Last night at Macy's, in the teen girls department, Naomi and I flipped through a motley assortment of dresses marked down two, three, and sometimes four times. The splashes of color were outrageous - large red flowers with heavy black outlines, pink ribbons for straps, cartoon characters over bright yellow on a tea-length skirt. Under the cheap fluorescent lighting in the grundge-style fitting room, Naomi slipped into each outfit, and with childlike happiness she stepped toward and away from the mirror, turning different ways. The dresses were ultra-feminine, like the Stepford Wives, though the fabric of course was thinner, being in the teen section. Against Naomi's brown muscular back and wild black hair, the dresses were tame yet whimsical, contradictory. I was clumped in the dressing room corner, taking in the scene of two 31-year-old twins playing dress up in a teen cubicle, somehow wanting to be ladylike, but on our own terms.
I saw your ex-boyfriend in 7-Eleven today. He was buying a lei for his son. And the family is growing, as he and his wife are expecting a newborn in July.
To him, you were sexy, exciting and complicated, toting a Fendi handbag and insisting on wearing high heels wherever you went, even if it were to the Waikiki shoreline. You made him profess that you were the prettiest woman he was ever with.
You didn't love him, but you somehow needed him. He would've married you in a heartbeat, but you thought he was not good-looking enough, nor did he earn enough of a paycheck. He wasn't your "intellectual equal," though you did at least pat him on the back sometimes for being "generous." You stretched him in all ways, and he tried to conform. But he grew weary of you, and, exhausted and dullened, he let you go.
He was beaming today, and I was happy for him.
Sometimes we leave such epic things behind us, and when we look back, they seem so far away from where we are today.