Driving Ms. Patti

Perusing what a “mature” woman is supposed to wear. I nearly got car sick.

By Patti Parish-Kaminski, Publisher

I read while Tim Kaminski drives. It’s one of the things that keeps us married – my uncanny ability to focus on something while completely disregarding his driving prowess – or lack thereof. Mr. Kaminski also fills up my email inbox while at red lights, drive-throughs or gas stations when we are in his truck. He could literally reach out and touch me – or better yet ask me about a particular item – yet he chooses to sit next to me and email me. And he thinks I don’t realize this as I hear my inbox ping repeatedly. I choose my battles.

This morning as we drove to the office – yes, Mr. Kaminski spends a fair amount of time driving Ms. Patti – I sorted through several days of mail. Honestly, I do consider it a benefit for Mr. Kaminski to get to spend even more time with me – kind of like a gift with purchase – hence the driving Ms. Patti thing. Him, likely not so much. Nevertheless, on our E-ticket ride this morning, I was perusing through some catalogs and such when it came to my attention that I am now a “mature” woman.

I’m not sure when this transition happened. No one informed me that my status as a woman had changed. As I looked into this phrase further, I quickly discovered what “mature” really meant. It’s ugly. I hesitate to even define it as it’s just so distasteful. Now I’ve known all of my life that I’m full-grown. That’s just the way God made me, and I’m not one to argue with our maker. But as a “mature” woman, that full-grown thing is taken to a whole new level. According to the marketing gurus in charge of the catalogs I now receive at age 55 – and I’m quite sure they are men – a “mature” woman wears hideous clothing with abundant, loud, brightly colored fabric that looks like Walt Disney threw up on it. A “mature” woman wears shoes that look like they belong on a man. A “mature” woman carries handbags that look like feed sacks. A “mature” woman needs creams and potions and such that at a minimum cost $200 each to combat the effects of being “mature.” So now I’m confused. Are we embracing being “mature” or are we trying to get rid of it?

It was all I could do not to roll down the window and toss said periodicals. Were it not for “don’t mess with Texas,” I would have done it. Now I’m not saying that I need to don clothing that a twenty-something would wear, but can’t a girl – I mean “mature” woman – still look cute?

Now I’ll admit, I’m the first one to donate too tight clothing if this or that is exposed or not looking good. Heck, I’ve been putting this and that in Lycra since I was a teenager. After all, I was raised Baptist.

But in my mind, I think I can still look cute and wear fashionable – and sometimes trendy – apparel. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I have my days, but I think I can pull it together and not look like I’m overtly “mature” – certainly not wearing the God-awful apparel that has been deemed appropriate for the “mature” woman.

So, I decided to do what any woman would do when posed with this quandary: ask my husband. “Honey, do I look cute today?” I queried my driver. And y’all know that was a softball question designed to yield the correct response. I do my best to set Mr. Kaminski up for success. His response? “Yea, what?”

I am currently taking applications for a new driver.

See y’all next week – on the porch!