I have never been a woman that accessorized. I lose earrings. Bracelets get caught in my steering wheel. And every time I change my bag, I lose my license. Or a credit card. Or my favorite lipstick.

Six months ago, something happened. I “stole” a scarf from my 11 year old daughter. The scarf had been hanging around a teddy bears neck since her 8th birthday party so don’t judge me too harshly. I liked wearing it. It was like Jacob’s coat of many colors except it was a scarf. And it went with everything. It had many colors. I felt like a grown up. I felt like I could guest host a talk show. I felt “put together.”

Next, a friend passed on a scarf, or shawl, or pashmina, a large piece of cloth intended for draping around the upper half of the body. I liked wearing that too, though I still haven’t quite figured out what to do with it. Most of the time, I put it over my head if it’s raining. Once I get inside, I fold it into a triangle and pretend I’m a woman in need of a rocking chair. Which often I am.

For Christmas, I got two infinity scarves. Are you familiar with this latest rage sweeping the nation? (I think it’s been a few years, but I don’t get to the hair salon very often. The last Vogue I read was from 2012. I think they might have used the term revolutionary. Or maybe they were talking about a new kind of bang. As in short cropped hair on the forehead. There are a lot of revolutions in the world of accessories and hair. Not just the kind that grows on your head but that’s a whole ‘nother story. I need to go to the salon more.)

They are both blue, my new Christmas infinity scarves. One is turquoise blue, the other is a royal blue. They both go with almost everything I own, especially when framed by my very favorite jean jacket. Which is denim blue. (Duh, you are thinking. No, I’m telling you. Denim is not necessarily the color of denim any more. It was hard to find a denim colored denim jacket.)

I like them. I, who have never worn any accessories, except for brief binges on earrings, an intense love affair with a wrist cuff, and a series of flirtations in my late 30’s with a series of hair ornaments, have embraced the scarf. For the time being. The patchwork scarf I stole from my daughter. The burnt orange hand me down from my dear friend that I have yet to define. And the two Christmas gifts in the most beautiful shades of blue. Infinity scarfs.

The givers knew me well. The scarves are circular, so there is no draping or tying or folding to be done. It is not likely they will slip into my coffee or dangle in my soup.

And I need to eat more soup. I’ve seen the commercials. Women that eat lots of soup look like they are about 34, have perfectly groomed eyebrows and can shop for swim suits on line because everything looks good on them.

Christmas is over. It’s time to put away cup cakes and frivolous attempts at holding onto pairs of earrings, and to embrace the simple truth that I am a woman that needs simplicity in all things.

And two infinity scarfs in two shades of blue seems to be a really nice way to start.

I will survive this winter in New England, in shades of blue and green and gold. It’s nice to know that the people I love knew I needed a little help to stay warm this year.

Weighty Matters

September 22, 2013

In a world where everything is becoming open for discussion, there are still a few topics that make most people uncomfortable. The first three that come to mind are death, lice, and weight.

Of course, there are the brief conversations about who died when and how bad everyone feels. And whose kid came home with lice (and how glad we are it wasn’t ours.) And weight? I’m are always comparing notes on the latest diets, and what I ate or didn’t eat on any given day. But these tend to be brief forays that lead into the serious stuff- “adolescence, doesn’t it suck having teenagers”, “I wanted to kill my husband when…” and “what the hell should we do about Syria,” (I am not a total idiot, and neither are my friends. Between us, we have actually come up with a solution to most of the worlds problems. That’s another post.)

And when it comes to weight? I read the magazines. I watch the talk shows. Our weight is a subject that consumes a lot of us. I know that I can wear a smile for an hour after hopping on the scale and discovering I’ve lost a pound. I might kick a kitten if the reading is a few pounds heavier than the day before. Yet I don’t think I’ve ever had a real conversation with anyone about the actual number.(And doctors offices and health clubs don’t count. Though there is’t really a conversation. Just a statement.”You weigh —.” “oh.”)

I weigh 162 pounds. When I was pregnant I reached what I think was my all time high- but I don’t know because when I’m really heavy I don’t weigh myself- of 220 pounds. I would like to weigh 145 pounds, which according to those statistics in the fitness magazines, is kind of high. But I work out. And I like lunch.

Ok, it’s 168.

When I look in the mirror I see a pretty woman. I like my face. I have a waist line. My breasts are small, so there isn’t much gravity can do with them. I’ve got field hockey player thighs, but they could be defensive line football player thighs. And my belly is just a tiny heart shaped curve, it actually looks kind of cute.

And then, I’m walking in the mall. I catch a glimpse in a mirror. Staring back at me, is a chunky, middle aged women who really should hire a personal shopper to help her buy blue jeans because the ones I’m wearing make my rear end look the size of the Kardashian’s garage.

Maybe the mirrors in the mall are trick mirrors designed to make shoppers head screeching into the local department stores in search of Spanx.

Weight matters, but not nearly as much as we think it does. My life isn’t going to magically improve when I weigh 142 pounds. Shopping will be nicer. But I don’t think my friends are going to like me more, my kids aren’t going to start cleaning their rooms without 97 gentle reminders when I weigh a little less.

Lice doesn’t really matter at all, and death matters a lot. I use it as a cattle prod when I am tempted to spend the day at home eating chocolate instead taking my dogs out for a long walk. Not because I’m afraid of the damn calories. Because life is short, and I’d like to spend as much of it as I can walking in the woods with Sophie the Magnificent Wonderpup.

At the end of the day, I guess it’s not what we talk about or don’t talk about with the people we love. It’s how we live our lives when we aren’t busy comparing notes with our neighbors.