Friday, August 28, 2009

Put My New Shoes On . . .

Perhaps what I like best about my boyfriend jeans is how easy it is to wear them with flats. So much so that I decided I needed another cute pair -- my leopard-print ones have some obvious limitations that even the pattern-mixing lessons I've picked up from Karen won't overcome. I looked at sensible black ones, but even in patent they're still sensible black, right? But these rich purple ones read as black under most light conditions, then flash their surprise for a bit of spirit lifting. Yes, I could do without Mr. Kors' monogram on my shoe, but I decided I could live with it. Very enthusiastic daughter #3 helped me decide -- I'm glad she takes a larger shoe size than I do as she liked these very much. (They won out over a pair of purple Miss Sixtys and some fabulously electric blue suede Cole Haans with that great Nike Air technology.)

They did very well on a test walk last night to Gyoza King -- mmmmm prawn gyozas. Mmmmm pork vegetable gyozas, Mmmmmm kimchi chahan (kimchi fried rice). Gyozak King is the very best. Daughter #3 ordered some perfect little deep-fried baby octopus -- so yummy, but almost too cute to eat. Almost. Sapporo Beer, the big bottles, shared. Good stuff.

Today, I'm going to get a quick run in and then head out to visit my mom, if she's home. She feels so lonely, she says, in the house now that my sister's family have moved into their own place. She's always been an introvert, hasn't done the work to build and sustain a network of friends and is starting to see the consequences. She's hoping a move to an apartment closer to amenities -- library, park, shopping, community centre -- will help, and I hope so too. Meanwhile, I do what I can when I'm in town, which isn't much, and she gets deluged with family visiting on the weekend. It's those long, lonely weekdays . . . I'm taking notes, I tell you, but I wonder what 78 will be like for me.

Hmmm, from shoes to morose contemplation all in one post. Better go run, get some endorphins happening and get this day on the way. Hope yours goes well!


  1. Cute shoes! Tell people the MK stands for Materfamilias Knits. :-)

    Hope your mom finds accommodations that allow for better socializing. My San Luis Obispo friends and I used to talk about setting up a retirement commune together, and the older I get, the better the idea sounds!

  2. You know I like purple patent...I like Deja's idea about MK=materfamiliasknits...

  3. What a lush gorgeous colour, bet you find they're surprisingly wearable.

    As for yor mom, even being closer to the library will be a boon. if she is not very social, she likely be making friends gradually, but even a familiar face at the library desk or coffee shop can assuage loneliness.

  4. Pseu: Yes! I've had my MaterfamiliasKnits monogram put on my custom purple patent shoes. Why didn't I think of that?!
    LPC: See above.
    Duchesse: I'm already tickled at how I can wear them with almost anything, like black, but they're more fun.
    And this is exactly what I'm hoping for mom -- she doesn't have to make a huge effort to chat, but rather just be around familiar faces. She was quite pleased, and surprised to be so, at the condo/apartments she looked at yesterday.

  5. I just knew a pair of shoes were on the horizon! I like the preppiness of them which contrasts nicely with the rich plum colour.
    My mother despite being quite a private person networked very hard when my father left her, not always with success but it seems to work for her. She assures me that most days fly by once she has walked and baked and read a little.
    I am lucky in that I too enjoy long walks and when left in peace paint almost obsessively, so I am itching to get to my sixties to do just that.

  6. I agree that the contrast of the rich color and the rather conservative style is fabulous in those shoes. Being closer to amenities sounds good for your mom. Familiar faces will help bridge that gap, even for an introvert, allowing her time to get comfortable with a community of people. It is a good reminder, as an introvert myself, to remember to "do the work" which I am inclined to let slide when things get rough.

  7. Alison/Mardel: When I describe my mom as introverted, I'm leaving out the other important adjective -- shy. And painfully shy, at times, so that reaching out can be difficult although people generally like her. I've always said that if she were more confident and extroverted, she'd love to be eccentric, but doesn't like drawing that much attention. And she's focused now on how quickly she's forgetting -- very worried about senility. Neither my mother nor my MIL are making old age look like a good place to spend time. Luckily I have many other models.

  8. Ah, I must present my extroverted neighbour as a counterpart to lonely old age. She is very extroverted, I admit, but even 1/100 of her extroversion is a good life led well into late age. She just turned 75 with a lot of her family around. She knows everyone in the neighbourhood, and only retired three years ago with a (successfully treated) brain tumour. She still does her own leaf raking, which on this street of ancient trees is no small feat. She never forgets anyone's birthday, special day, anniversary and always provides small thoughtful gifts. She once found me some British tea, worrying that I might be tired of American coffee. She is still friends with her old colleagues at NOW (she started the chapter), the NAACP and countless other jobs she had.

    But she told me that often, as did my late father, also a big E extrovert that she often sought out the quiet people in the room, and the shy; both of them agreed that "still waters run deep" and often the shy were the best friends. I hope your mother is found by some "Big E" extoverts.

  9. Just wanted to add- was speaking with a friend who told me her mother said that though a deeply introverted woman, she made it a personal goal (quite challenging) to accept every invitation she received, heath permitting, after she became widowed. She said realizing that people wanted her company moved her and that if she didn't accept, they would stop asking.

    This is one of the tips I hope to remember for myself. I saw my mother get quite picky (oh they play duplicate bridge, I don't like duplicate), then wonder why she was lonely.

  10. Anon: I do hope I have some of your neighbour's vigor and wisdom when I get to that age. And yes, I also hope that my mother might be taken under such an Extrovert's wing and will know enough to savour the warmth there.
    Duchesse: Yes, this is the sort of tip I hope to remember as well -- I've been teasing/scolding mom a bit about the family functions she doesn't come to and how that doesn't work with the loneliness very well. Logic is not always the answer though, and age, especially if there's some creeping senility, complicates so many daily choices. Not easy . . .

  11. I fell in love with the most stunning pair of purple Armani shoes (high heels, purple suede) last week, on a wet and grey day when I was visiting Cardiff. Out of my price range and probably not designed for 60-somethings but, oh, they made me smile.

    By the way, there's a blog prize for you over here!

  12. Ooooh, 60/16, purple suede! There's something about that combination, isn't there!
    I can't think why I haven't had a pair of purple shoes before, or at least not in reach of my memory.

  13. Yes, so good we went back again Sunday night for 3 10-piece servings of gyoza, mmmmmmmmm!


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