Yes, I am standing in a field of dry grass, in front of a trailer park. Yes, that is my 59-year old stomach. Good detective skills, my friend.
However, I’m wearing new Ray-Bans, so I look more cool than idiotic. I am perhaps exaggerating. Let’s back up.
It is an almost universal tenet of personal style that accessories, or a concerted lack thereof, make the woman. The Grande Dame, even in casual mode, must sport her silk scarf, a luxurious bag, a strand of pearls. Reggie Darling knows her well. The Artsy Cousin may wear a scarf, but it will be woven, may carry a bag, but it will be woven, may wear pearls, but, if possible, those will be woven too.
The Sturdy Gal, however, hates anything that flaps or smacks of cossetting. She accessorizes with excellent sneakers, chandelier earrings, and an lovely but unflashy bag or two. If she has any aspirations to Cool (or loves outdoor sports, either way), she wears Ray-Bans. And, if she’s over-45, she wears hers with prescription progressive lens, because missed freeway exits and blurred pool reading are more than she can endure for simple fashion.
Occasionally she stands, mirror sunglassed by the side of Highway 101, on a long stretch of land that shape-shifts between heritage agrarian and retail sprawl.
Do we even need to ask why Ray-Bans? Because, Ray-Bans. We might wonder, why aviators? The trend is probably two or three years old? I am late to the party, but like sneakers and jeans, I hope aviators last. Nothing is timeless, but we Sturdy Gals want our value even from luxury.
So why now? Ray-Bans’ new website, which I discovered when putting together this post, is super cool. I’d love to design my own pair. Like these. Blue-gray lenses, matte silver frame, clear ear tips, and, get this, a hidden monogram. LPC in Arial. On my sunglasses. Ha!
But we still haven’t addressed the field of grass and hard-scrabble photos. Having moved my mom to an assisted living facility in the Bay Area a couple of weeks ago, soon thereafter my middle sister and I drove back down to Santa Barbara. Meeting with estate sale firms and a property management company. My sister and I hadn’t done a roadtrip alone since I graduated college in 1978. We drove cross-country in an unreliable Alfa Romeo sedan, Bonnie Tyler on the cassette player. It’s a heartache, nothing but a heartache. Surely you remember?
In that spirit, we stopped for a sunglasses photo shoot. I posed under the blue freeway sign. I scrambled back to the chain link fence and, laughing, took out my hair elastic. Raised my arms in so doing, hence, belly.
Then a policeman pulled over and told us to get back in our car. Non-emergency stops are illegal on highways. Did you know that? No ticket. Sunglasses camaraderie?
By the way the Gal might wear diamonds, pearls, an Apple Watch, a UNIQLO tee, Levis, and Doc Martins with her Ray-Bans. The pearls are apt to be bronze or lavender, the diamonds largish but easy to hide. Tees are tees (although, wait, this is from Liberty of London x UNIQLO and I probably need it), Levis are Levis, Docs are Docs. While Cool may be generally recognized, to each her own Classic.
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