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What we would do to look

Sunday, June 06, 2010

The other day I went to the mall to buy something new to wear to the Art Fair opening.

There I was at the store’s shoe department, 3:00 p.m. (Art Fair opening hour: 7:30 p.m.), looking and looking to see if something would caught my eye.

After going around the shoe-laden islands, like 200 times, all I saw were flats, or skyscrapers, that looked like models from Frank Gerhy, Zaha Hadid, Ron Arad or any other famous architect studio. Six inches tall, designed like an aerodynamic something, but meant to be worn by tortured female feet.

“And we are supposed to walk in THOSE?” My left knee asked, bringing back memories of walking with crutches, while I healed from my back-to-back knee surgeries, in my late twenties. I didn’t have to answer: My right knee just stopped and said, full of attitude: “Poor you, always poor you. While I’ve been doing YOUR share of the work for the past 25 years! And she was skinny then…”

But I was feeling sassy, and decided not to listen to them. In fact, I started to look at the ladies around me, trying them on, and they look hot, like 10 feet tall! Hey: Giselle Bundchen: here I come! So I asked the poor guy to bring me a couple of models that I’ve liked, and I sat and waited for my bungee jumping trial.

So the 5’4” salesman comes with the 2 boxes. My feet, ready for the challenge, tried the first pair. Sitting down, the shoes felt good. Great design, they looked amazing. I could picture myself walking on them: a runway model. Then I stepped on the first elevator, and I left the guy behind, his head, at my waist. At least I can use him as a cane, should an accident occur, I thought. And I started to walk… or move forward… Giselle Bundchen? I think I looked more like a giant baby taking her first steps on stilts! Not glamorous, nope.

So the model-to-be listened to her wise knees, and she went to the Fair with some clothes she had at home, and a pair of safe middle-of-the-road-shoes, previously test-driven by the owner. I didn’t have to focus on what I was wearing, or the fact that my life was in danger, but on the people and the celebration of art. And everybody said I looked fantastic. They could even look at me in the eyes, not the navel, while they were talking to me.

How many times do we do or wear something just to look good to others? Don’t take me wrong: I like fashion, and I don’t dress that bad, but we can go to extremes, for what we *think* makes us look good to others.

I remember the time, during HS, when my best friend and I were getting ready to go to a dance. We went to an all-girls Catholic school, so a dance with guys was as exhilarating, as it was nerve-wrecking. Yes, we saw them at parties and stuff, but back then, they were Martians: They had this out-of-this-world power to make Miss Always Knew what to Say at school and with friends (*me*), turned into a petrified mute. And that lasted for years to come.

So we decided we wanted to look HOT: 14 years-old and irresistibly hot. First: the hair. At the time, having a wave was a sin, with a curl you were not worthy of breathing; all this in a 10000% humidity climate. I mean: The Skipper was my idol.

So, after washing our hair with a concoction that a Skipper-like friend had suggested, we started with *the* tool: a hot iron. I cannot remember exactly how it happened, but I sure can remember the smell... and the sound. I fried my hair!

Then, these trailblazers were dreaming of a white smile, long-before the White Strips were in the minds of Procter & Gamble product development teams. Go figure why that was so important: I know I barely smiled at the guys, though my friend was a lot more out there. Or maybe I did smile, like a petrified mute.

So anyways, we decided to wash our teeth with baking soda –hey, if it was good for the fridge…-, and a little bit of toothpaste. Hmmm: not bad: Our teeth did look whiter. But so did our gums! I cannot describe how weird looking that was. Like we had this disease, or something.

So, the 2 geniuses, now short of time –the designated chauffeur already in the car waiting for us (*my Mom*)-, decided to look for something in the bathroom, that could turn our gums back to some sort of normality, fast. And bingo. We found it: Merthiolate and Q’tips as utensils!

I can still picture ourselves looking at the mirror, with the whitest of teeth now being surrounded by orange rivers of sheer hellish pain, laughing and crying our way to the car.

I don't know how good we looked, and that was not what really mattered. We had a blast, and we were weaving memories of those times we wanted to look like grown-up divas, with white smiles of confidence, and the perfect hair of Skipper.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Oh my, I laughed a lot!!!
    I've been thorugh almost all experiences: all-girls-Catholic school. Whitening teeth with baking soda.Hot iron missing as my hair' s naturally straight but I remember curling them with a hot tool....
    Meeting boys & morphing into a petrified mute.
    Barely survived all this.
    This is My Story, too.....lucky enough I can share it with you on SP - and laugh a lot, thanks for sharing emoticon
    3543 days ago
    Mirie - LOL - the memories this evokes are great! emoticon
    3678 days ago
    Thank you for a good laugh this morning...this blog made me smile all over...have a wonderful day emoticon

    3707 days ago
    Fun blog! Loved your talking knees :)
    3710 days ago
  • SROUS1340
    What a wonderful blog. All of it, the shopping trip and then the trip down memory land. Thank you for the great read! emoticon
    3710 days ago
  • no profile photo CD5080021
    I loved your blog. Can you remember the day of QT, and the orange suntan. There was a girl down the street from me that didn't want to take a bath and wash it off. She was so orange before she finally did.

    My daughter is always saying it's all about the looks when I won't buy a pair of shoes anymore that hurts my feet. I keep thinking, tell me that in 20 years.

    As long as my shoes don't look like nursing home shoes, I am a happy girl.
    3710 days ago
    I was so skinny and "flat" with short hair, that the boys at a school dance called me "handsome". Was I heartbroken. But look at me now baby....lots of pudge; they know I'm a girl now!
    3713 days ago
  • SAGE150
    Wow, those were either extreme or brave times. emoticon

    We still do it to ourselves to some extent, though, huh?

    Ahora que tengo poquitita más sabiduria, ando en suecos en vez de tacones. También busco zapatos con adjetivos que llevan de moda y sexy junto con cómodos y factibles. Algunos diseñadores están tratando de crear zapatos ahora que son del paquete total.

    Buen blog, Mirie.
    3713 days ago
    Very funny. LOL.

    I was always a tom boy so I have never been a slave to fashion. If it is not comfortable I won't wear much to my mom's displeasure. My mom was was super prissy. We could never agree about fashion.
    3714 days ago
    So funny, and so true. One thing about getting older is we can relax a bit, and not be such fashion victims. Thanks for a fun blog!
    3714 days ago
    Thank you for all of those wonderful memories that your blog took me back to. The things we did to look good ... and still do, though not to quite the same extent.

    I also tried on the shoes ... omg ... before I even took a step I knew I was in trouble.

    So ... instead of hot, I'm going for classic or elegant, or even carefree ... it's less painful!
    3714 days ago
  • SUGIRL06
    LoL! Thanks for sharing. We've all had these moments I think!
    3714 days ago
  • no profile photo CD5759463
    Oh, reading your blog first thing this morning was so fun. Yeah, I remember buying/wearing those sky high platform sandals and literally falling off of them and twisting my ankels - but hey, who cared because I was so hot looking in them. Yeah, right! lol
    Thanks for the memories!

    Hope your day is a wonderful one. emoticon
    3714 days ago
    So many memories came back to me...such a fun blog! At my age, I have learned to wear things that I enjoy...usually comfortable shoes, comfortable clothing and stylish for me. I can't tell you how many articles of clothing I have given away that were worn only once because I wanted to make a good impression by wearing it, not because I really liked it. With the economy the way it is I stick with buying classic things of good quality and style. emoticon
    3714 days ago
  • REJ7777
    I totally enjoyed that blog! I think I'll be laughing all day at the things we do to ourselves. It also brought back precious memories from my own adolescence. Thanks. emoticon
    3714 days ago
    Oh, Mirie, you are so right! One of the great benefits of getting older is NOT feeling as tho we have to follow the latest trend, especially when that trend is uncomfortable or simply 'not me,' lol...
    3714 days ago
    great blog, brought back memories too.
    I had knee length straight hair in the sixties, with my mam's help it was laid on the ironing board, covered with thick brown paper and she'd iron it for me...LOL...
    3714 days ago
    lol...fantastic blog!

    I can't believe you put methiolate on your poor gums! lol!!!! That is so awesome!

    I took my nieces (10 and 12 years old) to a big shoe store a few months ago...and let them try on anything they want. You should have seen them walking around the store in those shoes pictured above! Stilettos! I tried on one pair and took 2 steps and almost completely twisted my ankle! How do some people do it??

    I'm glad you enjoyed what was important at the art fair!! And I'm sure you looked fabulous in whatever you were wearing!!!

    Suz : )
    3714 days ago
  • no profile photo CD3151014
    Yes, we endure quite a bit of discomfort in the name of beauty and fashion. I think anyone who says those stilettos don't hurt their feet is lying!

    span> emoticon

    3714 days ago

    Comment edited on: 6/7/2010 12:12:47 AM
  • no profile photo 175RACHEL175
    I'd go for Skipper hair of Giselle shoes!!! Great read, thanks!
    3714 days ago
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