Years ago, before children, marriage, menopause and gourmet cheese, I was a thin, tan, beach loving blond, who thought of nothing but heading to Zuma Beach in Malibu, CA to worship the sun and daydream about nothing in particular. Life was relatively care-free.
Then, all of a sudden, and without any reasonable explanation, everything changed. Oh my! Relocating to an area where winter is a 7 month experience, complete with sub zero temperatures and 400+ inches of seasonal snowfall, so also, came a reasonable expectation of wardrobes changing. No more need for afternoons shopping at malls, or considering beach trips on weekends; no, it was more like will this down jacket provide warmth to me on a -35(f) night in the Rocky Mountains.
I suppose it's my own fault. I moved to an area which appealed to me at that time, some 17 years ago. However, now, with menopause almost over with, and aching joints from arthritis, winters are no long as exciting as they were, and the novelty of white winter Christmas mornings has long since worn off. Now, I find myself dreaming of my old beach days, and summer temps that exceed 100(f).
With an upcoming relocation to warmer climates, I find myself struggling with the cruel joke that age has changed me...not for the better, in my opinion. Winter coats, scarves, snow boots will no longer be part of my wardrobe, although they are quite beneficial for hiding Mother Nature's wrath on my body. Thus, I find myself looking through Macy or J.C.Penney's catalogs, trying in vain to find clothing which will better suit the temperatures of constant summer. And damn, everything I see and half way like, looks nothing like the picture once it is delivered to me.
My best friend and I have been lamenting over the past few weeks about suitable attire to wear to her son's upcoming high school graduation. Outfits that we may have, at one point or another in our past, looked at with scorn, now are what a woman of our age and sizes might find appropriate for the social gathering. But why is it that as we get older, clothing seems to become more matronly? My friend Kris laments over the glowing, large, bold floral prints that seem to resonate a "bull's eye pattern" rather than a eye catching, summer floral dress. Nothing seems carefree about wearing a dress that could be mistaken for a beach mu-mu or have some say..."Oh, when are you due"? Oh Lord, please help me!
Living in a rural mountain town, a trip to a mall is an all weekend event. With gas prices sky high, I have resorted to catalog shopping. No doubt, all clothing looks better on models. And with the modern technology of photo shopping, you too can look 20 years younger and 20 lbs lighter with a computer slice and dice. I am now on dress #2, after ordering and receiving it, and looking at every possible angle, trying to imagine myself in 5 weeks, on a Saturday afternoon, in Southern California temperatures, wearing this dress. Will I be uncomfortable? Will this material breathe? Do I need a slip? What kind of shoes can I wear? What about jewelry?
So, here I sit in my chair, at the computer, blogging in the new dress. How pathetic. I realize that no one looks like a model in a catalog. I come complete with cellulite that will not be photo shopped before May 24th. Mother Nature is sitting behind me, in my comfy lounge chaise, chuckling, and I am convinced that somewhere in my past I must have been offensive to someone, as I feel like I am being punished. The dress I purchased from the J.C.Penney catalog doesn't look too ill-fitted, and the pattern and appearance somewhat compliment my bizarre shape.
Yet, somewhere in the back of my mind, I find myself sitting on a beach and wishing, just wishing that I was a perfect size 10 and I looked like a super model in a catalog. Oh well...guess its time for some gourmet cheese and a diet Pepsi!