Friday, July 3, 2009

The Donkey and the Racehorse

In an episode of the BBC comedy Absolutely Fabulous, Patsy (deliciously portrayed by Joanna Lumley) proclaims that in all two-party relationships, one person is the racehorse, while the other is the donkey. Patsy’s best friend, Edina (the wonderful Jennifer Saunders) immediately assumes she’s the donkey to Patsy’s racehorse.

If you’ve never seen the show, Edina’s history is this: she battles her weight constantly, has been divorced twice, and enjoys an incredibly unhealthy relationship with her daughter. She makes desperate attempts to find herself, and even more desperately wants others to find her fascinating. Patsy’s history, on the other hand, is a bit vague; we do know that she dabbled in modeling during the 1960s, had close relationships (if you catch my meaning) with members of the Rolling Stones, and works for a fashion magazine. She’s always been gorgeous and thin (“Patsy hasn’t eaten since 1974” is a running gag throughout the series.), and it’s those two physical traits, I think, that led Edina to the conclusion that she’s Patsy’s little donkey.

Although a comedy – and hilariously portrayed as such – I couldn’t help but feel sad for Edina. As she states, “Why didn’t I have the confidence to assume I was the racehorse?” I think many women feel this way. No matter how well things are going for them, or how great they look, there’s always that little voice inside telling them that a friend has it together a little bit more than they do.

Edina didn’t recognize the good things she had going for her: her family, although dysfunctional, was always there for her – including the two ex-husbands. She lived in a gorgeous home, and had the potential and connections to establish a successful PR firm, if only she’d had the focus and discipline. It escaped her that Patsy was essentially alone in the world and depended on Edina and her own magazine job for everything she had – clothing, connections, and champaign.

So many today don’t stop to realize just how good life is; they’re too focused on what others have to appreciate all that’s been bestowed upon them. As a result, they feel like the donkey that’s constantly in the shadow of the racehorse.

I believe we could all be racehorses if we only took the time to treat ourselves a little bit better – greeting each day in the spirit of gratitude, realizing our full potential, and making every attempt to look, feel, and live our absolute best.

The result of our efforts? Something absolutely fabulous.

1 comment:

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