Thursday, February 28, 2013

Get Cool Before You Die . . . .Really!

I had to chuckle when Une Femme posted this photo the other day. Hers was taken in Paris' Marais quartier, but I instantly went rifling through my files to find the one above, taken in Bordeaux last May. Obviously, our eyes share an attraction to the quirky. . . .

And as I clicked through hundreds of photos, searching, I spotted this forgotten treasure. Skate shops seem to share a sensibility, even across oceans, and I love the French/Bordeaux iteration. Isn't that a great slogan? How much time do we have left?

My Mom is doing her damnedest to achieve such a state of coolness, I must say. My sister-in-law sent out a photo with a group e-mail last night. It featured my brother, a ruggedly handsome man whose face not only reflects his rugby decades but also sported a cut lip, courtesy of a skiing adventure. He'd taken his tumble the same day my Mom took hers. She's in the photo with him, her nose horrifically swollen, sporting stitches across the bridge, her right eye almost comically painted the deep red of a bruise that will turn purple, then green, before it yellows into memory. In the photo, though, both are laughing heartily, my mom's eyes widened as she recognizes the jokes, her mouth opened to show all her teeth, which I catch myself inspecting for more damage. The accompanying e-mail  (subject heading: You should have seen the other guy) explains that my brother has just offered his best Jimmy Durante impression: That's not a banana. That's my nose!

If that's not quite enough cool for you (are you kidding me?!), get yourselves over to check out Lisa's biker jacket, worn with stylish aplomb -- pearls and vintage-style Levis cool. (I wrote about middle-aged women and biker jackets back here, but I can't claim to have ever reached the heights Lisa's planted her flag on)

20 comments:

  1. That link to Pseu's photo is going elsewhere.

    Crazy silly thinking about your Mom's banana!

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    1. Thanks, Susan, I've changed it now.
      Remember good ol' Jimmy Durante? . . . .now that was a schnozz! ;-)

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  2. Aren't you glad that you can laugh about this? Biker jacket with pearls? That might blow them away.

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    1. Humour definitely helps!
      And yes, doesn't she rock that look?!

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  3. Lisa really rocks that biker jacket!

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  4. Hilarious pics. I am working hard to be as cool as possible (for all of my life) :-) And I'm sure that your mum is the coolest!

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  5. Your mom has a great sense of fun...
    Lisa does look fabulous, and she has done it perfectly, right down to the pearl studs!
    Stay cool isn't that a line from Get Shorty?

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    1. As Hester suggests below, my mom's sense of fun has not always been so obvious. . . there are many revelations along this journey. . .

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  6. Aw. You're so sweet. I always wanted to be cool. If it's actually happened I'm horn-swoggled.

    Thinking over and over again about your mom and you.

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    1. More proof. Only cool people say "horn-swoggled" . . .

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  7. Your Mom is a real trooper. My goodness you have a fabulous family.

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    1. There is some fabulousness that really pleases me, yes, there is. . .

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  8. I wonder if it is a surprise to you that your mum 'got' the joke, not just because of her cognitive impairment but because of how you've perceived her (taciturn?) personality so far. I found it fascinating how my understanding of the contours of my grandmother's personality shifted when I cared for her. She was born an Edwardian, and whilst at her life's end, I heavily pregnant with my son, the palliative care nurse asked me cheekily "so have you had a scan yet? Did you get to see his little todger?" Entirely innocuous comment but So Shocking in the hearing of Grandma, one didn't mention genitalia in any way shape or form ... - or so I'd have thought. But Grandma just chuckled impishly and twinkled, making me realise that behind the starched Edwardian was a well hidden enjoyment of the irreverent and the cheeky. It gave me a new depth of appreciation of the many layers of her constructed self and I still treasure how in what might have seemed 'The End' there were so many new beginnings whose memory still delights me.

    I wonder how my own children will grow to perceive me. I as parent have to be brisk, organised, efficient, reliable, a bit stern on occasion, the sorter-outer and reliably in command. There are so many previous selves to me that I doubt they'll ever know of, let alone meet as those selves belong to a past I have no need to revisit (keen motorcyclist, a fell runner, an employee of the art world in Manhattan in the early 90s, etc etc). Whilst your mum has been frail for a while, there must be quite a paradigm shift going on now as you literally become her carer along with your sibling team and perceptions of self and other alter like a row of dominoes. Bless her, I hope her nose mends soon.

    Hester

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    1. My sister just wrote me an e-mail saying how perceptive your comment is -- I've actually been working up to writing a post about this very topic. Cognitive changes, narcotics, mortality leering, surrendering barriers of intimacy in the name of care, all of these have offered us a vision of someone who must have been there all along.
      More to come . . .

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  9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  10. P.S. How rude of me, i should also have offered my congratulations to Lisa. You own the biker jacket look. Totally. Trying not to be offensive (but I guess I am being so, sorry in advance), many women, and men, of any age, just look chubby, lumpy and dumpy in leathers but you have the perfect physique for them. I hope you have a slick pair of leather trousers in your wardrobe too LPC, as you'd suit them very well (albeit obviously not together with the jacket as you're not an actual biker, it would look a bit weird, like you'd corralled your Triumph somewhere but forgotten where). Celebrate that luck and strut your stuff, - with my pear-shaped figure, in my biking days I looked like a badly upholstered sofa from World of Leather [cheap furniture chain in UK].

    Hester

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    1. I don't suppose she'll come back here to see these comments, but I hope she does. Lisa? are you out there? I absolutely agree -- my own search for a biker-style jacket focused on finding one that wouldn't end at my middle, which is not my favourite body part. . . .

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  11. I have been humbled to see, when I worked in hospitals, many people in hospice care who displayed new depths to their humanity and freedom to express themselves. If a person is reasonably comfortable, there is often this period of authenticity that is remarkable. Of course, that means it was always there in the person, and your mother sounds as if she has those qualities in spades.

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we?

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