coming out of my shell

coming out of my shell

Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Lipstick Games

T recently reconnected with an old friend whom he has not seen in over 42 years.  T and TGK were originally friends in middle school and later reconnected as wayward hippies for a while on the road in the late 60’s.  I think I met TGK once.  He said we met once, anyway.  I do not really remember.  It was a long time ago. 

We did not know what to expect, nor did T know if he would recognize TGK.  TGK was bringing his wife, whom we had never met.  I had no idea what her priorities or interests were, how old she was, or what she looked like.  That was a little scary for me.  I worried about how to dress because I am the kind of woman who cares more about what other women think of me than I do about what a man thinks.  Hard choices, since I was dressing to please her, yet I had absolutely no idea who she was.  For almost six months I have only worn shorts, t-shirts, and flip-flops.  I guess I have not yet reinvented myself as a fabulous Florida retiree fashion maven.  Add that to my to do list.

My hair was particularly insane from humidity that night.  Consequently, there was not much I could do about passing for a normal 62 year-old woman.  If truth were told, I am not even sure what normal is, especially at 62.  I settled for the unassuming comfortable old dame look:  cropped blue jeans and a black top.  I wore my black leather sandals instead of my ubiquitous Croc flip-flops.  I even put on jewelry like dangly earrings, rings, and a bracelet.  I wanted to wear a necklace, too.  However, it seems I am unable to pull off earrings, rings, bracelet AND necklace at the same time.  Three out of four seems to be my limit.  Beyond three pieces of jewelry I am unable to leave the house without being overcome by insecurity.  It is like wearing a scarf.  I love seeing women wear beautifully tied scarves.  I can put one on; I can even tie it.  However, I cannot leave the house until I take it off again. I really wanted to wear eye make-up, but for the life of me I could not find any.  Something tells me I threw it all away when I moved down here.  I was even going to wear my contacts for the first time in months, but without eye makeup it did not seem worth the effort.  After tearing the house up I did find a tube of lipstick in a neutral coral color.  It was neither flattering nor a fashion statement, but it was all I had.  I applied it with gusto.

When we arrived they were the only ones there, so it was easy to pick them out of no crowd.   He was, like T, an aging old-school hipster (i.e., back when hipster was a cool thing to be, kind of like a beatnik or a jazz musician – not the narcissistic and much hated young hipster of today).

His wife seemed even more nervous about meeting me than I was about meeting her.  Turns out she is beautiful and a good 10 – 15 years younger than me with pitch black hair falling around her face and down past her shoulders.  She was carefully made up and wore a tight fitting vintage black dress with bangles, bling, and ample cleavage; imagine a brunette Stevie Nicks with more delicate, classically beautiful features.  She wore platform shoes with zebra stripes.  Her lipstick was red!  I was so excited.  Her purse was a small vintage pewter triangle thingy with metal doodads all over it.   I loved her on sight.  My first thought was “Oh my, we are not in Kansas (i.e., Ithaca) anymore.” No – I just made that up.  My first thought was actually “Wow, this is really going to be fun.”  And it was.

1 comment:

  1. It's funny that you are writing about style as I was just talking to "C" about whether or not I have a style, how I see others owning their style, that I am so over most all of my wardrobe!!! It is one of the topics for a blogpost that I have on tap!!! I am glad that the 4 of you connected and made the trip for dinner! Friends, especially "old" ones, are so precious and when we move where we don't know anyone, finding people, whose presence we enjoy, isn't easy to do.


So, whadayathink?