Scarlet. Vermilion. Ruby. Cherry. Cerise. Crimson. Oh, the colors that grab us and make us their own.
You know it. I know it. The question is, do we hide it or flaunt it?
We all have obsessions — some more than others of course (ahem) — and for the most part, they’re harmless and fun. Let’s face it, if you have a passion, it’s never a one-time deal. You’re definitely, without the skinniest skinny of a doubt, going back for more.
It was exhibition time, and this month it was our turn to choose, our turn to flaunt, perhaps even our turn to be a bit naughty, and we were three girls at the ready.
We named this show Accidental Obsessions, because at some point, aren’t they all? Right before you just can’t get enough.
“Accidental” is an interesting word, isn’t it? I can’t help wondering where the line is between truly “accidental” and “planned in obsessive detail over at least two thirds of my entire life.” I’ve known a lot of shoe girls over the years, and no wonder — they strike the eye like wildfire.
I’ll quickly admit that the photos to the right look vaguely like something from a murder scene. Red has no bounds, and still we gasp and grab.
P.S. This display was created by Ciel Gallery in Charlotte several years ago as a teaser for an art exhibition. We drove to the nearest Goodwill and bought all the red shoes we could find, painted a few extras, and put on our Come Hither looks. A totally delicious evening!
Balk all you want about the agonies of airline travel, the bitch of baggage, the crunch of crowds, or the plethora of peddlers trying to pawn off umbrellas in the rain, but travel rocks.
Sure the first day is an overload of exhaustion, logistics, and deer-in-the-headlights incomprehension of the local ways of doing things. Or in many cases, simply not doing things. Because, you know, there’s so much to celebrate, to savor, to explore, to talk about — who cares about schedules? If you’re thinking Romans, you’re oh so very helplessly wrong. But once you throw your own expectations and habits out the window, it gets pretty damn interesting.
If Travel Season isn’t quite upon us, it’s knocking on the door. Have you made plans? Picked a country? A city? Five cities? Five countries? You’re my Girl!
Things I Learned in Rome, or Travel Tips for the Squeamish, by Pam
1. Relax. The hardest thing I’ve had to do on this trip is gut it up to open the prosecco bottle by myself. It didn’t kill me.
2. Rent an apartment instead of a hotel room. More for your money, room to spread out, the option to eat in (or have a pre- or post-dinner Prosecco at the ready, and best of all, it’s yours.
3. Reserve a room with a tub. You’ll be glad.
4. Prearrange a car from the airport to your hotel/apartment. You don’t want to be hauling-too-much-luggage while trying to find the right train unless you’re 22 and tireless. You’ll still be tired. Reserve the car.
5. Bring at least one pair of shoes that you can walk in for 10 hours a day, and the bandaids to go with them. Good bandaids. Strong bandaids. Bandaids with as much cushion as you can scare up. Keep the bandaids right next to the American Express (as in, don’t leave home . . .). NOTE: And yes, you CAN stack 10 bandaids between a blister and a shoe. Ask me how I know.
6. Find the closest grocery store the first day. You’re sure to need something, and you probably won’t know the Italian/French/Croation word for shower cap. Knowing the closest pharmacy will also be useful.
7. Don’t bother learning to pronounce Arrivederci. The go-to phrase when leaving a shop is Grazie-Ciao-ByeBye-Buona Sera-NightNight. Apparently in Italian-speak, this is one word.
8. Don’t worry about what’s going on at home. Stuff will happen. It will get taken care of. And you’ll come home with a clearer perspective — and the travel bug.
9. Mornings and evenings are the best time to wander. Fewer tourists, less noise, and the locals you run into will be doing interesting things, like scrubbing down the step into a cafe, polishing a crate of tomatoes, or setting out tools in their workshop.
10. There is much less crime in Europe, and people out walking at all hours. Take a deep breath and look around; you are so much safer here than in the US. It feels good, free.
11. WARNING: There have been a few moments on this most recent trip to Italy that have made me wonder if my traveling days are coming to an end. I can pretty much sum up those moments in one word: Cobblestones.
I shouldn’t be surprised. After all, Italians don’t really use grout, do they? Add a few centuries of freeze/thaw cycles and it’s increasingly rare to find two contiguous stones at the same height. So I should have anticipated that navigating the streets/sidewalks/lanes is less an act of walking and more a sort of calculated selection and tentative toeing from one 3″ x 3″ island to the next. But hey, if the Italians can do it in heels, and they do, then I can find a way.
12. Which brings me back to my son’s mantra: It’s All About the Shoes.