Sunday, November 06, 2005

My Tribe

I've always prided myself for being one of the Women Who Run With The Wolves, a mammal more concerned with tapping into a carnivorous hunger for life than one whose existence was dictated by fashion. My sense of style for years has been more Banana Republic meets The Tribe of Wal-Mart Joggers than say The Tribe of College Sorority (although I did belong at one time, purely to date members of The Tribe of College Fraternity) in my 20's or The Tribe of Early In-Law Furniture or The Yuppie Tribe that was popular in my 30's.

Even when I had money, got older, lost money, gained fat, I still refused to adopt more than black and khaki with an occasional splash of color. Clean lines with no frills, the markings that others saw clearly stating that "I'm paying attention, I just don't care and refuse to try too hard to belong to Your Tribe."

I met my match this evening when The Kid gifted me, an early birthday present, with two ladies' handbags, one a handmade leather-tooled mini saddle bag with blanket stitching and the embossed desert rose symbol that was popular fifty years ago, and the other an antique white leather Gucci with a silver clasp and the distinctive bar on the lower right front. Simple, clean lines that I love on both gifts, but with them blew in the latent realization that I still don't belong to A Tribe.

But what tribe would have me at my age? I don't truly belong to The Red Hat Tribe, nor to The Garden Club Tribe, The Country Club Tribe, or The Political Candidate's Wife Tribe. Frankly, all of those tribes scare the shit out of me anyway. I can't really afford to join my true tribe, The Tribe of Ralph Lauren, although I do definitely have the bag for it now.

I have never felt the compulsion to accessorize. My ears are double-pierced, yet I rarely wear earrings. Hell, I haven't even colored my hair but once since Clinton was in office. So why now, when I'm somewhere between gregarious and geriatric am I suddenly aware that I'm tribeless?

The Gucci has never even been out of the plastic wrapping it came in other than to perch on some manniquin's arm thirty years ago then be packed away, forgotten until now. Oddly, I have a perverse urge to live up to the bag, to be as flawless as the manniquin that sported the bag, and I realize in the same instant that such a thing is ridiculous. I am flawed.

I look at the Ralph Lauren type bag and smile. We two have aged but well, with character, depth, and sturdiness that only time can form. Neither have us have been used much, but we're not new, and that's okay. Now I want to use it. The Gucci can wait until spring. But I'll use it, too. Maybe by then the woman will wear the bag instead of the other way around.

#1 Son asked me not to get my feelings hurt before he handed me the presents. He thought I might read into it that handing me antiques or near-antiques as a gift would offend. He said he was browsing, and the owner of the shop showed him the purses. She didn't even know how to unlatch the Gucci, but when he did it for her, she told him the item's story. The Kid said he couldn't resist either purchase and hoped I'd like them. You see, he thought the bags would compliment his mother. He already saw her as belonging to The Tribe of Ralph Lauren and to The Tribe of Gucci. He also wanted me to have purses I couldn't overload so that the weight wouldn't pull on my neck and shoulders.

And who says people can't grow past a certain age? I learn something new every day. Today was no exception, thanks to a thoughtful son and two old bags meeting another.

My "Rinda" mood of the day from The Write Snark :



At 8:47 AM, Blogger Ann Wesley Hardin said...

Go ahead and live up to the bags, Suns. Sometimes returning to your tribe makes you feel stronger. Kinda like pomp and circumstance. Ceremony. In the end they're meaningless and seem like a waste of time and money. But while you're involved, they give you the feeling of belonging to something bigger than yourself.

At 2:47 PM, Blogger Amie Stuart said...

Awwww what a sweet gift! I love thoughtful things no matter where they come from =)

Early happy birthday sweets!

At 8:41 AM, Blogger Rinda Elliott said...

That son of yours has always been something special. I remember thinking, if I weren't married... and er, older... heh heh

I'll shut up before I freak you out.

Seriously, that's a sweet gift. You are lucky. Happy Birthday!!!

At 12:28 PM, Blogger Merry said...

Kewl gifts!

As far as my tribe? Like Raquel Welch in that movie - WALKS FAR WOMAN - when I'm done with a tribe, *I* leave. Therefore, I belong to the Tribe Of Marches To The Beat Of A Different Drummer.


At 12:26 PM, Blogger Lyn Cash said...

Thanks for the birthday wishes & comments. Rinda, The Kid feels the same way about you - I'm used to it by now - lol. And LOL at Mer', even though she's serious and like Ann has given me food for thought. (grin)

And Cece, thanks again for alerting me about Star Struck debuting. WOW.

At 11:07 PM, Blogger THIS! Christine said...

Happy Birthday doll face.

Hope it was a good one.



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