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Friday, August 31, 2012

Pleasure Knows No Age

Taking joy in living is a woman's best cosmetic. ~Rosalind Russell

The other day I was at my son's karate class, on my laptop browsing a fashion website. Another regular was sat next to me quietly working a crossword puzzle. She peeked over my shoulder and we struck up a conversation for the first time.  Clearly she was quite the fashion enthusiast and loved the site.  Our conversation continued. Despite her obvious enthusiasm she kept saying things like 'it's not for me anymore' or 'I'm past all that.'   

???!!!  Excuse me??

As far as I'm concerned, you're only past it when you're 6 feet under. When you no longer wake up each day faced with the legal necessity of dressing.  When you can no longer spend far too much time scheming about how to finagle the money for that totally unnecessary pair of shoes out of your budget, or secretly plan on getting up before dawn for a sale where that pair of unreasonably expensive jeans will be 50% off….when you are no longer physically able to elicit any more pleasure from how you look, THEN and only then are you truly 'past it.'  Until that day there is still the chance to squeeze some measure of happiness from putting together certain colors, textures, concepts, sensual experiences or anything else you can get from putting clothes on your back. As long as that chance exists you cannot be 'past it.'

She brings a little boy to the karate lessons- I assume he's her grandson- and she's always quietly stylish and chic, despite what she said.  She's clearly far too lively to just give up like that. In my little world that's a total tragedy.  From what she says she has a closet bursting with clothes and assorted accessories from a career working in fashion.  I don't understand why someone wouldn't wear all the clothes and jewelry one has. Life is short, and not a dress rehearsal. Why dedicate all that space to the stuff if you're not going to use it??

Life is a bumpy road, and so much of it is spent trying so hard to please and placate others on so many levels. So much of it is ugly and bitter, along with the beautiful and sweet- all of it tied up in compromises with other people and situations that sometimes demand all too much of us.  Beyond certain basic requirements clothing is one of the few forms of pleasure totally dedicated to your whims. It's an opportunity to make yourself happy anew each day.  It's one of the few things in life that is generally better the more you indulge your preferences. It's calorie free and improves the impression you make on others. What's not to love? Why would one ever willingly give that up?

Our conversation finally ended when  we were made aware by another parent that our conversation had gotten so animated as to disturb the lesson being taught. (Opps.)  Now that does NOT sound to me like a woman who's 'past it.' 

What a shame.  Clearly I'm going to have to work on her……

Happy Dressing!