RED, RED WHINE
(This was a blog from 2012 that I wanted to re-post for your enjoyment...and mine. Gotta admit, it still makes me smile.)
On this weekend’s shopping jaunt I found myself surprisingly halted in front of a pair of cherry red skinny jeans. The color red caught my eye and the sale price caught my other eye. “$10.99” they taunted, “I used to be compared to $32.99 but now I’m a mere shadow of my former self
at only $10.99. I’m a steal!” Well, I can’t quite say that I’m a shadow of my former self—more like my former self is a shadow of me—but all that aside, I love a good bargain and the crazy pants were right, they were a steal.
I questioned my sanity as I reached toward the pants. The angel on my right shoulder encouraged “Go for it. You’ll look lovely.” The devil on my left said, “That’s no angel, that’s menopause disguised as an angel.” I hemmed and I hawed, and then my hand brazenly grabbed the fabric. “Oooohh, these are soft,” I said out loud, then looked around to see if anyone had heard me. If they were scratchy and stiff I could walk away without a backward glance, but noooooooo, these cherry bombs were baby bottom soft. Crap! Now I had to try them on.
With a deep sigh of resignation I headed for the dressing room. I was sure they wouldn’t fit anyway. What’s the harm in just trying them on, I told myself. Moment of truth, in front of God and the mirror, I slid them over my skinny pins, tugged them over my curvy bits, and stared open mouthed at my reflection. Well butter my biscuit and call me Aunt Jemima, they fit! Course, I’d have to get a shirt long enough to cover my derriere, but all-in-all they didn’t look bad and they were downright comfy-cozy, with enough built in stretch to let my belly breathe.
So I was left to face the looming question... Is it appropriate for my 53 year-old self to sport not just skinny, but skinny and RED?! I’ve heard it said that women should dress their age. That sounds reasonable enough. So what is this all about, I whined? Am I having a mid-life crisis? Is this the equivalent of a middle-aged man tooling around in a sporty red convertible? On the up side—I’m not middle-aged. On the down side —I’m past it. Who says I can’t wear red? Who says I can’t wear skinny? I can, and I will—devil be damned. With my head held high I headed for the cashier.
That was Saturday. Today is Monday. My bravado weakened a bit as I put the jeans on and readied for work. “No meetings today, I can be casual,” I said to myself as I buttoned my shirt and checked to make sure it covered my backside. For a moment I found myself wondering what people might think about my crimson bean poles, and then I was reminded (by God Himself, I think) of a wonderful old poem by Jenny Joseph called “Warning, When I Am An Old Woman, I Shall Wear Purple.” In this poem, Jenny exclaims, “When I am an old woman I shall wear purple with a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.” It is a tribute to the freedom women can enjoy at any age – even old age. This poem has empowered women all over the world and even motivated a phenomenon known as the Red Hat Society. Purple/Red, Hats/Pants, I figure it’s all the same. And if it’s good enough for Jenny and over 750,000 old Red Hat ladies, then it’s good enough for me.
I made it through work with nary a remark or even a sideways glance. When I got home my 29-year-old daughter took one look at me and said, “Are those new? I really like them.” “Yep, they’re new” and “thanks” I said, like it was no big deal. Little does she know…