A Wrinkle in Time

 

Last week, on a hot day,  I found myself strolling up Lexington Avenue, an hour early to meet an old friend for dinner.  In front of a day spa was an attractive (probably gay) Israeli man in his 30s or so,  handing out free samples of moisturizer.  “Thanks” I said as I examined the little packet.   Who doesn’t love free samples?

He lured me in, ostensibly to give me another sample.  I accepted, mainly because I could feel the cool air in there, and hanging out in a pleasant spa was better than pounding the hot pavement, killing time.  He didn’t waste a moment getting into his sales shpiel about some amazing miracle cream he was hawking, which he promised would make me look 20 years younger.  He started touting all its exotic ingredients as he dabbed, dabbed, dabbed some under my eyes to tighten up some of the puffiness.

I knew I wasn’t going to buy what he was selling and I didn’t want to waste his time.  I asked, somewhat out of curiosity,  “So how much for this stuff?  A hundred bucks? Two hundred?”

He seemed somewhere between amused and offended by my low estimate.  “More than that,” he said, “$575.”

I bit my tongue to keep from laughing.  I can think of a lot of ways to spend $575,  and fancy face cream ain’t on the list.

“Yeah, sorry.  Let me stop you right there.  I’m not going to spend that kind of money on face cream…”

“Why not?  You spend money on shoes and clothes.  Why  not on your face?”

Me?  Spend money on shoes and clothes?  Hah! I have sweaters in my drawers with pills older than he is!   When my beloved aunt passed away a few years ago, I inherited the contents of her closet.  As we wore the same size on the bottom, I’ll never have to buy slacks again.  I tend to wear basic black, jazzed up with wild accessories.  (My costume jewelry collection rivals Iris Apfel’s.)

He continued to massage various potions into my skin.  “What do you use on your face now?” he asked amiably. He wasn’t being pushy exactly, but likewise, he was’t going to let me walk out of there without hearing the whole sales pitch.

“Not much,” I said.

I’m hardly flawless — my thighs look like cottage cheese-filled condoms, and my neck wattle flaps like a collapsed bag of Jello during a hurricane.  BUT I am fortunate to have genetically good skin. I’ve never been one for expensive cosmetics. I have to remind myself to moisturize. (Although I rarely go out in the sun without a wide-brimmed hat and sunscreen.)

He looked at me askance.  “Really?  You should take better care of your skin,” he scolded me good-naturedly.

“Look at my face.  I’m 65 years old.  I don’t have wrinkles or crow’s feet.  I think my skin looks damned good for an old broad like me.”

With that, he whipped out his 1000x magnifying mirror, and forced me to confront wrinkles that were invisible to the naked eye.

As he pointed out the flaws and creases on my face,  he pressed me to buy the potion.  And as he talked,  the price kept coming down until it was just $100 and included a facial.

I admit, at another time, when I was feeling more flush with cash and more vulnerable, I might have given in to his routine. It was a really great sales pitch, and I told him so. He certainly knew how to push a woman’s buttons.

But then I started to get indignant.  How dare he pull me in off the street and try to make me feel insecure about my face in order to sell his products?  I slowly grew resentful.  Perhaps a bit angry.  Not just at him, but at whole industries which survive by making women feel bad about themselves.

I just got my Medicare card.  If I have any wrinkles, I earned every last one of them. I long ago stopped judging myself on my looks. I am generally well-put-together but I’m not winning any beauty contests.  It doesn’t matter, though, because after many years of youthful insecurity, I finally understand that the people I care about don’t judge me that superficially.  Nor do I judge them in that way. The only thing that matters at this age, (and should matter at any age) is character.

I told him that, too.

I left the spa and went to meet my friend — my high school boyfriend. Needless to say, we are both considerably older than we were when we met.  If we noticed the signs of aging on each other, it didn’t matter one whit.  We were just a couple of old friends,  relating to each other the way we always have — catching up on family news, talking politics, teasing each other mercilessly, stealing a surreptitious toke down by the river.

Wrinkles and gray hair be damned. Screw expensive anti-aging potions!  In that couple of hours,  we were both sixteen again.

 

 

 

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Fashion Week 2016, Watch Out! Here I Come!

Just goes to show, you don’t have to be a supermodel to rock a high fashion look.   Have a look…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RpaXp-vUlA

You Call That “A Look”?

As a soignee  woman of the world,  I follow fashion.  And by “follow fashion” I mean I look at the photos from Fashion Week and try to figure out what the hell some of these designers were thinking when they created their new lines.

Take, for example,  this look from Gypsy Sport (photo Stefania Curto for The New York Times)

fashion week 1 NYT

What is the message here?   “Just before reporting to duty as a cabin attendant for an intergalactic flight, Trissy goes on a three day bender. While drunk, she steals the payis of an elderly Hasidic rabbi. Before wearing them, she brings them into the salon for a wash, blow and keratin straightening.   Meanwhile, she still can’t find her ‘lucky souvenirs’ keychain. She knows it’s around somewhere because she can hear it jingling.”

***

Then there’s this number from the  J. Mendel Spring 2015 collection  (AP Photo/Diane Bondareff.)  What does it say?

 Fashion_J__Mendel_Spring_2015___mschulte@kcstar.com_21
 “Help!  I’m being eaten alive by a flock of gay tribbles!”
 ***
This from Maison Martin Margiela
fashion week 2
I’m guessing it was inspired by a bedroom fire and the outfit worn when jumping out the window into the waiting arms of the firemen below.
 ***

Good advice, Jeremy Scott but I’m already feeling the siren call of Valium.

dont take drugs

***

And this one?
ktz-marjan-pejoski-new-york-fashion-week-runway-2015-2016-fall-autumn-winter-womens-native-american-tribal-oversized-coat-shearling-fringes
This looks like a drive-through car wash on an Indian reservation.
(Marjan Pejoski – KTZ)
***

And finally,  there’s this get-up,   part of a “woman on the street” photo montage by Craig Arend for the NYTimes.

fashion week 3 NYT

I call it, “It Don’t Mean a Thing If You Ain’t Got that Static Cling.”   This look says to me:”I found cheap accommodations in NYC! For a mere six quarters an hour (just $1.50!) , I’m living in an industrial clothes dryer in an upscale laundromat in a very desirable neighborhood.”

All right, so maybe I’m simply not sophisticated enough to understand the finer nuances of haute couture…   But then, does anyone?

Squeeze the Day!

fatasIwas

If you think you’re too old/too fat/too tired to wear it/do it/enjoy it,  trust me…it’s not going to get any better!    Seize the day, kiddies!    Enjoy what you have now.  Look at yourself in the mirror and appreciate where you DON’T have wrinkles and cellulite! (As well as the fact that you can still see yourself in the mirror!)  If you can still bend down to tie your own shoelaces,  celebrate by wearing a pair of crazy high-tops or lace up boots.   Still ambulatory?  Turn up the music and dance!

Life goes by fast.  I know.  In my head, I’m 27.   In reality,   I’m almost old enough to be a 27 year old’s grandmother.

Sixty is the new forty, baby!  And by the time I get there,  eighty will be the new thirty!

 

 

 

 

I’ve Got the Whole World in My Hand (and Around My Neck)

I LOVE to decoupage.  My standard line is that if my husband sat still for more than five minutes, I’d decoupage HIM.  Here are some pieces I made for myself, recently.

The bracelets are made from wooden tiles.  The first one is covered in pages of a vintage manual on fixing boilers! (Great diagrams!)  I added watch parts, crystals, wire, etc. It’s kind of steam punky.  I’ve gotten a lot of complements on this one!

2014-11-14 17.40.52 2014-11-14 17.41.02  2014-11-14 17.42.23   2014-11-14 17.42.15

 

The second bracelet is covered with vintage maps (mostly Africa) plus some crystal for bling. If I ever find myself lost in the Belgian Congo,  I’ll be able to find my way around.

2014-11-14 17.41.492014-11-14 17.42.002014-11-14 17.41.18

 

The necklace is vintage maps decoupaged onto ping-pong balls.   I stuck to places I’ve visited, so Africa, Asia and Europe.    Now at least if someone is staring at my cleavage, he might actually learn something!

2014-11-14 17.40.16

I had a very messy but fun time with these!

Screw Mies Van Der Rohe

cent21jewelry

Screw Mies Van Der Rohe with his “Less is more” nonsense!  Trust me, honey,  when it comes to fashion, more is never enough!

If you’re like me,  you have drawers and closets full of jewelry, scarves, accessories and accoutrements.  That’s a lifetime of bling, and let’s face it, girlfriend, none of us is getting any younger.  We could drop dead tomorrow.

What are you saving it for?  You think maybe you’ll get invited to a coronation or the Academy Awards?

Wear it!  Wear it all!   Pile it on!  An arm full of bangles!  Cover your jacket in brooches! Stick a feather in your hat and call it macaroni, fer god’s sake. Just wear it.    It doesn’t have to be in style.  It only has to be YOUR style!  Let them look at you and say,  “Ohhhhh, now THAT’S an interesting way to wear it!”

Look, eventually we’re all gonna ascend to that great Atelier in the Sky.  When your time comes, what will become of all the great stuff you’ve been hoarding for “the right occasion?”   I’ll tell you: some clueless relative with taste worse than Donald Trump (OK, that’s not possible. But you get the idea) is going to scoop allllll your precious babies into a stained Fresh Direct box and haul it over to the local Goodwill. And then some stranger with fat ankles is going to attempt to cram her lower extremities into a that pair of gorgeous boots you never wore because you didn’t want to get them dirty.  Some fashion victim with style up the tuchis is going to buy that beautiful silk scarf you were afraid to wear lest you lose it,  and she’s going to wear it the way a Russian babushka wears a babushka.  (And not in that elegant Jacki O way, either.)    And that jaunty hat which you loved in theory but never wore because it messed up your hair?  Some pseudo-ironic depressive goth chick with spiderwebbed stockings, black nail polish and a copiously pierced face is going to grab it,  and wear it to her job waiting tables in a Williamsburg coffee shop.

The least you can do is make the most of every bit of it while you can!

As Max Bialystock says,  “If ya got it, baby, flaunt it!”

 

pile o jewelsphoto: http://www.dimestorechic.com

 

 

Need more fabulous stuff?  Check out www.kitschic.com.  Oh yeah.  You want it!

 

 

 

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