Amid all that can be happening on any given day, death always calls us out.
As many of you know I’ve been bound to the house, with little social contact other than running necessary errands. Ironically, today, my outing was to a funeral. There’s nothing more poignant than the thud of cold dirt hitting a plain, wooden casket on the bottom of a single grave. It makes you think about what’s important (my kid), and the things I can’t control (my kid).
As a young funeral director, death brought a hunger for life that was sated by sexy shoes, late, late nights, and a swath of of decadence for every hunger. As an old funeral director, death brings the longing for continued relationships with the old friends, time to create and new friends with whom I can explore all of the fun and excitement still left to savour.
Which brings me back to shoes. Am I the only forty something mamma who has let her shoe game go the way of extremes? I’m a beach baby from birth. My professional uniform consists of ultra conservative shoes and my home life is a melieu of thongs and runners.
And then there’s undies. Today I pulled out a black pair of barely-there delicates when I was reaching into my pink and white drawer. When was the last time that I wore these, I thought to myself, as I pushed them to the back and frantically felt around for the giant suckem-ins that I hoped I still had. You know what I’m talking about ladies, the one stretchy pair of gitch that hides the abundance of the good lord’s handiwork. The ones you pull out when you wear one of two types of outfits; one that’s a size too small after the holidays, or one that’s meant to leave little to the imagination. I haven’t worn the latter for a very, very, very long time.
Standing at the graveside, with my tights having slithered down past my crotch against my teflon-slick miracle-granny-panties, my new friend Hayley was describing the ideal of humility that was at the core of Jewish funeral traditions. I was trying to focus on what she was saying at the same time as I was wondering how, exactly one was supposed to get tights to stay up against the ugliest slipperiest undies in the world. Perhaps I’ll go back to garters; sexier, and less likely to leave you with your tights around your knees in minus five degree weather while you shovel dirt onto a casket. I waddled back to my car like a baby penguin, knees pressed together so my dignity didn’t slip down any further underneath my black overcoat.
A few years ago, after experiencing the death of someone close t me, I went back to a simple uniform and community anonymity. It was a big relief. I went from where everyone knew my name to a place where no one did.
There is always something within passion itself that opens doors to a different world and a different way of embracing the world in which we find ourselves.
The new year may bring something much different for me though. Socially I mean. My private life finds me in hippie style, barefoot and outside as much as possible, with flowy dresses, jeans, and flip flops. My mom-life is a sports mom-life (jeans, sweaters, and anything that will keep me warm while sitting on cold metal bleachers in late fall).
This new year will find me back out and about. I need it. I need you. Besides my regular ‘resolutions’ of acquiring more grace and patience, I’m going to give two new resolutions a go; no judgement (I can be such a hardass), and new friends to go out to explore the world. This must include socially appropriate duds, including functional undies, sexy undies, and stunning footwear.
My passion is writing, and what better reason to give new experiences with new friends a try? After all, to write stories, we must have some, even making friends at a Jewish funeral with your tights around your knees.