the simple minded suburbanite

Black is the New Pink-and-Green
October 23, 2009, 2:09 am
Filed under: culture, suburbanite, voluntary simplicity | Tags:

Oh shit.  Another lunch with a faction of the infamous group of ladies that oh-so eloquently supported working women as you may recall from one of my earlier posts.  This time it’s a lunch to celebrate Debbie’s birthday.

I really do like Debbie, but the other one, not so much.  I’ve tried.  I’m one of those people that see the good in just about everyone, but I’m also one of those people that end up going, “For Christ’s sake!  You knew she was a freakin’ nut within  minutes of meeting her!”  Then I simulateously scold myself for not listening to my instincts and mentally hug myself for being all open to all walks of life while spewing in a tangle of tongue and spit to my husband all of the freaky things that make her a freaky, freakin’ nut!

This one, the one I think that has officially crossed the line into freaky, freakin’ nutdome, I saw comin’, but in the spirit of keeping this blog tracking along the lines of maintaining some semblance of simplicity (and sanity) in the suburbs and veering away from a complete anonymous character assasination, I’ll stick to one aspect of her outward personality.  CONSUMPTION.

Never mind that she is an expert, know-it-all and never mind that she assumes everyone votes along her party lines, and never mind that she slyly works gossip…there I go, veering again.  I guess one of my first observations, an observation I couldn’t believe others hadn’t found glaring, was that everything she wore was pink and green.  Usually paisley, sometimes plaid, most certainly Lilly Pulitzer.  I didn’t even know that “Lilly”, as she referred to her like she was a dear friend, was a designer.  Being a reader I immediately thought Pulitzer Prize.  (In fact, as soon as I get done blogging, I’m going to google Lilly and see if she is related.)  But, back to the pink and green thing, it started with the occasionaly puckered gingham blouse, then bled into accessories like a monogrammed pool bag and flower adorned flip flops.  It got larger and spread to key chains and bulbous sunglasses (but never earrings, ewe no, those were always diamond studs, which, she recently informed me she upgraded to two-and-a-half karat.).  Then the pink-and-green morphed to seat cushions and yard art and finally, in one last orgasm of pink-and-green ecstacy, she converted her guest bedroom into a custom closet with hot pink walls and a pink monogramed chaise lounge!!!  Ahh!  I need a cigarette!

Now, you didn’t have to read Women Who Run with the Wolves to understand that this lady was having some internal conflict.  And the therapist in me seized the opportunity one evening as she waddled across my back yard, two wine glasses and a nice bottle of red in hands, to offer her some clarity.  Two things come to mind as I write this.  One: Why do people like this always seem to waddle across my back yard?  Two:  If you ask my advice, I assume you want it.  I understand that I sometimes, when it comes to matters of life, can express my opinions, let’s say, fully.  I feel, through my own struggles, have earned my point of view.  Because of this whenever someone asks my opinion I always ask, Are you sure you want my opinion?  If they meekly nod, “yes”, I tell them honestly but softly what that might be.

So, on this particular evening that turned into a very late night, this one conceded to drinking my offering of a second bottle of not-so-great red and confided in me some problems she was having that draw all of us together in our humanity.  She spoke of problems with her husband being gone constantly, leaving her basically a single mother of a complex child.  She spoke of growing up with alcoholics for parents, weight gain, her insecurities with friends, uncertainty of what she had to offer the world and who she was.  How she felt like she was drowning, drowning.  I held my own breath and listened.  Much of this I understood.  But when I asked her, what was she willing to change in order to live the life she craved, she fell silent.

“Honestly,I don’t think I can give up the money.  I’m sorry, I just can’t.”

All the possibilities she had available to her went out the window.  All the changes she could’ve put her hands on, slipped away.  And I felt sad for her.  Perhaps that’s why I held onto our “friendship” for so long.  I don’t take lightly when someone opens their heart to me.  I see myself in nearly everyone I meet, the pretty and the ugly.  And I felt, and maybe still feel a little bit, that if I just listened and stood true as a friend, she would find her way.

This was a few years ago, and alot has changed since that night and tomorrow’s potential lunch.  She’s taken to Pilates and lost tons of weight, she’s changed social circles, she and her family spend weekends at their new lakehouse kyaking, boating, skiing.  She seems to have a new zest for life.  And did I mention, the pink-and-green…gone!

Replaced by, I notice and am surprised again that it’s not glaring to many other people, black.  All black.  Patent shoes, streamlined tees, work out clothes.  And work out she does, hours a day while she pays someone to do homework with her child.  And a few weekends ago, on an overnight trip with my family (that I tried to avoid) to her new lake house, she informed me that not a single property was being sold on that lake for less than $700,000, even in this economy and confided that she would be having plastic surgery on her breasts and stomache, and she was so thrilled to have her new LandRover (which is, wow!, black) because, without it she would not be able to make it up the steep driveway of their newest investment.

And I wonder, is black new at all or is it the same, tired pink-and-green?

Lunch?  Anyone?


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