Love, Loss and What I Wore

Well, you all know that I have been away for a few weeks. I have had some personal issues involving the deaths of people who were close to people who were close to me. One was one that I wrote about earlier, a suicide that affected a dear friend of mine. Within a few weeks was the untimely death of another friend, who was the childhood chum of both my dear friend and her sister. I knew the friend, and while we weren’t close his death did touch me, especially since it might have been prevented. He was in pain but didn’t see a doctor until it was too late to stop the spread of the cancer that killed him. Now I do have to write that neither of these people were close to me (as a matter of fact I was not fond of one of them and rather indifferent to the other) but I guess it’s a fact of life that I am coming to the age where death is going to be starting to pick off people I know. Now, I did live through the 80’s and the AIDS crisis and lost many friends to it, so you would think I would be inured, but no.

Then something happened to me. A couple of weeks ago I took the car out for a spin. I don’t drive for work so I try to at least twice a month go for a jaunt to keep the parts oiled up and the battery well charged. I drove over Coldwater to the Valley. Up the 101 to Las Posas road in Camarillo (Portia will remember I dragged her there to the outlet mall) then across Las Posas to PCH and back to town through Malibu. At least that was the plan. I heard a slight thumping noise as I pulled away from the last light on Las Posas after dropping to top, and when turning onto PCH it became obvious that I blew a tire. Big time.

So there I was with a ruined tire 50 miles away from home on a Sunday. Since my car is about the size of a small shoe, it has no spare tire, just an inflation kit. Fine if you run over a nail, but when the the sidewall is shredded, not gonna fly. Luckily I had AAA Plus, so I knew the tow would be covered. I had a very nice driver who I chatted with during the hour drive back to LA and for once I got to be the passenger and look out the window.

So what, you may ask, does this have to do with the first paragraph? Well, I posted to FacePlace a picture of my view from the tow truck with my car on the flatbed and later a photo of the shredded tire. I received many messages from friends, most of who wrote “thank g-d this didn’t happen on the freeway!”

Of course I was thankful that it happened the way it did; I know that a rear-wheel blowout (even a catastrophic one) is far less dangerous than a front wheel one but you never know. So I wondered, why wasn’t this hitting me at all? Am I so pragmatic that the fact that it happened the way it did insulated me from imagining what could have happened? So unimaginative that I couldn’t comprehend the possibility? So uncaring of my own mortality that a tragic outcome didn’t matter to me?

Maybe a combo of all three?

After all, A) nothing did happen except minor inconvenience and the expense of a tire, B) See A, and C) see A.

But I did think about it for a moment and came to the conclusion that it didn’t matter. Not that I am looking to die or anything, but if it happens there is little I can do to prevent it, other than making sure to get that check-up annually and make sure that the tires on the car are properly inflated. If it comes, it comes. I’d like to see Paris, my godchild have kids and toast the solar eclipse of 2024 at Taliesin. But if it’s not to be, then it’s not to be. I’m okay with that.

So, what I wore? It’s been a weird week of weather here in the Southland, one day with highs barely topping the 60’s and the next in the 90’s. Now, I am supposedly not allowed to wear perfume, but when the office is closed the big guns come out. The big gun this past week has been Estée Lauder Youth Dew. I had a bottle of the bath oil which I used as perfume (which many ladies of the 40’s did, apparently) but after the blowout I felt like I needed a little something, so I bought the spray Eau de Parfum. So I have been basking in its spicy, resinous (and in my opinion) supremely comforting embrace.

Because if I have to face my own mortality, I am damned well going to smell fabulous!

Youth Dew is available at many retailers at many different prices. I purchased mine at Nordstrom.

Image: No image because WordPress decided I can’t have them anymore. Grrr…

  • Musette says:

    I like how you dealt with this, hon. Nobody gets out of Life alive, so we might as well make each day count for something! YD is a definite COUNTER! That being said, I am happy AF this didn’t happen on the 405. xoxox

  • Cyndi says:

    My sister, who passed in 2006, wore Youth Dew (and White Linen). I keep a bottle of it (the blue bottle) because I not only love the scent, but it reminds me of her even though we weren’t close at all. At the time of her death she lived in Malibu. I’m from New Jersey, but while I was in California for the funeral I had to travel on the PCH. Honestly, Tom, I don’t know how you do it. A 40 minute drive took us over 2 hours! I couldn’t live like that everyday. However, I’m sorry for your losses. No wonder you got out the big guns!

    • Tom Pease says:

      Traffic in Los Angeles has gotten worse and worse- I only do PCH on Sundays and the Day if the Tire was going to be the last one for the season. Already it was fairly nutty with beach traffic.

      I keep a smidge of Joy for the same sentimental reason- my mother loved it (as well as Miss Dior, but good luck finding that in its original form.)

  • DinaC says:

    My Youth Dew story is this: an aunt gifted me with a full-sized bottle of the eau de parfum spray back in the late seventies. The kicker: I was probably all of 14 years old! You can just imagine how horrified I was and revolted at the scent. I didn’t have the wisdom to save it until I was a grown up, alas. After trying it a few times I threw it in the trash. Such a waste! Now I wish I had it!

    • Tom Pease says:

      I think we all could waste a lifetime ruing the decisions we made when we are 14. Luckily you can ameliorate your pain with a trip to Nordstrom, and not even for that much moolah.

  • Sintia1982 says:

    Many new parfums at NOT ON MY WATCH BUSTER
    30% off with coupon.

  • shiva-woman says:

    I was so surprised– and delighted — your post ended with YD. No matter how niche-y I get, I love YD! And the name, so apropos.

  • Portia says:

    Hey Tom,
    REMEMBER! I loved that Mall day. How much fun?
    I think Youth Dew a perfect antidote for death, drama and shredded tyres. Go you.
    Portia xx