Sunday, November 16, 2008

No strings attached

Photo by Hollywood Calling

October is always euphoric for me, making November feel like a letdown.

This month, I feel like I'm stuck on a merry-go-round, watching lives unfold around me. Pregnancies. New homes. Vacations. Things that I would love but cannot have, at least not now.

Then a conversation with one of my friends smacked me across the face. Context: This girl is stunning. Black hair, pouty lips. She can even cock one eyebrow up. It doesn't get cuter than a solo eyebrow cock.

She saw a pin-up photo shoot I did (I don't know any journalists who don't support their filthy writing habit with a second job), and said she wanted to get her own set of photos.

Do it. (That's my response to every idea.)

As soon as I drop a few more pounds. I'm a fatty.

Don't you talk about my friend like that. She is gorgeous and perfect exactly as she is.

She: Ha, ha. I heart your face. Soon.

Me: You're not listening. You should never, ever withhold something lovely from yourself under the contingency that you need to change. Celebrate who you are now. And if you change, you can celebrate that, too.


I hate when I say something to someone else that is also meant for myself.

That's when I realized I had been withholding "something lovely" from myself -- satisfaction -- under the misconception that what I have today is not enough. That somehow I am not enough.

Women do this. I hear it all of the time. When I lose weight, tone up my triceps, grow out my hair, have time to paint my nails, clean out my closet. Why do we put ultimatums -- especially physical ones -- on our lives? There is a difference between setting goals and grounding ourselves as a form of punishment.

Maybe there is a reason why Thanksgiving comes in November, of all months.

The way to transform November from a get-through month into something worth remembering is presence; I believe the amount of satisfaction we receive from something is directly connected with how much we invest into it.

So I am investing into November, and I am paying in gratitude.

Here is a list of things I'm thankful for. And because we tend to punish ourselves with physical contingencies, my emphasis is the beautiful, fashionable treats I can have today, childless, vacationless and in the same ol' apartment:

Pig tails, occasionally.
Breaking out your scarf collection.
Trying on trench coats and pretending you're Jackie O or Audrey Hepburn.
How when I take a shower with my make-up on, sometimes I come out looking like a member of KISS.
Pureology shampoo and conditioner (now available at Target) that holds my hair color so well that I don't have to wash my hair in cold water.
Floyd's Barber Shop, where I can get my hair colored for $45, allowing me to change my hairstyle on a weekly basis, if desired. Also allows me to take hot showers, even if I run out of Pureology.
Hot showers.
Really hot.
Red fingernail polish. Sometimes the classics are the best.
My Secret Scent Expressions deodorant that smells like chai. What a weird combo: armpits and a spicy beverage.
Kat Von D Underage Red lipstick from Sephora for when I'm feeling scandalous. Mac lipstick in Amplified for when I'm feeling slightly less scandalous. Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Pearl from the grocery store when I'm feeling minimally scandalous. And good ol' Cover Girl Wet Slicks Fruit Spritzers gloss in Strawberry Splash when I'm not scandalous whatsoever.
How Goldmine Vintage on Pearl Street knows my style and size so well that the owner can always direct me to the perfect dresses.
Eyebrow pencils: one of the most underrated and most important make-up tools for natural blondes.
Earrings that look like nails and screws from Hot Topic. They make me laugh, while looking oh so tough. Maybe.
That Boulder is opening up another second-hand store, Plato's Closet, at 2510 Arapahoe Ave., even though it seems contradictory to shop second-hand for trendy clothes, rather than classics and vintage.
Rags Home Consignments on 28th Street in Boulder, where you can get consigned home decor -- brilliant.
Purple eye shadow, even though it's not "my color." Especially because it's not "my color."
The sale rack in the basement of Urban Outfitters on Pearl Street, where I have found some of my favorite clothes -- such as a cropped leather jacket for $20, and a white motorcycle jacket with at least 50 zippers for $20.
The sound of zipping zippers.
Lululemon yoga pants.
Big fluffy knit socks. I have a pair with poodle heads on them. So did my mom, until I stole hers.
Having a cool enough mom that I want to steal her clothes.
Polka-dot vintage-remake swimsuits from West Side Sinners in Denver.
My mom's 35-year-old blue puffy goosedown winter jacket that I stole from her that is still totally warm, even though it's hideous.
Mary Kay Timewise Age Fighting Moisturizer face lotion -- such a relief in this dry weather.
Thigh-highs that actually stay up, especially if they have a '50s-style back seam. Find them at Fascinations, 2560 28th St., Boulder.
Tall socks instead of thigh-highs.
Being brave enough to cut your own bangs.
Taking a camera-phone photo of your terrible bangs-cut and then using it as your Christmas card photo because some day when you're 75, you'll think it was a beautiful picture.
Cocking one eyebrow in said picture, as an inside joke to yourself -- and as a reminder to not just be here now, but also to celebrate here now.

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