The Life and Times of Florence Knitingale

Monday, March 26, 2007

Important Stuff for Monday

Things change as you get older. Okay, yeah, so that's a priceless example of "statement of the obvious" theater. But I mean more than the fact that my once perfectly flat tummy now feels compelled to try to peek over my jeans to see what it's missing, or that my thighs have gotten to know one another significantly better than I ever wanted them to. I mean stuff like this:

I had to go out this morning. I was dropping off my nursing school application now that all the grades were in. 20 years ago, I would have spent an hour curling my hair and applying make-up. I would have selected clothing with the kind of gravity normally reserved for the selection of name for a firstborn child, and I would probably have looked at myself from all angles in the mirror before grabbing my carefully chosen handbag and rushing out the door.
Today I was terribly excited that my shoes matched. As we all know, this isn't necessarily a given for me.
I think different things matter as we get older. I used to really want the cute guy at the grocery store to check me out when I went to buy something, and I would take longer than was necessary, probably in a giggly sort of way. Nowadays I wonder why the cute guy at the grocery store isn't in school, because he looks about 12. And if doesn't quit calling me "Ma'am", I'm going to run over his foot with my cart (not my walker, yet...but it's coming.).
Way back then I thought it terribly important that my jeans bore the name of the newest designer and if they were so uncomfortable as to be painful, so be it. Now I look for jeans that interfere with the burgeoning thigh relationship, cover my southward-migrating ass, and don't require a bikini wax. And I won't buy the house brand jeans at a popular outlet store, because I can't imagine why I'd want the phrase "Faded Glory" printed on my tush. It's possible to carry truth in advertising too far.
I used to buy expensive, cute little exercise outfits and go to the gym to participate in bouncy little aerobics classes. It's really a miracle that I didn't injure myself because I paid far more attention to the men in the room than the instructor, the music, the aerobics step, or my feet. Now I'm all excited that my husband gave me all his boxer shorts (he decided that he doesn't like wearing them--if he'd liked them and worn them until he was done with them, there'd be nothing left but a waistband and an underwearish idea spelled out in faded threads, so you can be assured that I didn't inherit them THAT way) because I can throw them on in the morning with a jog bra whose original color is up for debate and go into the exercise room down the hall to glare at the TV and curse gravity for making all my perky bits into glum, sulking bits.
At 21, I used to preen and feel flattered if a man whistled at me. Now I figure he's probably calling his dog...and if he's not, he'd better look like he is. Somewhere along the way I finally realized that the sexiest part of me--my mind--isn't visible across the park to a 20-something guy with a centerfold brain and yeah, he'd better make like he's looking for a dog because I'm older and tougher than he is. Believe it.

Somewhere along the way I also realized that "cool", like "normal" is a setting on the washing machine and that 41 is really quite beautiful. It's free and it's honest and I spend a lot less money on cosmetics (really, I still can't believe how much time I spent putting that little pointy wand right by my EYE in order to make my black and I know who I am, even if I'm a squishier me than once I was.

I intended to be funny today--I really did. I blame the solemnity and finality of the application process and the time I've spent thinking about what matters to me now, and what mattered to me way back when and how sad it is that I never knew what was lovely about me or what mattered not one whit. It hurts my heart to remember that girl putting on layers of disguise because she thought the outside was the important bit and never thought to look in where the good stuff is. And I'm honored to get to be this age--the one where I feel powerful and strong and am terrified of the outcome of this application even as I'm excited to find that I'm tough enough to do what I had to do to get to this point.

Guess my philosophical needed more waxing today....who knew? (Insert jokes about a hairy philosophical here, if you like.)
Because too much provoking of thought on a Monday sounds risky, even in my current state of introspection, Behold the sock:

A pattern from Charlene Schurch's first book in Fleece Artist Sangria. From another view:

The actual color is somewhere between these two pictures...for some reason, the color is maddeningly elusive when a camera comes out. But I love the sock and I love the steeper, more rounded toe that I sort of accidentally had to do because of where the pattern was when I got to the toe part.

I'm off to celebrate my sock, my age, and my matching shoes. May your Monday be as joyful.


  • At 2:28 PM, Anonymous MonicaPDX said…

    Ahhh, gorgeous sock, gorgeous. (And I think we all know about the color bit. Half my pix look nothing like their real colors. Screw it.) And love the philosophizing. Which, btw, you did make funny! Important, but funny, and I agree with every word. It's the lovely thing about getting older - you just don't give such a damn about what other people think and can be more yourself. Hurray for that!

  • At 6:03 PM, Blogger Marianne said…

    Beautiful sock! and I'm pretty sure I love those colours that are somewhere 'inbetween'...
    Yep, I agree with you all the way, except seriously, for the bottom half of you...there's just not that much to 'go south'. Mr.K going commando these days?.......

  • At 12:01 AM, Anonymous angie Cox said…

    I was trying to reassure Holly on Friday that because I no longer wear make-up I don't think she is a harlot for buying it ! She seems to feel guilty and nothing we've done. I once bore a strong resemblance to a Panda and wore Biba ( not the most subtle). I cared about fashion .I like going grey and sort of disappearing from view .Some oick in a van made rude gestures at Holly when I was with her and he nearly got dragged from his vehicle ! That poem about wearing purple or some such thing ..that is great .

  • At 7:23 AM, Blogger Kitty Mommy said…

    The things that matter just keep getting better, while the things that never really did matter in the first place are the things that migrate southward and lose primping and preening time. Personally, I just wish I hadn't wasted so much time in my teens and twenties worrying about the ones that don't matter. Pbbbblllt!

    Gorgeous sock, btw!

  • At 9:12 AM, Blogger Karen said…

    Being allergic to most of the makeup stuff I never did get caught up in all that. Your socks are gorgeous!


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