push-up bra before tonight, so go left, sister, go left.”  And in the nick of time, Zoe steered the car toward the mall.

A few minutes later the two stood side-by-side in front of a mirror in the dressing room of Victoria’s Secret.  Their tall, slender bodies were clad only in lacy panties as they tried on bra after bra without a good result.  Then as if by a silent cue, their eyes met in the mirror, they flipped back their long, blond hair and gave each other “the look.”  Within seconds they were fully dressed and disdain radiated from the women as they marched out of the store.  Sighing deeply, Sophia said, “Let’s just go to K-Mart.  I’m kinda broke,  and I can buy a push-up bra for $7.00 dollars instead of $57.00 dollars.”

“Okay,” agreed Zoe vaguely.

“What’s wrong, Zo?” asked Sophia, sensing that her friend had something on her mind.

Reluctantly, Zoe answered.  “Fuck sake, Sophie, I’m dating four guys at one time.”

“So what?” said Sophia.

“Do you think I’m a whore, Sophie?”

“Hell, no.   What would Pema say?  Accept yourself as you are, Zo.”

“Yup, but you’re not dating anyone.”

“So what?” said Sophia again.  “I’m just too lazy and too scared to be as free as you are.”

“What do you mean by free?” asked Zoe as her eyebrow arched and her spine stiffened.

“What would Pema say?” asked Sophia again.

“How the fuck would I know, Sophie.  You have my copy of the book, and you’ve written in it and turned down all the pages.”

“Oh, sorry, Zo.”

“That’s okay.  I don’t mind sharing the book with you.  But do you think I could have it back?”

“I don’t think so, Zo,” said Sophia shaking her head.  “JUST LET ME BUY YOU A NEW COPY.  WITH SO MUCH NUTELLA SMEARED ON IT, IT’S REALLY HARD TO READ.”  Then Sophia  drew the haggard book from her purse to show Zoe.  Zoe winced and waved her hand at the glued, tattered pages.

The women had nearly reached Barnes & Noble to buy another copy of When Things Fall Apart, when Sophia asked,

“Which one do you really want, Zoe?”

“What do mean?”

“Which guy of the four you’re dating do you really want?”

“None of ‘em,” said Zoe, mystified.

“Huh,” said Sophia, “Then why are you dating them?”

“Fuck sake, Sophie–it’s the sex.  Men have really figured out the female anatomy since we got married way back when.”

“Is that a Buddhist thing, Zo?”

“Sounds like,” said Zoe, nodding sagely.

That night, even though their Buddhist enlightenment had NOT progressed much, their eyes shined because their breasts were encased in fabulous $7.00 push-up bras from K-Mart.  With Jay-Z’s tunes booming inside the warm car, the two roared at full tilt to meet their double dates in Portsmouth, off on another adventure of the Sublime Consumers of the Lightness of Being.

To be continued, but PLEASE, help these women with YOUR advice.

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  1. AMI
    January 5th, 2010 at 20:18 | #1

    Sophia, I suggest you tell tell Zoe that regardless of what Pema has to say (though, admittedly it does sound like she has excellent things to say) the only people who would ever damn you for having satisfying (safe) sex with multiple (unattached and willing) men (or women, knock yourselves out!!) are the people who are bound by the shackles of their own unhappiness and not having enough satisfying sex themselves. On behalf or everyone who IS having a good time between the sheets, I say press on, lovely ladies and forge your own path to the ultimate end game that is sexual (and of course spiritual, emotional and intellectual) nirvana!!!

    Note: This is merely the opinion of one (possibly over-sexed and undoubtedly biased) twenty-something who is relieved to hear that frivolity and romantic confusion are ageless. Though my experience with Sophia and Zoe long ago taught me that…

  2. October 2nd, 2011 at 20:23 | #2

    Well, pretty sure it was Yogi Berra who suggested that: “when you come to a fork in the road… take it.” These lovely ladies excel at that and are able to, in a sublime manner, actually consume what Milan Kundera called The Unbearable Lightness of Being. For these two hotties it is not unbearable – it just is. By taking the fork, going one way full steam, then knocking 50 quid off the price and contemplating their decision’s relation to the ‘other’ fork – they have taken neither the red pill or the blue pill but rather: both!

    Isn’t it beautiful how nothing on this planet is absolute? Well, except maybe gravity… but this one time, at band camp – I took, er no, smoked the *purple* pill and a few minutes later: gravity changed directions! Really it did. (But I have no empirical evidence.) Sigh. It’s not if you WIN or FAIL… it’s how the cookie crumbles.

    Some advice for Sophia regarding her statement that she is “too scared to be as free as [Zoe]”: Freedom is Free from the need to free… and yes, fear will prevent understanding of nearly everything (happens to me all the time) – leading only to, yes: MORE FEAR – reflected back from it’s breeding ground in the mirror of others. FDR had it going on with this concept and Pema herself speaks to this in her work: “The Places That Scare You.”

    Best part of this for me was the uber truth that: “Men have really figured out the female anatomy since we got married way back when…” MAD LULZ and happy to be a “taken” cub. Time to stfu before that sexy blond known as Julie K. knocks me the hell off my 2 cent soapbox… but I would probably enjoy that and as always: WANT MORE. =)

  3. October 2nd, 2011 at 20:56 | #3

    Excuse me, younger man person, whoever you are…on what planet do you think sending Zoe and Sophia a link to cougar.com is appropriate? Cougars are predatory creatures. Okay, okay, I’ll admit, Zoe’s a little predatory, but Sophia is more or less a fool and couldn’t track a road if she were on it. And speaking of the “Places that Scare{Her},” every place scares Sophia…oh crap…she’s in the next room, and I don’t want her to see that I’m talking shit behind her back, so forget about all that stuff above. Meanwhile, are you suggesting that Sophia is sneaking around with a young “cub,” behind my back? I don’t believe it. She couldn’t pull that off in a million years. It’s not that she’s fearful…she’s just an idiot. She pretends she’s clever enough to be afraid of things, but really, she isn’t. Oh, there I go again. I don’t know why I’ve copped a resentment toward that bitch tonight, but I just have. I think it’s because someone I don’t know is giving her attention, and I am such a control freak that I MUST know everything Zoe and Sophia are thinking, doing, and feeling at all times…because I have absolutely no life of my own. Anyway, are you saying you think the girls did the right thing by going to the Mall to buy cheap push-up bras, rather than learning Buddhist meditation? Really? Really? I have a feeling you are going to be a bad influence on Sophia. Pretty soon she’s gonna start watching creepy movies like “The Matrix” and “Star Wars” and then she’ll actually make a connection to spiritual solutions to shit….oh fuck. That’s just gonna bring on a slew of problems. Can’t you just embrace her for the dimwit she is…younger man person, whoever you are? Oh, well. Thanks for writing, but don’t think I’m gonna let Sophia see your elaborate message. I know you young, hunky, gorgeous, charming, handsome, talented, deep, funny, smart, sexy types…I got my eyes on you, so don’t try to pull a fast one, whoever you are. Over and out. Peace.

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