stevie nicksI was at the mall yesterday at my new favorite store there, which specializes in so many types of diaphanous raiment you’d think it was another era entirely; for here seems to be gathered every lacy top and angel-sleeved dress ever worn by the Mamas and the Papa’s Michelle Phillips or Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks.

So absorbed was I admiring in  this little cream-colored lace number, which the sales people had paired with a kind of soft wool cape woven in tones of peach and ivory, just the exact shades of a Creamsicle, that I didn’t even notice the beefy guy hanging by the counter clutching a cup of iced coffee as big as a half-gallon jug of milk.

“Hmmm”, I thought, “you wouldn’t take this guy for your usual Free People shopper”,  but then neither am I that, I suppose. I suppose I belong up the way at the Women’s department at Macy’s, pawing my way through tidy double-knit suits, but what can I say? I can’t forget that decade I was a young and not yet a mother when all us girls went about, even to the office, dressed in after-bath fashion, like Michelle here:

Michelle phillps

This guy though: this guy finally broke his silence.

“Hey so can I leave my coffee here?”

The two young women who, come to think of it looked a lot LIKE Michelle Phillips and Steve Nicks, regarded him saucer-eyed.

“Excuse me?” they said together.

He didn’t like that. “I’m tryna walk the mall ,SEE. And I don’t want to carry my iced coffee, SEE. So I’m asking you: Can I park it here and come back and get it after, or not?”

They were both young enough to know only a world where you get asked again and again at the airport if a stranger has given you anything to take on the plane ; where you get asked again and again if you packed your bag yourself, so of course they were stunned by the suggestion. Anyone would be, in this day and age.

They said no they were afraid they could not keep his iced coffee, whereupon he uttered a series of nasty phrases and stomped off.

He was in the wrong church AND the wrong pew, poor dope – maybe a little like Yours Truly who left the store with the ivory dress, AND the peaches-and-cream serape AND a crisply white flowing long-sleeved top.

HE didn’t get away with his caper. I guess it remains to be seen whether or not I,  who was born just a few years after Stevie Nicks, will get away with mine, haha. Fie on the age-appropriate!





At times in my life I’ve felt like that Up in the Air guy George Clooney plays, when he’s flying around the country firing people.

(Well, anyway he’s doing that until the foxy chick played by Vere Farmiga­­­ breaks his heart. We’re not sure what changes his character will undergo when the screen fades to black.)

I travelled for 25 years for my job, by car mostly, but also up in the air.

By now I can whip that laptop out of its bag as fast as the best of them.

Quick as a wink I can take off a coat, un-holster a phone, give a special curveball of a kick to my shoes so they shoot right up into my hands, first the right, then the left, and in one sweet motion land in one of those bins.

Being used to the whole drill frees me to look around a little and that’s what I like best.

This time I saw a chubby eight-year-old talking to his toy in a high squeaky voice. I also saw many grownups doing that but the toys in their cases were  their phones.

I saw a hipster in a T-shirt reading ‘Honey Nut Cheerios’ staring glumly for 30 straight minutes at his phone.

I saw a family of eight madly snapping pictures of each other, changing positions, forming groupings and calling “Mira Mira!” as they looked at the shots.

Theyoung  flight attendant on the Chicago to St. Louis run looked like Brad Pitt from the back – Brad P the movie Burn After Reading I mean, with his hair half dark and half bleached brassy blond.

At least he looked young until I saw him full face.  He wasn’t really  young at all. AND he had dyed his eyebrows dark.

It’s weird what happens to your eyebrows as you age. Mine used to look like Jennifer Connelly’s when she was a child actress doing the movie Labyrinth with David Bowie.

Now they’re like that flight attendant’s a month after his last dye job.

Our family’s new baby has no action in the eye brow department either I notice so I guess that’s the arc of it for us humans. We take off, we rack up a lot of miles, flying here and there and all around and then we turn back into babies. It sounds kind of nice doesn’t it? It sounds like it all might work out after all, even if most of us DON’T win the equivalent of Vera Farmiga at the end of the picture.