Is Invisibility a Middle-Age Superpower?

 

invisible woman superhero illustration paula mangin

The other night while playing poker with my dear friends, all connected by age and advertising, Laura brought up that awful feeling of walking down the street and no one looks. Or notices. Or cares.

She lamented:

“I can’t help thinking of “a tree falling in the forest” analogy for some reason:   If a middle aged woman walks into a bar and no one sees her, is she really there at all?”

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David Bowie, Our Space Oddity

David Bowie illustration paula mangin

During the past few weeks where all hell has broken loose in pop culture and society (and Trump dug Sarah Palin out of the bargain bin, reminding us that some things should get tossed straight into the trash), the sharp contrast between crap and quality reminds us all how truly special David Bowie was.

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Miracle on 57th Street

festivus viceroy shortMerry Christmas from Blank, Stare Blink!

While Jslow is back home in the Bay Area celebrating Christmas with her family, I flew across the country with my husband to spend Christmas with nobody. And everybody.

I love everything leading up to Christmas: The corny Christmas movies that populate the Lifetime and Hallmark channels, the parties, sparkly cookies, SALES!, time off from work, peppermint lattes, homes wrapped in lights, cats trapped in Macy*s windows.

But Christmas day? Please make it go away. Fast.

My parents are long gone, as are my husband’s. I have few remaining relatives. Combine that with my existing depressive state and you have that one day where everybody is happy and surrounded by family and I feel alone and miserable and like a bad hangover, just want to sleep it off. Facebook becomes salt. I am the wound.

And so this Christmas I took preventative action and booked a trip to New York, my favorite place on earth, to spend it with Randy surrounded by lights and noise and festive store windows and people and shopping and snow! There had to be snow. Glorious distractions to get me through this day.

I bought a string of Christmas lights I bought at Duane Reade for $2.99 and strung them on our floor lamp, Festivus style.

We walked down 5th Avenue. Popped into Rolf’s (the most Christmassy place I’ve ever seen), braved the masses shopping last minute sales on Christmas Eve. In short, we’re having the time of our lives.

Inside Rolf's.

Inside Rolf’s.

But there is one thing that hasn’t gone as planned.

Snow. As in lack thereof.

In fact, it’s 70 here. Warmer than home.

And keeping us from experiencing the postcard New York Christmas experience of our dreams.

So in a tank dress, leggings and my Sacai Luck gladiator sandals, I sweated my way through the seven stories of Bergdorf’s.

celine flats bergdorf

I bought a heavily marked down Sacai leather jacket (Sacai is one of my favorite brands these days) and a pair of French’s-mustard- colored Celine ballet flats.

Yes, ballet flats. Something so unlike me. But I loved them. They made me smile. They were sunny like this New York winter weather. When my lovely sales associate rang me up and gave me his card, I had to rub my readers: His name was Christopher Snow. Snow! It was a Christmas, or Festivus miracle!

It’s Christmas now, and I’m still in one piece, happy to be here, happy to have figured out, at least this time, how to protect my heart this day and truly experience a Merry Christmas. I know first hand how rough this day is for so many people like me, as it can be the worst day of the year. But please know you’re not alone. And maybe, like me, you’ll find a way to make it better. To experience your own Christmas, or Festivus miracle. Maybe it’s helping others. Or maybe it’s just helping yourself. Merry Christmas. xo

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