Turn MOM upside down, and you get — WOW! the Women of Wonder, a newborn coffee group meeting Thursdays at 1:30 p.m. at the Perry Perk coffeehouse in downtown Perry.
The WOWs held their inaugural meeting last week after much speculation — all good-natured — about the meaning of the acronym WOW.
Among the male members of the Society of Retired experts (SORE), several suggestions were proffered, including Women of Wisdom, World of Women and even Witches of Wicca, but this latter from a member forever retailing his troubling dreams of devouring mothers and the like.
Like the owls of Athena, the women of WOW might be a little grey, but unlike Athena’s owls, they fly by day and make a wonder of all they survey.
Would we had all such wives, that the men might go to wars with the women!
So said an enthusiastic Roman, according to Shakespeare, when he saw Cleopatra float by on a burnished throne. Now that females can serve in combat in the U.S. armed forces, men can indeed go to wars with the women.
The happy Roman continued his praise of Cleopatra in words that have become emblematic of the Western world’s adoration of the wonder of women:
Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale
Her infinite variety; other women cloy
The appetites they feed, but she makes hungry
Where most she satisfies; for vilest things
Become themselves in her, that the holy priests
Bless her when she is riggish.
The Oxford English Dictionary tells us that the word riggish means wanton, lewd, lustful or sexually unrestrained. Antique Egyptian and Roman women might have been the prey of such illicit passions, but the Women of Wonder have mastered themselves — and, hopefully, their husbands — and turned all such energies toward good works.
The SORE men keep a lipstick-painted pig into which they put they monetary donations toward the group’s affairs. The WOW! Women of Wonder of Perry will likely do something similar, and the community might soon see challenges between the moieties to outdo one another in charity and loving kindness, the hallmarks of Perry society.