I’m sure that title has some of you wondering . . . did Jane win the lottery? Has she given up Cokes for champagne? Is she now surrounded with luxury during the sunset years of her life?
Of course not. No lottery winnings (you have to play to win). No champagne or Cokes (too many calories in both). No luxury items now that my beautiful T-Bird with the removable hard top bit the dust on a guardrail (or two) on Interstate 4 (see blogpost “A Thing of Beauty”). But I did have one of those AHA moments this morning. AND, as appropriate as it may sound, this is not referring to the American Heart Association.
This morning after watching the news, I was navigating getting up out of my couch. “You know you’re old when” buying a couch takes on significance when the only suitable ones are double recliners. Some mornings it just takes all the strength I can muster to kick that footrest back in to place. This morning’s callisthenic resulted in me tossing my coffee cup up into the air as I sat up. As is so often the case, my cup was only half-full . . . and lukewarm at that. The awkward part of this entire fiasco was the moment when I poured most of the coffee down my leg and into my shoe. This occurred just prior to my release of the cup for its airborne arabesque. I delicately stepped out of my shoes and sloshed to the kitchen for paper towels and sponge to provide damage control. When I returned to the scene of the accident, my dog (known for his keen ability to chew holes in the middle of my washcloths) was happily sipping coffee out of my shoe.
That was the moment of the aha. AHA! While some people drink champagne out of their best stilettos, my champagne life consists of lukewarm coffee being consumed out of an old stinky sneaker. The aha was the realization that this could be a metaphor for my entire life . . . no champagne and dancing shoes, just lukewarm coffee and sensible shoes.
My dear friend, Ken McLaughlin likes to mention my penchant for stiletto shoes (especially those in metallic or animal print finish). I’m afraid he would be stunned to see my sad collection of acceptable shoes. The stilettos have marched out the door to thrift shops to make room for flats and shoes with respectable arch support. I admit that I have kept a pair or two of my dancing shoes to just look at, hold, caress and dream about. Some things are just so hard to part with . . . and on the rare occasion that I dress up enough that I have squeezed myself back into pantyhose, I do take down these shoes and verify (once again) that they probably aren’t such a great idea. In these moments I find myself thinking, “Seriously? I wore these once? AND walked?” I feel like I’m on a pair of circus stilts, wobbling from my closet to my boudoir. And it only takes a step or two to remind me that my brain thinks I’m 18 and sexy while my body knows I’m 68 and . . . . well, still sexy. But that’s another blog. (In the retirement world, Fifty Shades of Grey is referring to the hair on our heads.)
But I digress. So what about a champagne life? After spending 24,868 days on this planet, I think I may have formed some opinions about celebrity, wealth and the champagne life. OK. Granted a great deal of those nearly 25,000 days was spent in diapers, elementary school, and trying to “find myself” in The Sixties . . . still. I must have at least 15,000 viable days of wisdom. I find it impertinent to belabor the problems of being rich, famous, legendary, and imbibing from a slipper since I have no experience in that particular arena. I do, however, have the powers of observation. Christina Onassis, the richest woman in the world (at the time . . . Oprah was still young), was reported to have taken her own life which was worth $250,000,000 at the time. That’s lot of zeroes. Like Christina, responders found Whitney Houston in a bathtub, dead from reported drug overdose. She probably wasn’t worth $250MM, but she had much admired talent and fame. And then there was Princess Diana.
I’ll bet all three of these ladies drank champagne from slippers as well as Barccarat and Waterford crystal glasses. A pair of these glasses sells for more than I would be able (or willing) to pay for an entire set of dishes. Were these women happy? Not so much. Ages at death were 36 (Diana), 38 (Christina) and 48 (Whitney). So sad and tragic! And this is not just an American tragedy, but a global tragedy [Whitney was American, Christina was Greek and Diana, British (and royalty, yet)].
So here I am at 68 years, having outlived some of the rich and famous. So if their lives were a tragedy and I’m in the opposite pendulum swing from them, does that make my life a comedy? Please cast your vote in the comments section of this blog. I will hint that I often feel like an aging Lucy Ricardo, but that is usually right after I’ve colored my hair. And I am consort to a comedian named Bob and all my children are hilariously funny, including my grand. So, perhaps by association I, too, am comedic.
While I await your votes on my champagne life, I will make a toast to my mutt who has the savior faire to drink from my sneakers and still look well-bred. Perhaps that’s because his breed (Lakeland Terrier) goes for about $1,000 these days. So, I may not drive a Bentley, live in Beverly Hills, or wear Manolo Blahniks . . . but I do have a high-class dog with that certain je ne sais quoi that allows someone to ask one grand for His Furriness. Just ask him, if you can drag him away from his own champagne life of drinking from my shoe and chewing holes in linens.