Sunday, December 14, 2008

Who is that?

[Strasse-tiara (rhinestones), from Wikipedia]
This morning I made myself late for church (well, for coffee hour) trying to dress well for a change. Who was that in the mirror, in a sweater that fit, velour pants, a red abstract silk scarf, and mascara, with rhinestone Christmas trees dangling from her ears? I didn’t quite recognize myself. As I coaxed my hair into a barrette and sprayed it, I thought of the ease with which Zen monks get dressed: put on same old robe, shave head twice a week, or not.

What got into me? The Christmas spirit, which peaked yesterday when I learned Devil Ducky Depot had shipped my order, and which led to getting out my Christmas jewelry. It’s wear it now or forget it until next year.

I don’t remember Christmas jewelry from my youth. I have too much of it, though so far I don't have a clever appliqued sweatshirt. The jewelry is something I tend to pick up during brief moments of holiday spirit; you don’t have to try it on. Mine includes a clever handmade cloth elf that hangs on my coat; two small multicolored rhinestone bows, pins; earrings that are red enamel bells with rhinestone tongues; small candle ear studs that tend to turn upside down, making them unrecognizable; and, ah yes, the rhinestone Christmas trees.

They are striking and glamorous, not my usual style. That made them the inevitable conversation opener in Fellowship Hall. When people realized they were staring, they'd quickly say, "Like your earrings."

I found myself replying with a throwaway line: “These are bling from the old economy.” That seemed to remind people what a horribly depressing year this is, yet I kept saying it. The earrings had taken me over, like some scifi horror movie, and were scripting my conversations.

I got to wishing I had worn the red-and-green flannel shirt I found stored in the guest room closet. I paid a lordly $5 for it several years ago, which is a lot of money for a thrift store shirt. It is a very soft, smooth flannel, a Ralph Lauren, which is why it was priced so high. But the little polo pony logo doesn’t seem to bother anyone, and you can have a normal conversation while wearing it. I’m not sure my friends know Ralph Lauren; we tend to be old hippies who ended up in the middle class looking normal, but we really aren’t, inside. Who you really are - that’s always good to know.


  1. Darn! I was hoping you were going to be wearing the tiara...rubies and emeralds...for Christmas don't ya know.

  2. This reminds me of the time my friend Jeanni was on her way to a costume party (I hope), dressed as a fairy princess in a tiara and large gossamer wings, her face and hair liberally sprinkled with glitter. She stopped in at a fast food place and the guy at the counter just dropped jaw.

    "What's the matter?" she asked him. "Haven't you ever seen a tiara before?"