There are certain parts of the body that resist changes as years accumulate. They are long overdue for recognition. Ignore the hair and skip the face. He loses his hair because of his silly-sometimes-interesting desires and acrobatic styling, and although it’s fun, his face changes over the years like a moving image of life – for better or for worse.
So, let’s start with the underappreciated ears. Unadorned ears look funny, but add earrings, and a new world opens up. Men and women alike know the appeal, and some have made it a daily celebration of their strange auditory additions with hoops, studs and whatnot. When it comes to jewelry, the old rule of not overdoing it still holds. He is a smart person who fixes something after examining it in the mirror.
As a freshman in college, I suddenly, surprisingly, immediately had to get my ears pierced, but I had to frantically call my dad to get the needle through the hard skin. I still have those molded hats. Thanks to the epidemic and the ear-loop masks, the hearing aid battery that rides behind the ear (at risk of tearing), I’ve had to eliminate earrings from my daily routine.
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And now let’s examine the wrists. As voluptuous canvases for cologne, bracelets and watches, they know how to hold their own and keep a look. I own many wearable time-pieces, but since I retired from work, I own a watch. The wrists cry out for jewelry, though, and while most of my bracelets are dress toys, there are a few nice pieces, gifts from my husband. Like Blanche du Bois in “A Streetcar Named Desire,” I occasionally try and model my ensemble for an audience. Please don’t judge.
A single strand of pearls is my go-to for dressy occasions. Why would a forty-year-old woman deliberately draw attention to her neck? As necks go, mine isn’t too bad. It has served me well, but it is not tight and graceful. Gems are beautiful and classic. It reminds me of happy times, sorority-union cameos and how it can turn a bad day into something special if not a party. I ignore warnings not to wear pearls instead of my teeth. Thanks to the hygienist, mine are white enough not to be at war with my pearls of choice.
Despite the rumor that legs do not gain weight, they are flexible creatures. They like to change with age and mileage. My head says: buy shoes anyway. I love non-slip shoes and I love the sale racks where the best, odd, flat heels are hidden. My go-to outfit is sneakers, so I never use my special shoes, I only wear them when they’re out of need. One of the saddest days of my life was loading boxes of high quality high heels that I wore to work. I still cringe when I remember those eye-catching dressy shoes of my past life. Age, joint and disc replacements have put a nail in that fantastic coffin.
This essay is a tribute to my long-time mom, Olive Kelly. She never went to town without buying shoes, scarves, slippers or pretty lace dresses for her young daughters to wear to church and school. She also bought great dime-store jewelry, socks, and accessories. Luckily, I have a reasonable husband who doesn’t question why I need five pairs of shoes printed with pictures of dogs, not to mention that a portion of those sales go to a dog rescue program. And knowing that my colorful collections are there is enough to fill me with joy.