It’s been said that everything old is new again. Boy, they’re not kidding!!! I just got an ad from Nordstrom. . . . yes, Nordstrom. NOT some fly-by-night retailer for the latest trend. Actually, I’ve seen these shoes all over the place. For those of us of an age, so to speak, remember these bad boys? And for anyone who doesn’t know shoe brands, Sam Edelman is a luxury brand. I just went and looked. . . . those black puppies on the left are $150!!!!
I could barely lift my legs the first time these were out. Now? At almost 70? Who’s playing a joke on this ‘ole broad? Someone is and I bet they’re laughing. I’m not.
Yes, It’s My Age Talking
I like old shoes, yes, but not these old shoes. I like pumps, stiletto heels (even though my days of hoochie heels are long over), elegant shoes with maybe a jeweled shoe clip, wrap wedges from the 1940s and STYLE. I like Keds and P.F. Flyers in the summer. And, yeah, this is a style, but. . . UGH This clunky crapola can take a hike, in my NOT so humble opinion.
Who’s Wearing This Ca-Ca?
Go to any of the websites for the name brand clothing houses and you’ll find the answer. EVERYBODY! Well, everybody under the age of 50, at any rate. Are they comfy? Probably. I seem to remember they were. Do they add height to us short stacks? Yeah, they do. Am I gonna wear ’em? HELL NO! Unless I decide it’s leg day and I can’t make it to the gym.
Are there no new ideas out there under the sun for shoes? I realize feet are a basic shape and probably most styles of shoes have had a go ’round in the last couple of hundred years, but. . . why clunky, UGLEE shoes?
So. . . just for shitz & giggles, I went to Google Land and typed in “ugly shoes in history.” Some of these are ancient, but a few of them are contemporary. Maybe I should change my opinion on those Edelman loafers, eh? SIGH Okay, okay. You twisted my ankle. Now where the hell is my Nordstrom credit card? 😎
Those of you of an age will know where that title line came from. That lyric came from the musical “Hair” way back when. All of us who were hippies can relate. Hair became the end-all-be-all of both women and men alike. Shampoo, conditioner and specialty product sales went through the roof in the 60s and 70s. And EVERYBODY wanted that streaming, flaxen, waxen hair.
🎵Gimme a head with hair
Long, beautiful hair
Streaming, flaxen, waxen
Give me down to there (Hair!)
Shoulder length or longer (Hair!)
Here baby, there mama
Everywhere daddy daddy
In The Olden Days
I am a teen of the 60s. You know, the days of Cher and Twiggy, right? I had long hair, but it was curly. I spent my entire allowance on a product called Curl Free, which didn’t really work on me, but hope springs eternal. I wrapped my hair on orange juice cans and slept with the devil’s own headache to get it to flow and not kink up. HAH! Who remembers the pink tape? You used to wrap your hair around your head, i.e. using it as a big roller, and tape it down. So much easier to sleep on but after about 20 minutes my curls were bouncing once again. And we won’t talk about how many times my mom chased me with a hair brush, trying to beat my ass for laying my hair out on an ironing board. Ahhhh yes, good times.
Now I’m an old lady and I would LOVE my curls back. Sadly, due to illness, age and a few other things, my hair fell out. SHOCK, HORROR, GASP!!!! And it’s not only me. While searching for a hair loss group on Facebook, I found an entire world of female hair loss out there!!!! And the wig groups. . . oh my. Some folks like wearing wigs for fun. That’s great, provided there’s something underneath that wig. But for many of us, there isn’t. And therein lies the rub, as they say.
What Society Teaches Us
Women are supposed to have long, luxurious locks. That’s what makes us women, right? Our worth is in our hair. Let me be the first one to call a great big BS on that. It’s just like your size. Only certain sizes and looks qualify to get you in the hottie club. These days, it seems you either have to be a Taylor Swift. . . tall, skinny & blonde. . . or a Kim Kardashian. . . dark, sultry and all T&A. Not one of those? Oh well, you don’t count.
So If You Lose Your Hair. . .
But let’s get back to hair. If you have not experienced hair loss for ANY reason, be thankful. Women bust their bank accounts to zero purchasing products found on the internet or in doctors’ offices that don’t work. Oh, sometimes they do, but most times they don’t. Minoxidil, once a heart drug, is now the holy grail of hair loss. Does it work? For some it does. For many it doesn’t. There are lots of other drugs docs prescribe for hair loss, too. But. . .
Depends on how you lost your hair. Many women lose their hair from chemo. That usually grows back. There are many other reasons women lose their hair. In my research I learned that there are as many kinds of alopecia as there are stars in the sky. They each have their own pattern of loss and other symptoms. Some can be helped, some cannot.
If you’re getting the idea that your hair pattern is a crap shoot, you’d be right. The problem is women are valued for their hair. I’ve seen the stories of women who attempted suicide due to hair loss. I’ve also seen women crowing about weight loss while they have Stage 4 cancer, that they finally lost weight. HUH? Girl, if you have Stage 4 cancer you have more things to worry about than losing weight.
My Solution. . . May NOT Be Yours
Sadly, I’m not immune to all the crapola. I’ve bought more than my fair share of non-working “cures.” I’ve bought tons of wigs, some of which I liked and some which I didn’t and passed on. And then a light bulb went on in my brain and it said, “Cut your losses and shave your damn head!!!!” So one night, while the urge was upon me, I asked my husband to take a clippers to my head. I thought I would hate it. I thought I would cry, scream and hit people. I didn’t. I just went to bed. The next morning I put on a hat and that was that. Pretty soon, the hats started coming off. I don’t wear a wig every day either, although my new “do” sure makes it easier to wear a wig!
The Moral Of This Long Tale Is That. . .
✨Female pattern baldness exists.
✨Alopecia in many varieties exists.
✨Snake oil salesmen are out there because they know how vulnerable women are.
✨There is helper hair out there, sometimes better than your own was.
AND. . . THE BIGGIE. . . YOU ARE NOT YOUR HAIR. . . YOU ARE YOU!!!!
You hair or lack thereof does not make you a subpar woman. What’s inside you makes you who you are. If you’re a POS, I don’t care how gorgeous your hair is. You’re still a POS. People should be accepted for their uniqueness and qualities. Sadly, we’re not. We are a very superficial society. However, I have decided to stop playing. Now I do me. And if you don’t like it, you can look in a different direction. You have lots of choices. Keep it up and you will get my mouth and I warn you. . . I passed Profanity 301 with flying colors in a couple of languages. I may be old, but my middle finger still works just fine.
Beautiful Ladies, you are NOT your hair. You are your brains, your heart, your capacity to love, your inner strengths. In other words, woman, you are the bomb dot com!!!! Please don’t make yourself something less because you are too fat or too skinny or. . . heaven forbid. . . your hair is falling out. That’s the icing on the cake that is you. And the cake part of that you is pretty yummy. People need to take a bite of that cake and forget that the icing up top can be fake.
I love my wigs, but bottom line. . . I love ME. I’m a complete woman, with or without hair.
And, yes, that pic at the beginning of this rant is me in one of my favorite wigs. 🙂
And here’s that dastardly song that started all this hair *stuff*. LOL
Have your feet aged? Science reports people’s feet can get wider or simply larger with age whether your weight changes or not. I have many friends who once wore a 7 and now wear a 9. I’ve always worn a 9. Just call me Lady Bigfoot. And since I’ve shrunk dramatically and I’m only 5′ nuttin’ honey, well. . . .to quote my mother, at least I won’t tip over in a high wind.
Aging feet can present some challenges. If your size has radically changed, that means all new shoes. Sweet thought, but not on a fixed income. Cheap shoes are killers. You can find some more inexpensive sneaks that aren’t too bad, but everything else? HAH! So let’s delve a bit into the agony of da shoes for us *mature* folks.
At first glance, these seem to be the best option. They are secure. If your feet swell, you can adjust as needed. Even if they stretch a bit with time, you can just tie them tighter. But what happens when you can’t tie them? I love and prefer tie shoes, but. . . my hands are funky now. Makes it difficult. Is your middle bigger? Bending down to tie those shoes may be a real pain in the gut. And the biggie. . . what do you do when they come untied and you’re alone? Yeah, I know, some of us can still bend down easily and tie them again. We hate you. J/K J/K J/K LOLOL But if you can’t. . . I usually run and hide somewhere so nobody films me getting those shoes tied. And that brings us to. . .
You might think these are the answer and for some of us they are. But you still have to bend and sometimes pull to get into them. I have a heel that juts out so I always have to yank on the back of any shoe to get it on, no matter how well it fits. There are long-handled shoehorns you can get. These are good. What about when they stretch out? You can’t tie them tighter. Then it’s new shoes or heavier socks time. And once my foot starts slipping around in a shoe, I am a major-league fall risk.
These are one of the banes of my existence. I LUV dress shoes, but my days of hoochie heels are long gone. When I was in high school in the 60s we used to say we wore sit-down shoes and a stand-up girdle. (Does anyone even know what a girdle is anymore?) If I wore some of those shoes now, I’d be in a full-body cast within 5 minutes, maybe sooner. Try finding dressier flats. They’re out there, but it’s difficult. If you can wear a low wedge, you have a few more options. And if you still CAN wear hoochie heels, you go girl!!!! I won’t tell you what we used to call those in high school as it’s vulgar, but it had to do with Joan Crawford. 😉
Are There Solutions?
I’m not so sure about solutions, but there are some things to help. The aforementioned long-handled shoe horn is one of them if your feet give you trouble about going into shoes.
Shoe stretchers are still available (try the Vermont Country Store or a high-end shoe store) and can help ease shoes which may still fit but tightly so. I’ve also seen sprays that can stretch your shoes and boots.
There are slip-on shoes that look like tie shoes and you can simply step in from a standing position. Witchcraft!!!! LOLOL They’re not cheap, but they’re out there. The one I see all over is the Kizik brand.
Lastly, take some care in choosing your shoes. I understand how tight money can be, but shoes are NOT the place to scrimp once you’re up there in years. And me, the one who likes everything to match and be fashionable, hates telling you this, but black sneakers are just as appropriate as black heels for most things. And a helluva lot more secure. I use a pair of black ballet flats. If it’s really fancy I hook on a pair of rhinestone shoe clips from the 1920s, a prized possession from my beloved Grandmom.
Your feet carry you around and, trust me, it hurts when they tell you to go perform an anatomical impossibility and drop you on your arse. Please don’t ask me how I know. . .
(FULL DISCLOSURE: The brands mentioned here are for you to investigate. I am NOT connected with any of these companies and make nothing from telling you about them. Damn!!!!)
People say your attitude about money comes from your parents. My father made good money and spent it. His battle cry was, “It’s only money, Ri, I’ll get more of it!” (Ri is my mother, Rita.) She would have a conniption fit when the man she married, raised in abject poverty and now making it, came home with a new toy. My mother’s battle cry was, “We can’t afford it!!!” Even when we could, we couldn’t. Scarcity Mindset.
Children of the Depression
My parents were children of the Great Depression. Dad grew up in a large family that didn’t even have enough to eat most of the time. Mom grew up in a family that had enough; nothing extra, but enough. My Grandmom (Mom’s Mom) was one of the few people steadily employed during the 1930s. My Mom always told me that Sundays brought folks to the front door who needed a meal because my Grandmom never turned anyone away. She would just water down the soup a little bit more. You would have thought my Mom would have picked up this generous spirit, but she didn’t. She just developed a very advanced scarcity mindset.
As my Dad educated himself and took on bigger and better employment, becoming one of the top salesmen in the USA selling portion-controlled food to restaurants, his paychecks went up exponentially. All of a sudden we had nice homes and there were a few more dresses at the beginning of the school year. We went on vacations. New appliances and furniture began to appear. Life got decent and then it got nice because of my Dad. Yet the constant cry of, “We can’t afford it!” never stopped. But we did.
Now you think that would have been proof positive to my developing mind that she was wrong and he was right. Yeah, you’d think. My husband and I worked our asses off when the kids were little. Could we afford everything? No. Did they always have enough? Yes. But even when things eased up a bit, every time I needed to lay out some money, the Rita in my head screamed, “We can’t afford it!”
And the Torch is Passed
So all through my formative years there was this battle between we CAN afford it and we CAN’T afford it. Why, oh why, didn’t I believe him and not her? I took on that scarcity mindset. My adult life became, “We can’t afford it!” The problem was that although there were some times we couldn’t, there were many times we could.
What it Really Meant
Now here’s the real problem. “We can’t afford it!” meant we couldn’t afford to give either. Donations? “Hey, we’re poor, too.” No, we weren’t. That family needs help! “Oh well, they can get on assistance.” Meanwhile, there was an extra $20 burning a hole in my pocket that could have bought food. Not a lot, mind you, but it could have made the difference for someone.
So it made me selfish. I never in a million years considered myself a selfish person. I gave freely to all. . . of myself. But when it came to opening up the purse strings, well, that was a different story. I would tell myself things like, “Money isn’t everything. They need your time and attention.” Maybe they did, but if someone has a hungry baby they need money for food first!
I. AM. SELFISH. That revelation hit me hard. I broke out in tears with all the years of, “We can’t afford it!” hitting me like the proverbial ton of bricks. I feel like a total failure for all of those years. But guess what? I’m Scrooge and it’s Christmas morning. There’s still time to fix things.
It’s Different Now
Today I give freely to those who need it. I can’t do it all for everyone, obviously, but there are many I can help and I do. I don’t want to be selfish anymore.
This is NOT to say that you should be a spendthrift and give everything you need away to the detriment of your own, not at all. You take care of your own first, of course, but if there’s a few bucks left, trust me when I tell you someone in today’s world could use it. And then. . . more of it will come to you!
And in the End
So the moral of this tale is to not let a scarcity mindset make you selfish. We still don’t have a helluva lot but we have a helluva lot more than many others do. For this I am grateful. And every now and then, when Rita and her damned, “We Can’t Afford It!” starts to infiltrate my brain, I take a deep breath and listen for my Dad. “It’s only money. I’ll get more of it.” He always did. I will, too.
“Magic Penny” by Malvina Reynolds
It’s just like a magic penny, Hold it tight and you won’t have any. Lend it, spend it, and you’ll have so many They’ll roll all over the floor.
Okay. I get it. Retailers are in business to sell product and online buying has blossomed during the pandemic. In fact, so many people are buying online that many small-to- medium brick and mortars are closing their doors for good while Jeff Bezos and his Amazon Empire get richer and richer. Sad, but the way it is right now. And just like everyone else, I’m shopping online more and more. These retailers send me emails. LOTS of emails. Six or more per day. Why are they bugging the snot outta me? Folks, this is email marketing gone wild.
Is Email Marketing Even Still Relevant?
Yes, I believe it is. Even in this day of texts, FB ads and Instagram, there’s still a place for emails. Plus, you don’t have to make the extra click as you do on a text ad to see the product. You can see it right on the email in most cases. Yes, you have to click if you want to explore further, but you can make that decision almost immediately. And everyone checks their emails, right? Don’t you do that first thing in the morning? I do.
The Old Reliables
There are reliable companies like L.L. Bean. One email every other day, maybe every day if they’re running a hot sale. No “Hey, you forgot this!!!” No “Why are you not buying? Do you hate us now?” None of that. Just an email a day or every other day pointing out something they think I might like or that’s on sale. And I can deal with this. I even like it. They are a good, reliable retailer with quality products, fair prices and fast delivery. And they don’t bombard me with useless emails!!!
The Repetitive Emails
I subscribe to a lot of stores because, buying online, I want the best deals possible. I don’t mind one email a day with features and special purchases. In fact, these emails are welcome. BUT SIX TO TEN A DAY? Cut me a break!!! I had to ditch one place that sent one every single hour on the hour for 24 hours straight. Do they really think this “pester marketing” is going to win them loyal customers? They must.
The Reminder Emails
It used to be if you looked at something but didn’t purchase, a day or two later you’d get an email saying it was available if you were still interested. Nice. Friendly. Non-intrusive. And if you were lucky, they’d offer you a small discount to go and complete your order. Now? Within an hour (sometimes minutes) after looking at something, I get, “Hey, did you forget this?” or “This is yours, right?” or “You left this in your cart!” And if I don’t go purchase the product more emails come in a regular progression throughout the day. To answer the questions they feel they must ask, “No, I did not forget this” and “No, it’s not mine as I haven’t bought it” and “No, I didn’t leave it in my cart. I don’t want it.”
The Guilt Emails
The ones that really get me are the ones that attempt to hang the guilt. . . on the CUSTOMER!!! Again, haven’t purchased in a while. I got one that said, “Why don’t you like us anymore?” And then there was, “Did we do something to make you hate us?” That was a good one, even I have to admit. No in both cases. Maybe I just don’t need anything right now. Novel concept, eh?
The Threat Emails
So I don’t buy something from a company for maybe a week. Then cometh, “We’re going to have to drop you from our email list since we haven’t heard from you.” HUH? Wanna drop me? Go for it! If you hit me with this one I don’t want your stinkin’ emails or product anyway.
So What’s the Answer?
STOP SENDING SO MANY @(&$&)(@*#$ EMAILS!!! Quite truthfully, if you bombard me with 10-12 emails a day, I’m off to a competitor to find that product. You just lost a sale. Do you care? Probably not. How do I know this? HERE COMES ANOTHER EMAIL!!!!