In my attempt to get into the groove of many things, I’m going back to my writing workshop roots. Thus, this post was written by hand (see picture) and transcribed to make it internet-friendly. To get started, I chose a random word (“shoes”) and started writing the first memory that corresponded to that particular word. As I anticipated yesterday, there’s something about channeling memory and having it travel through your brain, and out of your fingers via pen and paper that makes you feel a little raw and vulnerable and truthful.
My dad has these shoes he bought in Italy. In Rome or Florence. I can’t remember which. I know when he’s wearing them even before I see his feet because, they click. Against floors. It’s a light, little click, click. It reminds me of an older, well-dressed Italian man, waling across a piazza after his morning espresso. Caffeinated, he clicks (click, click, click) in a determined way. The clicks come so quickly, you think maybe he’s angry. But the reality is, he’s just a Type A man. Unlike the older Italian man, however, my American father of Dutch ancestry is not well-dressed. He believe navy blue tee shirts match with old, beat up & faded, black shorts. I think I understand his reasoning, two Dark colors. Like and like. But when he slips on his light brown leather Italian loafers with the wooden heel that click, clicks, he kind of pulls it off. It’s the determination of the clicks; the suaveness of his alter ego … his Italian soles.
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Tagged click, clothes, dad, dress, handwritten, italian, leather shoes, memory, shoes, soles, workshop wednesday
While I was on the phone with a friend discussing prophylactic mastectomies and the dreaded pigeon-holing of another friend’s book-of-the-moment as a “cancer book,” I ducked into an Upper West Side store to buy a bra. I didn’t quite realize the irony of this until I was waiting online to pay for my purchase. As I was on the phone, I casually flipped through the racks trying to find something to flatter my small “national geographic” chest.
After I hung up with my friend, the older woman hovering around me asked if I would like a bra fitting. I was a little hesitant, since I wasn’t quite sure what that entailed, but remembered hearing stories of woman who had “miraculous” bra-fitting experiences that lead to better cleavage and uplifted decolletage. I unfortunately, did not have such an experience, as I seem to know my breasts better than most women know theirs. The sales associate brought me a selection of bras, which I vetoed one-by-one: “this one has a elastic along the upper part of the cup, it’s going to cut into my chest and squash the little I have to begin with.” Another one wasn’t padded, that’s not going to fly with me. “Too much of a dark nude, I need a lighter nude because I’m pale.” No lace this time around, I needed something for shirts in softer fabrics — what is it with older women and lace? Some stuff was pretty, but an inch away from my wondering if it came with a matching garter belt. I finally dismissed the saleswoman, who left in a huff when I shooed her out as she tried to follow me into the dressing room, insisting on being in there to help me. Umm, no thank you, I’ve been wearing a bra for 14 years, I think I’ve got the hook and eye thing down for myself now.
I walked out of the store with two perfectly decent bras, they weren’t La Perla, but fit perfectly and would be appropriate to wear under tee shirts. After that experience, I felt the need to reward myself with something I liked rather than a necessity. So, like the good woman I am, I headed straight to the shoe store, where toe cleavage, high heels and peep-toes flatter every foot and no one needs to feel self-conscious.