I'm off to Chicago on Wednesday morning for my daughter's law school graduation. I love that town and I am looking forward to seeing my daughter and my sister and niece. The only negative thing is the step-mother is going to be there and that is never a good thing. I have to be a model of civility but that is counter intuitive to my real feelings and impulses. My ex-husband won't be able to make it, which is too bad for my daughter, but great for me. He will be missed but the party will go on.
I am finally coming out of the closet by confessing that I am the owner of two pair of Crocs and I am actually starting to wear them out in public. I have no shame. When I first saw them two years ago, I took a pass and thought to myself, I wouldn't be caught dead wearing such ugly shoes. They look like something Minny Mouse would wear after taking LSD. I am particular about what I wear on my size 9 feet and never want to call attention to them unless I have on the most fashionable, groovy shoes from Nordstrom. I am the girl who wouldn't wear boots growing up in Pennsylvania in 18 inch show levels, because they were not cool. My tail
bone still reminds me of how stupid that was. I always felt Birkenstocks were a way of life, not something I would aspire to. I thought UGGS only looked good on people when they were actually covered in two feet of snow, not on the beaches of Southern California. My taste in shoes has always been vanity before comfort.
That all changed last summer when I was given a pair of Crocs by a friend who sells them in her store. Gradually I started wearing them in the privacy of my house and garden. Given the fact that they are the ugliest shoes ever made, I didn't think wearing these pink plastic shoes in public would be something I could do without compromising my dignity. But, damn if they weren't comfortable and easy to slip on and off. I started to notice more and more people were wearing them, and Colorado, where they originated, was claiming them as a natural resource. By the number of nurses who wear them, I'm beginning to think scrubs and crocs are a marriage made in heaven.
In January I went to Sayulita, Mexico and I decided to take them with me just to wear at the beach. I ended up never taking them off. I was navigating the rocky beaches, dirt roads and shopping expeditions with the endurance of a ten year old on a sugar high. The feeling of happiness my feet were experiencing superseded my vanity.
When I got back home, I bought a pair of navy blue ones, thinking they would be less conspicuous and I would wear them more often. Unfortunately I left them in my car and the one that was in the direct sun shrunk two sizes. I now have a size nine and a size seven. I have since learned that you can't expose them to temperatures over 190 degrees. Thank goodness it was only March and not July, or I would have been scraping them off of the seat. I guess that means I won't be cleaning them in the dishwasher like someone told me I could.
I am still self conscious when I wear them and feel that they look cute on everyone except me. I read somewhere that they are the podiatric equivalent of the muu muu and think that is a great analogy. But for someone who hates to wear shoes, I have decided these are the next best thing to going bearfoot. Will they catch on and become the new flip flops? Now that the Baby Boomers have swollen feet, fallen arches and bunions from years of wearing all the good looking shoes, I think you can bet on it.
It's no secret that I am a huge fan of Martha Stewart Magazine, and that is why I subscribed to Blueprint, sight unseen. Having recently received my first copy, I must admit I have mixed feelings. It reminds me of a Martha Stewart for Dummies, or a cross between Real Simple and Lucky, or as I like to call it, Too Simple. I don't know who the demographics are, but I can assume it is women who have a life are too busy to tackle the over-ambitious recipes or projects in her regular magazine. They are trying to out-do Oprah by having numerous pages of things you can't live without, like preppy dog leashes or Plugra butter. And since we have a shortage of women's magazines trying to push every piece of makeup known to women kind, there are plenty of must have lipsticks, foundations, and blush. I would expect something more original and creative from Martha, like how to make your own lipstick from used crayons. Or making your own blush from beet juice.
The recipes are practically non-existent and the clothes remind me of what a reformed Amish soccer mom would wear. There is a section on making a purse out of a piece of fabric that reminds me a girl scout project gone awry. Then there is the totally unfunny, 100 reasons to crack a smile, including my favorite bumper sticker - "When I married Mr. Right, I didn't realize his first name was, Always." I even found a typo on this page, where they omitted the five on number 57. I bet Martha wasn't too pleased when she spotted that one, and I guarantee you that if I found it, she did too. Typos are the kiss of death to a perfectionist.
In all fairness, I do like the photography and the house that is featured is one that you can almost visualize a family living in, except for the fact that it is all white. You can't convince me that this is the new white - relaxed, lived in and with not even a hint of preciousness. White is white and when you have kids and dogs it is not compatible. Unless you keep them in cages.
The biggest suprise of all is the Party in a Box. I think the fact that the recipes are so simple, the desserts are all store bought and the decorations are uncomplicated, will forever change party throwing habits in this country. Martha has lowered the bar. We can all relax and stop worrying about high expectations when it comes to entertaining. There is a collective sigh of relief being heard though-out the land. Lets party like it's 1999.