Sending out many happy birthday wishes today for Douglas Hoffman and Kate Rothwell. They're probably not fraternal twins who were separated at birth, but we could start the rumor anyway.
I've been trying to skip birthdays since the sixth or seventh time I turned 29, but the clan is determined to keep adding up my bark rings. The fact that they haul out the abacus to do so is only to annoy me. On the industry side, it's getting a bit better. Only about half the writers I presently know missed Earth shoes, mood rings, Love's Baby Soft, and the Hollies. Two of my editors are almost finished puberty (another quit publishing to go to college.)
I like being older. It gives you the nerve to do things, like finally dumping Le Wardrobe. Before we moved the last time, the Salvation Army got everything but my emergency outfit for weddings and funerals. Aside from the double duty suit, my wardrobe is down to maybe two dozen loose-fitting Tshirts, sweaters, leggings and jeans. I have jackets down to three: leather, field, and denim, and shoes down to six: two pair of moccasins and one pair of sneakers (none of which match my purse, aka the next thing that's going to Goodwill. My idea of Nirvana is carrying a wallet, my keys, and a Chapstick.)
I have no idea what is in fashion anymore. I don't watch TV. I'm still recovering from the emotional scars left by reading Christian chick-lit. I avoid the malls, and when I have to go, I stay in the bookstores. The perfumed-flap ads make it impossible for me to read the glossy rag mags without getting a rash or an instant headache. Researching fashion and hanging out with some professional models at a shoot a few years ago cured me of any post-adolescent desire to be fashionable. I'd have to read reviews all day to puke that much.
This is not to knock the fashion slaves out there. I admire well-dressed, well-groomed, made-up folks. You have to, you can't make fun of them. They get mad and use those superglued-on fingernails on you. That unreal perfect prettiness thing they have going does take a lot of work. Plus it helps me. Some of them look so alien I don't have to bother inventing another new species for the SF novels.
I did finally see a pair of those shoes chick-lit authors are always raving about in their novels. We had to go down to one of the big malls to pick up a special-order switch for the oven, and walked past one of these snotty-looking display windows for a store I can't afford to shop in. I glanced in the window, saw a discreet little sign that read Manolo Blahnik, and eyed the shoes displayed next to it.
I admit, I didn't go in to have a closer look. They had a bouncer, and I was laughing too hard. But want to know how retarded these Manolo Blahnik shoes look?
Okay, take a pair of extremely pointy-toed cowboy boots, put them through a wood chipper, then spackle on tacky turquoise and brown suede whirls and nail on a 1/4" wide X 4" tall heel with a skid pad the size of a squashed licorice jelly bean someone took a bite out of. Congratulations, you're Manolo Blahnik. (And women actually wear these things? In public? Assuming they do, how do they get their feet in? By amputating toes? I'd be hard-pressed to cram a lizard's head in there. Is this guy Chinese?)
They don't put price stickers on these shoes -- I think you have to make an appointment to even breathe the air surrounding them -- but I came home and looked up the price on the internet: $725.00 for the ones I saw in the window. Unbelievable. Women actually pay that. For $725.00, I could buy 72 pair of moccasins, or 40 pair of sneakers. I'd be shoed for life.
Oscar Wilde said "Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months." Now I understand why.