You want to insult me? You want to hurt me to the core?! Call me ma’am. Buy me some elastic-waistband pants. Ask if these teenagers are my grandchildren. Tell me I wear sensible shoes!
Twice now, my sister has infuriatingly mentioned that I wear “sensible shoes”, meaning my everyday flats…Born shoes, Joseph Siebel, Cole Haan mary janes, Nike tennis shoes. But they’re not all closed toe varicose-veined nunnery wear! I have low-heeled furry suede mules too! I have black leather slingbacks that are sexy with polished toes!
The question is whether we can still be sexy even though our bodies are nearing half a century’s use. Even though we are slowing down and some functions just can’t do what they used to. Like an old 1960’s VW bug that starts shaking at 70 mph, tell me that I don’t have to continuously suffer the consequences of stilettos and skin-tight clothing until I have found senior citizen love! Can I be attractive and comfortable? Attractive and middle-aged? Middle-aged and sexy?
Even with my progressive bi-focal lens in these bigger frames? Even if I can’t hear whispers because of probable ear damage from standing near concert stages 20 years ago, with leftover ringing in my ears for three days?
Yes, I am paying for then now. I am paying for my youth; for throwing my entire body on the ground, knees first, in contorted states trying to hit a volleyball; for being thrifty at the airport and pinching a nerve in my back carrying a week’s worth of luggage and presents from a trip to Alaska. I pay for overuse with current carpel tunnel aches from years of typing my way up the corporate ladder’s middle rung; my plantar facitis hurts after I exercise like I’m required to for managing Lupus-affected joints.
Now add insult to injury…damn sensible shoes.
Why do we women (yes, you) think we have to dress the same as we did before we knew cellulite? Before we had babies? Before first loves and first marriages? Before ACL surgeries and ruptured discs? before my arches fell and my boobs followed?
The truth is that catching a man and keeping a man are two totally different things. My mother used to tell me to go find a man in church. I would always respond that, “he won’t like me” because I’m not a churchy person. That would start things off with a lie and of course, that relationship would be doomed from the start.
I could wear dresses every day, spritzed with Prada perfume and armed with lip liner, lipstick and gloss; dyed hair only telltale at the roots, and long gleaming nails polished to match my open-toed strappy-heeled feet.
When I dress like that, I feel girly. I like feeling girly. I don’t like feeling as if I have to prove how girly I am…in the hopes of attracting a man. I don’t like being on display. Maybe I should re-read Desmond Morris’ The Naked Ape, which parallels our lipstick to baboon vaginas in heat, swollen and red, instinctively advertising our mating needs for men who don’t understand verbal signals.
In the end, I’d like to take my man like I take my shoes…casual. loose. flexible. comfortable.