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.


smith kaich jones said...

WEll, my word verification is iamma, so . . . iamma woman with a few years on you and get this so totally. My big thing is hair - if I cut my hair, I will become my mother. :)

Happy birthday! It's a smooth ride from here on, no matter what anybody says, even counting hot flashes. And PS - Those boots are very cool.

:) debi

SMC said...

Thanks for the encouragement Debi. I realized after posting this that mixed into this whole season was a very light brush with mortality too. It is nothing, but it was scary at the time and really drove the point home that you never know when your number is up. So, here's to leaving a good looking- and stylish- corpse.

SMC said...

Oh- and I struggle with the hair thing too. I have decided to go gray, but people think you are older despite all the kicky shoes and jeans. What to do? What to do?

Michelle said...

Trolling boots? Sorry, I am going to be sailing on that one for a VERY long, very cool boots, very you, But this 50 thing...I have decided to opt out. Can we do that? Debi, I get the hair thing, if I cut my hair, I joining my ancestry of French Canadian women in my family who have da's...the next step is (heaven forbid!) getting it 'set' weekly!
and my word verification is ....
are you ready?....
I like being a brat , 'specially around you!
Happy Birthday

smith kaich jones said...

God, y'all are making me laugh. The older women in my family have their hair all short and home-permed - super curly. And I think every crisis that has arisen in the family has arisen when my mom has had those pink spiky rollers in her hair. She always looks like some scared little insect with a tiny head and big glasses. But you didn't hear that from me.

:) Debi

Michelle said...

I have two words for you...HAIR NETS.
and to make the picture complete, a swipe of Nair on the upper lip.
'nuf said on this subject I think!