Thursday, April 2, 2009

Growing (A Pair)

What is this world coming to?

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Yesterday I was crude... and today it may seem the Suite headline is a little... um... vulgar. It's exactly that sort of metaphor that causes me to get secretly giddy with the naughtiness of it all.

While it is absolutely true that I need to be nicer to myself, it is also true (in my current estimation of things... and since I have no other perspective but my own, it's apparently true) -- it is also true today that I need to be a bit meaner to other people.
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And although my husband hates and otherwise loathes the turn of phrase, in my late 30s I am determined to "grow a set," "get a pair" and in general get a bit tougher.



Is it any coincidence that my first apparently unrelated photo (are there any other kinds of pictures on this here blog?) is of my boots headed DOWN the stairs?

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Just in case that was too vague, I will attempt to clarify: I am making a reference to my gutter humor and accompanying attempts to "grow a pair" and where it might land me. Somewhere on a lower floor than heaven, you might say.


Believe me when I tell you I have the boots that're made for walking.


And the boots that're made for mucking the (a-hem) inevitable stuff of life.




I have so many boots that it might be embarassing. Yesterday I took a quick tour around my farmhouse and found a few random pairs in the odd reading chair and by the back door and under my bed and even some in the closet.



There are yet more boots packed for my weekend getaway with the girls. I had to pack my vintage Capezios because they have seen me through motorcycle rides with bad boys and campus walks with other good girls trying to look like bad news. I had to pack my red Dexters because they are so over-the-top sassy with a prairie skirt and a peasant blouse that it makes me feel as though I'm that confident too. Who could be mousy in a pair of high-heeled red cowgirl boots? Not me anyway.
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Since my initial year of emancipation ... and that's nearly 20 years now... I have been a boot kind of girl. I'm not talking about the lady boots (although I have those too) that are best worn with tights and pencil skirts. I'm talking about your Gretchen Wilson, kick-butt-and-don't-look-back bad girl boots. I'm talking about the kind of boots in which I can't help but feel stronger than the average people-pleasing me.
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I often think of certain pairs of my boots as armor for the crappier tete-a-tetes of life. Meeting with a banker? Ex-boyfriend? Snooty group of Realtors? I've got the boots for that. Job I hate? At least I can gird up with a good pair of saddle-soap-smelling, height-enhancing Dexters.
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I may have waxed on about the boots a bit too long.
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Or not.
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It is difficult to be simply assertive. For example, I am (against my will) still a licensed Realtor. Was it my husband, my mother, my children asking me to continue pouring money down that career path? Nope. It was my broker, a kind but easily made of steel woman who only had to tell me it would mean a lot to her for me to stick it out through this market.
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Huh? I thought later.
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What? I'm spending thousands of dollars and dragging my children around planting signs in yards of homes that will not sell and spending my precious blog time composing ads for those same homes that will not likely even be shown in this market?
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Well, if it means a lot to you.
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That's probably enough. It's hard (close to impossible) to tell people no. I find I can do it for my children, but rarely for myself. It's hard to ask the questions of doctors but necessary and so I do.
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Once or twice I have dug deep and found a hidden ore of strength. This was funny after the fact but the mine subsequently collapsed (no one was injured) and the treasure lost.
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"I even used my super-low mommy voice. You know the one.
"You also know I was sweating big time. You know it was a good thing we were on the phone and not across a conference table because I 'bout wet my pants with the stress of being simply assertive. I was shaking so much when I hung up that I think it qualified as a workout. But I won! I didn't use honey, but I wasn't out to catch flies. I was swimming with the sharks, and I'm no Gidget (shaddup)."
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This quote courtesy of my last foray into growing a pair. Nearly a year ago. 'Nuff said.
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The problem with wearing my armor on the outside is that I'm defenseless without it. I can be easily surprised by a random request like, "Can we host the breakfast at your house? On the day after your daughter has her MRI?" Um, could you wait to ask me until I'm wearing the proper "take a hike, you assumptive weirdo" boots?
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I am not made of marshmallow fluff but of stronger stuff. Maybe not steel, but possibly boot leather. Possibly?



2 comments:

Carolyn said...

Now I really want a pair of boots!

That was an amazing post. You are a great writer. I say kick the realtor to the curb and become a copywriter, or a novelist, or write a column for the local itty bitty newspaper, you'd be great.

It may not pay much but words are free and I sense that selling houses is just not doing it for you right now :)

(Not that I really know anything at all about you or your life, but the advice is free too :) )

Barb said...

I gave my Emancipation boots--these incredibly sassy cowboy boots (can't think of the brand but they were REAL cowboy boots so you'd know it --when I settled down with Coop. I've always sort of regretted it.