Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Needing a little red in my life

Whenever I start feeling a little blue, I buy something red.

Anyone else do that?

When winter goes on too long, I start feeling the need for red.

Any little ol' thing. Sometimes I splurge and buy a piece of clothing, like a red dress. But sometimes it's just a little piece of pottery. Or even a new red lipstick. You know what they say - "Life's too short to not wear red lipstick." I don't think I had ever worn red lipstick in my life till I saw that little declaration on a little handpainted sign hanging in a shop. Little did I know that there are about a beezillion shades of red lipstick, and sure enough - my fear of red lipstick was soon banished with the help of Nancy the Lancome Lady at the Boone Belk's. She helped me find the perfect one. Hot Nights. It is YUMMY! It's sheer, so it isn't quite as "in your face" as some red lipsticks might be. And it's shiny. Pretty. I recommend it. But if Hot Nights doesn't work for you, keep looking and treat yourself to one red lipstick. You'll love it.

The first time I even realized I had this need for red was 11 years ago. We were living in Atlanta. Actually, in Kennesaw, GA; a suburb of Atlanta. Donald had accepted a job in Boone, NC at Appalachian State University, which as you know, is where we now are. I stayed behind to sell the house. Didn't know it was going to take six months. After 10 years of marriage, this was the first time Donald and I had ever spent even one night apart. It was a very tough time, and I had periods of being pretty blue. Special girlfriends helped me a lot. There's nothing like special girlfriends when times are tough.

and shopping.

The Marietta, GA square was one of my favorite spots to shop. I don't remember the name of the little clothing boutique I wandered into, but I could tell by their window that it was going to be just the place I was looking for. As soon as I walked in the door and the sales woman asked if she could help me, I replied with "I need something red." Now, believe me - I had not planned on saying that. It just fell out of my mouth and I was totally surprised. I don't think I even owned any red clothing at the time. This woman was a dream woman, or maybe a witch - the good kind, of course. She took one look at me and said, "I can see that you do." This may have had something to do with the fact that I had started crying. BIG tears. Just rolling down my face.

Embarrassed to death.

But. She never even once asked me what was wrong, so I didn't have to go into the whole long story about how much I was missing my Donald. She just brought me the prettiest, reddest, jacket ever. And I put it on, wiped away the tears, and walked out of that little shop feeling like a million bucks - wearing that bright red jacket. I love that jacket. Not only is it red, but it has gold silk lining - gold lapels & when I roll the sleeves up a bit, that gold lining just shines. AND it's sprinkled with gold embroidered hearts. Or wait! Is it stars?! DANG. It's been too long since I've worn it, I can tell! Shame on me for forgetting. I'll have to dig in my closet and find it. Today. As soon as I get home from work. It's not a bit like anything else I've ever owned and I don't wear it often, but when I do wear it I send up a thank you to that dear woman in that funky little boutique in Marietta, GA. And I do still wear it. It's a bit wild, but it's cut in classic lines so even though it's a bit over the top, it's a good piece of clothing.

Then I guess life moved on, the house in Kennesaw finally sold, I finally got to Boone, settled into our new home and our new life and sadly forgot my newly found love of red.

But recently, I've rediscovered it. I'm not entirely sure why or what happened this time, but over a period of time, more red has found its way into my wardrobe, and into my home. I used to have a lot of pink accenting the place. While some of the pink has moved on, I've come to discover that some pinks and some reds look smashing together. They're just happy colors together, I think.

And as usual, I have gone so far off on a tangent I have no way of knowing how to get back.

big sigh.

All I wanted to do was drop in and share two poems with y'all.

Two poems about red dresses.

and they're about as different as they can possibly be.

Here they are -

The Red Dress
by Dorothy Parker

I always saw, I always said
If I were grown and free,
I'd have a gown of reddest red
As fine as you could see,

To wear out walking, sleek and slow,
Upon a Summer day,
And there'd be one to see me so
And flip the world away.

And he would be a gallant one,
With stars behind his eyes,
And hair like metal in the sun,
And lips too warm for lies.

I always saw us, gay and good,
High honored in the town.
Now I am grown to womanhood....
I have the silly gown.


The Red Dress (or What do Women Want)
by Kim Addonizio

I want a red dress.
I want it flimsy and cheap,
I want it too tight, I want to wear it
until someone tears it off me.
I want it sleeveless and backless,
this dress, so no one has to guess
what's underneath. I want to walk down
the street past Thrifty's and the hardware store
with all those keys glittering in the window,
past Mr. and Mrs. Wong selling day-old
donuts in their café, past the Guerra brothers
slinging pigs from the truck and onto the dolly,
hoisting the slick snouts over their shoulders.
I want to walk like I'm the only
woman on earth and I can have my pick.
I want that red dress bad.
I want it to confirm
your worst fears about me,
to show you how little I care about you
or anything except what
I want. When I find it, I'll pull that garment
from its hanger like I'm choosing a body
to carry me into this world, through
the birth-cries and the love-cries too,
and I'll wear it like bones, like skin,
it'll be the goddamned
dress they bury me in.

How 'bout you? Is there a particular color that has meaning to you?


Chester Campbell said...

This is as colorful a blog as I've read in ages, Kaye. My wife, Sarah, has a red leather jacket which she wore to church last Sunday. Everybody always comments on it. I hadn't thought about the blues angle. Maybe she wore it because of my bad behavior. Or maybe she was just happy. Yeah, I'll buy that.

Wendy said...

A blog about SHOPPING THERAPY!! Oh, it was supposed to be about red?? Oh, sorry, Sis!!

Loved it :)


Unknown said...

Ah, for me it is purple. (NO ONE better start saying "When I am old I shall wear purple...." I'm just never going to stop wearing it!) But, purple for power, purple for passion, purple for mystery. Red is great, and I wear it, but purple... purple is perfect. Like your post.

Earl Staggs said...

Kaye Darlin', you've inspired me. To chase away the winter blues, I'm now craving a taste for red. Only one thing to do. I'm gonna kiss every woman I see today who is wearing red lipstick. I'll probably get slapped a lot, but I'll collect a few kisses, too. And it's all your fault. ;-) Luvya.

Shane Gericke said...

I've got red eyes today from workin', Kaye darlin'. Does that count? Love this piece of writing, absolutely love it. And it sure is nice to see Chester, WendySis and Earl talking here too.

Kaye Wilkinson Barley - Meanderings and Muses said...

Hey Guys!!

Chester - I'm betting Sarah looks gorgeous in her red jacket! And I'm also betting you tell her so. One more bet? Betting she is over the moon happy 'cause she's married one of the nicest guys around. (you're right - this blog is a mite colorful,isn't it?! ha!!!!)

Wendy - Retail Therapy is SUCH a fun thing. I love it. And its one of those things I'm quite good at. We'll do a little in Indianapolis in October - how's that?

Robin - thank you, sweetie. I'm glad you enjoyed this piece as I enjoyed YOURS! Purple! yep. I can see you in purple. And I love red and purple together too. The older I get, the bolder I'm becoming with my colors. Maybe it's tryikng to offset the silver hair so I don't disappear! you think?

Earl Darlin'!! oh laws. How many kisses did you steal today, my friend?? Carol is going to KILL you! and me too!!!! pfft!

Shane Honey - Hey! Those red eyes won't be red a whole lot longer! You're about to finish that latest book up, aren't you??! Hurry, please! You got a mess of people waiting for it here, you know. (and thank you. Your words of support and confidence always mean the world).

Anonymous said...

Hi, Kaye:

Love your blog and the poems are just great! Red is one of my favorite colors, too. Chinese for good luck. Do you suppose I'm part Chinese and don't know it.

But I love green, too. Turquoise green.

Pat Browning

Jen Forbus said...

It's always such fun to stop by your blog Kaye! My high school colors were red and white and I do think I wore myself out on red during that period. I don't have much attraction to it now. My mom says its because I don't want to draw attention to myself... whatever. I'm more of an earthy those browns, blues and greens...purple, too, like Robin. However, the only kind of shoppin' that really cheers me up is BOOK shopping!

Carol Murdock said...

Oh Kaye, I have a gorgeous pair of firey Red Sandal heels and matching bag that I love to wear with a sundress but I have gained so much weight lately, a sundress may be a thing of the past.However blues and greens are my favorites!

Kaye Wilkinson Barley - Meanderings and Muses said...

Pat - I know you have some gorgeous turquoise jewelry I covet, girl!!

Jen, hey! Book shopping - there you go! I get pretty excited over that myself!

Carol - big sigh. I can relate to the recent weight gain thing. Even more reason for you to put on those pretty red party sandals - what say! I'm betting they are scrumptious!