Friday, June 23, 2006

True Colors: Bottle or Au Naturale?

DONNA [9:32 A.M.]: I was talking to someone last night and the subject of my gray hair came up. This woman-- who is much younger than me-- said she would never expect me to color my hair-- that she would miss the gray. I was surprised.
VIRGINIA [9:34 A.M.]: Well it certainly makes you know that other people have NOTICED the gray. I wonder how she'll feel when it's her gray hair? Will she want to keep it?
DONNA [9:40 A.M.]: I think gray is so far removed from her existence that right now she can't imagine it. But you know I've been ambivalent, especially since mine has come in at my temples. Some days it's a little too "Uncle Ben" for me. I have been just surgically removing the offending hairs, but I think it's reached the point where I'd look a little bald if I continue.
VIRGINIA [9:42 A.M.]: You ambivalent? Tell me it isn't so!!!! You know how I feel about it. It's not about denying age, it's about not looking OLD...or as you so eloquently put it... like you belong on a rice box. You know I embrace age--although my approaching birthday has me a little jittery--I'm just not ready to look like I'm heading to the early bird special at the Bluebird Diner.
DONNA [9:48 A.M.]: Neither am I. But a lot of what we call “old” seems to be about an attitude—about giving up. That’s not gonna happen. But last month, when I hit the Miss Clairol for the first time, it looked really weird to me-- like I was missing an important feature. Now, I didn't change the color-- just blended it into my own. Except for the whole month it stayed on I couldn't get used to it. Now I'm back au naturale, and trying to figure out what I'm going to do.
VIRGINIA [9:50 A.M.]: Well knowing you, you'll get it figured out just before your whole head turns white! The problem with change is that you have to adjust to it. It's not supposed to be the same. I told you for an entire year...first thing in the morning...I was startled by my reflection in the mirror. It took that long to get used to my hair color change and my hair cut.
DONNA [9:51 A.M.]: Is this a hint? I hear Phil Collins singing "True Colors" on TV.
VIRGINIA [9:51 A.M.]: Uh huh. You can find an affirmation for whatever side you want. If you turned the channel, it would be a hair color commercial.
DONNA [9:55 A.M.]: Yeah, but sometimes the change happens if you just leave something alone. And it's not always bad. But you also know I had my shoulder length hair cut to the length of dust on a jug all at once. It was a big change, but I really liked it. Guess it's all about finding a place to deal with the reminders that there are more candles on the cake--even if we don't leave it out in the rain.
VIRGINIA [9:58 A.M.]: Yes, you cut your hair, but it took years of complaining that you wanted to do something different before you made up your mind. So yeah change will happen eventually--I'm just not always that patient...OK maybe I'm never that patient. I like to make the decision and get on with it. There are too many other things to think about to still be ruminating about my hair color or length. I just can't have it on my mind as long as you do.
DONNA [10:08 A.M.]: That speaks to the difference in our approach to most things. In speeches we call you the commando and me the analyst for a reason. But as for the gray, right now I think it's become a part of me and I'm looking for a way to incorporate it into my style. I think of someone like our friend Clara. She has a head full of gray hair, but she's the youngest, most vital senior I know-- a real silver fox. And I can't imagine her any other way. It suits her. I've got a ways to go before I hit senior status, but she makes it look hip. That is encouraging.
VIRGINIA [10:11 A.M.]: She's in her 70's. That's different. I might let mine go gray in my 70's. I'm just not ready yet. But be my guest, nature girl. Let your true colors shine---just don't bug me complaining about those glittering silver hairs that sprout around your ears! Embrace them along with whatever else you feel makes you feel like you. To quote us: "It wouldn't be me."
DONNA [10:15 A.M.]: You're my friend--your job is to let me bug you. So I'm sure we'll revisit this. But for right now, to paraphrase Phil, I won't be afraid to let my true colors show.
VIRGINIA [10:16 A.M.]: Go right ahead. Enjoy! My true colors come in a bottle!
posted by DeBerry and Grant at 11:14 AM 2 comments links to this post

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Our Dinner with Al Gore, the President Elected

DONNA [12:12 P.M.]: How are you feeling? It's really crappy that you got sick after we had such a great night on Monday.
VIRGINIA [12:13 P.M.]: Still crappy and you know that having no voice is the worst thing in the world that could happen to me...OK maybe not the WORST, but it's pretty bad. But I wouldn't have traded Monday night to feel better. That's for sure.
DONNA [12:24 P.M.]: You mean we don't have dinner with a former vice president and his wife regularly?
VIRGINIA [12:30 P.M.]: No we don't. Al and Tipper aren’t our usual dining companions. And who knew it would happen Monday? I was just jazzed to be to be at the book party for An Inconvenient Truth. Dinner after was the proverbial icing on the cake.
DONNA [12:36 P.M.]: True. I was looking forward to seeing how the other half throws a book party.
VIRGINIA [12:38 P.M.]: Hey! We’ve had some pretty impressive book parties---but I guess they really don’t compare.
DONNA [12:39 P.M.]: We haven’t quite arrived at the blue whale stage of our career, but it gives us something to shoot for. I mean, the Hall of Ocean Life at the Museum of Natural History was pretty impressive, but it was a perfect setting for a book about how we're screwing up the planet and what we need to do to stop..
VIRGINIA [12:40 P.M.]: And we do need to stop. What did he say, that the place between denial and despair is DO SOMETHING! I got an email today that said stop what you're doing and go to see the movie now...and this was from a REAL person that I know---Not from Move-On or another organized group. So maybe the word is getting out...We have to do something. Even if it's only in the smallest way we can.
DONNA [12:41 P.M.]: Our conversation with the cab driver on the way to the restaurant-- about how he'd already seen the movie and that he spent all his time and efforts working for environmental issues shows you the message is out there--although I did think it was ironic that he drives a pollution-mobile to make money to end pollution.
VIRGINIA [12:45 P.M.]: Everybody has to make a living. And he was doing what he could. I don't think quitting his job would be a solution. It would be a grand gesture but not a solution. This isn't all going to change at once---it needs to, but it won't. And I know how you want things to be different--now. And I think the only way that will happen is if you have cab drivers and waitresses and engineers and farmers and teachers and ironworkers all doing SOMETHING.
DONNA [12:50 P.M.]: Didn't expect him to quit his job, but it is ironic. It points out that this is not just an issue for crunchy granola eating hippies and egg headed scientists. People who live in crowded cities get asthma because they’re breathing crap. That’s about the environment too. It also shows how complicated the solution can seem since it involves everything we do, buy, drive, eat. . . The whole way we live our lives. That's not meant to sound impossible, because then we just say, 'what the hell' and do nothing.
VIRGINIA [12:53 P.M.]: It isn't impossible---which is why EVERYONE should see the movie and/or read the book. We can do something to stop this environmental hole we've dug for ourselves, but we have to start now. We don't have to give up electricity and eat ground nuts but we do have to live on the planet as responsible stewards.
DONNA [12:54 P.M.]: Are you running for something you didn't tell me about?
VIRGINIA [12:55 P.M.]: The bus? Did I sound that preachy, campaigny?
DONNA [1:01 P.M.]: It had a, "paid for by the committee to elect. . ." ring to it, but I know what you mean.
VIRGINIA [1:02 P.M.]: But all that being said---I still can't believe we just sat around talking over burgers. OK. He talked over a burger. I had salmon.
DONNA [1:02 P.M.]: And I pushed salad around my plate because you know I can’t eat when I’m seriously engaged in conversation.
VIRGINIA [1:02 P.M.]: It doesn’t stop you when you’re around me and we have some pretty serious conversation.
DONNA [1:03 P.M.]: At this point, talking to you is like talking to myself. Anyway, it was quite surreal rubbing shoulders with the former President elect(ed). Literally rubbing shoulders. Mine are wide, his are wider and the table was full so we kept bumping into each other. The nice thing was that it felt regular, not like I was supposed to curtsey or not speak until I was spoken to.
VIRGINIA [1:04 P.M.]: Despite the ill-gotten reign of WII, this is still America. No curtseying required. Yep it felt pretty regular. But also not regular at all.
DONNA [1:10 P.M.]: It was reassuring to know that the person who was second in command is smart, funny, still engaged in public discourse and has a healthy appetite. I kept wondering how weird it is for them to be constantly meeting new people and finding themselves sharing a meal and conversation with perfect strangers. I mean, we weren't expecting to be with them, but they weren't exactly waiting for us either. It's a unique way to live your life.
VIRGINIA [1:12 P.M.]: Yes, but it beats meatloaf every Monday doesn't it?
DONNA [1:13 P.M.]: True, but it puts a whole lotta pressure on us for next Monday.
posted by DeBerry and Grant at 2:08 PM 1 comments links to this post

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Keeping Up Appearances

DONNA [10:00 A.M.]: So I was in the bathroom, after my shower, and I had to go in search of my glasses so I could read the directions on my new, "Natural Glow" lotion before applying. The night before I had to read the directions on my new, "Vivid White" toothpaste.
VIRGINIA [10:01 A.M.]: Yeah these days maintenance requires instructions and sadly, these days we require more maintenance.
DONNA [10:01 A.M.]: I have known how to brush my teeth and put on lotion for as long as I’ve had teeth, but now all of these products have special powers and come with instructions and warnings.
VIRGINIA [10:02 A.M.]: I've been doing the teeth whitening thing too...and I THINK I've been doing it right, but I will confess that I only half read the directions. I guess I'll know that I'm doing it wrong if I wake up with my teeth on the pillow.
DONNA [10:03 A.M.]: This is not an attractive picture.
VIRGINIA [10:04 A.M.]: All these directions are about lawsuits anyway. If we've told you what to do and explained all the reasons why the product may not work as "advertised" for YOU, now you can't sue us.
DONNA [10:04 A.M.]: Then there is the alpha hydroxy cream for the feet, so I don't have "biscuit heels", the firming under eye gel, the vitamin C moisturizer. . . It takes forever to get ready in the morning and we haven't even dealt with the lip plumping lipstick or the "age defying" makeup-- with Botafirm. What the hell is Botafirm?Remember when it was Ivory soap, some Jergens and out the door? No law suits required.
VIRGINIA [10:05 A.M.]: Yeah I remember, but you don't really want me to remind you how many years ago that was, do you?
DONNA [10:05 A.M.]: I can still count, thank you. No need to be specific.
VIRGINIA [10:06 A.M.]: What's not about avoiding lawsuits is about being better, more, than you are--because being who and/or what you are is not good enough any more. We all have to be picture perfect and AGELESS! Keeping up appearances has become another job.
DONNA [10:08 A.M.]: All my grandmother ever used was soap and lotion. Yeah, I know, grandmas used to look different then too--more like cuddly cookie bakers. Now we're all trying to look at least as good as the Chico's ad. We want to look youthful for whatever "certain age" we happen to be. It's good to be able to look as young as you feel, but there's a lot of pressure too.
VIRGINIA [10:10 A.M.]: But we (boomers) are in large part responsible for the pressure. We were the ones in charge of advertising, and media when all this stuff got started. At first it was probably about selling more products then it became about resisting aging because we boomers don't intend to be "OLD" at least not in the accepted, traditional way. We are not going gently into middle age much less old age!
DONNA [10:14 A.M.]: I just hope we're taking care of the inside as well as the outside. You know, like mammograms, monitoring blood pressure, glucose levels, bone density. A lovely exterior won't matter if the innards are falling apart.
DONNA [10:15 A.M.]: I guess what we have that's different from our parents is the ability to prevent things. Or at least delay them.
VIRGINIA [10:17 A.M.]: The problem is that no one sees the insides and I think too often we don't worry about them until there's something wrong. We aren't nearly as good at maintaining the inside as the outside. Our parents didn't have the medical/technological developments that help to prevent disease the way we do, but I don't think our attitudes about taking care of that stuff have caught up with the times...yet.
DONNA [10:17 A.M.]: And some of it depends on whether you can afford the porcelain veneers instead of having your teeth in a cup.
VIRGINIA [10:18 A.M.]: And remember when it was only the gray people could change? At least people who couldn't afford plastic surgery.
DONNA [10:23 A.M.]: Now we watch people being "made over" and revealed on TV. Sometimes it’s just wardrobe and hair, sometimes, nose jobs, boob lifts and tummy tucks. Guess that makes it all seem more normal. Like we can save up our shekels and we too can have a better appearance through elective surgery. I gotta tell you, I'm not too thrilled about hair color. A scalpel is out of the question. Guess I'll keep reading the lotion directions. And getting regular mammograms.
VIRGINIA [10:26 A.M.]: And getting old?
DONNA [10:27 A.M.]: If I’m fortunate.
VIRGINIA [10:27 A.M.]: You know I've embraced the hair color thing and I'd probably give surgery a try if/when necessary --esp. the tummy tuck. So not surprisingly we fall on different sides of this coin!
VIRGINIA [10:28 A.M.]: But I get the regular mammogram too...
DONNA [10:31 A.M.]: Well, I'll work on keeping things as lifted as I can-- my bra is already an engineering marvel. And I'll work on giving myself some slack too. I tried a little hair color--didn't like the way it made my hair feel, and truth be told I sorta missed the gray. How sick is that? OK. I didn't miss the gray around my temples--it's a little too "Uncle Ben" for me, but I'll manage.
VIRGINIA [10:32 A.M.]: I'm just not going the gray route. And you've got some kind of "natural girl" hang up. It might work (sort of) when you're still a girl, but those days are long gone for both of us.
DONNA [10:32 A.M.]: But I still like to look stylish too. I'm not turning in my dark wash flared denim for polyester sans-a-belts any time soon.
VIRGINIA [10:33 A.M.]: Glad to hear it!
DONNA [10:34 A.M.]: But while it's on my mind, I gotta go take my multi-vitamin and glucosamine. Gotta keep those knees well oiled.
VIRGINIA [10:34 A.M.]: Happy lubing!
posted by DeBerry and Grant at 11:07 AM 0 comments links to this post

Thursday, June 01, 2006

The Color of Oprah

Virginia [11:14 A.M.]: So what is it with all the men wearing purple ties these days? You have to have seen them...they're all over the place
DONNA [11:17 A.M.]: Yeah, I noticed. There are deeper purple ones, lilac, mauve-- a lot like Easter egg colors. Not your typical "manly" colors. I've seen them on politicians, reporters, actors, but I haven't noticed them on the street yet.
Virginia [11:19 A.M.]: Can't be far behind. That's how trends go I guess. And it doesn't seem to matter what the political bent of the wearer is, purple seems to be the new power tie color. Are they channeling their inner Barney?
DONNA [11:21 A.M.]: Isn't Barney the opposite of powerful? Is this to fake us out? Make us think there is something kinder and gentler going on while they are hitting us between the eyes with some nasty news?
Virginia [11:22 A.M.]: I wouldn't put it past them. But you know I just realized that purple is what you get when you mix red and blue. Is this some kind of symbol of moderation and compromise? Or am I just being delusional?
DONNA [11:23 A.M.]: Now THAT is subliminal at its best! But media is not usually that subtle. I like it though. Shows you're awake and sufficiently caffeinated.
Virginia [11:26 A.M.]: Yes, I have had enough sleep and caffeine to get my thoughts flowing. And you know they work us over any way that can. They THINK they're subtle. Because they think we're stupid...which seems to be a recurring theme in our blog. That "they" think "we" are stupid. Are we paranoid or just plain smart and observant?
DONNA [11:27 A.M.]: What is it Forrest says? "Stupid is as stupid does." There is so much input every day and everybody's got an angle. It’s hard to keep up with all the angles.
Virginia [11:27 A.M.]: I thought Forrest talked about a box of chocolates? He said something about being stupid too? I don't remember.
DONNA [11:30 A.M.]: When Forrest was young and kids would tease him about being dim, his mother would say to ignore them. "Stupid is as stupid does," meaning the teasers were the dummies. A little more noble than “takes one to know one.”
Virginia [11:30 A.M.]: Oh I vaguely remember. It's before they get older and Jenny shouts "Run Forrest run!" huh?
DONNA [11:32 A.M.]: OK-- I think we've gone far enough with the Tao of Forrest.
And none of this tie stuff is coincidental. I don't think Tom Hanks, Anderson Cooper and Bill Clinton got together and went tie shopping. Hmm. That could be the start of a joke.
Virginia [11:33 A.M.]: Where's the farmer's daughter?
DONNA [11:33 A.M.]: Probably at the mall
Virginia [11:34 A.M.]: Is she at the Tie Rack?
DONNA [11:35 A.M.]: Could be--buying a purple tie for the farmer for Father's Day.
Virginia [11:37 A.M.]: Aaargh! I wonder if that will be the color of Father's Day ties this year...guess we'll see in a couple of weeks.
DONNA [11:41 A.M.]: Beats soap on a rope.
Virginia [11:42 A.M.]: Yep, or a pair of hideously striped pjs. I'm sure the purple tie craze is part of some angle. The ties say you can trust me. I'm a man confident enough to wear a sissy color and I understand the art of compromise, I am the middle ground. Ha!
DONNA [11:45 A.M.]: : But it also occurred to me that Oprah, by way of Alice Walker, has raised the profile of the color purple.
Virginia [11:47 A.M.]: I hadn't thought about the Op factor. But you may be right on the money there. If Op endorses it, it is immediately deemed good and trustworthy--lets make and sell as many as we can.
DONNA [11:49 A.M.]: So purple is the color of Oprah. And is anybody in America more trusted?
Virginia [11:50 A.M.]: So I guess we haven't actually figured out the genesis of the trend, but we know it's really there.
DONNA [11:51 A.M.]: And coming to a neck near you.
Virginia [11:51 A.M.]: I'll be on the look out...
posted by DeBerry and Grant at 2:01 PM 0 comments links to this post

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