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Monday, January 28, 2008

Do I have to be practical?

What I'm asking is this.....IS being practical a prerequisite for living an honorable, meaningful and revered life? If so, someone better tell me right now. You see, I'm not really into practical. Well, sometimes I may do something practical. But, that's out of sheer necessity. The necessity being that I'm expected to be practical. But, even when I am practical---my ways to a practical means probably have some not-so-practical twists to them. I totally get impracticality. Take for instance----shoes. I work with a woman who always finds the spunkiest shoes. One particularly busy day as she stood in the doorway of my office discussing very important work stuff, I noticed her shoes---camel colored shoes with a leopard print platform and chunky super high heel! I mean, were these shoes to die for or what? This woman gets it. Shoes are a major distraction for me. Impractical to change the subject from important work stuff to shoes? I suppose. In the world of practical folks, that is. So, anyway, after I oohed and aahed and got the info on where she found them (she's very practical when it comes to shoes---she buys them at great prices!), I said "are they comfortable?" It's just one of those questions that begged to be asked. She waved her hand and tossed back her head as if not to care. Then, she gave a little laugh. I totally got it---who in the hell cares, they are just the cutest, damn it. It's the same thing when my very favorite shopping partner (Toni) and I are one of our retail benders. Like last week (yes, we said we were going grocery shopping but it wasn't our fault that between our house and the grocery store, there stood a T.J. Max). I could hear her half way across the store squealing with delight after spying a pair of yellow-and-white-polka-dot peep toe patent leather heels with the darlingest little bow. "OOOOH!" we cooed as she strutted around in those shoes. (As an aside--God blessed me with a daughter who has feet that were made for heels. I love to watch her model them! She has an amazingly high arch.) "Are they comfortable?" I asked. It was the mom question---not the not-so-practical Judi thing to ask. She gave me that look.... "have you lost your mind? look at these shoes!" Exactly. No, we didn't buy them. We were being entirely too practical---it's January. Who buys yellow shoes in January? Not us. We'll wait until everyone wants yellow shoes and then drive ourselves mad trying to find them. Impractical? Whatever. We found some to-die-for boots on sale.

So, I wonder---is being practical a trait that you develop? Is it a gender thing? Maybe an astrological thing? Carmen seems to be a practical person. He's a male Capricorn engineer. Wow, if that doesn't shout Practical with a capital-P, I don't know what does! Yes, he's practical----at least when it comes to shoes. Not when it comes to knowing what questions to ask his wife. Several years ago, when we were visiting colleges with Vince, I happened to be wearing a cute pair of well-heeled black boots on a campus tour. Yes, I know, they were probably not the best shoes to be wearing to visit every multi-stepped building of a fairly large campus and hike up hills aptly named "heart attack hill" and "roller coaster". But, here's the thing--it was unsettling enough that I reached the age that I'd be sending my son off to college. I would not be wearing studda-bubba shoes. If I had to deal with was best to deal with it in cute shoes. Makes all the difference. Anyway---midway through the tour, as I was lagging behind the brood of thunder-struck parents and overwhelmed high school seniors we were touring with, Carmen turned around and said "why did you have to wear those shoes?" There he was, in his Air Nikes, looking like the 40 something dad who was sending the son off to college that he was--- asking that question. Practical shoes. Impractical question.

So, what got me to thinking about all this practical versus impractical stuff? Well, being in flu exile as we were at our house, we found ourselves watching TV together--the 3 of us. A 16 year old fashion-crazy, celebrity-loving diva. Her 50 year old NFL-is-life, the-remote-is-mine father. And me. After many wranglings with what to watch, Toni won a coin toss at one point and we settled into a "reality show" called "The Real Housewives of Orange County". Have you ever seen this show? (Okay, they call it a docu-drama...not a show) I'm embarrassed to admit that I was completely drawn into the lives of these botoxed, busty babes. As impractical as I can be---these women put me to shame! I became captivated by their seemingly perfect world---their homes, their clothes, their encounters, their parties, their shoes, their hair, their make up, their love lives....their impractical everything. I oohed and aahed over every detail and found myself wanting to jump right into my TV (wouldn't that have been a sight?). How did THEY get a TV show? They are very high maintanence, impractical women with big boobs, small waists and multi-million dollar homes who seem to spend most of their time dealing with decoraters and party planners or going to the spa. What about me? I'm impractical. I like spas. I should have a show. How about "The Real Life of a Lapbanded Wife"? Yes! I could see with my little waist and my oh so wonderful shoes doing fun things---getting manicures, shopping for push up bras....... Carmen soon nudged me out of my fantasy stupor. "These women are disgusting..... impractical and worthless" he hissed. Like I said.....he is very impractical when it comes to what to say to his wife. So, anyway......they have a reunion show tonight....9 pm on Bravo. My disgusting, impractical, worthless friends. Can't wait to very impractical and watch it.

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