Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Smolder Alert

Henry and his best, brooding, romantic-lead gaze.

This past Saturday Michelle and Melissa came over to eat, drink and watch movies. We are suckers for a romantic movie- especially anything Jane Austen-ish. Melissa brought over a BBC production of North & South. We watched the first two hours Saturday evening- at which point we lost Michelle to her grueling work schedule. The next morning Melissa and I were able to watch the last two hours- after a 5 mile walk to make sure we didn't get blood clots from sitting on our arses for so long.

North & South is the story of a South England woman who is exiled to the industrial North, where she meets, and slowly falls in love, with a factory owner. The male lead is played by Richard Armitage. He leaves Pride & Prejudice's Colin Firth in the dust as far as the brooding male lead sorts. Mr Armitage has perpetually scowling brows and eyes that give away few secrets. In the final train scene he finally softens into a smile and you can hear the collective sploosh of every woman's heart dropping to the floor.

I can't quite figure out why many women, me included, like this theme of the hard won love. Woman are all about the chase, whereas men generally want to cut right to the chase. The chase is what makes women swoon.

I also detect the theme of complicated men being more desirable that seems to run through so much female-centered literature.

What's the scoop?

*The title refers to a line from a movie- Lost In Austen. A time traveling fan of Austen is enamored of a truly brooding send up of Darcy. Mediocre movie, good line.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Consumer Purchase as Transformational Talisman

Out with the old- in with the new!

I have been working up to my 48th birthday for about 6 months now. I don't buy into a "birth" day. I like to think of it as more of a birth season. It stretches over days, weeks and occasionally months. This time it has involved a lot of shopping, miscommunicating with my boyfriend and a general malaise.

When I feel unsettled I try to buy my way out of it. I believe if I find just the right object that makes me happy all will be right with the world again. It usually ends at a certain dollar amount or until the feeling passes. This time it has been a rather long spell that started in August.

Goodness knows what precipitated it. I am guessing the no-where-ness of turning 48, which is nearly 49, which is practically 50. It might also be that as a woman you tend to become invisible to men around this age. Funny- I have never needed their feedback for my self-esteem, but it becomes obvious that it is the age of transition to doyenne.

As I struggle with the imminent 50th birthday and the self regulation of my esteem my purchases have leaned heavily towards the fashion arena. It gives me the sense of putting a good face forward. Of someone who is keeping up and still giving it the old college try. I don't want to become the person who is only interested in being the most comfortable- or soon I would be the woman who is willing to wear sweatpants and Crocs in public. I am trying to postpone that phase as long as possible.
In my quest to stay engaged with the world and project the image of one who cares what others think I have forsaken my LL Bean slipons. They are easy and comfortable but they are worn, torn and make my feet look like a brown pillow held together with electrical tape. I purchased a pair of boots that made me gush to the salesperson about how wonderful they were to sell them to me. I slipped them on the next morning and felt beautiful with no one present to even behold their beauty. They are a transformational shoe purchase! And they are even Goretex- thus practical!

And here it is the day after my birthday. I not only feel more beautiful- I feel more settled too.