I’d never been to a real bridal shower before, with balloons and buffets (note the plural) and centerpieces in the bridal colors. It’s so… girly: young women in heels and sparkly jewelry, older women in Coldwater Creek suits, and everything with a big bow on it, including the bride-to-be. The “activities” masqueraded as games, but actually constituted a highly regimented enforced feminization, and all the prizes were effusively floral bath products and arcane styling tools.
I won a couple of prizes and was inexplicably given several more: products to strip my exterior roughness, lotions to smooth me, eyeshadow and glossy lip stuff to make me slippery and shiny, and a pretty parcel full of metal prongs and barbs to strip off the horny and hairy bits of my face, feet, and hands. I was first tickled, then bewildered, and finally (secretly) a trifle panicked at this windfall of girly goods heaped on my lap, presumably intended to induct me, willy or nilly, into the ranks of girlkind.
But there was unlimited cake and coffee, so it all balances out.
I was just perusing old entries and adding tags (new feature on macbebekin — thanks MT!) when I stumbled upon this one about denying JM a new Crumpler bag. Ah, the foolish days of non-velcro totes and messenger bags. So happy we gave in.
I bought this one in Melbourne on our last trip down south. It replaced an old worn out Levi’s zipperless tote that had been my book bag for German class. I do miss the soft suede interior of that bag, but this one has ample room at the bottom for lost keys, a long pouch on one side and two on the other, all with velcro tabs to keep the contents from rattling about. I love it and the color, a dark brownish black. “Gunmetal” the salesperson insisted. Whatever, is nice, I like. I hesitated because of the large stitched logo on the front, but turn it around and it’s no longer a walking billboard.
2 Moleskines (Reporter and Calendar)
Hat (folding bucket kind)
Receipts (in the long pouch)
Extra pens not in pencil bag
Lipstick and lip gloss
Face shield (in case I need to resuscitate you)
Mosquito bite clicker thing
Shopping tote (thanks Elsa)
Swoosh swoosh swoosh. Corduroy trousers, the gentle zipping sussurating sound as I stroll through the neighborhood. When I reach the main street, my steps are faster, and the sound steps up: zizz zizz zizz, this girl means business!
As a child, I loved corduroy. I loved the contrast of textures, the velvety stripes and the stern, plain valleys between them. I loved their toughness. I loved the word: cord-u-roy. And I loved the sounds as I walked: swoosh, zizz, zoop.
Then adolescence arrived, with its attendant self-tortures. Suddenly, the sounds (swoosh, zizz, zoop!) only meant painful, scorching body awareness: legs! I have legs! They swoosh when I walk! Gaaaaah, how mortifying! Totally. For years, I eschewed corduroy, to avoid the swoosh that told the world “I have a body! I have legs! I have a body! It sings when I walk!”
Years later, mindful of all the bodily risks and near-misses between then and now, I happily announce: I have a body! It sings when I walk!
Corduroy trousers, I love you. And you love me back. I know you do, because you whisper it to me: swoosh swoosh swoosh.
Today was Toss Out Old Toiletries Day. After disposing of my collection of shampoo and conditioner samples, I started sorting through my makeup. The only item that can be considered a recent purchase is a tube of waterproof mascara I bought last year. Otherwise we’re looking at some pretty aged articles, one of which I held up for JM to see.
Me: Be proud of me.
Me: Because I’m throwing out old junk. (Brandishing a stick of black eyeliner.) Do you know what this is?
JM: Something you’ve held onto for 14 years?
Me: Um, (pause) longer.
I have carried around this eyeliner for 23 years. My high school French teacher gave it to me because I was an overzealous A+ student who desperately wanted to but couldn’t go on the annual French Club trip to France. So she brought a little bit of France back to me. Merci beaucoup, Madame M. And now that I’ve written about it, I think I can throw it away. Please, please, don’t let me dig it out of the trash. Perhaps I’ll go buy a new one tomorrow to carry around for the next 23 years.
The results of yesterday’s intensive beading session. The pearl necklaces, one for me and two to give away, use the remains of Great-greatsomebody’s (blatantly fake) opera-length necklace, disgorged years ago from a trunk in my grandparents’ house, along with ivory fans, vicious hatpins, and dresses that clearly required bustles. A few months ago, the century-old thread disintegrated in one spot, leaving me with a yard of faux pearls.
The Y-beaded necklace uses labradorite, smoky quartz, jasper, and freshwater pearls, mixed with silver and glass spacers. K bought the semi-precious stones a few years ago in a burst of enthusiasm at the bead store. A few months ago, I came home to a package on my doorstep; K, deciding she would never get around to the project, had shipped me a small shaker box with her beads rattling around inside. At long last, I produced a necklace to go with the puny few pairs of earrings I’ve whipped up for her.
If I had time I’d be sewing one of these two beauties from the 70s. I’ve had them forever (thanks to my mom who orginally bought them), but can’t seem to find the time or fabric to attempt one. Perhaps because I know in my heart of hearts I’m a pants-girl. Or maybe because they would look absolutely hideous on me and I’d never wear them. Uh-huh.
Dude, you are approaching 30. Pull up your pants. You make me cry.