Sunday, April 08, 2007
Take me out to the ball game...
Rick and I went to Albuquerque this weekend, to spend some time with Lauren, do a little shopping, and see an Isotopes baseball game. The visit was fun. The weather was cold, but we bundled up and went to the game anyway. The ABQ Isotopes are a minor league team with a really nice ball park, because New Mexico doesn't have any big league teams. I actually like the farm teams a little better. They're more personal and connected to the local community. There's room for silliness, and it's not so important to be great. They bring a lot of kids out on the field for various little contests, they give stuff away, and they have good food. Plenty of options beyond the standard hot dogs and beer. The pizza is good! The beer is good. And next time I'll see if the fish tacos are good.
It was a 7:00 game, so we had all afternoon to go shopping first. Lauren took us to the new "Uptown" - an outdoor mall with some beautiful stores. We had lunch at the Elephant Bar, and then wandered around. Lauren is looking for the perfect Spring Formal dress, and found two... I think her dad is buying them for her. I don't do that. I co-sign the student loans and pick up all the other financial slack that seems to come up pretty consistently. I've never had a wardrobe remotely close to what this girl requires. We're so different... I'm the aging hippie mom, who didn't shave my legs or buy lipstick until I was almost 22 years old. I've never had a floaty formal dress, or a place to wear one. I live in jeans and black shirts, because it simplifies my life. I never have to worry about what goes with what. It all goes with beads.
Lauren is much more fashion conscious... more "normal" really. She's tall and thin (I'm... not), and can wear just about anything(I can't). She always looks great(I don't). So shopping together could be kind of comical, and was, until I hit Fashion Overload...
We had been through all the shops at the la-dee-da, trendy, "new" outdoor mall (I remember when all malls were "open air"), and decided to drive over to the almost obsolete enclosed mall to visit Dillard's. The shoe department was fun. Lots of shoes. I understand shoes. We didn't buy shoes, but moved upstairs to the clothes. That's where it all went south.
I used to go to Macy's in Reno for retail therapy, back in my Nevada days, when I was married to the wrong man, and my kids were small. I'd take off on Sunday morning, and drive an hour to spend the day in blissful shopping solitude, usually not buying much, because were were broke all the time. But I was so content to just be alone with all those beautiful things, touching the fabrics, trying things on... I liked clothes then. I dressed better then. OK - I was younger then. Everything was different. But at least there was that fearless understanding of how to wear the latest styles without needing some kind of instruction manual.
So we wandered, we looked, we touched, we critiqued. Rick was a very good sport. Lauren kept saying, "Try this on", and at some point, I just fell apart. I burst into tears and said, "I just have to get out of here."
I think I know what happened. There I was, looking at new clothes, when I haven't had the time or interest for that in some twenty years. I have no idea what to do with clothes like that, and really no place to wear them. And then there's the "turning 50" thing... I realized that all my best clothes-wearing years got behind me, without my noticing it. It was like a blast of wardrobe mourning... crazy really, but there it was. My sweet girl took me by the hand and led me back down the escalator to the handbags and cosmetics. We found purses we loved but didn't buy, and then lipsticks we loved and did buy. (Paraben-free Guerlain KissKiss. Nice.) I finally caught my breath, and felt like we deserved a reward for getting through my burst of whacko-ness.
The baseball game, though totally an out-of-character thing for me to go to voluntarily, was literally a breath of fresh air. But to be honest, the game was not all that interesting. Once we'd had our fill of pizza and Cracker Jacks, we got cold and decided to leave early. Our team hadn't scored, and we were kind of bored with the whole thing. But wouldn't you know it - as we were walking through the parking lot, we heard a loud cheer come from the crowd inside. A home run, I think. And we missed it. There's some kind of metaphor for life in there... a reason to just stay alive and keep going from day to day... a reason to hold on for what comes next... because if you leave the game early, you'll miss something good around the next corner.