Monday, April 11, 2016

In the Palm of My Sand

Dress: Lauren Conrad, Kohl's
Tank: Worthington, J. C. Penney's
Shoes: Ami Clubwear
Bag: H&M
Belt: Apt. 9, Kohl's
Sunglasses: J. C. Penney's

If that other tree is the tree of life, then the palm tree is the life of the party.  In a forest full of stodgy oaks, pines, and maples, it stands out as the only Arbor Day honoree to be feted on MTV's Spring Break.  Yet it's also paradoxically tranquil, exuding a sweet, exotic peace unachieveable under less tropical trees, boasting foliage that proudly proclaims you're far, far away from anything stressful.

I first became transfixed by the palm's heady power when I was just six.  My parents and I were at the Orlando airport, on our way home from Disney World, when I begged them to buy palm tree seeds (in retrospect, they may have been coconuts) from the weird guy hawking them outside McDonald's.  My parents gently explained that palm trees don't grow in New Jersey, for the moment sidestepping the lecture about hucksters peddling the equivalent of magic beans.

Oddly enough, we do have a few palm trees in Brigantine that, ahem, mysteriously sprout up every summer.  There's a pair bookending the welcome sign and another half a dozen or so surrounding the island's Sandals-like beach bar (a real cheeseburger in paradise situation.  You know.  If New Jersey were annexed to Florida).  Someone once asked me how those palms survived up here in Yankee country, and I admitted that I didn't know.  In hindsight, I should've said something clever like, "that's between me and the mermaids."  But that's okay, because I said it here.  I've always thought that writing is nature's way of making up for all those times when we find ourselves tongue-tied, paralyzed by the relentless demands of real-time conversation.

That having been said, this week's barrettes are a shout-out to these botanical beach bums, Technicolor-style, not a green frond among them.  They're the perfect thing to wear when lounging poolside and nursing a margarita or two.  Or even while grocery shopping, which is where I wore mine this past weekend.  It made me feel festive during our freak April snowstorm, like summer was just a sunburn away.

I like to think I owe it my mango yogurt.

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