Sunday, December 03, 2006

A Red Nail Day in the City

Katch's manicure
Originally uploaded by suzipaw.
A friend anticipating a birthday next weekend and I had the ultimate girly day in San Francisco today. And now I'm home in my jammies, half an ear cocked to the (sniff) last CD of the "Far Side of the World" (I'm going to have to listen to it again) waiting for my hub to come home from a long day of studying, my coppery nails glinting, so I can tell him all about how…

…my friend and I both had manicures and pedicures at a swanky hotel spa. My first mani-pedi ever! We had drinks delivered to the room where all 20 of our nails were painted, listening through our nail technician's thick Vietnamese accent to her tales of how her family doesn't really understand about her not being married with children at 32. Afterwards, we made our way down to the Embarcadero though the arty vendors selling fused glass and edgy tshirts and silver cuff bracelets and leather hair barretts ("everything that goes around comes around," observed my pal archly). We lunched at the Slanted Door (where we've both wanted to dine for some time and our nail gal recommended) and shopped in the Ferry Building. More shopping in Union Square (I picked up the just released coffee pot in our china pattern) and at Westfield Center where we desserted at Beard Papa and took in the newly remodeled Bloomingdales. We were in a touristy area and it is starting to be the shopping season, but it had faded a bit how many different kinds of people there are in the world, but we are all united in the ritual of exchanging money for goods.

On my drive down, I felt such freedom, released momentarily from the mental constraints of my job. I even tuned out NPR in favor of an oldies station. It made me feel positively young again (yes, I know, 20 years from now I'll think that this was a youthful time of my life). As I listened to Jackson Browne sing "Take It Easy" on the radio, I thought of my niece getting ready to go to college in less than a year, trying to remember how I felt going to off to school…and I felt a twinge of what must be a midlife crisis. I can understand how some people would want to shrug off the accumulated cares of adulthood, or not having achieved what they thought they would, try to start over again, redo the mistakes of inexperience and cherish that young-adult feeling from the perspective an older adult who knows exactly how fleeting it really is.

I know I can't go back to being 19 again, and that I'd feel (and look) ridiculous if I tried. But I'm fortunate enough to keep on having my little adventures, even if it's just wandering the streets of San Francisco with a friend, trying new food and getting a manicure. Maybe that's where the midlife crisis comes from--people setting aside all hope for new experiences year after year until it engulfs them. I hope I won't forget how to have an adventure anytime soon.

Now crazy cat Pookie is purring happily, ensconced beneath the tissue paper in the Crate & Barrel box near the coffee table and I have to pack my gym bag for tomorrow, so good night, dear readers.


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