O would some power the giftie gie us to see ourselves as others see us.
I’m a sucker for earrings that dangle.
I’m not talking diamonds here. I mean the ones made with beads and wire that crafters craftier than I am make and sell at shows and bazaars. They are usually pretty inexpensive, so if I lose one from a pair, I don’t get too worked up. Through the years, I’ve acquired quite a collection of these little beaded lovelies. I keep them in a box on my dresser and enjoy choosing a pair to match whatever it is I’m wearing that day. It’s kind of my thing, actually. To match, I mean. At least it was until a month ago.
Have you ever had one of those Lord-have-mercy moments when you realize that you’ve been walking around all day looking goofy? When you are sure, beyond all doubt, that every stranger you’ve met that day has walked away from you muttering, “what in the world is HER deal?” A humbling moment when you give yourself a mental slap upside the head or a good shaking and tell yourself to get it together?
I have. Last month on a day that included trips to Target, Walmart, and a hair salon with my son who, even in adulthood, has this maddening habit of going completely mute as soon as he sits down in a stylist’s chair. He believes that stylists, like mothers, read minds. But that’s a story for a different day.Suffice it to say that I was having a bad hair day of my own and as such, should have kept my opinions about how to cut his hair to myself.
It was a day like many of my days. Get up. Get dressed. Run an errand. Pay a bill. Boss someone. All the while feeling fairly okay with the state of my general appearance and ability to keep it together. At this age, that’s the best I can hope for.
At bedtime, as I took off my earrings, I realized that in my haste to choose a pair that morning, I’d grabbed two that were not from the same set or even color family. That’s right. The very same woman who’d bossed a perfectly nice hairstylist just hours before. The customer buying undershirts and making polite conversation with a cashier who, come to think of it, seemed mesmerized by that customer’s earlobes. The mom with the grown son who never noticed that his mother’s ears were making two different fashion statements. Because, why would he? He is obviously still under the impression that his mother has her you-know-what together.
This is how it starts. First, it is mismatched earrings. Then, one day you’re wearing your sweater inside out. After that, it’s one blue shoe and one black one or a wig on backwards. Before you know it, you’re careening down the fashion slope at warp speed with nothing and nobody to break your fall.
The moral of the story for women of a certain age? Look in the mirror. Double check. But if you forget, I promise that if I see something, I’ll say something. Promise you’ll do the same for me.
Solidarity, Sisters. Solidarity. It’s all we have.