Yesterday, I went to the mall for the first time in a long while. I needed to buy a few things to wear when I start doing book stuff. You know how it goes: you head out planning to look for one thing, but then end up with something else entirely. I was singlemindedly on a mission for a decent skirt, maybe a couple of cute tops, you know. But before I got serious, I popped in to see my friend Dana, who works at a very upscale shoe store at the mall. Now, Dana is one of these very fashionable people. She can wear stuff that, if I put it on, everyone would bust out laughing, but on her it looks hip and cool and great. Anyway, we were talking, just catching up, and she picks up this shoe off a nearby shelf and says, “I can see you in this.”
My first thought was that I could NOT. It was a wedge shoe, for starters, pretty high. Plus, it was brown, and while I am trying to be more adventurous with color, I am still a more black-because-it-goes-with-everything kind of gal. I wasn’t even looking for shoes, but if I was, I needed something lower and more sensible. But. Dana convinced me to just try it, and you know what? I liked them. A lot. Yes, they were totally not something I would have picked out for myself. And yes, my mother will have a heart attack when she sees them, saying I will break my ankles, am I crazy. But maybe it was because of this that I LIKED them, because they—like that red lipstick I bought awhile back—are so not me that they just might be me. Who knows what else I might try, given a friendly nudge? Hmmm. At any rate, they’re mine now, and hopefully some of you will see them when I’m out traveling. If I don’t break my ankles first.
On the flipside, I had another conversation about fashion yesterday that left me feeling not new-shoe-excited but, well, exhausted. I was on the phone with another friend, discussing my new favorite show, Cheerleader Nation, and we got to talking about the girl that got the Kate Spade backpack for her birthday and was just so excited. Now, this friend of mine is very savvy, the kind of person who always seems to be a step ahead of every trend. So she says, “I thought that was so great she was so excited about that. I mean, it’s been YEARS since Kate Spade bags were in, but clearly, in some places, people are still carrying them anyway.” At which point I looked down at my own purse, which is, yes, a Kate Spade. Gulp.
Let me just say this: I love this purse. Love it, love it, love it. It’s black, so I can’t stain it, and because it’s small I am forced to travel lighter, which is a great thing if you’re me. It matches everything, and was a gift to boot. Do I care that it’s “out”? No. In fact, I had no idea. Which is exactly why I will never be trendy, because I just can’t keep up with these things, and moreover, don’t want to. It’s like junior high all over again, when all you (i.e. me) wanted was an add-a-bead necklace or a Lacoste sweater (I know I’m dating myself here, I can’t help it) and you badgered your mom forever and ever and finally saved up your money to get one and then….it was old news, and everyone was wearing Members Only jackets (seriously dating now! danger! danger!). It just wears me out. I mean, to keep up with this stuff…it has to be a full time job. And I am just not qualified for that position.
So, when the weather turns a little warmer, I’ll definitely put on my new shoes, not because they’re cool (because at this moment, they probably are already out, but oh well) but because I like them. And I’ll carry my little Kate, because I love it, cool or not. The older I get, the more I realize that life is too short to worry about such things. Like Ben Folds says, there’s always someone cooler than you. And I wish I’d known all this back in middle school. I could have saved myself a lot of time. Live and learn, I guess.
The moral of the story: you don’t have to have everything figured out. Just know what matters to you, and you’ll be okay.