Thursday, March 30, 2006

Me, You and the Pretty Pink Shoe

I saw one again today. You see them too, I'll bet. (Only I'm sure your mind is bigger and your day is fuller, so you probably don't get haunted by it all day.) You see them, right? The shoes on the highway?

Usually it's a dirty sneaker. Or a chewed-up work boot. You typically see the gently-used footwear as you're driving along, rocking out to an old American Idol. How do they get there, anyway? (The shoes - not the American Idols. I know how they get there.) Surely all these shoes don't just fall out of cars. And surely there aren't so many hit-and-runs that our American streets are littered with the former shoes of our hit-and-run fallen. And surely Dr. Phil isn't advising that couples work through aggression by taking off their shoes and beating each other while operating motor vehicles. Although...

No seriously - I saw one today. Only it wasn't an old basketball sneaker or a muddy work boot. It was a pink stiletto heel. Like maybe a Jimmy Choo or something. Had it had a twin, I would have stopped to check and make sure they weren't 7 1/2. (I mean, we stop and rescue kittens, so it's only fair that a Good Samaritan would occasionally happen upon pink 7 1/2 Jimmy Choos that needed a good home, too.)

Of course, the shoe made me think. First, I thought about the pretty, lonely, single shoe and the journey that likely brought it to its resting place on Maple Avenue. I wondered if it was distressed over being tossed - about someone not appreciating it or its usefulness. I wondered if it played the Lauren Graham line over and over in its little shoe head ... you know... "It's all any of us want - to find a nice person to hang out with until we drop dead". I wondered if it stressed over finding its mate.

Then I wondered if it felt like it wasn't beautiful - now that it was discarded and all. Surely we all could sympathize. I've been reading a book lately called Captivating by Stasi Eldredge. She writes, "Sometimes between the dreams of your youth and yesterday, something precious has been lost. And that treasure is your heart, your priceless feminine heart. God has set within you a femininity that is powerful and tender, fierce and alluring. No doubt it has been misunderstood. Surely it has been assaulted. But it is there.... Every woman has a beauty to unveil. Every woman. Because she bears the image of God. Beauty is an essence that is given to every woman at her creation."

It's not just the pretty shoe. I think it's us, too. We have days we feel discarded. Passed-over. Left for dead. Stressed over not having a mate. Under-valued. Ugly.

It helps - helps me, anyway - to remember. Remember that God's very essence is beauty. That we, as women, bear the very image of God. That we - the discarded, lonely pretty pink heels - are beautiful. Not because we're part of a pair. Not because we're flawless. Not because we haven't been thrown out... or tossed aside... or traded in. But simply because. We just are. You are. You are beautiful because every one of us was made that way. Like the shoe.

And yes, if you're wondering, I checked. The pretty pink shoe didn't have a mate nearby. But it was, mysteriously, gone the next time I drove by.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Snow's Spring Symphony

Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand and melting like a snowflake. Let us use it before it is too late.
-Marie Beyon Ray
I love winter. Always have. I like blankets and hot chocolate with whipped cream and comfort food and good, long books that I've been saving for a cold winter day.

I really do like winter. But come mid-March, I'm eager for spring. The anticipation of daffodils and new potatoes and fresh herbs and hanging my cup-towels on the clothes line (stretched between two budding trees in my backyard) nearly overtakes me.

Guess that's why I've been surprised - all week - at the weather. It's snowed every day in Wichita since spring began. EVERY day. The children are on Spring Break this week, but even as I write, it looks like Snow Falling on Cedars outside my window. The soft powder is blowing, bouncing... beautiful, even, as it falls. It makes me think of the Christopher Pearce Cranch poem I studied as a kid:

If there comes a little thaw,
Still the air is chill and raw,
Here and there a patch of snow,
Dirtier than the ground below,
Dribbles down a marshy flood;
Ankle-deep you stick in the mud
In the meadows while you sing,
"This is spring".

So tonight I pulled my chair up to the window, lit a few candles, and watched it snow. I found my thoughts swirling, much like the flakes on the other side of the window pane. And I wonder. I wonder if someday - when I'm as old as my ailing Grandfather - if I'll ever look back on days like this. I wonder if I'll remember these moments... remember these feelings... when I'm 70. Or 80. I wonder if what bothered me or delighted me today will even be a distant memory in 50 years.

I close my eyes and try to freeze the moment for all of time. And as I do, I realize how... how... QUIET... it is. Absolutely still. And then, I hear it. The snow. It's like snow's own quiet little symphony. Just in time for spring. And somehow, I know. I know that when I'm old I'll remember this moment....

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Ode to an Eyelash Curler

A friend of mine is convinced - beyond all reason - that she was a princess in another life. I, however, have no idea how people who believe in such things can keep up with what they did a lifetime or two ago. I cannot remember where I park my car. And yesterday, I found the pair of socks I'd intended to slide on my chilly feet in the refrigerator. I'm sure at the time I put them there it seemed a good idea to chill them....

It's exactly this sort of absent-mindedness that makes me laugh about getting even older. I can only imagine how crazy I'll be in another 26 years. As it is, I'm already seeing things go south, dry out, and get wrinkly-crinkly. No wonder girls used to get married at 12. By about 15, we've peaked! (Unless you're Sheryl Crow or Heather Locklear. They were terribly unfortunate-looking in junior high. You've seen them, right?)

I wonder about all this as I get dressed for a date. With the lawyer. Tonight. I usually enjoy getting ready for dates (especially with cute lawyers), but today is different somehow. Here it is... an hour before I expect his knock on the door, and I have 2,759 outfits littering my hotel suite. Nearly as many shoes have surfaced as well. My hair is in multi-colored velcro rollers, which some gay hairdresser in In Style magazine assured me would create bouncy, sexy waves. I have "lip plump" on my lips, whitener on my teeth, tanner on my legs, fingernail polish on 20 semi-dry nails, and an eyelash curler in hand.

(I figure he warrants the eyelash curler. I'd hate for this to fizzle only to later hear that he left me for a girl with curlier eyelashes. I don't think I could go on.)

So I bravely go where normal girls only go whenever they have dates. I shave, wax, drink 11 bottles of water, and practice sucking in. I try on outfits and hurl myself in front of the full-length mirror. Hmmm... that one works, as long as I don't sit down - or sneeze. Another one looks dashing - as long as he's looking at me from the boobs up... from across the table... while seated.

Crap. Maybe I'll fake fatigue and put on baggy jeans and suggest take-out. But I guess that isn't entirely appropriate for the second or third date, though, huh?


If these poor, unsuspecting guys even had a clue. If this sweet darling had any idea that I've starved myself for two days straight and tried to sleep with ice-cold eye baggies over my puffy, circled peepers, I'd die.

It's just like last time. Our first date, I labored through the most lengthy, freaky beauty routine EVER. And I guessed it paid off, because once we got in his car and he started it up, he looked over at me shyly and said, "You're very pretty. Naturally pretty. Ashley Judd pretty."

Awh. I tried not to laugh.

So... as I get ready to dash back to the mirror - eyelash curler in hand - it hits me. Maybe I wasn't a princess in my last life. Maybe, just maybe, I could be one in this life.

Or at last my eyelash curler and I can pretend.

Friday, March 3, 2006

Would The Real PRIM Shady Please Step Forward?


I mean, enough already!

Perhaps you recall me mentioning a week or two ago that my life is lots of things - but rarely normal. Guess what? It happened again today.

Email is usually a happy place for me. I go there, catch up with friends, read about sales at the Container Store, and keep up with what's going on within the Dallas County Republican Party. You know, the usual. So the last thing I expected to see early this morning was 1.) a disturbing epistle from a person of questionable moral character who formerly resided in the town I grew up, and 2.) an email from the Dr. Phil show.


First, the epistle. It was written by this slimy guy I worked with for a total of 8 hours one summer in junior high before he got fired from the blueberry farm where we picked berries. Freak. I immediately responded to his ridiculous email with a response that would have struck fear in the heart of any morally inept, perv/psycho:

"What? Where in the world did you get my personal email address?".
He obligingly responded that it, along with some of my other personal information (unlisted cell phone number!) had been posted online.
I contacted the site administrator and threw a dignified fit. (A Laura Bush-ish fit. Not a Billary Rodham-Clinton-ish fit.) They had the information down by 6 p.m. Whew! I was pulling through... recovering nicely... from the email encounter with the psycho, when ... ah! A new email!
It read:
Hi Brin,

We are working on an upcoming episode called "Settle This Dispute" where Dr. Phil will be helping people settle one specific issue once & for all! We're interested in seeing if you would be willing to join us on the show as someone would like to resolve an issue with you.
Is this something you would be interested in? If you would like to be considered as potential guests on our show, please send a recent photo of yourself to my email address right away. Send your recent photo(s) as jpg files (or copy/paste them into the body of an email). After receiving picture(s) we will call for pre-interviews over the phone.

NOTE: This show is taping in Los Angeles on Thurs. March 9th. Would your schedule permit you to be considered to participate in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get your situation answered by Dr. Phil? (we pay expenses for all our guests including airfare, transportation in L.A., hotel & food but you would need to arrange your schedule accordingly!)

Jaime G******
Associate Producer
Dr. Phil Show


So... I guess it's official. Hunting season has begun. And I think I'm in season. I am apparently despised. Despised by someone SO BADLY that they would undoubtedly like to hit me over the head with a chair. Dr. Phil's chair. While Dr. Phil looked on. On national television.

I called one of my best friends, Lacy. "Lacy... who?? Do you know??? Would you have any idea?" I blurted into the phone. It wasn't her, she assured me. And to my dismay, my sweet friend, (whom no one would ever invite on the Dr. Phil show to "settle a dispute") started helping me guess. We threw out names. Yeah. I said namesssss. Even better, after we got off the phone she called me a few minutes later with another name.

On behalf of my despised self, let me offer a formal apology. To everyone - slimy former blueberry farm co-workers included - I'm terribly sorry for hurting your feelings so badly you would resort to calling Dr. Phil before looking up my unlisted cell phone number on the internet and calling me yourself.

And by the way, who are you? (Friends theorize it HAS to be someone who watches Dr. Phil. A guy I'm dating says that means it's either a bored girl or gay guy. Likely a girl. ) So I'm thinking... who do I know that's boring and depends on Dr. Phil to resolve relationship disputes??

Will the real Prim Shady please step forward?