reverse threading

the path back is the path forward


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first-world pressure. [flawed wednesday]

i found an october 2017 edition of the magazine real simple in and amongst the catalogs in our magazine rack. paging through, i cringed when i saw an article about how to work from home, thinking how inadvertently prophetic that was. there were articles about kitchen makeovers, healthy habits, quick recipes and how to finance renovations. the second to last page was a faux program agenda for what was named by the author (ashley lefrak grider) the 32nd annual symposium of the american society for the investigation of contemporary fashion indignities. it made me laugh aloud, so i extracted two of the ‘session’ titles to share:

the morning ‘breakfast with the thought leaders’ was titled “low rise jeans: a plan to spread self-loathing among women who eat food.”

the ‘policy workshop’ held in the afternoon was titled “who bears the bulk of moral responsibility for pretorn jeans made of elastic and what is the appropriate punishment for this person?”

seriously, the experience of purchasing new jeans imperils most women’s senses of humor, not to mention self-image. styles change and jeans change and, each time, many of us are left wondering whose idea it was for women to wear skinny jeans or jeans that ride below a tummy that has had some serious childbirth adventures.

i detest the lighting in most store fitting rooms and the mirrors that surround you as you step out into the little hallway of curtains. were it to be my decision to make, i would provide soft lighting and beverages. a little asti/iced tea, perhaps. it’s painful. and jeans are my favorite thing to wear so you can bet that, once i have gone through this agony, through the oh-geez-these-make-my-butt-look-big-i’ll-just-wear-long-tunics-all-the-time enlightenment, i make jeans last a very long time and save them all in my overburdened closet. for years. it’s too anxiety-producing otherwise.

the worst is finding a new bathing suit. the hard plastic model mannequin wearing the darling suit in the swim, cruise and yachting department has not lived life and it is unfair to act like her little perfect shape is in any way relevant to the rest of us. ordering from a catalog is an option, but most of the same rules apply and make many of us wish that we could go back to the swimsuits of the 1920s, though these are also hardly ideal.

in the latest first-world news – just how does one keep up? – trends to follow include: luxe sweatsuits (named “almost-business-casual-take-you-from-the-couch-to-errands loungewear”), knit dresses and skirts (because who doesn’t want to wear form-fitting sweater-dresses!), leather coats pretending to be those oversized down coats, and, my personal favorite, puffy shoulders and sleeves, which makes me wonder why i gave away my bridesmaid dress from my niece’s wedding in the early 90s. what’s more, ultimate gray and illuminating yellow are the fashion pantone colors of the year, chosen for their “warmth and dependability”, but clearly not how they look on real people.

the tagline of real simple magazine is “life made easier”. and the heading on the page with the mock symposium agenda is “the struggle is real” with a sub-title of “clothes: we have a few complaints”. the closing session of the conference, with only an hour-long presentation – so little time, so much to say – was “to live is to suffer: was nietzsche wearing control-top pantyhose?” indeed.

women in our society have had an extraordinary and inordinate amount of pressure put on our ability to look fit, healthy, hydrated, well-rested, botulinum-toxin-injected and young. in the pickiest of picky new face-rules, lately i have noticed an emphasis on having eyelashes to end all eyelashes. as a blonde, eyelashes tend to be just laughable and definitely an investment in mascara. at a couple hundred dollars a lash extension application plus upkeep, costs seems like expenditures that would not fall under the ‘make a budget’ article guidelines, nevertheless it is a ‘thing’ and women everywhere are buying into it. at target yesterday, i wondered how the lovely young woman, waiting on us and trying unsuccessfully to type information into a device to locate our pickup order, functioned with her carefully manicured but insanely long fingernails. were these nails what she really wanted or were these nails a product of some sort of weird expectation that they were somehow elevating her already very natural beauty? the questions keep coming. so do the catalogs of new clothes, new swimsuits, new shoes, new products to trim your body, new trinkets, new dietary supplements. so much pressure.

too much pressure. good thing i don’t subscribe to cosmo.

i hear wide-leg-relaxed-fit-waist jeans are back. goodness and gosh, i can’t wait to go try some on. better yet, maybe there’s a pair in the back of my closet somewhere.

yes, friedrich, “that which does not kill us makes us stronger.”

*****

read DAVID’s thoughts this FLAWED WEDNESDAY


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old navy flipflops

FullSizeRender68 miles doesn’t sound like a lot until you think about it all in flipflops. $2 on-sale-old-navy flipflops. in the last 19 days (5 of which were spent driving long-distance road trips) we have walked a total of 68 miles (this is the distance logged when carrying my cellphone….we don’t have fitbits so in-the-house or around the yard steps are not logged.). this doesn’t seem remarkable necessarily (although walking to downtown chicago – 66 miles from here – in flipflops seems a bit daunting); if you take away the road trip days and do the division it averages 4.9 miles a day. we are big walkers and will walk places instead of jumping in the car. but, if you remember (which is beyond the scope of your responsibility or interest) i had broken my little baby toe. this was right before we went out east to visit the boy and his boyfriend in boston.

although i packed numerous pairs of sandal-type shoes i was hoping to wear, the only pair of shoes i could wear was this one pair of flip flops. every day. black flipflops. (there are many women cringing right now, thinking of how flip flops don’t go with every single outfit, but as karen told me, “flipflops are my shoe of choice in the summer” so i felt better. i kept thinking about how much space i would have saved had i only packed that one pair. (ok, make that two pairs – i totally had a matching pair as a back-up in the case of flip-flop blowout disaster.). wearing flipflops every day on our trip (and literally every day since breaking my toe) has made one outfit decision easier. and we all know that the shoe thing for most women is stressful and cumbersome when it comes to packing. jay and i exchange laughing texts when we are packing for respective trips about how many pairs of shoes we are including. what is that they say? #firstworldproblems. that’s for sure.

regardless, these flipflops have seen great days. i suspect when they finally bite the dust i will want to add them to our special box….the place we store things that are mementos from, well, everything.

the 5 miles a day or so that these have walked have included time spent on the ball field watching the boy play softball, that batting stance i watched for years, the fielding and play where i can practically see the strategy wheels turning in his brain. what a joy to see him laughing in the field or loping around the bases. my amazing son.

these flipflops have prepared dinner together with the boys on a rooftop patio, toasting with red wine, talking and sharing and watching the rain come in over the boston harbor.

these flipflops went on a merry 7 mile (brisk, cause that’s how they roll) walk through the commons and the gardens, stopping to make the boys pose for pictures and totally play tourist.IMG_2147

they went on the crowded T train with david standing on my left, hoping to stave off people tromping on my little toe. the one time i didn’t have them on? – when we rented bowling shoes, mine two different sizes, one waay too big so as to fit this toe oddity.

these flipflops strolled on the beach by the cape, sat by the bonfire in rhode island, found their way to lots of coffeehouses everywhere along the way (starbucks and wonderful privately-owned cafes), walked along canalside in buffalo. IMG_2351they have since walked with my childhood best friend, the one who knows my mom, my dad, my brother, my grandparents on both sides, my growing up dogs, my old bike, my shag rug in my bedroom, probably still my locker combinations. they have embraced the farmer’s market every saturday, with cherished company and just the two of us. they have been there as we geeked our way cheering, eating, drinking and visiting through the kingfish game. they have walked our crazy aussie-dog. with them on, i have laughed, i have argued, i have tripped on uneven sidewalks snorting my own self-disapproval, i have cried (leaving the boy and the girl always always makes me cry.)

there is a quote on the side of the july 2017 edition of real simple magazine. It reads, “some of the best memories are made in flip flops.” (kellie elmore). I don’t know who kellie is, but i wholeheartedly agree. linda and i were talking on the phone just the other day. she said that she and bill once again agreed that it’s every single moment that counts; we must live every single moment. how many times i have re-learned this. how many more times i suspect i will re-learn this. i expect that i will live them in boots, in slippers, in heels, barefoot. but if every one of them were in flipflops i would be ok with that. these 68 miles have rocked.

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