Comment tossed out like an old shoe
August 13, 2008
I'd really like to put a 'gone fishin' sign in this space but can't.
So, I'm sitting in the beer tent on Saturday with a couple of friends, or however you want to put it.
It's about 9 p.m., I'd gone home after covering the parade to change clothes and take care of my animals. I'm back at the festival because I want to watch my esteemed colleague and co-worker-drummer-extraordinaire Tom "Tommy-Boy" Wearing play with the awesome band with the funny name 'Benjamin Lake.' They're the last stage act of the festival on Saturday, slated to begin at 10 p.m. I'm looking forward to it. I'm looking forward to the cold beer, too. It had been a long day—I'd been working at the festival since one. A frosty one served up by the good guys and gals of the Imlay City Rotary Club is calling my name.
I sit down at the table and cross my legs. I don't do this dainty-female style, I do it comfortable unisex style—ankle to knee—of course I'm wearing pants. It feels good to sit down and lean back in the chair. I'm not thinking of much except winding down. And sipping the old brewski.
The reverie is interrupted by a comment.
"I thought those jeans were tie dye but I notice it's flowers," the person-I-hardly-know says.
"Yep," I say, a little nervous about the scrutiny.
"Those shoes really show your age," the person-I-hardly-know adds.
I look up. That's all I do. Look into the-person-I-hardly-know's face. I don't say anything, don't know what to say, but assume that's written all over my own face, which I know quite well. What kind of a response does that observation require? More interesting, what kind of a response is the observer expecting to such an observation?
From where I sit I show my age all the time. I wear it on my face every single day. My age shows on my neck, which has held up this often overwhelmed and somewhat confused head of mine for five decades. Those five decades are etched into my hands, which have earned me a living, felt the pleasure of another's touch, scoured dishes and molded clay.
My age shows in other parts, too, mostly visible only to me. My age shows because it's impossible not to. I show my age because it is mine-all-mine. I earned it one day at a time. It came to me on its own schedule. I have very little to do with the whole thing. It's been happening for eons and eons. It will continue to happen until I'm not around to show it any more. Then my age, or showing it or whether it shows or whether I'm "really showing it" will no longer matter.
I wonder why the-person-I-hardly-know thinks showing my age is a negative thing, even if it is in my footwear—which I believe is somewhat nondescript anyway.
The age-showing shoes in question were purchased about seven years ago (now that's old) at Fashion Bug. They are black satin and quite plain. They have a somewhat clunky heel that's not too outrageous because there's about a half-inch of platform in the front. They are square-toed and comfortable—well worn, obviously. They used to be for "good" wear, but now I put them on with jeans and whatever since they're so...well, old.
Aside from their chronological age, I'm still perplexed as to how they "really show my age." Is it the platform? I know wedgies are in but they're not for me. Could it be the plain black satin with the strap across the arch? Perhaps they do resemble those oversized baby dolls that were so popular in the 80s.
I realize that I loved the 80s and am really glad that I was "of age" during that most interesting decade where anything went as far as, well, anything goes...
...And went, unfortunately. Back then, the crazier you looked the better—The main comment was "you look Fab-u-lous."
Ahh, the good old days when androgony ruled and tinted-aviator-glasses-wearing-people-I-hardly-know would stay that way out of sheer intimidation and fear of the unknown. Doc Martens were the only "shoes," (except they were boots) and the older they were, the better.
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