Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Woman in her Thirties Loves Shoes...

... But not this woman in her thirties. Allow me to explain:

Now that the snow has melted and the birds are chirping again, it is time to reflect on my first Pleasantville winter. I've thought about it in terms of snow: I now know the difference between light snow and heavy snow (there is a big, big difference). I've thought about it in terms of driving: I now know what it feels like to fishtail (it is not a good feeling). I've even thought about it in terms of the sweaters I've accumulated over the last few months (Many. Many.)

But none of these things really define my first winter. It isn't until I look in our coat closet in the mudroom that I realize that my success this winter has had nothing to do with shovels, four wheel drive, or even long johns. It has everything to do with shoes.

If you know me you know I am not a collector of shoes. Let's just say that fifteen years of spending entire summers barefoot and two elf-like big toes make shoe shopping less than fun. Add to that my affinity for comfort over style, and you have boring, practical me.

However.... if you live here you must embrace your winter shoes. You must purchase them carefully and treat them like members of the family. And lucky for me, I have a member of the family who happens to be the perfect model for telling my winter shoe story:

Chapter 1-- Costco Fauxggs
Since I don't spend more than $100 on shoes unless they're Dansko's, these were a huge find by L's Mom. I bought these in November and thought-- stupidly-- that these were winter boots. Turns out that these are fall and spring boots. L's Mom also gave me the sound advice to NOT wear these when it's wet out, lest I want to buy a new pair every month. That's why they still look so fauxgg-tastic.

Chapter 2-- L's Sorels

When L bought these boots some time in November, he made the mistake of saying that I could borrow them if I ever wanted to walk Daniel in the snow. While they are men's boots and too big for my feet, I'm embarrassed to say that I wore these for the entire month of December and most of January. Comfortable? Not really. But they are waterproof all the way up to the laces, and I learned quickly that waterproof matters.

Chapter 3-- Sorels of My Very Own

I finally broke down and bought these at the end of January, after many weeks of painful searching. I could regale you with the story, but suffice it to say I spent more time shopping for these winter boots than I did my wedding dress, veil, and reception venue combined. Usually I do not buy such tall boots because they make me look even shorter than I actually am. But something happened in January-- a combination of L's death stare every time I put on his boots and the 400 million pounds of snow we got that month-- and I realized that looking short is not that big of a deal.

Chapter 4-- Target Rain Boots
When you live in California, rain boots are something little kids and JCrew models wear. When you live in Pleasantville and it's cold, but not cold enough to put on your sub-zero zip on boots, and it's wet and sloshy outside, but not wet and sloshy enough to stay indoors, you wear rain boots. And come on-- these are cute! (But I'm not sure Daniel agrees, based on those bedroom eyes.)

So there you have it. A woman in her thirties has an extensive shoe collection. And while mine might not the type of shoes that will get me on People's Best Dressed list, I know now that what I have lands me smack in the middle of winter success.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A Woman in her Thirties Loves (Neti) Pot

I've been prone to sinus infections for most of my adult life, and if you're going to be prone to anything, I don't recommend this. At least once a year (or five times, when I was living in China) I would get a cold that would linger, lose my voice from breathing through my mouth all day, and develop a nasty rash around my nose and mouth from blowing, blowing, blowing. In a word: Attractive.

Since I'm trying to be more healthy and crap, I decided that I wasn't going to go my normal route this time to get better. My normal route includes tomato soup with as much Tabasco as I can stand, twice-a-day dates with my steroid inhaler, and, eventually, a trip to the doctor for meds. This has always worked, eventually, but leaves me with that lingering feeling that I have killed millions of brain cells through my nose, and that I'm one step closer to developing an immunity to antibiotics.

L's cousin, a doctor, recommended that I try a Neti Pot. I had never heard of it, but when a doctor recommends something a woman in her thirties listens. She said it is all natural and totally safe, and will work immediately to clear me out. She also added, 'You don't want to develop a brain abscess!', which is true. I don't know what that is, but I definitely know I don't want one. So I went to Walgreens and bought this one.

I've never been very good at following directions (just ask K), but in this case I figured I should. But while I consider myself a person of average intelligence, these directions had me very confused. I lean over the sink how? The spout goes in what? And it comes out where?

So I googled 'Neti Pot' and watched this video. This is not to most riveting video you will ever see, but if you fast forward to the part where the guy stops talking and starts Neti-potting, you will get the picture. I got the picture. I will admit that if I had seen that video when I was healthy I would have dismissed it as another hippie thing that I have no interest in. However, when a woman in her thirties is desperate, she will try anything.

I did. No, I do not have a video. And yes, it worked instantaneously.

I've done some reflecting on this, and I think I might really be changing in my thirties. From the yoga to the Daniel-loving, from the perimeter-shopping to the coupon-clipping, from the Pleasantville-living and now the Neti Pot, I sometimes stop and look at myself and think, 'Would you have thought in millions years when you were twenty that you would have become the person you have become in the last eleven years?'

My answer is always no. And a woman in her thirties thinks that's a good thing.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

A Woman in her Thirties Does It in 3-D

Picture it: Concord, California, 1985. I am sitting with my family at my first drive-in movie, Back to the Future. Mom takes out crackers from her purse (too cheap for popcorn); Dad roars at the screen ('Ronald Reagan? The actor? Who's Vice President-- Jerry Lewis?'). I'm only seven, so I'm not getting the humor. All I know is that this is a moment that will stick with me, and drive-ins are just about the coolest technology ever.

Now picture it: Anaheim, California, circa 1990. I am with my friend J and her sister at Disneyland for the first time. I have very, very crunchy bangs. I wear Keds and overalls. I am watching Captain EO through two lenses-- the blue and red paper ones the park gave me, and the too-cool-for-this lenses of all kids in junior high. 4-D? Michael Jackson? Like, yeah, I mean, it's okay, whatever.

Fast forward: Last night. I'm with two friends watching Alice in Wonderland in IMAX 3-D. Keep in mind that the following things have happened since my last high-tech movie experience:

1. Developed OCD (actual quote by me to the ticket-taker-- 'Um, do you guys sanitize these glasses?')
2. Developed an actual crush on Tim Burton
3. Developed an appreciation for technology, thanks to L and iPhone

How do I express my feelings about last night? In some ways, I felt seven years old again. I actually reached out toward the screen, jumped at times, and turned to my friends saying, 'Oh my GOD! Are you seeing this? This is so COOL!' And in other ways, I was in junior high again. I found myself thinking, 'Is it just me, or is everyone else developing a mild headache?' and 'With all the tragedy in our world, couldn't the millions it took to make this movie be used elsewhere?' But it takes a lot to hold a woman in her thirties captive for almost two hours, and in the end all I could muster was, 'Wow'.

As I drove home, I realized the 'Wow' was more than just the cinematography (And the costumes. And the acting). It was the ability of something to take me places I hadn't visited in a very long time. The ability to bring back good, good memories without being shrouded with bad. The ability to take me out of where I am and to see--in three dimensions--the imagination of someone else.

I can't explain the workings of 3-D, and I don't know how movie theaters owners sleep at night charging $10 for movie tickets nowadays, but I do know this: woman in her thirties takes all the 'Wow' she can get.