May 292020
 

Too many women suffer painful feet by wearing ill-fitting shoesThe agony of da feet. It’s a just one of those things women have to go through to be fashionable, right? Maybe, maybe not. There’s no agony if you wear the right size shoes. Do you wear your proper shoe size? Do you even know your proper size? If you don’t, here’s how to deal with and fix the agony of da feet.

What the Experts Say

Alexis E. Dixon, M.D., DISC Sports & Spine Center, Marina Del Rey California, writing for the ortho-dot-com site, says that as people age, their feet grow wider and flatter. The fat pad under the bones in the ball of the foot begins to thin. This can cause pain while walking. And referring to a study conducted by The American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS), in which researchers examined the feet of 356 women, they found that 88% of the women were wearing shoes that were too small for their feet. Most of them had not had their feet re-measured in over a decade and more than 50% reported experiencing daily foot pain from their shoes.

A Little Personal History

I didn’t like feet for the longest of time. Wouldn’t let anybody touch mine. I didn’t get my first pedicure until I was over 60. Feet were something you stuck your shoes on. That was all. But then I got into essential oils. I’m sensitive. The best way to test out an oil you may be sensitive to is on the soles of your feet. And did you know your entire bodily system is marked out on the soles of your feet? Well, I didn’t. Now there was no longer any way to avoid my feet.

It took me a long time to buy properly-fitting shoes, too, despite the agony of da feet. In high school, I wore a size 7.5 shoe. Guess what? Now I’m a 9 or 9.5. And keep in mind I’m only 5′ nuttin’ honey. My mother said at least I wouldn’t blow away in a strong wind. HAH! For some reason, I didn’t mind buying a size 9 but adding that extra half-size got me, even if the 9s were tight. I felt like I was declaring myself a bigfoot or something. Well, duh!!! I DO have big feet. Now I know my sizes in all my favorite brands. But oh, to be a size 7.5 once more!!!

Here’s How to Get a Good Fit

First off, find someone who can measure your feet properly with a Brannock device. If there’s no Brannock device, try on several sizes in the style you want and walk around on a HARD floor. There are carpets in shoe departments for a reason. The shoes feel better. You should buy your shoes late in the afternoon, too, as your feet swell throughout the day. Make sure you have enough toe room. And, please, buy the right size, no matter what the number. Don’t like that number? Once you get your shoes home, take a black permanent marker and scribble over it. Once you’ve decided not to return them, that is. And don’t tell yourself the shoe will break in. If that shoe doesn’t fit who it will break is YOU!

Another friendly tip. Please don’t buy those narrow pointy toe shoes unless your feet are shaped like that. And lower your heel expectations. Those 4″ hoochie heels you sported in your 20s will drop you on your ass in your 50s, 60s, 70s and beyond!

You may have to look around a lot more to find a well-fitting shoe that you actually like and enjoy wearing, but they’re out there. I’m tough picking out shoes. Mine are mostly flats and things with athletic bottoms on them. When I was in high school, we used to say we were wearing sit-down shoes and a stand-up girdle. Well, my days of sit-down shoes are long gone. What’s a girdle? 😉

Wearing high heels, especially in the wrong size, can definitely cause the agony of da feet.

May 152020
 

Old women may not have a hot bikini bod but we're allowed to get old!Everyone ages, right? Even if you’re in your 30s, you look different than you did at 18. And if you don’t, I hate you. Just kidding! LOLOL But for women in the USA, it almost seems like we’re not allowed to get old. There are so many provocative headlines like “So and so has a hot bikini bod at 54!!!” They don’t give a damn about so and so, only that that ‘ole broad still has a hot bikini bod. . . but that’s for another rant. So when I recently came across a page that showed famous actresses then and now in a backhanded, derogatory manner, I was like, “Hey, Can’t a Girl Even Get Old Around Here?”

Youth, Youth and More Youth

Youth is everything in this country. Fashions are shown on very young women, if not girls. Hairstyles are shown on very young women. Shoes are modeled by very young women. That’s why folks like Kim Kardashian spend a ton of money to avoid getting old around here. I believe Kim’s not far from 40 now so she better get the BIG checkbook out. That seems to be the age where even a beautiful woman becomes an ugly old hag.

The Headline That Pulled Me In

The come-on was a pic of Jacqueline Smith back in her Charlie’s Angels days and it said something like, “She was once the dream girl of legions of men, but you won’t even recognize her now!!!” Well, Ms. Once the Dream Girl looks damn fine to me, considering she’s gonna be 75 years old in October, for pity’s sake!!! Yes, she’s obviously aged, but she’s still beautiful. I quick flipped through to get to her pics since she was the come-on pic, but then I backed up and was flabbergasted.

Why Was I Even Looking at This Crap?

It was one of those articles where they try to trap you with a gazillion ads on the page, hoping you’ll slip and click on one of them or won’t be able to find the word NEXT. I hate those things, but they lure me in just like the rest of you. As I clicked through from frame to frame I started to gasp. What was wrong with these beautiful women?

PSA: We All Get Wrinkles

I went from one gorgeous woman to the next, both then and now. Did they look different? Of course. Did they look older? Of course. Did they look good? Of course!!! As I went through the pics I got madder and madder. HOW DARE THEY? Everyone ages. Everyone gets wrinkles. And I don’t care how much money you have, those wrinkles are gonna show eventually. And, yes, plastic surgery falls, too. You can run, baby, but you can’t hide!!!

Am I Looking With Old Eyes?

Yes, I’m old, too, so am I looking with old eyes? Probably. I am definitely not looking at the now pics with the eyes of a 25-year-old man looking for a thrill. That’s for sure. But still, I see women who have aged, some better than others, of course, but still look GOOD. Of course, to society I am pure-D crazy! No old woman is attractive, hot, sexy, pretty, beautiful. . . . pick your favorite word, unless she has a hot bikini bod, that is. WE WANT THE YOUNG STUFF!!! I would tell you what you can do with that, but it’s a PG-rated blog, at least most of the time. 🙂

So Why Can’t We Get Old Around Here?

My answer to this question has a lot to do with the advertising industry. They’ve set up this youth = beauty and old age = YUCK scenario. Even older men. . . . let’s see if I can put this in a not-gross fashion. Older men think they’ve hit the fountain of youth if they score a young girl. I beg to differ. I think you just look like a pathetic old man. But that’s me. I’m just Old Busted Hotness.

PROOF WE’RE STILL HOT. . . 17 AND 67!!!

Me, then and now 50 years apart

May 112020
 

Mother's Day when you don't have a great motherI’m writing this the day after Mother’s Day so as not to take away one iota from the celebration of really terrific mothers. Tribute after tribute on Facebook brought tears to my eyes as I read about these wonderful women who trained up a new generation of daughters to be mothers just like them. It’s a beautiful thing. But my mother wasn’t one of those. And since I know I’m not alone, I’m writing this Mother’s Day thought for the rest of us.

A Little Bit of History

My mother didn’t like me much. It was pretty cut and dried. I didn’t look like the correct side of the family and I wasn’t what she had in mind when she thought she was getting a cute little daughter. I never lost my baby chubs which was anathema in a family that worshiped thinness. I was well-spoken, well-read, got straight As in school and really tried my best. I made her beautifully hand-crafted Mother’s Day gifts, but I was fat, ugly and good for not much, according to her. She wasn’t mean to me or physically abusive. She just didn’t like me.

I saw the moms of friends when I went to their houses to play or do schoolwork. Their moms were kind and sweet and looked at their children with love in their eyes. I was envious. Hell, I was downright jealous. There were times when I went home, crawled under the covers and cried. My mom wasn’t bad. She just didn’t like me. I knew it. She knew I knew it. It made for a very awkward childhood.

A Rather Rude Awakening

And then came the day I found out the hard way that I wasn’t the only one with a mother who wasn’t straight out of the pages of Ladies Home Journal. My then best friend invited me to be her maid of honor. I was over the moon. Her mother wasn’t. She didn’t like the way I looked either and said I would ruin the wedding photos. Where had I heard that before? She was afraid to tell me, but she finally had to because her mother threatened to not pay for the wedding if I were included in it. So I bowed out gracefully. And. . . you guessed it. . . I went home and cried.

As much as that hurt, it opened my eyes. Now I knew that I wasn’t alone in the not-so-perfect mother department. Some moms were downright nasty and vicious. Some were physically abusive. Some stood by while their daughters were abused. Some drank and turned into monsters. My mom wasn’t any of those things. She just didn’t like me.

Life Goes On

Time passed. We lived a little ways apart. She still slung her verbal missiles at me every chance she got. One would think she enjoyed them. Maybe she did. I don’t know. And then two things happened that changed everything. My father died. She started getting wonky. Then my grandmom (her mother) died. She lost her mind. By this time, she lived with me. Yeah, I know. She took all her grief out on me. And there I stood, a 50-something year old woman transported immediately back to when I was ten years old and getting browbeat about how I wasn’t good enough, didn’t look right, wasn’t good for anything, nobody would ever want me, yada yada yada. That lasted for ten long years.

Life Changes

And then came the day she broke her hip and went into rehab. I was fully prepared to take her home and let the cycle begin again. She was my mother. I had to take care of her. I had no other choice, right? That’s how we were raised. So imagine my surprise when she told me she wanted to stay in the nursing home! The place wasn’t all that great either. But she wanted to be there, so I signed her in.

The Beginning of the End

She had two happy years there before I am convinced their lack of care let her die. One day they told me my mother was sick. The next day I was running to the intensive care unit of a local hospital to be told she was dying from total organ failure. The last time I talked to her, she called me in and asked me to sign her into hospice. She said my father (he passed 14 years earlier) had come to take her home. I had her power of attorney so I made the arrangements. She said, “Thank you.” Her last words to me. That night they took her to a beautiful hospice unit of another hospital. Two days later she was gone. It was the day before what would have been my parents’ 63rd wedding anniversary.

Moving Forward

That was six years ago. Do I miss her? I think I miss the idea of having a mother. But do I miss MY mother? Maybe. No. I honestly don’t know. I know I can think about her now without getting upset. When I drive by her grave these days I yell out the window, “Hey, Ma, how ya doin’?” And maybe after a lot of years, I’m okay. Or sort of okay.

So I’m writing this for me and for all of you who didn’t have perfect mothers either. It’s a Mother’s Day thought for the rest of us. I try to keep in mind that nothing in life is perfect. Nothing will ever be perfect. But it’s up to us to take what we have and do the best that we can with it. We made it in spite of that mother thing.

Mother's Day can be quite different when your mother didn't like you

May 052020
 

Before Plague

Guess who’s back? And I’m even older and more busted than ever. LOL How’s quarantine treating you? Scary stuff, huh? Speaking of scary, have you met the real you yet? I mean, of course, uncut hair, undone nails, no facials and whatever other treats you do for yourself on a daily basis. There is nothing wrong with this, nothing AT ALL, but. . . a lot of us have had to face the mirror and see a stranger. Actually, a lot of us is ME. I’m “a lot of us.” Looking at your quarantine self is one thing. Loving your quarantine self is another thing entirely.

First Look

The first time I looked at the flat gray hair, the wrinkles (oh, the wrinkles!!!), the droopy eyes and the rest of it, well, I ran for the makeup drawer and threw on a metric ton. That was okay for a while. But one day it was, like, “Why bother? You’re not going anywhere. Your husband, daughter and grandson (fellow quarantiners in this house) have seen you in worse shape. Just be you. You’re old. Get used to it.” Easy to say. Not so easy to do.

The Yucky Mirror

The first few days. . . I’m lying. . . weeks were tough. Who was that old lady looking back at me in that mirror? I mean, yeah, my hair has started to gray but this old broad was doggone near totally gray with wrinkles all over the place, discolored skin and. . . hey, did you get the number of that crow that stomped all over my eyes? Being perfectly serious for a moment, I was really shocked. Was I that good at using makeup to hide all this stuff? Did Mother Nature hate me all THAT much? Apparently, the answer to both those questions was yes.

Plague Me

The Selfies From Hell

After I got used to looking in the mirror and when I could stop crying, I started taking a few selfies here and there. Think you look bad in that dastardly mirror? Wait until you see what your damn phone does to you!!! At first, I erased them all. I wasn’t having it. There was no way on this earth that I could look THAT bad. Or could I?

Acceptance Comes Slowly

As the days dragged on by and the selfies piled up, albeit slowly, I started getting used to what I saw in the mirror AND in the camera. I didn’t like it. Was I going to go back to the old me and just keep using the makeup for no good reason except to delude myself? I wasn’t sure. I put some on here and there. And then it went to just a lot of moisturizer. And then it went to. . . me. The real me. The me that is now. The 67-year-old me with wrinkles and crepey eyes, turkey neck and a myriad of other unflattering accouterments. And then it didn’t hurt so bad. And then it didn’t hurt at all. And then? Well, hell, it’s me. I earned every single one of those wrinkles. I earned every one of those damn gray hairs. I earned every sagging part of me. And you know what? It’s just. . . me.

And Now?

Well, I’m back to learning to love myself, which is where I was when this plague took over the world. Would I like it better if I looked like I thought I did with the war paint on my face? Yeah, I would, but guess what? That’s not really me. Me is the old lady looking back at me with all the imperfections, yeah, the ones I’ve earned over a long and pretty decent life.

The Future

And when all of this is a memory, will I start with the makeup again? Will I try to alter the me I’ve become and learned to love? I want to say, “Hey, this is me and this is what you’re getting from this point forward.” I want to say that. If I do, will I mean it? I’m honestly not sure. I mean, yeah, I always want to look my best, but if this IS my best, well, I guess I’ll have to accept that. But if part of loving your quarantine self also includes a little powder and lipstick, count me in!

The Crow

The Beautiful Crow That Stepped On My Eyes

Nov 272017
 

Today is my birthday. My 65th birthday, more accurately. I know it is because the government sent me a Medicare card. That means I’m officially old, right?  It set me back a bit when it arrived, but it got me thinking about a lot of things.

Turning 65 gets you a Medicare card

How Did I Get Here?

I honestly never thought I would reach this age. I was told three times in my life to buy the plot, set my affairs in order and get ready to go. Well, I guess I just don’t work and play well with others, though, because I refused. The last time, I was released from the surgeon’s care the day before my 50th birthday, an age I was told I would never reach. And here I am 15 years later.

So Here I Sit

What does it mean? Well, in the most simplistic terms, it means I have experienced six-and-a-half decades of living. They say that in the last half of the 20th century, more things were discovered than in all of history before that. I don’t know if that’s true, quite honestly, but there were many, many things my now-aging eyes were witness to.

What Happened Along The Way

Sputnik. Duck and cover drills. The Space Race. The assassination of John F. Kennedy. The moon landing in 1969, offset by the shocking murders perpetrated by the Charles Manson family a month later. Woodstock. I got married before that first Atari ping pong ball jumped across that line on the screen. I grew up with movies at the big theater with curtains on the stage on Saturday afternoons. Watch movies at home? Yeah, right. Phones were black boxes with curled cords. Had you told me way back when that I would be able to run my entire life from a little rectangle held in my hand, I would have laughed hysterically. I could go on and on. There was just so much!

And the technology! Some days I am sorta kinda well-versed in it. Other days I blatantly suck. There are times when I simply don’t want to learn one more damn thing. (Being officially old does that to ya! LOL) And then there are days when I eagerly suck up knowledge like it’s the best milk shake in town.

Slowly I Turn

And as much as it pains me to admit it, I am slowing down. I move slower, I think slower. I used to be a little dynamo. People could barely spot my vapor trail back in the day. Ancient history now. My skin is drying out at an incredible pace. There are lines on my face. We won’t discuss hair color as I’m still into hiding it. Maybe not for too much longer, though.

Things That Might Have Been

Regrets? Sure. We all have them. Not spending enough time with those I loved in the quest for the almighty buck. Not becoming a lawyer (something I would have been REALLY good at with my big mouth) because it took too long. Not embracing things I truly loved but embracing what I was told I was supposed to love. Swallowing too much BS from folks I honestly thought had my back. There are more.

The Joy Of It All

But you know what? There were (and are) many, many joys. Family, good friends, fun times, babies born, hugs, kisses, laughter. And I’m still waking up on this side of the sod. Does it get any better than that? Maybe, but waking up means you have another chance, one more shot at loving better, caring more, doing something for someone other than yourself.

So today I am officially old. And that’s okay. I always remember something I saw years ago on an email tagline. It was on my mind as I woke up this morning. “Never regret growing old. So many are denied the privilege.”

Please watch the video. It’s a great one.