Is this the year I am officially old.  It's not really my actual age, wrinkles, or droopage ratio,  I feel old because I've scanned several fashion magazines this week and I have not found one fall fashion that I want to embrace.

I feel like I should be lounging, newly permed,  around my neighbor's pool with a gaggle of older gals, gossiping away in our one piece skirted bathing suits, wrinkled evidence of too much iodine and baby-oil tanning in the 60's all on display, talking about the crap that passes for fashion these days.

High waist jeans? Crop tops? Pastels in winter. Leather? Bollywood? That's a trend now?  Funnel coat?  I'm not wearing anything that sounds like it might add pounds.  And I believe we covered the scrunchie comeback before.

It's true, I've never been a fashionista.  There was that time when I was 21 and admired another girl's way with leg warmers.  She would wear them with pointy-toed three inch heels. She was lovely with a bird-like bone structure, and could pull off the odd fashion choice. With my athletic build, I was never bird-like.  It was like putting leg warmers on Rocky.  Still, it didn't stop me from trying.  I tried again  in 1972 when I paired a baby blue cotton dress with red pumps and pink ankle socks.  I don't even think that was a trend at the time.  I think I might have been stoned. I loved the eighties fashion.

At some more lucid point in my adulthood, I adopted a classic, simpler way of dressing; structured, clean lines in neutral colors and quality fabrics, with an occasional pop of color. This is what looks good on me.  If it weren't for the way I attract dirt, dog hair, loose threads and food stains, I might even pass for well-dressed in some circles.

But now, it would seem, a classic style no longer passes for a style.  Fashion has become diverse and complicated.  Clothing is made to layer in odd ways.  It wraps and ties and serves multiple purposes.  Is it a dress, a shirt, a skirt?  How le heck am I supposed to figure that stuff out?  I see odd combinations of fabric, styles and decades.  These new clothes, they have holes in weird places....I don't want a tan on just the middle of my back, for the love of Pete.

I can feel myself faltering. It's no secret that I love stripes and polka dots, sometimes together, but I simply can not compute the code that allows two fabrics with different size stripes to be worn at the same time, I couldn't pull off that style if I wanted to. Not that I want to, exactly, that's not what I'm saying.  I'm saying that even if I wanted to, I couldn't. right? I feel as though I've passed over some invisible line into the realm of the style-less.  I've become one with the masses, dressing daily for cleaning house practical purposes.  Like being adequately covered in public. Like someone who wouldn't know a statement necklace if it jumped up and bit me on the nose.  Which is why I don't wear statement necklaces, incidentally, I still buy them I just don't usually wear them, because that seems like a valid concern.

And this feeling of not relating to current fashion trends makes me feel old.  This is not to say that older people are unfashionable.  Style is ageless, yeah yeah we've all heard that one.  I have many friends who are walking proof.  I have other friends who have transcended fashion and are simply elegant.

But as for me?  I  may as well buy some elastic-waisted jeans, a velour sweatshirt featuring kittens, and some comfortable walking shoes.  And a fanny pack.

just sayin'.

 Pear and Cream Cheese Tart

1 stick of butter, softened
1 cup sugar, divided
1 cup flour
1 pkg (8 0z) cream cheese, softened
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
3 thinly sliced pears, peeled

Preheat oven to 425.
Beat butter and 1/3 cup sugar until light and fluffy.
Add flour, mix well.
Spread firmly onto bottom and up the sides of a springform pan (I push it about 3/4 of an inch up the sides of a 10-inch pan. A 9 inch pan is a more standard size, so you could push up about an inch.)

Beat cream cheese and 1/3 cup sugar in same bowl.
Add egg and vanilla, mix well.
Spread evenly over crust.

Combine remaining 1/3 cup sugar with cinnamon and nutmeg.
Toss sliced pears with sugar mixture until covered.
Arrange pears in concentric circles on top of cream cheese filling, starting with the outside and working in.
Eat any left-over cinnamon sugar pears.
(Do not share.)

Bake 10 minutes then reduce to 375 and bake 25 minutes or until golden brown at edges and the middle is set.
Cool on wire rack.
Remove outside of springform pan.
Refrigerate tart for a few hours until cool and well set.


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