Friday, April 1, 2011

Parisian Perfection

The women of Paris are the most chic women I have ever seen.

One of their style secrets seems to be "the art of understatement". If you look closely at the photo, you'll notice that this woman is wearing one item of jewelry, a plain gold wedding band.

Although the woman is wearing is a slightly short skirt, (undoubtedly to showcase those perfect legs), everything else is quietly tasteful and even modest.

The women in Paris wear a lot of black and they sometimes add a colorful scarf. Done right, those bits of silk that add a flash of color help to create a look that is stunning. Parisian women also give meticulous attention to grooming; their manicures are perfect, their hairstyles and makeup are flawless, but generally as subtle as their fragrance.

While dining in a bistro in Paris one night, we were able to pick out a table of foreign women very easily. They had bigger hair, longer fingernails, bigger jewels, and louder voices than the Parisian women. These ladies also wore brighter colors and their clothing was more eye-catching than any of the local women. Even from across the room, it was obvious they were tourists.

During dinner, I saw a woman on the street outside the cafe and she looked slightly "off" to me. She was well turned out, but her heels were a little too high, her skirt was just a little too short (showing a snake tattoo winding up her thigh) and her lipstick a little too red. She seemed to be waiting for someone. I watched her as a group of men walked by and she said something to them. They smiled and kept walking, but then turned around after they had passed her to take another look. I pointed out to my husband that she was a prostitute and he told me I was crazy.

We watched her speak to every man who walked by her and finally my husband recognized that she was soliciting business and probably not selling telephone systems.

That would complicate things where I come from. A well dressed woman on the street, with perfect make up and hair, saying "hello, do you want to party?" would be a strange sight indeed. I think most prospective customers would think she was a cop or feel pretty sure they had misunderstood what she was saying in the first place.

I did feel a jolt of "happy" and "smug" when the hostess and the waitress both addressed me in French. Of course, my pleasure was short-lived once they realized I was not "one of them". Still, I had 'em fooled for a moment and took pride in it.

The last time I was in Paris, it was in February and extremely cold. My basic wardrobe for two weeks consisted of a pair of black leather boots with a two inch heel, two pairs of identical tailored black wool trousers, a mid-calf length black wool coat, two almost identical cream colored silk blouses, and two Hermes scarves, one with a bright yellow background, the other in a deep green. In other words, I fit right in! I left the jewelry at home except the wedding ring, the Cartier watch and the modest diamond stud earrings. I settled for one subtle spray of "Coco" by Chanel. No more, no less.

But I have to admit, it's not the real me to be understated. My real taste runs to almost gypsy inspired bright red low-cut dresses, hooker shoes, jewelry everyplace one can wear jewelry and preferably the kind that jingles, flashy mink coats and heavy perfumes. (I very seldom give in to my real taste because I realize it's really a lack of taste.)

Paris brings out the best in women and I'd be much more chic if I lived there.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Finally, Spring


It seems like forever since the skies have been blue and the sun shining. It rained for 23 straight days and nights until two days ago.

The dogs were going nuts. No real exercise out in the pouring rain. I was going nuts. Why go outside at all when it's raining?

The sun is out, the birds are chirping, the fish are swimming and it's about 70 degrees today and expected to get warmer tomorrow. Actually, 70 is a little warm for me. I like 67 and partly cloudy.

I'm feeling very disgruntled this year. My husband left me home alone while he visited family in Arizona last week. It made me hate him. Now, the sun is shining and he's busy at work in his San Jose office and I still harbor harsh feelings toward him. I guess I don't really hate him, but all he brought me home from his trip to Arizona was a stupid plastic key chain. I threw it at him and it landed on the floor. It was so boring the dogs didn't even want it.

I tried to get a friend of mine to run off to Cabo with me for a few days but he says his wife won't let him. I've invited various people to come and stay for a visit, but nobody has taken me up on it.

I'm bored to where I'm throwing popcorn at my cat for kicks. I'm even thinking of buying myself a nice condo in the heart of Paris. If I do that, I will go live there and drink wine all day and paint. (I am not artistic, but if it's my fantasy, I'll do it my way.) Maybe I can lure good looking men up to my lair telling them I want to immortalize them in oil! (They don't have to know I mean olive oil till they get there, do they?)

Maybe this is just "spring fever". Or maybe I'm actually having an epiphany. It's been at least 3 weeks now since I've had one so I'm not sure anymore. I'm not even sure I know what one is at this point.

I think maybe the problem is bathing too much. I never get dirty, so why bathe? I may just quit taking baths until I get good and dirty and have ants crawling on me.

I used to like the way I smelled. Now I don't smell like anything. Isn't that weird. If I put on perfume, I smell like "Coco" but other than that, I think I'm just too clean.

That's it. No more baths!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Gift Horses

Don't look gift horses in the mouth!

What does that really mean? If somebody gives me a horse as a gift, I probably will want to look in its mouth. It is also likely I want to have a vet look it over from head to tail to hoof. I will be expected to care for and feed this horse, right?

My husband Alex came home from a little jaunt to Arizona last week. He went down to see his family and take in some pre-season Giant's games. When he came home, Alex began telling me an astounding tale.

Alex's mother wants to give him approximately 200 acres of undeveloped land about an hour from Gallup, New Mexico. The land borders on the Navajo Reservation and has been in the family for a long time.

Alex is Navajo and he has a lot of family in the area. All these acres of land sound pretty good to him. To me, not so much. What would we "do" with land like this? Alex grins and says "we could get a double wide and live there!".

If I didn't know better, I'd swear he had been having at the peyote buttons, but no, that's not the case. Although Alex is Navajo, he is an urban Navajo. He was born in San Diego at a Marine Corps base hospital, grew up in Phoenix, Arizona, and has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for the last 23 years. He has short hair and does not ride horses. I doubt if Alex has ever touched a sheep or been inside a double wide.

If Alex owns this land, what does he expect to do with it? Pay property taxes? Develop it? Oh I give up. I guess he could sell it. (Wait, this is family land we are talking about! "You don't sell land that has been in your family for a hundred years." says Alex.) Oh, yeah, right.

This reminds me a little of when we got married. Alex's mother fretted a lot about how she was going to afford the four sheep and two goats that she needed to give my mother as traditional gifts for our wedding. (My mother lived in a San Francisco apartment at the time.)

But, sweet as it sounds to give such a lovely gift, even if my mother had lived in a house with a huge yard, it's unlikely she would have wanted to care for sheep and goats. It was difficult talking Alex's mother out of the gift.

Alex is very excited to receive the gift of 200 acres of property from his mother. Maybe he can build a casino on it.