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Monday, April 09, 2007

She wants to be a cowgirl, baby...

I have a lot of shoes –mostly black – and brown with a few blue and navy and even a red pair. They overflow from the four shelf cabinet in my dressing area, spilling over the sides.

I’m not necessarily a shoe addict. In the grand scheme of female shoe addictions, I’d have to say I rank low. But women need a lot of shoes. We need heels for evening and other occasions. We need pumps. We need flats. We need sandals and sneakers and flip flops. And, those shoes have to match our outfits. Owning a lot of shoes, particularly if you are female is simply a necessity.

But every once in a while, you have to be a pair of shoes just because they are “cute” and sometimes it’s okay to fall in love with your shoes.

I learned this on a recent shopping trip with my three- and four-year-old granddaughters. Hubby and I decided they needed some sandals since the weather was getting warmer. So we scanned the shoe aisles, walking back and forth, letting them pick out the ones they wanted. Granddaughter No. 2, went for comfort plus the prerequisite characters on her sandals. Granddaughter No. 1 (they are ranked by age) wanted the pink “princess” shoes. Even the characters on another pair – princesses, of course – wouldn’t convince her to let go of her princess shoes. Until she saw the boots.

Cowboy boots. Black, with aqua tips and an aqua embroidered butterfly in the center of each one. The boots were smaller than her shoes and I wasn’t convinced they would fit. But she tried them on, and declared them perfect. Trying to abide by the “only one pair” rule we had wisely set at the beginning of the shopping trip, she relinquished her hold on the pink princess shoes. She wanted the boots.

But the boots were on the clearance rack, and at only $4 that meant we could break the rule. We asked granddaughter No. 2 if she wanted an exact pair. She snubbed them, “No, I don’t like them.”

So off we went. My granddaughter’s love affair with her boots has grown. She wears them with skirts and shorts, and with her pajamas. She loves her boots. The princess shoes are not as much fun as the boots. They are fun. She smiles a lot when she wears her boots and people notice them. It’s the best bargain I’ve ever bought for $4.

Sometimes, we just need to buy some fun.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

The first 50 years

Fifty. 50. Half a century. Five decades. That’s me. I turned “the big five – O” earlier this year.

And, I drove my friends and family crazy reminding them of my impending “old age.” I thought if I said it long and loud enough, it would be easier for me to accept that I was 50 years old. It worked. Sort of.

What is 50 supposed to feel like, and for that matter, look like really?

Madonna, the material girl herself, is almost 50. She’s still selling c.d.’s and still selling out on her tours. And then again, recently I spoke with a woman with gray hair and wrinkles who was in a wheelchair. I thought she was much older. She was only 52.

So age, I suppose is up to the individual.

So I’m hitting the gym again with a vengeance, determined in the next six months, to lose 50 pounds. I’m in yoga class every day, hoping to recapture some of the flexibility I once had. It’s working. I feel younger. Might not LOOK younger, but I feel younger. The looking young part is coming in small doses with cosmetic treatments here and there. Again, I might not necessarily look younger, but I feel better.

Call it my midlife crisis, if you will. I’m also reassessing my job, where I live, where I want to be when I’m 55.

Not that I have any regrets. I look back at the past 50 years and all the phases of my life. My ‘mother earth’ stage when I grew all my own vegetables and my dream was to live on a self-sustaining farm. My yuppie phase when my dream was to make millions and park the nicest car on the block in front of the biggest house. And, then returning back to college, finding a new career. It’s all been fun. I’ve lived in at least nine states and two countries, and traveled a lot. I’ve listened to rock bands in muddy fields, watched Broadway Shows in New York, acted and sang on stage myself, started a theater group, was editor of an infamous campus newspaper, met presidents and spent time on the street with homeless people. I’ve written letters and books and share the dream to write more. I’ve no regrets. I have wonderful friends scattered around the globe, I have three children, four grandchildren and the love of my life beside me.

I don’t know what phase I’m in now. Doesn’t matter. It will be fun.

It’s never too late until well…it’s too late. So for now, I’m on a mission to “find myself” yet again. Hubby’s along for the ride. We’re having fun. And, maybe that’s what makes being 50 okay. Finding myself when I was 18 or 21 or even 30 wasn’t so much fun.

I thought about lying about my age. But then again, that would require me asking all my children to lie about their age. I’m 50. Whew.