Page's Turn


November 26, 2012

Nothing like a manicure to cheer you up after a break-up. “Okay, go pick out a color,” the diminutive Vietnamese manicurist with the chic and sleek brown bob tells me. “Oh, I actually know the color I want. Do you have 'Mademoiselle'? I ask her. It’s my favorite--a soft, almost transparent, pink. She points to the colors lined up on the white formica table. “I think that one’s it,” she says. I pick up the pale pink bottle, squinting to read the label on the bottom. “Blushing Bride.”

“Nope, not the one I’m looking for,” I say. Jeez, of all the flipp’n colors. With a divorce and three broken engagements in my wake, “Blushing Bride” is definitely not my go-to shade.

She directs me toward a lucite rack where I expand my search of natural colors. Who knew natural came in so many shades? Here’s what I find: “Sheer Bliss,” “No Prenup,” “Pinking of you,” “Sugar Daddy,” “Show Me the Ring,” “Cloud Nine.”

Seriously?Is every nail polish associated with marriage, sex, or a happy relationship? Don’t they know I came to the salon to find solace in my new-found single status? Cloud Nine? Hardly. 

I decide to come up with polish names more suitable for this post-break-up period. “Shoot Me Now,” “Stop Ur Crying,” “Move On,” “Fly, Be Free,”  “Down in the Dumps,” “Dumped,” “So Lonely,” “Heartbroken,” “Outta Here,” “Dodged a Bullet,” “Chipped,” “Ugh,” “Pass the Prozac.”

Now those are some appealing names for the broken-hearted. Of course, they’d have to be in shades resembling a bruise. That would be a problem for someone preferring pale pinks, but darker colors are de rigueur for fall and winter. Seriously, I think I’m on to something. And the name for the polish company? Broken Nails. Or what about Shattered?

As I daydream about this budding business idea, the well-coiffed manicurist informs me she can’t locate “Mademoiselle,” but she can put two coats from different bottles that would perfectly match what I want. 

“How ‘bout we do “Starter Wife” with a coat of “Happily Ever After” on top?”

“Sounds great,” l tell her, blinking back tears.

Happily ever after would have been nice. But where is the coat I really need? “Move on.” And where is the color I really want? “Come Back,” with a topcoat of “I’m Sorry.”

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Charming Women for a Cause

November 17, 2012

The Mina Charm (Photo by: Page Evans) The Mina Charm

Looking good and doing some good, that’s what Julia Farr and Sissy Yates  intended with the creation of The Mina Charm, a necklace they designed with the whole woman in mind.

The name Mina, according to Farr, is derived from the latin phrase “Cura Femina” or care of the whole woman. “Mina serves as a concrete reminder to take a moment to breathe, to create space, to be present and aware,” says Farr, owner of the Julia Farr Boutique.

Kathleen Biden and Julia Farr (Photo by: Page Evans) Kathleen Biden and Julia Farr

The charm is an abstracted form of the female figure encased in a circle. The circle represents “the circle of friends that help and support women,” says Farr.

On Wednesday night, this circle of friends gathered in the art-filled home of Alison Shulman to celebrate the launch of The Mina Charm. Fittingly, a portion of all proceeds went to Women for Women International, an organization that helps women in war-torn countries around the world.

Katherine Hoffman and Jennifer Altemus (Photo by: Page Evans) Katherine Hoffman and Jennifer Altemus

To learn more, visit Women for Women.

The necklaces can be purchased at Julia Farr 5232 44th Street, NW Washington, D.C. 20015

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My Guilt Shake

August 18, 2012

Inching down 95 South on what would turn out to be a seven-hour slog from Washington to Charlotte, my stomach started growling midway. 

Stuck in stop-and-go-traffic, my black Lab’s nose pressed against the window, smearing the glass. We were hungry, hot, and in need of a pit stop. 

Chick-fil-A is where we usually stop on long trips. The service is friendly; the bathrooms sparkle; and my daughters love the chicken nuggets and fresh lemonade--not to mention the free mints. I’m also addicted to the milkshakes, particularly the “hand-spun” peach shakes served in the summer. And, on this sweltering August day, I craved one.

I first learned of the Chick-fil-A flap from one of my gay friends on Facebook. He posted that his family would be boycotting the chain because of its CEO’s opposition to same-sex marriage. “Damn sandwiches were so tasty, but we won’t be back,” he wrote.

And then came the flood of news stories, more postings from “friends” and, finally, the viral YouTube video of the guy berating the Chick-fil-A employee for working for such a “hateful company.” After watching the clip, I applauded the employee’s polite and measured response in the face of a rude customer. I agreed with what she said. But I also agreed, in theory, with the ill-behaved activist, though not his handling of it. I imagine he and I have a similar voting record.

I support gay marriage. The families I know with two moms or two dads are amazing. Their kids are well-adjusted, kind, conscientious. Same-sex couples do have family values. Strong ones. This isn’t a random opinion, it’s what I’ve witnessed in my children’s school, and from my gay friends and neighbors here in DC and elsewhere. I whole-heartedly support freedom of choice--in all its forms.

Which brings me to my choice. To have a milkshake or not? What would it say if I stopped for a shake in light of the boycott?  How would I explain to my children that I support gay rights and my right to have a thick, creamy milkshake? 

Bottom line: I don’t relish tackling political questions when I’m hungry. I’d rather keep my poultry and my politics separate, like church and state. 

We live in a country based on free speech. Even if we disagree with others’ opinions, they still have a right to them. Tolerance--on both sides--is the key ingredient. And what would boycotting a restaurant really do to the CEO? Would it change his views? Doubtful.

So I chose the peach milkshake. And, yes, I felt guilty about it. Still do. Aside from the cause, the calories are concerning. I have just discovered that a large peach milkshake from Chick-fil-A has 850 calories and 21 grams of fat. I’m calling it my guilt-shake.

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