"I can't," Mom replied. "I like Destin because we always go there and I know what to expect. But it's not warm enough for your dad and our normal condos are under renovation and it's too hard to decide on a new place. And you're traveling and we watch Smallest One and we'll just stay home. Maybe next year."
"Mother," I said sternly, "you and Dad want to go to Florida. You can afford it. You're both retired and have time. You're both healthy, which almost never happens! I'll figure out my dog and Brother can figure out his child. And even if it's not utter perfection, it's Florida! It's warmer than home even if it isn't the perfect temperature! It's the ocean rather than the neighbor's tree, even if the balcony isn't the ideal size! You'll watch the water and Dad will watch TV and you'll sleep and eat fish and collect shells. Go."
When she continued to waver, I found a suitable condo with lots of windows and patios and balconies perched right on the beach. I threatened to book it myself if she didn't do it. And nodded with satisfaction when she called to report that they'd go the last week in January, now filled with happy anticipation.
"Silver shoes!" I told Chienne in the middle of the night, having discarded the idea of black heels with black tights. I have red but the heels are too much and the flats not enough. I was playing with the idea of purple when I fell asleep but awakened with the memory of silvery flats and smiled at their perfection before going back to sleep.
"Did you see my shoes?" I asked Doug as we sat on his sofa last night, nodding across the living room where the flats rested by his front door.
"I did," he confirmed and I grinned before reminding him of how ridiculously good my hair looked. I spent the evening with a 'look how pretty I am!' glow with my new lip gloss (that happened to match my blood orange champagne cocktail) and revealing silvery dress. His eyes strayed to the deep V of my neckline gratifyingly often as we enjoyed excellent service at an early seating.
Of course, I'm still Katie. So I confided that I almost fell down when we arrived, my perfect silver shoes slipping on the gleaming wood floor. And I ended the meal by peering down my front, trying to find the bit of shared cheesecake that had slipped from my fork.
One of the best moments - apart from tilting my head for a goodnight kiss and talking to a man of whom I'm growing excessively fond - was my quick stop at CVS before dinner. I glanced at the short line of three women and realized I have always been the one in jeans and ponytail. Picking up chocolate and telling myself I didn't want to go out anyway - I liked being at home and was comfortable with my lack of companionship.
Last night, I glanced down at my silver shoes and brushed a perfect curl back in place. I moved forward and placed my hairspray and lip gloss, nail polish and Advil on the counter and realized I felt a general happy anticipation as well.
So Happy New Year! May you notice small moments of profound progress in 2011.