Monday, June 16, 2014

Build On A Sound Foundation

Build On A Sound Foundation
            My friend Kathy, who first introduced me to Mazatlan, and I often giggle over the fact that neither of us are “cruise material”. By this we mean, we hardly dress the part. Both of us are pretty casual. Dress to impress, we do not. Clothing is to cover the body; for modesty in summer, to keep warm in winter. Basic stuff. 

            So I was a bit surprised when Kathy sent me an email with the message—“Hit the Beach—Here’s What to Pack”. In old-fashioned paper it would have been a glossy ad brochure. In email form it was a glossy ad brochure. Kathy went on to say, “Okay, we’re not cruise material, but since you will be at a resort, I thought you’d want to look at this. I know you like to keep up with the latest.”

            That last line was a cruel dig. I gave up any sense of fashion in my 40’s when I realized I like blue jeans, flannel shirts and Birkenstocks with wool socks. So that’s what I wear.  

                        And, if you must know, I have been feeling sorry for myself. I have stood in front of the dozen or so items in my closet and realized how old and how shabby they are. One after another, I have tossed garments into the trash bag and have replaced none. Most of my Mexican wardrobe I bought my first year of Mexican holiday, including two bathing suits I had to buy because I forgot to pack any.  I only wear these items in Mexico. None are frost proof, wind proof or mosquito proof.

            The beach? Resort? Oh, didn’t I tell you? My Medicine Woman massage person who has been doing wonders with my leg is going on a two-week holiday to Tijuana.  She said to me, “Walk in sand.” I must obey. The resort is five blocks from my apartment. But I can walk out the entry and onto the sand and take short walks every day. 

            “Kathy, what would I do without you,” I replied. “I’m ready to throw away everything I own and begin fresh.  You must have caught my vibes. Will they ship overnight express? I love the styles and colors. I want to order one of each. And the sandals encrusted with turquoise bling on the first page—aren’t they the wildest! I like the salmon colored ones too. Maybe I need both. You sent me a timely remedy to my dilemma. I want it all. I shall be the best dressed old woman on the beach.

            “I haven’t mentioned this, but Kathy, every morning I have been studying the dozens of beautiful young women who walk by on their way to work at the multi-storied government building on the opposite corner from me. They give me inspiration to change my life.

            “First, I must lose two hundred pounds. No, I don’t weigh two hundred pounds. No matter. I must lose at least that much for that perfect pale-shadow look. Next, I’ll buy all my clothing three to four sizes too small. Claustrophobic—maybe—I’ll deal with it. 

            “Bust enlargement—did I mention bust enlargement? Everyone does it so how hard can that be?

            “Most importantly, bags and shoes. I never, before living here, realized the vital importance of matching bags and shoes; one set for every possible contingency, for every combination of blouse and skirt and pants and those legging sort of things that I’ll be able to skinny into once I lose that two hundred pounds. 

“Oh, for scrumptious bags and shoes! Oversize bags are de rigueur, spangled with plenty of sparkly hardware. It’s all the rage. But the shoes, yes!, the shoes! Platform for height, stiletto heels for sex appeal, and more straps than a set of harness. I shall be the Imelda Marcos of Mexico. Add sun glasses. Add bangles and beads. Oh, the joy!

“Kathy, you’ve seen my place. I’ve been pondering how to create a closet dedicated solely to bags and shoes. The only solution I have come up with is to convert the kitchen. What do you think? After all, in order to lose two hundred pounds, I’ll never eat again, so who needs a kitchen. Not me. 

            “No sacrifice is too great. I can’t believe I’ve been so blind to fashion. I must have skipped a vital phase of my development during my formative years. I hope I’m not too old to learn how to trowel on the makeup. Soon, I too shall look like a toothpick on stilts, but, oh, so elegant.” 

Sondra Ashton
HDN: Looking out my back door
June 5, 2014

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