Saturday, May 29, 2010

flipflop season

for SOME of you out there, that is. But apparently, not everybody.

I know this now thanks to all the comments of support and empathy for the fact that I mostly have to wear thick soled slides.

As one example, thanks to Fantastic Forrest, my new summer mantra is, Slides are not clunky. They are hawt.

Yeah, baby.

Either lots of people can't wear thong sandals with abandon, like me, or the regular readers of my blog tend to be comfortable-shoe-wearing-feminist-lesbians, also. Ok, well, minus the lesbian part, for some of us, anyway.

cartoon by nataliedee

Thursday, May 27, 2010

thong envy

I am in a fashion crisis. I need your help. Opinions. Suggestions. Sympathy.

From women of experience.

Wearing thongs.

I have long resisted wearing thongs for reasons that, I'm certain, are not unique to me: the anticipated discomfort of allowing, well, a strap, for lack of a better word, to wedge between my sensitive southern skinfolds.

But I decided to be adventurous yesterday. I tried on a pair.

Eureka! They felt good. Surprisingly awesome. I liked the airy sensation. The freedom. I never would have imagined.

Bought them. And a second pair in a different color. Brave new thongy me.

Got them home. Modeled them for my husband. He wasn't as excited as I was.

Not to worry. I was undeterred. I wasn't going to let his, or anyone's, lack of enthusiasm get in the way of my newfound happiness.

I wore them around the house as I went about my usual business.

Suddenly, I was seized with pain. The strap was rubbing my, er, crack. One side, in particular. Felt like it was hitting bone.

A knuckle.

A toe knuckle, to be precise.

The thong strap was rubbing the inside of my second toe. Leaving a red mark.

So I ask you, lucky wearers of the thong, is there an art to finding a pair that do not cause wincing pain upon prolonged wear?

Or, as I fear, is there a foot type that is simply unable to enjoy this style of footwear?

I have a wide foot with short toes. Paddle foot, as my own personal queer-pal-for-the-straight-gal so delicately phrased it. My second toe is shorter than my third. You don't see that very often.

We are a small, unfortunate tribe.

So small, in fact, that when I was shoe browsing yesterday, I saw one of the first other short-second-toed women ever. Sister!! I wanted to shout. Wanted to hug her, truth be known. But refrained. Didn't want her running off to report a suspected toe fetishist to the store manager.

So here's my serious question: Am I the only woman who suffers from thong envy? Who is missing out on the thousands of cute springy styles? Who must limit her shoe fashion to clunky slides? The dreaded comfortable shoe?


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

jensational haiku wednesday

Join the fun!

Needing more, not less
Putting myself first, not last
Ergo my ego

And if you didn't figure it out by now, I built the entire Haiku around my wish to use "ergo my ego" as a line. Pathetic excuse for a Haiku but there ya have it.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

forever young

I am slowly recovering from a Fab50 reunion with six of my closest girlfriends from high school, all graduates during the late 70's.

When I mentioned this visit to people, I was met with incredulous looks.

High school? You're still friends with girls from high school?

I do realize that for some people their best-friends-for-life were met in college. For others, as the psychology department head told we incoming graduate students, this would be the place where sacred, lifelong friendships would form.

But for me? It's always been my high school buds. No question about it.

I was really lucky that way. I moved to a new area the summer before my 8th grade year. A few weeks before school started, two nervous, 13-year-old girls knocked on my front door to meet me. The mother of one of the girls made them introduce themselves, I was to find out later. It was probably more our of nosiness about the new family in town than genuine concern for my wellbeing. But whatever the reason, these two girls became my friends and introduced me to a larger group of girls who became some of the best girlfriends I could ask for.

I've met many friends since then who have become very good friends. Excellent friends. Cherished friends. We relate in a way my high school friends and I don't, or can't, or won't ever relate.

But there's something singularly special about hometown friends. All the shared experiences, a shared larger network of friends and towns people, memories of some of life's most difficult heartaches.

Over this past weekend, here we all were, gathered in my home, the first time a few of them had even been to Texas. All of us 49 or 50 years old. (Come think of it, only ONE of us was actually 50. Poor woman. The rest of us will remain forever 49).

But here's the remarkable thing. As I looked at my friends sitting around my living room, or on my back porch with the sunlight fading, or on a river bank cooling our feet in the spring fed water, I was taking them all in.

I saw not their crow's feet, nor their varying shades of color enhanced hair hiding the gray, nor their extra-padded midlines.

What I saw were laughing teenagers. A seventeen year old running beside me during a field hockey game. A young woman chugging down her first beer and wincing at the god-awful-taste-of-it. A girlfriend crying over a boyfriend betrayal, the first of many.

Over the past recent years, when I have met someone new, someone my own age, I would see a middle-aged woman.

But my childhood friends? The years drop away in an instant. Disappear. Gone. In each other's company, for just a weekend, we are ageless, timeless, forever young.

Monday, May 10, 2010

feels like saying goodbye to a good friend

Finished reading Lit last night. Feels like saying goodbye to a good friend.

Really good memoirs and novels feel like that. One reason why I like reading so much. I'm one of those people-who-need-people, people. Having a book in my lap, especially when written in the first person, feels like listening to a friend confide their deepest secrets.

As for Lit, it was another home run for Mary Karr. An an especially insightful read for those trying to understand alcohol abuse. Or trying to kick it.

Recovery, relapse, reconciling with an abusive parent, doing what it takes to stay sober. It's all there.

So I'm back to the novel I was reading when I got notice that Lit was ready at the library, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. It's the story of an eccentric teacher at a girls school in Scotland, told through the eyes of the students.

Halfway through the book I was thinking it was not all that great. But then over the weekend, while planning my next read, I came across Brodie on one of TIME's 100 Best lists. Ok, so somebody thinks it's all that and a bag of chips. I'm determined to finish it since it's right there on my bedside table. Check off one more on their list.

Last night I read the passage where the students are attending sewing class. The girls see the sewing machine's needle go up-down-up-down, "which usually caused Sandy and Jenny to giggle, since at that time everything that could conceivably bear a sexual interpretation immediately did so to them."

I was immediately transported back to Catholic school. Sixth grade. Miss Napolitano's Geography class. Listening to a student drone aloud out of the textbook, about some South American country,their biggest export, rubber. My BFF and I caught a glance, laughed hysterically, trying not to, which only made us laugh more. Miss Napolitano saw us and rolled her eyes. Miss Napolitano was no Miss Jean Brodie.

And now I'm thinking of watching the movie, since it stars Maggie Smith. I fell in love with her when she played Miss Bartlett in A Room with a View, one of my all-time favorite movies. Smith must have played an equally excellent Miss Brodie, given her Oscar win as Best Actress for the role.

Has anyone seen the movie? Recommend it? And how about the book?

And readers, what are you reading now? Meeting any good friends lately?

Sunday, May 02, 2010

do not disturb






For weeks now, I have been patiently pacing the floors waiting for my local library to deliver my hold request.

And Thursday?


So now, after numerous distractions (volleyball game, two-night visit from mother-in-law, school carnival pick ups, sleepover drop offs) I am, to use a phrase I know the East Texas author would approve of, happy as a pig in sh*t.

If you are looking for a fascinating, disturbing, engaging, and inspiring memoir, or series of memoirs, which in my mind's eye is evah so much bettah, I invite you to read my absolute

favorite series by Mary Karr.

Begin with Liar's Club. Natch.

It's about her Texas childhood. Daddy working the oil fields. Momma working the bipolar. Both working the bottle.

In her words, "A dysfunctional family is any family with more than one person in it."

Follow Liar's Club with Cherry. Karr's adolescent years. Where she unwittingly follows in her mother's footsteps. Isn't it always the way? We're running away from our parents but running right smack into them at the same time.

And finally (oh hopefully not) the sequel to the sequel, Lit.

When I read Karr's memoirs, I feel as if she is sitting by my side, talking to me. An intimate conversation where I'm thrilled I've found a new friend who will tell-it-like-it-is. No sugar coating. No holes barred. Emotional, gutsy soul barings. The stuff typically reserved for the confines of a shrink office.

The way Karr describes her confused, distressed, approach-avoidance feelings regarding her mother is deep, from-the-core, inside turning out.

And her marriage to the wealthy, waspy New Englander. The same. The subtle twists and turns that can steer a married couple right into the ditch. And the way the hurts stick with us, "the shreiking fight or the out-of-character insult endures forever, while the daily sweetness dissolves like sugar in water."

But mostly it's her insights about herself. ""For me, everything's too much and nothing's enough." Yep. Especially when I'm reading her books.
All this to say I may be even less present in the blogosphere than my poor attendance record of late.

But I know you understand.