Bling It On!


I was in Walgreens on Tuesday around eleven am. The only other customer in the store was an elderly lady pushing a cart. Her cane, complete with tennis balls, lay diagonally across a case of Miller High Life. She was dressed with verve and spunk.   A silver sequined jacket radiated sparkle with each determined step she took in basic gray orthotics, and a black baseball cap with Diva written in swirly sequined script also twinkled in the fluorescent lights.  She was like a slow moving disco ball in the vitamin aisle. She smiled at me as she pulled a box of fish oil supplements off a shelf.

I smiled back at her and said hello.  I thought the only thing we had in common was a belief that over the counter vitamins improve our health, but I was wrong. We had a lot more in common. I just didn’t realize it until a few days ago.

There I was in front of my mirror ready to apply lipstick when a velvet bag in the back of my lipstick drawer caught my eye.  I knew what was in there- crystal encrusted costume jewelry. I poured the contents onto the shiny granite counter and spread them out.  Beautiful, each and every one.  I could count on my hand the number of times the whole collection saw the light of day.

Then a weird compulsion came over me. Sensibility took a sabbatical. I held my two favorite necklaces up to my white T-shirt and debated which one looked best with my denim skirt and sneakers. Not which one looked less crazy mind you, they both did, but which one suited my mood best. And I put that crazy sparkling bauble on!

Then I went to the library.

On a Sunday.

In the afternoon.

It wasn’t until I caught a glimpse of myself reflected in the glass doors of the library that I had a flashback to the silver sequined diva at the drug store.  Whatever decision making process drove that little old lady to don a full sequined jacket to Walgreens had guided me to wear this shiny accessory to book club.

What’s peculiar is that when I got to my meeting, the ladies in the group all complimented my necklace.  It’s important to mention no one in this group is under forty.  That’s when I realized it wasn’t just me and Walgreen Wanda.  It’s a phenomenon fueled by dropping estrogen. The older a woman get, the less she cares what people think and more about what makes her happy.  It’s why they wear orthotics and nine rings. It’s why women who wear “slacks” consider bling as essential as underwear. It’s why Chico’s sells necklaces big enough to be mistaken for lobster traps.

We bling wearing warriors have endured enough to know that life is not always fair.  We have bumped up against glass ceilings. We have changed goals when the lack of a penis precluded us.  We have cloaked ourselves in the proper amount of shame for our normal bodily functions.  We have endured high heels, constricting shapewear, and push-up bras.  We have excused ourselves and even asked for forgiveness when rightful indignation was our due.

We ladies of advancing years, we have seen it all. Now we will take the parts of our femininity and boast them, and we will eschew the ridiculous accoutrements like high heels and digging underwire.  We might be wrinkled.  We might sag, but by God we are still powerful, feminine, and shining in an otherwise dreary world.  That sequined jacket wasn’t just a fashion decision. It was a thumb in the eye to all the standards of femininity put upon us.  It was the roar of being feminine, but defining it ourselves.  Age gives us strength, perspective, comfortable shoes, and the courage to boast I am woman, see me shine!

They’re Out There!


There are two types of people in the world.  The people who welcome spring and breathe a sigh of relief when it arrives and the people who know this is a time to renew vigilance. Spiders!  This is not paranoia, this is real. They are out there- lurking, planning, nesting. You have got to build your defenses.  Start sealing doorways! Check windows! Call your exterminator!

The other day a woman I know posted a picture on Facebook of her floral bedsheets flapping foolishly in a warm breeze. She reported with glee that it was a beautiful day. Doesn’t she know that sheets are a perfect hitchhiking device for the fiends? Why doesn’t she just build a web in her house right now or put a spider directly in her hair?   

Furthermore, why does she have printed flowers on her sheets?  Doesn’t she know that white sheets are best for facilitating a spider check of your bed each night before getting under the covers? They can camouflage among the prints! Spiders love beds!  Good God – what was she thinking?  I bet she opens the windows in her bedroom.   It is common knowledge that air conditioning was invented for spider defense.  

You must take spiders seriously. Spiders are a formidable enemy, conceived in the darkest folds of the devil’s mind and forged in Mordor.  This is no dumb beetle.  This is no stupid ant. This is a wily adversary who is capable, cognizant, and cunning.  If you cannot keep it out, then you must confront it. There is no Let It Be bullshit, that is for  Beatles. Not Spiders.  If you see it, you have to kill it. And you can’t just squish it with a tissue and put it in the garbage. Something made of so much pure evil has the power to reanimate.  Death does not stop the keeper of death. If you smash a spider, you have to throw it in the toilet and flush. It’s kind of like cutting off a vampire’s head and then setting the body on fire.

I know the vacuum is the preferred method of arachnid elimination, but don’t fool yourself. You think they don’t know how to crawl back out, compose a manifesto of revenge in their web and summon a cabal to exact revenge on you and your family?   If you suck them up because you are too chicken to take them on in hand to hand combat (And I cannot blame you if this is true), then you must have a plan.  First, leave the vacuum running. It will make escape more difficult.  Second, get two plastic bags.  Quickly, remove the vacuum bag and put it in the plastic bag, and tie it off tight.  Quickly, put that bag in another plastic bag and tie that off too.  Throw that bag out!  And if you thought of using central vac so that the spider is put on a super highway to the basement, Arachnid HQ where they celebrate a year long eight-legged Oktoberfest – well then, you didn’t understand a word of this blog.


This post is dedicated to my dear friend Shari.