Tuesday, May 10, 2011

why i quit googling eye creams and started searching for thigh high boots.

i'm going to be 40. soon.

and while this doesn't particularly fill me with dread or excitement, it's a fact. even so, the idea of turning 40 does give a gal pause, you know, just because. it could be that all my life growing up i saw those black 'over the hill' balloons with the number 40 on them, or the buttons that said 'i'd rather be pregnant than 40,' you know...shit like that.

oh, and the other day on the phone a friend said, 'wait. YOU'RE going to be 40?' 'um, dude. you're older than me.' 'i know, but YOU being 40 is just weird.'

but now that i'm actually going to BE 40 much sooner than later it's really becoming not a thing at all. (especially since inside i still feel 17.) and especially since i'm on a certain social networking site and keep seeing friends turn 40. and, judging from the photos and status updates no one's combusted yet, either from age or birthday induced alcohol consumption. so i'm guessing it's going to be a-okay. (note to self; LOTS of water. start now.)


there was a bit of time not too long ago i was googling eye creams. it's all fun and games until you start to google the eye creams. it's like an admission of...something. like you've grabbed the baton in front of a screaming crowd. you're in this and there's no going back. like sex. or drinking. because you're gonna stop once you do it once or twice? i don't think so.

and i don't know what triggered it, i think just the birthday coming up. the *idea* of 40 more than the reality. and so here i was googling these eye creams and really getting into it. and freaking out over which one was *actually* the best. i think i freaked out less choosing a name for wingman than i did trying to decide on which eye creams might make the top 5. (and i called that kid 'agamemnon' for THREE DAYS before we decided on his name.)

and then remembering all the articles i've ever read that said wiping cheap imported lard or somesuch on your face did the same amount of good as a 100 dollar eye cream (i may be paraphrasing here).

and then wracking my brain trying to remember the last place i saw lard for sale. on sale, of course.

and as i sat there i started to actually feel older than even my birth certificate says i am slated to be. because when you're on the eye cream sites there's LOTS of ways to navigate over to other stuff. all of them saying it's NEVER too late to start. or START NOW before it's TOO LATE. fine lines! wrinkles! and not just on your face! i tell you, trolling anti-aging sites is not for the weak.

so i got all worried. then i got all pissed. there i was, googling something i don't really need because i thought it *must be time.* so what if i started the eye creams before my 40th birthday? what would that accomplish? i mean i don't really even *have* an issue with my eyes. i actually think they look pretty good. i just figured eye cream can't hurt. right?

and if i start with the eye cream do i have to start with the other stuff? start dying my hair? i mean the slippery slope is paved with all kinds of good intentions. and apparently, retinol. but it's still a slope. and slippery. and where does it end? because i'm just not into the maintenance. but moreover i just don't see the connection between this stuff and beauty. real beauty.

(insert How do any of us make it out alive? here)

besides, if it's like rod stewart says then the morning sun is just gonna show my age anyway. you think maggie may wasn't using eye cream? with a college aged boyfriend? ha!

so i thought about what *i* think beauty is. real beauty. not for everyone else (because to each their own), or for the magazines, or the advertisers, but for me. and all i could come up with is that i feel the most beautiful when i'm happy. like really happy. like hanging out and shooting the shit and laughing with friends. and really i just couldn't for the life of me equate the eventual suppression of laugh lines around my eyes with happiness. and by default, beauty.

so i thought about my 40th birthday. and i thought about what would make me really happy.

and that's when i clicked out of the eye cream sites and started looking for (and found) 4 1/2 inch heeled black thigh high boots. to wear on or around my birthday. there is a word for boots like this. and it's completely inappropriate. so i will employ the ladylike personality that knocks about my person waiting for occasions such as this and not mention it here. but these are happy making boots. and they are awesome.

"Now and then it's good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy."

guillaume apollinaire must have been talking about these boots when he said that.

there's really not much more to say than that. life has a funny way of marching on. and whether you're slathering on cheap imported lard or actual eye creams or wearing 4 1/2 inch heeled black thigh high boots there's all kinds of ways to keep in step.

you just have to find your happy. to define your own beauty.

and it's NEVER too late to start that.


Monday, May 02, 2011


the husband and i like to joke that the reason we bought (what is now formerly) our 100 year old falling down farmhouse in the middle of nowhere was for the lilacs. the beautiful beautiful lilacs.

but really, it's true.

okay, not really.

but sort of really.

god they were gorgeous. dark ones and light ones and even white ones. you could smell them on the breeze. big bunches of purple and green in blue glass jars scattered about the house. some for your friends, the rest for you. and, lilacs in blue glass jars scattered about the house also meant that windows and doors could be left open for the day and that winter was through. finally.

yesterday while walking wingman to his baseball game we traveled through the most charming town i may ever live in under the bluest of skies. the sun was shining, wingman was skipping ahead, and i was marveling at how very lucky i was to be enjoying this moment. (and yes, it was just as quaint as it sounds)

then i walked by someone's yard and there it was. the flowers yet to bloom, the leaves full and lush and that distinctive green, unmistakable. someone's lucky little stand of lilacs. and *immediately* i began walking as fast as i could and didn't even try to stop the tears. something took me fully over and i couldn't get away fast enough. i couldn't stop crying. it was truly instantaneous.

i was, in that moment, just about as heartbroken and angry as i have been about this whole lost house lost coast thing. it was amazing, really. how quickly it took root and spread. and stalking down the charming main street of the charming town with a charming and humming wingman skipping ahead i was thinking dark thoughts about stupid people and their dumb ass lilacs and felt very very selfishly ungrateful and covetous and sad.

i was grief stricken and enraged and wanted to scream and to howl and shout out how unfair this whole thing has been. poor me in all its pulled apart at the seams gory glory.

but of course, as many of us know, there never really is the right time or place to stop and howl. and if i did, well then i'd surely make the town blog. which is a distinction i strive NOT to accomplish every single day that i'm here.

so. instead i slowed my step, took some deep breaths, and dried my tears in time to catch up with wingman who had run ahead to the ball field. i smiled instead of cried, i did not howl, and i made the best of the afternoon. because that's just what you do when you aren't a one woman wolf pack.

(wingman's team won, by the way. 17-1.)

and when i went to bed last night i forgot to remember all that's best to remember before you close your eyes for the day. and i began to tally up the loss. what has been taken and what this has cost. from me. to me. to be here. in this house. in this new life. and i felt very beaten by the world and wondered if we would ever recover from this materially. forgetting that it isn't about things and money. forgetting that i've landed so charmingly. forgetting that this process of digging out of the rubble takes time. forgetting to be grateful.

and when i woke up this morning and went drowsily about my routine i still had that tightened fist of 'not enough' sitting on my heart.

and then the following very amazing thing happened. and if i could make this up i would and make a lot of money as a very clever writer. but i didn't. and thus remain 'homemaker' on all important documents.

i was sitting at my computer and in a moment of pause i looked up and out the window to my right and holy shit and honest to god there was there IS a lilac bush growing in the back yard against the side fence!

i have been in this house for close to 6 months now. i have been sitting at this computer every day in that time. and since the snow finally for good stopped and the sun came out in the last month or so i have gone outside every single day in that time.

and i never ever saw the lilac.

i raced outside and it was just there. and then ANOTHER ONE down the fence on the other side of the big flowering yellowy bush that i don't know the name of. another lilac. just. there. purple spears turned toward the sun and soaring atop the distinctive green leaves. and ready to burst into bloom at any moment. how did i not see these???

now. i concede that it's likely true that they didn't just 'appear.' that they've been there and somehow i didn't...notice them until now. i understand enough about the world of the humans to know that this is the explanation that will make we silly mortals accept the appearance of the lilacs.

but even so, does that make it any less of a miraculous event?

no. it does not.


why we even waste our time creating our own pits of despair is beyond me. why we give into the dark when there is so much light i fail to understand. because the world is SUCH a miraculous place! the miracle is that every single day we wake up we are given the opportunity to view the world anew. to start again. an opportunity for something TOTALLY amazing to happen. and this means that the tightly closed fists and dark thoughts and deepest despairs and the bad days and weeks and years of our past do not have to dictate our future. that every day ends and every day begins. and in that we are given, each and every one of us, one more chance.

one day i shall learn this without having to keep learning this. but wait? what will i write about then? a conundrum to be sure. in the meantime...


and it doesn't matter if it's the work of the mysterious and divine or if i just still have a LOT of work to do towards acceptance and grief or if i just really REALLY need to start wearing my glasses more.

because the fact of the matter is that the lilacs were there. i just needed to notice them. and, i did. and THAT'S where the divine exists.

and i still have lilacs. isn't that something?