Saturday, September 29, 2012
Probably because of a life that went from school uniforms to horse-riding attire to California construction-chic, I've never been very glam. I have worn the wrong thing on so many occasions that I have finally developed a fashion preference for under, rather than over-dressing for things.
My last, and most cringe-worthy, attempt at dressing UP was a family wedding in the South of France two decades ago. There are photos to preserve my embarrassment, wearing a horrible unflattering dress-suit with matching hat and gloves amongst the sophisticated, less is more, linen clad elegance of all, including the mothers and grandmothers of the stylish newlyweds.
My jewelry choices are limited by pragmatism. If I'm going to wear diamonds one day, I'd like canaries please, and that's not in any foreseeable budget. Also, my neck is a short and sturdy head-support, nothing related to swans, and it looks crowded if I try to wear both earrings and a necklace at the same time.
I have a selection of earrings but wear the same gold twists almost always. They don't fly off when I brush my hair or take off a sweater, they are comfortable when I am on the phone and I feel that even I cannot go wrong with a classic bit of gold.
My jewelry drawer is a wide but shallow drawer in my bathroom, with a towel liner which stops things from sliding around. Necklaces on the left, bracelets on the right and earrings paired up, easy to see, in the middle.
The week before my recent trip to Europe, there were many late nights and early mornings as I tried to prepare everything to run smoothly during my absence. I finally began the process of packing toiletries, etc. at 4am on departure day.
When the time came to decide on a variety of adornments for my ears, neck and wrists, I was very slow to recognize the strange grey shape in the middle of my trinkets. I had just the previous day, taken the cat toys down off the fireplace mantel, as we were dog-free for a while. I couldn't think how one of Slinkie's fake mice had made it into the drawer and the scale was wrong. This was so much bigger.
I reached in and felt a stiff, dry shape beneath the soft outer skin. I shook the thing and it had a slight rattle. Still mystified, the final equation computed in my head as I saw some very natural looking mouse droppings between my earrings.
Earlier this summer, during an exceptional wave of heat, there had been an unpleasant odor coming from something in my bathroom. I keep the cat's dry food in there, away from visiting dogs, so I was inclined to blame a new fishy kibble but I washed the floor mats anyway and the smell went away.
In hindsight, we can imagine the source of the smell and be somewhat impressed that the dry heat desiccated a rodent in a matter of days.
Faced with the evidence that I seem to manage without baubles for weeks or months on end and recent cases of mouse-borne Hantavirus in nearby Yosemite, I tossed the corpse and closed the drawer to await disinfection upon my return. Glamourous is as glamourous does, I guess!