It’s a well-known writing exercise to think of a common household object, (shoes for example) and just dwell on it until memories and associations begin to present themselves and the words begin to flow. To this end, I’ve been thinking about violets – many different kinds – and I’m surprised and kind of delighted that I have so many diverse feelings around a flower which is often considered boring and supermarket- frumpy.
Such misplaced snobbery must be addressed. Continue reading
When I was a young woman just starting out in the working world, I often worked with “older” women whom I looked down upon for being perpetually cynical, negative and hard-boiled. Often they were also the kind of women who might sit on stools at the bar in their fifties, sharing limericks (and possibly Tequila) with sailors. As a confident newlywed, I once admitted at work that my new husband and I had opted not to have a television at all.
“Ha!” one of them snorted. “I give you 6 months!”
Since I felt infinitely superior in my own lofty, more evolved sphere, I was able to let this kind of low remark pass but I remember thinking privately I will never become like them.
I don’t think I have, exactly; but post-divorce, much older now, I see the whole thing with a different lens, fully appreciating the loss of a soft, golden innocence, the piercing sadness of betrayal and the kind of resentment that can form hard, sharp crystals in the heart. Continue reading
I cannot imagine the following anecdote ever happening now, (especially when I consider the many superior ‘Yummy Mummies’ I often encounter) but back in the day, one of my own mother’s favourite go-to activities to amuse me (in a pinch) was the privilege of reorganizing her handbag for her.
I know, I know; but I really liked doing it and felt important knowing that I had been entrusted with such an intimate and grown-up task.
Once I had corralled together all the rumpled tissues that were still scented with Chanel No.5 and helped myself to a stick of Wrigley’s spearmint gum, I moved on to the trio of lipsticks found in one of the pockets. The trio seldom varied and obviously, I tried each one (this goes without saying) but I assessed the packaging first, deciding which was the most elegant, the slimmest, the most bejeweled.
The names were also of great import to me and I think I can safely say, that I trace back my fascination for getting just the right name for a colour (something my friends universally tease me about even now, asking what colour their dress is and then saying “Oh, come ON – aren’t you going to say Electric Tomato or Cant-Elope with Me” etc.etc.).
Maybe I should have been in marketing for OPI nail polish – we just don’t know — but I can say with some conviction that it all began with these few lipsticks found in the scented depths of my mum’s purse. Continue reading
To me, having a pedicure is a bit of an extravagance and although I deeply enjoy the experience I am not always comfortable having someone crouched over me, whittling and scraping away while I sit in a giant, puffy chair like I’m Lazy-Boy Royalty. I’m also quite shy about the entire process so when I pulled up at my usual place (meaning the place I have been exactly three times before) and saw the “Closed” sign, I was so disappointed I very nearly just went home. However, this is winter, my feet are not at their finest and I wanted to raise my spirits with a splash of vermillion, so I drove to another salon since where I live and let’s face it, there’s a nail salon literally every few yards.
Once installed, I like to stare into space and not think about anything for a while as my feet soak in some hot, floral scented froth knowing before the end of my visit I will be called “Bee-u-tiful lady” at least twice. Someone will also sincerely tell me that the colour I chose is an excellent choice.
Regardless of the truth involved in either of these statements – I really like hearing it. Continue reading