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Friday, August 31, 2012

Different But the Same - Living and Writing in Woodstock, GA

The other day I was ambling, not sashaying (this is the New South), down the sidewalk in town, wearing my typical getup, nothing trendy or flashy. Being in my early sixties, I lean toward the practical side. Got a house to clean and a yard to tend! But I do love design. Maybe it's the "art of it"--color, form, texture, pattern. Anyway, surprise overwhelms me at the cute stores that constantly pop up around here, presenting well-designed wares of interest to women, like jewelry establishments, a dress shop for the young and hip, even a bridal store with new gowns and consignment pieces that are just as stunning, poised for a trip down the aisle. Anyway, I began to  ponder the subject of females and how we love to self-adorn and accessorize.
Like I said, I am what they euphemistically call a . . . mature lady. I can deal with that. But the situation turned awkward recently when I visited a department store a short distance from Woodstock. There I spied jewelry perfect for a certain outfit of mine and then discovered the maker is Fossil. Oh, no, no, no. Is this brand determined to drive away older women? Yes. They've quite nicely cornered a much younger market, an age bracket unafraid of the name. I strongly considered some earrings, but no need to irritate the younger shoppers' psyches. So I passed on the baubles.
Don't get me wrong. In the future, I'm prepared to sponsor a fiery boycott of any company with misguided marketing advice who tries to bring out a purse line called Old Bag. . . . which makes me think of Queen Elizabeth. Her purse, not her! May we all be so lovely at that age. But there is one aspect of her life that mystifies me. Has she ever gone anywhere without her pocketbook? Ever? I don't get it.  Whatever happened to Ladies-in-Waiting? You know, ready at instant notice with a hair brush, mint or tissue. Well, I'm not privy to that world, but I learned a great deal once, watching a documentary about her 2003 trip to the United States. Detail after detail was explained about the myriad preparations, hers and ours. Fascinating. My serious educational experience came to a crashing halt two hours into the program. Amid all my awe, I discovered she is like every female I know. After the drawn-out pomp and circumstance, the seating of important dignitaries and august politicians and the honorary words of welcome, it was her turn to come to the stage. The camera turned toward the Queen, anticipating her prestigious approach. Not a step. There she stood, disregarding the proceedings, head down, digging in her purse. . . . Okay, it was a search for her speech, but I couldn't stop laughing. Every woman has been forced to make that dive into the black pit and come up quickly with something momentarily essential. Females, we are all different but the same! 
(Below are photos of some of our local shops and stylish Woodstock women of every age.)


Joyful women exiting Woodstock's House and Garden Boutique.

Always sleek and lovely Lynn Patterson in her shop, House and Garden Boutique.

Stylish women having lunch at The Century House Restaurant

A young beauty enjoying the scene. 

The Bridal Exchange Boutique is overflowing with ethereal designs for a walk down the aisle. The shop is situated elegantly in the Woodstock Downtown Development.

Well-dressed local businesswomen.

Patti Brady is a member of Preservation Woodstock and the author of the Woodstock series.