Dior: From Paris to the World, Denver Art Museum 2018

Time is a dressmaker specializing in alterations.

Faith Baldwin

Couture designer, Christian Dior was forced to make many adjustments during his life time. The Great Depression erased his family fortune and he became a fashion illustrator to support himself. Eventually he secured design positions in well known haute couture houses. He faced another challenge, during World War II, which forced the closure of many of the French fashion houses. In 1946, he opened his own own couture house. He continued to make alterations to his designs, as well as his life, to accommodate change , until his death at age 52, in 1957.

Going back and looking at my writing I realized I have written a great deal about change and I suppose this might appear to be about the same topic. Actually, it’s not. This post is not about change. It’s about the alterations we have to make in our life to adjust to change. To use the dressmaker analogy, we gain weight and we have a couple of choices. We can either struggle with uncomfortably tight clothing or let out the seams to fit our larger body.

I was reading about a woman who explained that at 55, she was middle aged. The comment was made that she was only middle aged if she planned on living to 110. Point taken. I, honestly, was not phased by my past birthdays. Milestones flew by without much thought on my part. 60, 65, 70, no big deal. I have another milestone birthday coming up soon. I will be 75 and this one, I admit, bothers me. I have never bought into the 60 is the new 40 analogy. I just still felt and looked good, so I didn’t think beyond that.

So here’s the thing, 75 is uncomfortably close to 80. Let’s face it, it’s old. I’m not denying it, but alterations will have to be made. I refuse to fade away quietly to a rocker on the front porch. I don’t even have a front porch!

Cosmetic surgery is not something I am considering. We can put it down to my French heritage or the fact that I have seldom seen a good result. So what alterations am I thinking about? I did try a facial masque last week. The results were minimal. Not worth the pain of peeling off what stuck to my face like a giant bandaid. I got my hair cut shorter. Longer hair tends to pull your face down. At my age, gravity does that without any help. I have lost a few pounds and try to walk most everyday. Owning a dog helps with that. I figured out my style a long time ago. Classic clothes seem to work at any age. After playing at it for a few years, this year I am finally going to take that French class and attempt to actually learn the language of my ancestors. I will continue to volunteer one day a week at the library and do a better job of taking advantage of the many cultural sites the city offers. It’s hard to walk through the Botanic Gardens on a sunny afternoon without feeling better about you day.

That’s part of my list of alterations to accommodate the changes brought on by what I consider to be a monumental birthday. To answer Dylan Thomas, ” I will not go gentle into that good night”. Being silent has never been one of my strong suits. So there you have it.

3 responses to “Alterations”

  1. I love this analogy of making alterations and am absolutely thrilled you’re going to learn French! I remember turning 50 felt like I was halfway through my life and almost 10 years later, the second half is more meaningful than the first half. I’m not sure about living to 100, but however many years God gives, I will not leave without making a dent. This is a beautiful post. ✨

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Barb. You have already made a dent and I’m sure have affected many people’s lives in a positive way. Mine included. 🤍

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are the sweetest! Here’s to more dents. ✨

        Liked by 1 person

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