Finding Kelowna  

In the age of tattooed women


This is the age of tattooed women with pit bulls at their side. This is the age of females tongue-kissing females on global television. This is the age of slut-walks and pole-dancing as feminist statements. This is the age of grrrl power, cougars and boy-toys. This is the age of choice.

Scene One

She suddenly appears from around the corner, walking with resolve. She has the body of a weight lifter: solid – clothes filled to the brim. A pit bull strides on a leash before her. He is sleek, and like a muscle car with a hood scoop he is eager with the impulse of his breed. He pulls at his muzzle, sniffing the air like a guard searching for assassins – until the woman yanks his tether. As they pass I give them wide berth, and notice that the bull is a she. They advance as one: extensions of each other, on a mission to who knows where.

Scene Two

I rummage the cast off treasures displayed in a thrift shop when I see her from behind. Her back is a canvas subdivided by a red tube-top. A chocolate mane is cast to one side displaying a massive tattoo of yellows, blacks and reds. From her bare shoulder it disappears beneath the stretchy fabric then reappears for a moment like a serpent along the valley of her spine only to plunge again into the privacy of blue-jeans. Without making a purchase, she leaves through the doorway as if through a portal to another dimension.

Scene Three

While eating lunch at a table dominated by females, the conversation becomes generously peppered with expletives like S-it and F—ck. It is the women who launch them as if they cannot express what they feel without a blue vocabulary. The men remain silent. Later, one of the women apologizes to me for chronically cussing. I am struck and amused by the irony of a woman excusing herself for swearing in the presence of a man. She makes a commitment to dilute the colour of her language, and over time she succeeds.

Scene Four

On the esplanade abutting the cool lake, a flock of young women in shorts and bikini-tops stroll their way toward the pub. In her honey-blonde hair, one wears the semblance of a bridal veil. And tucked in her arm she holds the inflated image of a naked man with apparatus in full extension. Her buddy carries a large poster of tasks that this stagette expects her to accomplish: “Drink a shot between a guy’s legs,” it challenges, “Get a guy to let you sign his butt,” and more. They are unabashed when I ask to take a photo of them and their neoprene companion. They pose, each one with leg slightly tilted toward the centre.


On Turner Classic Theatre I watch the women of the ‘40s and ‘50s portray the feminine ideals of their time. Audrey Hepburn, Donna Reed and Bette Davis seem like aliens from another planet. And I consider that the liberation of modern women from the drawbacks of their ancestors has legitimately transformed the way they think about themselves. But in this age of choice I wonder if too much has been discarded.

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About the Author

Giovanni is a poet, columnist, interviewer and photographer. His passion for literature and the writing arts began at three years of age when his mother read to him the poems of Giovanni Pascoli.

Finding Kelowna, as he explains it in his website of the same name, is a focus on the ordinary events, people and things that often go unnoticed. Its purpose is to reveal the startling brilliance of everyday life which may be beautiful, tragic or bizarre. Giovanni does this in a creative way that spotlights the sudden encounters, poignant moments and unusual circumstances that pepper daily life.

Through chance conversations and unexpected occurrences, the tone and character of Kelowna and its surroundings is explored. In so doing, Giovanni hopes that the reader will catch a glimpse of himself and of humanity in all its glorious imperfection.

To comment on his columns you may write to him at [email protected]. You may read other articles he has written by viewing his website at www.findingkelowna.com.  You may view his photography blog at www.gioklik.com, and read his poems, stories and perspectives at www.yzed.wordpress.com.

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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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