The new Sundance catalog arrived yesterday. For me, it is the epitome of everything that is chic, cool and hip, yet as much as anything that finds its way through my mail slot on a regular basis, it is a seasonal reminder of just how remarkably uncool I can be. As I slowly turned each page, I found myself constantly reminded of how much damn work it is to be cool. Then, just as I was about to give up all hope and resign myself to living out my days on earth in terminal unhipness, there they were. The shoes. My shoes. After all these years they were back. Popular during my high school years, which was, of course, just a decade or so after the official end of the Ice Age, suede wedge shoes had finally resurfaced, and I was downright giddy.
Despite years of conformity in my Catholic school education, complete with a uniform, I have always tried to stand out among the masses. I always walked that fine line between wanting to fit it and wanting to be different – just not too different. And when I was in high school, these beautiful little accessories to my Catholic school uniform were my ticket to individuality in an otherwise cookie-cutter world. I dare say that I was the first to wear suede wedge shoes in high school. And navy leather lace-up boots. And wool knickers to football games.
That’s right. As much as my coolest friends today might find it hard to believe, in the land of cool Dee Antil once had game. Still does, sometimes.
With each passing year, I wonder if I’m losing touch with that little girl who was determined to both fit in and stand out. I wonder if I’m drifting too far from the uniqueness that once defined me. I shuffle kids to games, I grocery shop and I maintain a home like millions of other women. In my neighborhood of traditional Virginia sameness I pass rows and rows of brick colonials with their black or red or white front doors. Then I see it. As I reach the end of the block and my own brick colonial comes into view, I know I’m home when I see that beautiful purple door.
Dee Antil is a multifaceted woman much like the stones she uses in her artisan jewelry designs. She has worn many hats from nurse anesthetist to single mother, founder of non-profit art co-op, amateur photographer, orchid grower, exercise/nutrition enthusiast. She also loves design, fashion, and the sea.