Take five

Wednesday, October 7, 2009
I am not your stereotypical woman. I don't get manis and pedis. I don't subscribe to People or Us Weekly or any other gossip magazine, although I will peruse one in the doctor's office should it beckon to me from the coffee table as I wait for my name to be called, even though I always feel guilty for indulging. I don't care about whatsherface who married that one guy from that movie and what they're wearing or what they ate or who they slept with. I don't often cry and lucky for everyone, I don't have mood swings.* I think it's perfectly ok for a woman to jump on a snowboard, tennis court, the Supreme Court or whathaveyou and kick some ass. I don't go to the mall for fun. I don't like to compete. At least not with my friends. And I don't wear something because everyone else is wearing it. Hell, in my opinion, that's the best reason not to wear something. Especially if that something is white-rimmed sunglasses. Because I don't care how trendy they are, you look like a toolbag in them. Sorry, but you do. And I like shoes, but I don't loooove shoes - although I suspect that this is because I already owned The Most Perfect Pair of Shoes Ever.

Picture it, Madrid, 1993. The softest, must supple leather in a deep, rich chocolate brown. Stacked cork heel. A spanish version of the classic Mary Jane. Women would stop me wherever I went to compliment The Most Perfect Pair of Shoes Ever. Gay men would scream in elevators over how gorgeous my shoes were. And I loved it. I've never really been one to brag, but boy you better believe that when someone stopped me and asked me where I got those shoes, I would jut my long and skinny leg out like some sort of awkward shoe model and proudly declare, "Oh, I got them last time I was in Spain. I just couldn't resist." Yup, just like the stereotypical woman in your stereotypical chick flick. I might have even tossed my hair for effect or shooed with my hand as if all I needed was a tennis racket under one arm and a toy poodle under the other. The last time I was in Spain? Oh, you mean the only time I was in Spain. Yeah, that just doesn't have the same ring to it.

These shoes went with everything, and on my feet, they went everywhere. They went to parties. They went to clubs. They went to school and work and everything in between...Until that horrible day. I can still smell the air. We went to TCBY (remember TCBY?!?) Not sure if we were skipping school or if it was a legitimate lunch trip, but all of a sudden...splatter! Tiny little flecks of paint fell from the sky above, and in slow-motion they landed on the toes of The Most Perfect Pair of Shoes Ever. I was devastated. And because I was naive to the ways of the world, because I was in high school and didn't know any better, I stood in that TCBY parking lot and hung my head in defeat. I knew right away that they were through. Had it happened now, I would have politely asked the painter man to come down off the roof so that we could discuss how he was going to remedy the situation. But that's neither here nor there.

Something else happened that day. I said a sad goodbye to The Most Perfect Pair of Shoes EVER but I also realized that love is funny. I had beat the crap out of those shoes and as much as I loved them, they should probably have been retired long before that afternoon. But I couldn't see that. Until that paint splattered those shoes, to me they looked as beautiful as they had the day I bought them.

But like I said, I march to the beat of my own drummer. I wore a shirt all through high school that made me look like a "lampshade" because a) I loved it and b) on more than one occasion, a 20-something uber-cool semi-adult had complimented me on it. Ok, so on two occasions. But it was on two separate occasions. And I bought the shirt at this chic little vintage store on South Beach and paid good money for it. So what if my peers thought I looked stupid in it? And while I listened to The Smiths and Rage and Counting Crows just like everyone else, my favorite CD for a while was Moondance. And while I loved going to the meat-packing district in NYC and catching up-and-coming bands, I had just as much fun watching Dave Brubeck perform Time Out in this gorgeous old church in Morristown, NJ.

So what's my point? I've been thinking about this a lot lately, because as you may or may not know, I am soon going to be a mother to a little girl. And I've been having lots of conversations with B in my head lately. They've evolved from "You're the size of a kumquot," to
"Ok, look, I know you're running out of room, but other than not breathe, there's nothing I can do for you," to
"Holy cow. What if you don't like me?"

I used to make mean jokes about how I never wanted a daughter because it seems stupid to put all that energy into raising someone who is just going to end up hating you anyway. I know that I joked because part of me is afraid that I don't know how to be a good mother to a girl. I grew up without a substantial mother-daughter model. I saw my mother a couple of times a year and that didn't really afford either of us the opportunity to develop an authentic relationship. Not to mention the handful of step-mothers I had. So out of fear, I joke. But now, it's real. Now I'm going to have to step up to the plate and be a mother. To a daughter. And I think one of the first steps to loving someone else is loving yourself. And you can't really love yourself if you don't accept who you are.

So while I might not be your stereotypical woman, I am who I am. And sometimes I'm the girl in The Most Perfect Pair of Shoes Ever. And sometimes I'm the girl in the lampshade shirt. Sometimes I'm the girl who could be pretty if I just put a little makeup on. And sometimes I'm the girl who gets the nod from some tweener who saw me grab my board as I sailed off of a jump because for an old lady, I'm not that bad.

But love is funny. And my hope is that B will some day be able to look at me and love me for who I am, beat-up soles, paint specks and all. Because I plan on loving the crap out of her, no matter what drum she marches to. Unless it's country, and then all bets are off.

* Caveat: If I am pregnant, nursing or sleep-deprived, this statement could not be further from the truth.

1 comments to Take five:

CrunchyChick said...

Wow! I just love the way you write. Serious.

I think I could read your blog all day long.

I'm glad you commented on mine so I could find yours.

Not stalker-like at all, right? :)

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