National Sunglasses Day

I believe I may have always been a bit star-struck, even though, I cannot stress strongly enough that being star-struck was not a part of my growing up environment or mentality.

We were a very humble family; not poor, not rich. We knew we had adequate housing and clothing. I have never known what it is like to go hungry. For that, I am thankful.

There were never fashion magazines sitting around my house. Magazine subscriptions were indeed not on the family budget. So perhaps, growing up, I noticed some Good Housekeeping or Vogue magazines in the grocery checkout line. I’m not really sure, but somewhere along the way, I fell hard into loving accessories; bracelets and rings, earrings, hair bands and bows and barrettes, purses and shoes, makeup, and sunglasses.

I have mentioned in previous posts, that my mother was a seamstress. She made most of my high school wardrobe. I so enjoyed going with her to the fabric store and choosing material for my clothes. One of my favorite parts of those trips, though, was looking through the giant books of patterns—so many dresses and hairstyles and sunglasses wearing models.

Family members reading this blog, you may remember Aunt Lois Anne always wearing sunglasses to the family picnics. I remember thinking she must be cool. My mama never wore sunglasses when I was a girl or teen or even adult. She will wear them now, in the car to shield the brightness, when I find an extra pair in the console. 

I am rarely without sunglasses. In fact, I probably own about six pair. I have my daily faves plus a couple sports types for walking/running. 

With some certainty, I can state that in my younger years I may have worn sunglasses for the ‘cool’ affect but within the last five to 10 years, I have worn sunglasses for cosmetic reasons. I do not want to keep squinting at the sun and creating deeper crows feet than I have already.

I have a few sunglasses-looks that I love. One is Kelly McGillis in Top Gun. Totally cool. Also, Trinity in The Matrix, donning the Blinde brand. What a stud. And of course Audrey Hepburn flaunting her black Manhattan wayfarer-style in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The coolest of cool. 

An additional benefit to sunglasses-wearing is that others can’t see how old you really are. Not to sound vain, but I have had a few ‘glances’ from guys passing me in a car while wearing my Tom Cruise aviators. It makes me smile because in a three second car pass-by, they cannot know that beneath these sunglasses are significant laugh lines and dark circles from too little sleep, and that my baseball cap is worn simply to cover up my way-overdue hair “conditioning” appointment. 

Yep, sunglasses are the bomb. 

A Time for Everything

In preparing for my father-in-law’s funeral service, we have been going through albums and piles of photos. I spent much of this afternoon scanning them onto a thumb drive, from which my son, Christopher, will make a powerpoint presentation. 

It has been pleasant and difficult. We have had some laughs, some tears, and some ponderings. 

I have seen pictures of my parents-in-law at 20 and at 40 and at 60. It is interesting to see the age progression. I do wonder how at 60, they felt. Did they feel old? When I talk to my mother-in-law at various times about age, she says “Oh, you are so young.” But to a person in their 80s, 60 IS young. And on the other side of that, to a 40 year old, 60 is far away and old. It is all relative.

I love this photo of my husband (he is the cutie with his arms crossed, sitting next to his mama) with his family. The year at the top of the photo reads 1965. My father-in-law is 35 and my mother-in-law is 32. They look like the stereotypical 1960s family.

I’m guessing that if I could ask them both, they would say those last 52 years were a blink of the eye. 

That is how I feel about the last 20 years, a mere blink and I was 40. 

The bible book of Ecclesiastes speaks about time, stating there is a time for everything;

        A time to be born and a time to die

        A time to plant and a time to uproot

        A time to kill and a time to heal

        A time to tear down and a time to build

        A time to weep and a time to build

        A time to mourn and a time to dance

        A time to scatter stones and a time to gather them

        A time to embrace and a time to refrain

        A time to search and a time to give up 

        A time to keep and a time to throw away

        A time to tear and a time to mend

        A time to be silent and a time to speak

        A time to love and a time to hate

        A time for war and a time for peace

And I especially love the next two lines;

        He (God) has made everything beautiful in its time

        He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom

            what God has done from beginning to end. 

If I truly believe that God has made everything beautiful in its time, then I must hold to the hope of beauty where it may be found. And I will hold to the hope of eternity that somehow, from the very beginning, have known is in our hearts. 

Not Flawless

I was out with my mama running a few errands. We got into our car after a stop at the post office. A young woman crossed the parking lot, coming from the quick market on the corner. She was wearing a tank top with sparkling Times New Roman font stating “Flawless”. 

I mentioned in an earlier blog that it takes a lot of chutzpah to wear certain graphic tees. Well, this one ranks right up there.

For staters, she wasn’t flawless. Who is? She was ordinary-looking; a little pudge in the tummy, marshmallowy-soft arms, hair that needed a bit of attention, and that was just her exterior. In other words, she was like 90% of us. 

But flawless? No.

However, those are things that 25 year-olds can get away with. And of course, that is the target marketing audience. A 60 year-old knows better than to wear something like that, even if there happens to truly be a flawless-seeming one out there, you know, a Christie Brinkley type.

I wish there were T-shirts made that stated something like: Flawless In Progress or Flawless Pursuit of Kindness or Flawless Hunger for a Pure Heart or…you get the idea.

But flawless? No, not even for one day. 

FLOTUS

Our First Lady certainly has style, that cannot be denied. All first ladies have style. If it is not inherit in them, they are taught. Being a first lady must be tough. She is constantly scrutinized for her appearance. Seems a bit harsh and unfair, but it goes with the position.

Of course, I love Melania’s Christian Louboutin heels. I love her belted suits and matching hats. Wait…why does everyone call her Melania? Yes, it is her name, but are we intimate friends with her? Of course not. She will, for the remainder of this post, be called Mrs. Trump. She deserves the respect.

But I have to say that the above photo is one of my favorite looks. She is casual, but far from sloppy. Fun and chic but not cheesy. Obviously, her outfit is not from TJ Maxx or Marshalls but that is exactly where the rest of us common folk could go to mimic the look. 

The keen eye is going to know whether or not your spiked pumps are Christian Louboutin, but a look like this one is absolutely copyable. 

In fact, if I didn’t know better, I would guess that Mrs. Trump copied ME on this look. Though, my sneakers are “Chucks”, my black skinny jeans and gingham shirt are from Gap, and my gray baseball cap is definitely labeled “Yale”. Plus, she is a statuesque, willow tree with endless  legs. I am 5’3″ (on tippy toes) and my black jeans were purchased in the petite section. The look is not quite the same. But still…

I did a little research about how Mrs. Trump goes about selecting her outfits. Apparently, this is done in conjunction with Hervé Pierre. He is a French designer who had previously worked at Oscar de la Renta and Carolina Herrera, two American labels run by Latin American immigrants with long histories of dressing Washington wives. 

Now a freelance designer and consultant, Pierre acts as the First Lady’s de facto stylist. 

As it turns out, Pierre shops for many of Mrs. Trump’s outfits anonymously in New York. “I go to Bergdorf, I to go to Saks, Michael Kors, Dior,” he told The Times. “What is challenging is when I cannot say what it is for.” What a great job this guy has. 

He also makes sure that Mrs. Trump doesn’t wear anything that other public figures have worn before. “I always ask: ‘Was it already on the red carpet? Did somebody already wear it?’ Because I don’t want her to be on the ‘Who Wore It Better’ list.”

The fact that the clothes are bought off the rack with neither the store nor the designer knowing who the purchaser is pretty much checks out with Mrs. Trump’s previous track record of buying and wearing designer clothes. 

Mrs. Trump is genetically gorgeous, she can’t help it. It was a DNA perfect storm. More importantly, she appears to have a kindness, a sweetness that is also traceable. 

That kind of beauty cannot be purchased in New York, no matter how rich and powerful you may be.