Confessions of a Shoe Girl. Or Not.

I’m something of an icon in certain circles. Small circles, and few of them, and only something rather than the thing, but still, people tend to associate me with shoes. Frankly, it’s all a bunch of hooey. Or not.

The truth is, I have a lot of shoes because, well frankly, I despise them. I know that sounds like it doesn’t make sense, but hear me out.

I despise their voluptuous forms that pinch and blister. I despise their endlessly breathtaking hues that just as endlessly endlessly attract maligning black smudges. I despise their manufactured tilt that perks up my derriere and plants my face on the pavement. I despise the tactile thrill of their butter-soft camel leather that rips free as I step onto an escalator. I despise their strappy straps, their buttons and bows, their silk embroideries, beaded delusions and peeping toes. I loathe the fit, the seams, the pads, the heights, the flats, the price.

And? you ask with lips pulled thin and accusing eyes.

And … most of all, I despise having to wear them.

I’m pretty sure we all have more shoes than we need. I’m also pretty sure we have fewer shoes than we want. And why? Because NONE OF THEM FIT.

And then a few weeks ago, I did a thing. I stuffed each pair of lovelies with tissue paper for safe travels ahead, lined them up in the back of my car, stared at their magnificence one last time, gunned my engine, and drove them damn straight to the thrift shop. Yes I did. The boots, the heels, the flats, the embellished, the RED, the toe peepers and marchers, the gladiators, mules, and platforms, and even the kitten heels.

I know you’re wondering. I know you want a peek. I know you’re waiting patiently, so here it is.

I kept one pair of Converse All-Stars (yellow), one pair of ballet flats (black), and one pair of flip flops (pink with yellow soles) for the beach.

That’s it. And I’m not even missing the rest.

Sex in the Fifties

Prelude for Younger Audiences: “Ewwwwwww!”

So what’s the deal with Sex in the Fifties? Despite the hemorrhaging availability of botox, breast bags, hair weaves, penile implants, financial security, liposuction, hormone helpers, testosterone patches, mobility, anonymity, familiarity, butt lifts, viagra, and f***buddies, are we really getting any? Or are we just sick of the whole last-year’s-dance, preferring instead to curl up with a bottle of cabernet?

Frankly, we look old. We feel tired. We are Not in the Mood.

I wasn’t planning on giving up sex, ever. But even for those armed with a fistful of dollars and a bulge in the libido, nature keeps cropping up with a plan of her own. My mother always gleefully tittered that the years after menopause were the happiest of her life. Sorry Mom, but I beg to differ. If you’ve never had a hot flash, and by that I mean never been working away happy as a clam only to find yourself suddenly awash in a skim of sticky, smelly, pore ooze, usually in the midst of 1) a business meeting , or 2) clasping the Beloved, then get thee to a more approriate blog.

And what’s with the weight thing, damn it? Decreased Appetite plus Decreased Intake = 10 pounds weight gain. Eliminating soft drinks, chocolate, and cream sauces (kill me now) = 2 pounds weight gain. Increased Exercise = a pleasant 1 pound weight gain. So tell me why, with all the additional padding, are old people always cold? My Dear Mother Nature, if you want me to keep warm, drop the pound baggage and Let Me Have Sex! Friction = Fire, you know.

They say that menopause causes irritability. Not true. Sweat swells, bulky girth, and a dearth of hickies cause irritability. Big time.

The sad truth is that I know why Mother afflicts us in the 50’s. She has caught a whiff of rotten eggs, and wants to protect the Future of Civilization by causing hunkish males to blanch at our bulbous pretties and eau de locker room, fleeing to wantonly spew seeds into the incubators of twenty-somethings unaquainted with palimony.

And what of those man-type humans? Is their procreational rivulet spiked with preservatives? Does Mother just turn a blind eye to their dalliances, secure in the supposition that no DNA will be mangled by the Over-50 Male? I suppose it’s entirely plausible that she anticipates an occasional dip in the fertilizer population. I, myself, have considered popping off a few somewhere between the gynecologist’s office and the bank.

No one cares if a man grows fat and bald, least of all the man. But I can’t complain, really — as my Dearest insists, “I didn’t marry you for your body.” Ass.

And yet we manage well, all things considered. And, all things considered, perhaps extraordinarily well. We kiss and clutch in restaurant parking lots as gratefully as adulterers, and roll about gamely on sundry pieces of furniture more carelessly than teenagers . . . until I heave him to the floor gasping for a deep throat of air conditioning, nipples thrust greedily toward the ceiling fan, “Faster . . . faster . . . come to Mama NOW, you Bladed Beauty, NOW!”

At least the neighbors think we’re doing it.

(Copyright 2007. All rights reserved Pamela Goode.)

Street Trash

Yes, my mom did indeed tell me not to pick up “stuff” on the street. And yes, she had good reason, but also yes, I do it anyway. In fact, I do it every chance I get. It’s a kinda caffeine-like addiction, but without the shakes — only glee.

I’m not sure how or why or when it started, but I can’t get enough of accidental street art. The random bits of shape and color against black asphalt call to me like mourning doves, only a bit dirtier, and I grab them like Sandpipers stealing periwinkles on the beach.

I’m pretty sure you can see the allure, right? A little boy whose wagon wheel fell from his pocket, the death of a worm whose last message to the planet is love, a yellow bottle cap whose vaginal shape speaks of rebirth, a gorgeous fall leaf that has somehow matured and fallen several months early (which couldn’t be a good thing), total joy in the marriage of children and chalk, and a crimson leaf that has succumbed to changes I can’t identify, but I love her just the same.

As always, my message in the post is Look. See.

There’s magic everywhere.

There is a Hell, and it’s Pink. ish.

Okay so I’ve never really been into makeup, and for decades I’ve resented the entire 3 minutes I waste on it every morning. Well sometimes I skip. But I wear it because one of my first boyfriends, who had been dating someone else for a while when I first asked him out, but she went to another school so I didn’t really know that, said to me one night a little quizzically, “(we’ll call her Betsy) Betsy always wears a little makeup and eyeshadow when we go out. It makes me feel like she cares enough to make some effort.”

I looked at him quizzically — it was the 70’s and no one wore makeup because we were FREE SPIRITS — but he was a good guy and it was a small concession, and I’ve been doing it ever since. But not in an “ooh let’s check out the latest at Sephora!” kinda way. But there it was.

So I get that the world is focused now on the newest whatever, and I know this because every time I try to buy toothpaste at Target they’ve restocked the shelves with 15 new and improved styles of Crest and omg it takes me 15 minutes to find the most old school brand closest to the now-discontinued tube I bought last month and throw it in my cart. Sigh.

So about a month ago, I ran out of the lipstick I’ve worn for the past six years or so. I like the color, the tube, and the pure joy of being able to replenish the supply by just recognizing and grabbing 3 tubes at a time. And of course it’s been discontinued and even the tube style it came in no longer exists, which means I have to make a new selection on multiple levels, and I’m dreading it so much that I don’t walk through those doors until weeks have passed. It takes me 45 minutes of searching every nook and cranny of Ulta to accept the fact that I’ll have to pick something new, and another 30 minutes to find something similar enough to live with and calm my daily grousing, but it’s a matte, and … sigh.

What’s up with matte? I don’t care, but why??? Sigh. I take it home and dutifully apply it this morning and OMG the texture is heaven! It’s like the powder dusting fairy came down from the heavens and touched me ever so lightly on the lips and said, “Hey girl. You’ve been good. I’m gonna give you a break.” My eyes lit up and I almost broke into a smile when … I smelled a smell. I hoped someone had snuck up behind me with a bottle of tween girl perfume, but if only. No. It’s the f-ing d lipstick. My lips are so happy, and my nose wants to cough up a hairball and die. Yeah I don’t do scents either. Especially not scents clearly developed for the 6 year old scent palate.

WHY WHY WHY is there a scent in my lipstick???? There isn’t even an image of My Little Pony on the front, any mention whatsoever of a scent, and no purple baggie of gummy bears attached.

Seriously, this is just another way they kill off the old people.

Oh No!

Book Release Coming Right Up!

It seems easy enough, right? Many claim to have penned this truth: “Writing is easy. Just open a vein and bleed” — and no doubt we’ve all felt it, whether during middle school exams or penning a verse to a would-be lover.

But the truth is, writing is sometimes hard and sometimes easy, but editing and publishing can extinguish god’s own holy spark in the best of us. Not that I’ve ever been particularly holy.

Regardless, I believe I’ve just pulled myself through the last hoop atop the last hill (and yes I CAN hear you laughing in the background) and have pushed the appropriate buttons to make the July 24 release date.

Can you hear my wild self-applause????

Touch of Fire by Pam Goode, available as e-book or paperback July 24, available for e-book pre-order July 10, aka, NOW.

Pre-Order Link here. Let’s roll!

Bowling Lady Watering Can

Know Thy Selves

Our Bodies, Our SelvesRemember when it was all the rage to sit on the floor of the campus gym sans pants, whip out your compact, and examine your vagina? No weewees, no woohoos, no girliebits; we were hot to call a vagina a vagina, and we were determined to get up close and personal enough to be on a first name basis. Our Bodies, Our Selves was the handbook, although I seem to remember the 70’s bearing a rather unbalanced focus on the Bodies half of the equation. Frankly, it was a whole lot easier to find a group of women ready to shed their clothes for Enlightenment than to find one who actually carried (or owned) an actual compact. Makeup was for sissy girls.

Women 1970's via ourbodiesourselves.orgWe were a Gung Ho sort, and even if we read our Sartre naked in the bathtub with a guy we’d met at the falafel house only an hour earlier, we were hungry to know it all, do it all, feel it all, read it all, live it all, conquer it all, save the world, free women from centuries of silence, get it out there, and live it real. We were ready and primed to Make Life Our Bitch. We all looked like Ali McGraw, and we were determined to be taken as seriously as Gloria Steinem. We brought womanhood, for a time, from darkness into light, and it all started with a fierce determination to know ourselves, vaginas and all.

When did we lose touch?

A year ago today I sat in my kitchen with a close friend that I see only twice a year. She was waiting for test results from a biopsy, which would be positive. I had cancer too but didn’t know it — didn’t suspect — and wouldn’t until much later that spring. When did we move from living our lives armed with mirrors and books and knowledge and experimentation to living our lives with long and mostly irrelevant To Do lists, blindfolded against our innermost secrets? When did answers become written in water, and taking care of Our Selves become a second fiddle melody? When did we move from Knowing to Not Knowing, because Knowing has become so damn hard?

Contrary to popular belief, Our Bodies Our Selves was not about sexual liberation, even though most of us seemed to read it that way. In fact, it was about women learning to care for their own health. Forty-ish years later, we pretty much take care of others instead.

We march; we speak out; we advocate for free mammograms; we rally; we sit with each other and shave our heads in sisterhood; we refuse to be talked down to; we have each other’s backs. But we still never quite know what’s inside us at any given moment — a sobering reminder to seize the day.

Cousin Cousine 1975In many ways, 18 was bliss, wasn’t it? Knowing our bodies was largely a pursuit of pleasure: learning to kiss, trying exotic new tastes from multicultural gems near college campuses, teaching our muscles to scale mountains on weekends with adventurous new friends, getting silly with markers or grimacing under tattoo needles. At 56, knowing my body means something else entirely, and mostly what it means is discovering how much of what I’ve learned to love is now on the list of things that I’m forced to un-love (exotic tastes and climbing mountains high on the list). Making peace with the woohoo was a hell of a lot easier than making peace with organs that mutate in silence, and oh, how much more fun!

And so these later days reprise that urge to know, deep down; to feel, deep down; to live, deep down. If there is no magic mirror to show me what monsters lurk inside or to predict which cures will simply kill me another way on another day, I need to be in tune enough with my spirit to hear the longings of the body I yearn to heal: feed me; love me; take me out dancing; sing me a song; let me spend the afternoon painting my body with daisies and then giggle loud and long enough to wake the neighbors; or linger in a field of wildflowers way past time for dinner. Feed me a daily moment of bliss. Or three.

P.S. Dedicated to Carol, Susan, the MoHos, Jeanne Beanie, Carol H, the Duke Forestry School, my Love, my family

Fah Who Rah-Moose

from shloshspot.com

‘Twas the night before New Year’s, and all through the house

Every Who down in Whoville was doped up and soused.

They hated the New Year; they grumbled and whined,

“We don’t want a NEW year; this suits us just fine.”

But the clock wouldn’t listen, it groaned and it wheezed,

And it paused not a whit on the cusp of the breeze

That would blow that foul second hand forward and then

Slap the faces of Whos with a pointy-mouthed grin.

Auntie Em hugged her teacup; Vern gripped hard his bottle

Cindi Loo sucked her nipple of mead on full throttle.

While Muffy poured scotch and Big Joe warmed the wassail,

I saw Gramps downing Nyquil to plump up his fossil.

Homer was huffing and Jane rode a bender

While Grams poured tequila and rum in the blender.

They binged and they cringed and they cowered in fear

“We must stop it from coming! We’ll stop it this year!”

But no matter the moonshine, no matter the crack,

Father Time gave the gift that he wouldn’t take back.

He granted them change and a hope for the new,

Whilst snickering snickers, ice cold as a shrew.

It’s a New Year, My Lovelies, You Hortons and Whos,

And you’ll take it and thank me; you don’t get to choose.

So get on with your hopes and your dreams and your wishes,

Cause I’ve got the clock, and you dogs is my bitches.

~ c. 2011 by Pamela Pardue Goode,

with apologies to Clement C. Moore and eternal gratitude to Dr. Seuss  🙂