Saturday, March 27, 2010

Observations from Springcleanapaloozathon

That there are items in your medicine cabinet which are two to three years past their expiration dates is a good indication you need to clean it out a bit more frequently.

Old, stubby eyeliner pencils and used up mascara tubes serve no purpose, other than creating the illusion that one’s makeup basket/collection is a veritable cornucopia of beauty – yet, the primary aim of makeup is to create the illusion that you really aren’t wearing (don’t need) much.

There’s something marginally depressing about realizing your “lingerie chest” would actually be more appropriately referred to as your “repository for random racing gear and winter wardrobe accessories,” and that most of the items in it which actually do qualify it as a lingerie chest are virtual strangers to you.

Tossing old socks and undies in the trash feels wasteful, but what are ya gonna do?

Picking up other power cords off the floor before you vacuum is not a pointless exercise; corollary: black electrical tape is a wonderful invention.

Your closet never seems big until you contemplate going through everything in it.  

No one should own more than five pair of sweatpants.  Really.  And they certainly shouldn’t still own any that they can vividly recall wearing in the summer of 1986, or that sport remnants of cat hair belonging to a cat who’s been chasing mice around Kitty Heaven since 1997.  Not that I know anyone who does…

What exactly do you do with the large, boxy, bright yellow sweater, sporting a panda which your mother knitted for you (and the matching white turtle neck with panda prints), which you proudly and regularly wore (along with black and white houndstooth slacks) while in college, but of which you are pretty certain there is no photographic proof?

Cowl-necked sweaters really aren’t all that flattering. They probably make for good bibs when you’re old, though.

It makes little sense to hold onto a cardigan sweater you haven’t worn in approximately twenty years because you wore it the night you said goodbye to someone you’ve since said “hello” (and “goodbye”) to several times.  

A large-brimmed straw hat is a cute and whimsical beach accessory.  But where in the hell do you store it for the 99.9% of your life which isn’t spent on the beach trying to appear cute and whimsical?  

The snakeskin-print bikini top with the shear white blouse and black leather pants get-up might arguably have looked edgy and hot out at the clubs 12 years ago (setting aside the question of how believable it looked on yours truly, even then), but sporting such a look over 40 would scream “DESPERATE COUGAR!!” so loudly, it’d likely rob me of the rest of my hearing. Into the donation pile it goes.  Some young sassy thang out there is in luck!

Not that I’m pitching everything edgy and hot – not by a long shot.  I do, however, think I should probably be ashamed of the fact that my closet sports no less than 60 tank/camisole/halter-type tops while I live in a place that isn’t even remotely tropical. 

I have a lot of very nice blouses I rarely have occasion to wear.  I wonder if any of them would look good under a black robe?

Are pit stains really necessary?! Seriously?

Given that “grunge” went out 12-15 years ago, I think it’s okay to let go of the red/green/black/white extra large plaid flannel shirt from the Gap, and its equally colorful blue/green/yellow/white twin.  Also, I have a long history of plaid abuse. 

No one needs more than eight pair of black, strappy high heels. Okay.  Maybe ten.

Either I or the people who love me (or have claimed to over the years) have REALLY bad taste in jewelry.  Or both.  But even bad gold jewelry has some value now, right?

Women’s collar pins – they’re never coming back.  

I have a Kate Spade purse (or a knock-off) that I bought at a purse party several years ago, and have never used.  I’m not really a trendy-purse girl.  I probably shouldn’t attend purse parties.

Cleaning out a purse you haven’t used in three years is a lot like opening a time capsule.

Trying on jeans you haven’t worn in several years is always an adventure.  High-waisted jeans flatter no one.  The black leather jeans – which are high-waisted and look seriously tacky — still fit.   I’m keeping them.

It’s going to take me longer than a weekend to complete Springcleanapaloozathon….

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Ides of March

"Beware the Ides of March."  It's one of the better-known lines from Julius Caesar, and I suppose that's where I first encountered it.  As it quite rightly served as fair warning to Caesar of his impending doom, I always took it to be a rather ominous sort of thing, and March the 15th to be an "unlucky" day, in the same vein as Friday the 13th.  Funny thing about that, though:  Friday the 13th has always been a "lucky" day in my family -- my parents were married, almost 54 years ago, on a Friday the 13th.  And they still seem to like each other.  

So, it shouldn't have come as much of a surprise that March the 15th would also become a "lucky" day for me.  No, the real surprise was that a little girl who wasn't due to make her arrival until April 26, 2002, decided to show up almost a month-and-a-half earlier.  I so wasn't ready.  Not that I'm sure you can ever truly be ready to go through childbirth -- at least not the first time around.  But I really wasn't ready -- I had a court appearance scheduled for that morning; we had a big case getting ready to go to trial; I hadn't had a chance to really update any of my files and make a list of things that would need to be covered by others while I was out on maternity leave.  And I'd had these grand plans of taking off a few days prior to the due date and spending them at home, getting her room ready, and finally getting around to putting my decades' worth of photographs into albums.  That seemed like such a nice, calming way to prepare myself for the whole labor/delivery/oh-my-gosh-I'm-a-mom-now thing.  

Well, there's another famous literary line about "the best laid plans of mice and men," and go oft awry they did.  I still remember realizing how odd it was that this child I'd thought would be a Taurus, had skipped right over Aries and would, instead, be a Pisces.  That didn't worry me quite so much, as some of my most favorite people in the world were (and still are) Pisces.  What did worry me was whether I'd be able to get everything handled that needed to be at work, whether she'd be healthy, and whether I'd be an okay mom.  

I needn't have worried quite so much about work -- we found a way to muddle through it all and the world didn't stop, though it did take a lot of frantic phone calls, sometimes with the hospital room phone in one ear and my cell in the other, to get it all squared away.   (I still recall the anesthesiologist arriving to rescue me with the epidural, cocking an eyebrow at my telephonic double fisting, and remarking, "Oh - you're one of those 'Type A' people, aren't you?"  I felt compelled to roundly deny the charge, but I'm not quite certain I convinced him.)   

And the "mom" part, well, I'm still a work in progress, but I think I can lay claim to "okay" without warranting an accusation of arrogance.  The "healthy" part?  That took a little time to get to.  23 days in the NICU isn't the ideal way to start one's life, but she toughed it out and doesn't appear to have any residual negative effects from it.  Aside from baby pictures with lots of tubes and wires and eye patches which tended to take a bit away from the "Awww -- isn't she a cutie?!" quotient.  I may be a bit biased, but I think she more than makes up for that most days.

But setting aside her somewhat rocky introduction to the world, I am extraordinarily happy to be the proud mother of an amazing, incredible, intelligent, wonderful, beautiful, thoughtful eight year old little girl.  She is the light of my life, and it is my privilege to be the person she calls, "Mommy," (or, more often, these days, "Mom".)  

So, when I hear people say, "Beware the Ides of March," I can't help but smile.  What a blessed day it has become in my life.  Happy Birthday, Riley Jayne.  I love you.