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Tag Archive for ‘Red’

Change is Possible: The Extreme Makeover Edition

Once I was telling Old Yeller about how I was sure some event(which I have completely forgot) had changed who I was as a person. He, in his Old Yeller way, told me that I would never change who I really was . He told me that I would fundamentally be who I was always. He was wrong. Change is possible.

1. For all of my life I have hated gin. Now I like gin. How did that happen? Did gin change or did I?

2. I don’t have red hair anymore. I am really and truly a blond. It has been a slow progression but I am now 100% blond. I am still a Belette Rouge, in spirit if not in fact. It is sort of strange. Having red hair has been a part of my identity and a way to express individuality.  I don’t have that anymore. I am a blond and there are lots of blonds and I am okay with that—-and I am still feeling like an individual.  I can’t imagine I will ever be red again. The only time I think about is when my in-laws tell me to ‘”never-ever-ever-ever go back to red” and then I immediately think about making an appointment at  the nearest salon and going for a Lucille Ball/Bozo the Clown red, only louder. Oui, je suis une passive-aggressive Belette. Continue reading ‘Change is Possible: The Extreme Makeover Edition’

The Wizard of Pilgrim Pumps

See those shoes, the one in the picture, those are the gorgeous and iconic Roger Vivier Pilgrim pump with silver buckles shoes that Catherine Deneuve wore in Belle du Jour. Those shoes, for years, have been on my “someday” list. I just want one pair of Roger Vivier shoes to call my own. And yes I know full well that slipping on one of the shoes that Catherine Deneuve wore will not turn me into her. Having these shoes will not allow me to speak French with a perfect Parisian accent. I will not have long blond hair, an air of cool goddessy beauty, and I will still have days when I wear squirrel pajamas all day and think beer and pizza seems like a good idea( something I am sure Catherine has NEVER done). Knowing that has not stopped me from wanting these beauties.

My years of longing have inspired some settling. I have had a pair of Banana Republic copies. I once had a pair of suede shoes that had a similar pilgrim/pirate vibe that I wore to death and that I miss often. What held me back from owning a pair of Roger Vivier shoes? Simple, they are expensive. $585 for flats expensive.

There is a reason Roger’s shoes are so expensive. Roger Vivier was a French fashion designer who specialized in shoes. He was the very first to create a stiletto heel. For many years he was the shoe designer for Givenchy. His designs and construction were so exceptional that he was considered the “Fragonard of the shoe” and “the Fabergé of Footwear. The Fragonard and Faberge of anything never comes cheap. Really, the Faberge of falafel has to be double the cost of your ordinary falafel.

Vivier’s shoes have been worn by Ava Gardner, Gloria Guinness,The Beatles and most recently Suri Cruise( the only child lucky enough to have custom made Roger Viver pilgrim flats). Queen Elizabeth II wore Roger Vivier shoes for her coronation.

And now his shoes are being worn by me. Yep, those babies are MINE. MINE, all mine!!!!
How, you ask? After a lovely champagne luncheon with Une femme de une certain age, who had taken me out to lunch to celebrate passing my first test, I did a little shopping. I went into Neiman Marcus. I looked at handbags on sale and found nothing I loved. Then I looked for an ornament for our Christmas tree and found nothing but a $150 candle that I put down as quickly as I read the price. I was about to leave the store and then I though, hmmm….maybe I will stop by the shoe department.

I took a walk through the department I saw some over processed blond starlet shopping for shoes who was seemingly seeking anonymity behind big sunglasses and was simultaneously exposed in a big way in a tee shirt that was falling off one shoulder to reveal her bralessness. One would think I would have kept my eyes on her wardrobe malfunction in the making but truth be told I could not take my eyes off her over-fried, dried and extra-crunchy blond hair. I wanted to interrupt her shoe shopping and take her over to the Frederik Fekkai counter and suggest that she buy gallons of his Protein RX Reparative Treatment Mask and that she should keep this stuff on her head 23 hours a day and maybe after a month or two the stuff on top of her head would once again look like human hair and not some kind of mutant hay meant for kindling forest fires.

Still considering my intervention and thinking about adding a trip to the lingerie department to introduce the shoe seeking starlet to a brazier, I strolled over to the sale section after admiring all the shoes that cost more than my car payment and that is when I saw it. There it was in a ten medium sitting on the sales rack. I picked it up and examined it, disbelieving my eyes. I looked for a flaw or perhaps it was a mistake and they weren’t really on sale. But there was nothing wrong and they really were on sale. I grabbed a sales association and insisted on seeing the mate of this beauty. As she went off to find my shoe I went into a kind of shock that they could be mine. I silently said to myself, “Today is the day they come home with me. Today could be the day when my Roger Vivier dream comes true.”

When I got them on my feet I quit thinking and I started feeling. The feeling was a transcendent/ trans-verbal experience. It is difficult to put into the words the feeling of having the kind of shoes that Wicked Witches of all four corners would kill for. The sales associate interrupted my moment, “How do they feel?” She asked. I heard in her tone a subtext of sales seeking. What she really was asking was, “Are you buying these shoes?”
I ignored her subtext and answered her,”They feel like they are coming home with me.”
I pressed my Neiman’s card into her hand. I feared if I didn’t seal the deal quickly something would happen and the price would go up and the shoes would have to stay in the store and I would have to leave without them or maybe flying monkeys would drop me in a poppy field and I would wake up next to a brainless scarecrow, a heartless tin man and a fraidy-cat feline.
Happily the sales associate returned with my shoes in a bag and my receipt to sign. I signed the receipt with enormous enthusiasm, it was as if my signature was saying “Yes!”

I am not sure how I got so lucky to get my Roger Vivier pilgrim flats for such a fantastic price. I am not sure how someday became today. Perhaps it was my fantasy of doing a well meaning mitzvah for the starlet with the hair of straw that opened the door to my miracle moment in the shoe department at Neiman Marcus. I think it is more likely that I benefited from the amazing shopping mojo of Une Femme who is a kind of Glinda the Good Witch when it comes to shopping( really, I have the best luck when shopping with her or even shopping after I see her. I have found two pairs of long longed for shoes at incredible prices after lunching with ). Whatever the reason, the shoes are mine. And in case any Wicked Witches are reading this, my guard dog is watching them so don’t try anything funny—she’ll drop a doghouse on you.


La Belette Blond Vénitienne:*Pictures of me*

No, I know that is not me. I am not Julia Roberts. I am sure that comes to a huge surprise to you all. Mais, c’est vrai. Yes, today, I am going to show you a picture of me in my new hair colour but I have to tell you that my Blond Vénitienne actually looks a lot more like Julia’s colour than how it looks in the picture of my hair below.

It is so strange to be a Belette Blond Vénitienne after being a Belette Rouge for the better part of my life. It will take some adjusting to. Truly, every time I see myself in the mirror I am surprised. Qui est elle?

Also, I am not at all sure about what colours and makeup will work on me now that I am a Venitian blond.

I do have to tell you that I prefer blond vénitien to strawberry blond. Strawberry blond makes me think of Strawberry Shortcake.

I am not sure how the English came up with calling reddish-blonds “Strawberry blond” and the French came to associate it with Renaissance Italians. According to Wikipedia: “Le blond vénitien est un blond à reflets roux.”

“L’adjectif blond vénitien (invariable) tire son origine de la Renaissance italienne (dont Venise est un des foyers), lorsque les femmes s’enduisaient les cheveux d’un mélange de safran et de citron puis les exposaient au soleil.”

“Les cheveux blond vénitien sont composés de faibles quantités d’eumélanine brune et de phéomélanine.” Huh?

So here is a photo of me: Ta-da! You asked and here it is. Me. What you think of my new colour? Hee-hee! You knew I wasn’t going to give you a full facial shot. Didn’t you?

I haven’t been a blond Vénitien long enough to comment whether or not they have more fun but I am happy to report that as a blond I will not have to go to the hair salon as frequently. I might be able to go as infrequently as every four weeks and that is much more fun than every three weeks.

Finally, I will not be changing the name of my blog to go with my new hair colour. I will, in my heart, always be une Belette Rouge.

The Friday five

1. I am mad at Igor, my psychoanalyst. It is the first time in our six-month relationship that I am mad at him. I feel like he totally missed the mark yesterday. I had two big dreams and he completely misinterpreted them. On Monday I dreamt that my parents were getting a divorce and my mother was going to Alcoholics Anonymous. My father was moving in with three Asian women.

Both in the dream and when I woke I was very happy. See, this is something I wanted to happen during almost all 18 years I lived at home. I knew that this dream was HUGE and I couldn’t wait to see Igor to talk to him about it. Well, I saw Igor yesterday and he didn’t get it. I told him I had never before dreamed of my parents divorcing or my mother admitting her addiction and how I was pretty sure this was huge psychological achievement. What did Igor say? “How does this relate to He-weasel?” My internal question was “how does my middle finger relate to you, Igor?”. Why does his interpretation make me so angry? Let me tell you why, it is because last week I shared a dream with him about He-weasel and I moving to a tiny overstuffed cottage in Portland overfilled with stuff and Igor’s interpretation was “This isn’t about He-weasel, this is about your parents.” Reverse psychology much?

There’s more: After he misinterpreted the parental divorce dream I made the foolish mistake of sharing with him my second big dream of the week. In dream #2 I was making out with President Obama. Through kissing him I knew that I was his real partner and that Michelle was just for show. I was all ready for Igor to turn this into a dream about He-weasel or my parents but alas it was his interpretation that this dream was about him. Are you kidding me? After two bad interpretations I turned off and sat there mad and feeling as if I had just wasted $200.

2. Neiman Marcus is having an “earn four In-circle points for every dollar spent” event( today is the last day) and I am in the mood to earn lots of points so I stocked up on some of my favorite cosmetics:

Bobbi Brown Luminous Moisturizer Foundation in Porcelain
Bobbi Brown Metalic lipstick in Ruby
Bobbi Brown Ruby Sugar Lip Gloss
Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer
Kiehl’s Avocado Eye Cream
Kiehl’s Micro-dermabrasion
Fresh Fig Apricot Bath & Shower Gel

I think that means I got about 800 In-circle points for a $200 order. Woo-hoo!!!

3. My Hair-Angel has transformed me from a red weasel into a strawberry blond weasel. I had no plans to go blond and yet her I am. I love it, but I am a bit in shock. Comment faites-vous pour dire “strawberry blond weasel”?

4. Hair-angel introduced me to Rockstar Zero Carb energy drink. OMG!!! Why didn’t anyone tell me that motivation, energy and appetite suppression is for sale? I know this is not the healthiest of beverages, a 24oz can has 360mg caffeine, but there are times when I will turn to this magical elixir when I am free of the aforementioned attributes.

5. I went to Designer Shoe Warehouse yesterday. Why? I am not sure. I have never-ever-ever found a pair of shoes at DSW and I have tried. I have gone to DSW in L.A., S.F., Austin and Chicago. After an hour of browsing I couldn’t find even one shoe to sort of like. I will never go in that store again, I have wasted enough of my life at DSW looking at shoes that I don’t like. Why do I have the feeling you have been very lucky at DSW and found Manolo Blahnik’s for $29.95?

My dog-aughter is a genius

I have never had a dog before Lily and I have not ever before trained anybody to do anything. I couldn’t even train He-weasel to put the toilet seat down. It wasn’t until the second year of marriage in a moment of extreme PMS that I cried, begged and suggested divorce if he didn’t put the seat down that got him to move the toilet seat into the married man’s position.

Miraculously, in just a few short weeks thanks to my personal trainer Victoria Stilwell and her show It’s Me or the Dog, on Animal Planet, I have taught Lily to come, sit, stay, lay down, go to her place and and dance. I am enormously proud and I cannot stop bragging about her. I must sound like a mother who goes around telling everyone how gifted their child is., i.e. annoying But, really, Lily is gifted. I am very proud of myself as well as Lily. I have decided to train Lily all manner of tricks. But how? I ordered 101 Dog Tricks. I am so into it I am even in the market for a hoop to train Lily to jump through. I assure you that when I have taught Lily to play the piano( I am not kidding, the 101 dog tricks teaches you how to do it), say ‘I love you’, play the shell game and to fetch my Diet Coke I will post the video of her brilliant pet tricks.

Why Victoria over the much tauted Dog Whisperer, Cesar Milan? Lots of reasons:
1. I know, I know that people love him. However, I literally feel ill when I watch Cesar work with dogs. I didn’t know why it made me feel sick but something about forcing a dog on its side into submissive posture freaked me out in a big way. After three consecutive episodes of The Dog Whisperer I wanted to scream. When I read Victoria’s book “It’s me or the dog ” she said, “Alpha rolls”( which is the technique of forcefully putting a dog on its side in an attempt to make the dog submit and correct negative behavior). ‘This kind of training has proven not only to be dangerous( many people get bitten as a result) but psycholigcally damaging( most negative behavior is due sot a dog’s insecurity, not dominance, so using harsh punishment serves to heighten that insecurity.” She goes on to say that “Dominance training teaches a dog to respond out of fear.” I certainly don’t want to scare Lily into sitting.

I think Victoria has gone a long way in explaining my gut reaction to Cesar’s style of dog training. Here is a video of how strongly Victoria feels about dominance and submission methodology vs. confidence and security training. It makes me love her even more.

2. I am addicted to BBC America. I watch almost anything if there is a British accent involved, so much so that you would think I am an anglophile and not a francophile. I watch Top Gear, Mistress, Gordon Ramsay, The Dirty Ladies( my pet name for the gals on How clean is your house?), Dr. Who, British mysteries. I even watch BBC news( news of the economy is easier to take when it is told to you in non-hyped British tones. So, that Victoria is in the UK and is teaching me to train my dog is the doggy equivalent of sending her to English prep school and it makes my dog training a little more international.

3. I love Victoria’s style, no not just her style of dog training but also her personal style. She is as strict about her minimalist black and red wardrobe as she is about making your dog work for its treats. There is something almost dominatrix, Avengers, and French chic about her style. She has a black pea coat that I would beg, sit and roll over to have and there are the ever present black boots, black pants and red belts. Her hair is always up in a high pony with face framing bangs and always there is her red lipstick even when visiting a house that is covered with poop and pee. She has a very strong personal style that is at its best in her shows that are taped in Britain. When she brought her show to the states she lost her style and got a bit dowdy. Victoria, don’t let America bring you down. Lose the tee-shirts and get back into your black leather; Good girl.

I don’t wear a black leather jacket, red lipstick, or black riding boots when I train Lily, but I do follow Victoria’s advice and here is proof that even without a black pea coat or a British accent that her training techniques work. Please see for yourself and then let the positive reinforcement, praise and treats begin.

The tale of two shoes in the city

Collages1 There had been a plan. The alarm went off at 7:00 a.m. I showered, did full game day hair and makeup and was ready to leave the hotel by 9 a.m.There had been coffee and no food to slow us down (an amateur would make the rookie mistake of ordering a carb laden treat with their cappuccino and hence have their impulses slowed by a sugar rush).

I had worn my most comfortable Delman flats, my Chanel jacket, a few weighty gold chains and my favorite jeans with enough Lycra in them that make me feel skinny( i.e. magic jeans)—-the perfect outfit for shopping at Neiman’s on Black Friday. We entered the side door so as to sneak up on Neiman’s and not get overwhelmed by a crush of shoppers.

He-weasel was psychologically prepared for a full day of shopping. He stood back as I did a few laps around the jewelry counter. Then we made our way to the handbag department where there were tables loaded with more goodies than had been our Thanksgiving table the day before. I began to peruse the sale bags and found a bag that I thought I could love. For a moment or two I was tempted to buy a bag that had once cost over $4000 and was marked down to $1560—but I asked myself the important question “would you die if you didn’t get that bag?” No,I would not die. Actually, there were no bags that I would die without. I left the bag department feeling a moral victory had been won by not surrendering to a bag that had gone up in my esteem merely because of what it used to cost. It was a Tod’s handbag that was made of a black fur. I thought it was made of calf hair. He-weasel tried to convince me it was made of badgers which made me drop the bag gently on the table next to the scratched up and picked over purple suede YSL bag.

Our next stop was the shoe department. We didn’t go there immediately as I felt somehow that by showing some restraint and by not being too hungry to find a shoe I might actually find one. Yes, I was aware that I was engaged in magical thinking—but where shoes are involved magical thinking follows. I went straight to the sale rack and picked up every shoe that caught me eye. He-weasel found an area near the size 9-11 rack that allowed for easy access. I tried on more shoes than the entire cast of Sex and the City wore in all seasons of the show and the movie( only a slight exaggeration). I even put on shoes that I would never consider. I tried on shoes that made He-weasel gasp in horror and others that he feared for my sanity and my stability, i.e. he thought I was going to fall on my tail. But, it was the first shoe I tried on that I knew for sure was going home with me.

Prada Shoe Meet my new shoe, her name is Calzaturee Donna by Prada. She is a gorgeous Black Crocodile pump. I love her. I love her heel. I love how she makes my foot look. I love how she matches my favorite and most frequently worn Banana Republic bag. And, I am ridiculously happy at how comfortable she makes a four inch heel feel. The price was also lovely. Originally $440 and then marked down to $294 and then 30% off that. Bringing the shoe down to $205. This was my first purchase in the rebuilding the shoe collection after the Great Shoe loss of ‘08 and it was a great start. While I was waiting for our lovely salesman to ring up my shoes I saw another shoe.

Valentino This shoe was so lovely I was sure she was meant for someone else. A red suede Valentino pump with black laser cut leather trim and a red suede bow. I tried them on and I instantly fell in love. I stood in front of the mirror oohing and awing and all the while knowing that I had no where to wear them and that they were totally impractical.

We celebrated my Prada pumps by lunching at the very romantic Rotunda restaurant . Both He-weasel and I had a glass of champagne and a bowl of an incredibly delicious seafood chowder. During the entire lunch I talked about one thing and one thing only and that was the Valentino shoe. From another table someone might have thought I was extrapolating about the popover and the strawberry butter but even as I savored the sweetness of the treat it was the shoe I was thinking of.

As I went on and on I made it clear that I would not be buying the shoes, I was merely appreciating their beauty. The more champagne I had the more my love for the shoes became a symbol of something more. I told my weasel that if I had just finished the book, or had sold my book or had some other achievement to mark then I would buy them but then it would be too late as these shoes would be gone. I assured myself there would be other shoes when those days arrived and I resigned myself.

As it was time to leave Neiman’s I decided that I would just stop by and say goodbye to my shoes. I started to say goodbye by trying on the shoe again. My salesman came by and saw the shoe on me and I told him what I was doing and then he told me a few things:

  1. The lace is not lace but laser cut leather.( I am not sure why that is such a great thing, but he seemed really excited about it).
  2. Valentino shoes are much better and more comfortable than Christian Louboutin’s at half the price (This really excited me).
  3. “You have to have them.”

That was all he had to say and I was sold. I looked to my weasel and he said, “If you are going to kick yourself for not getting them you have to have them.” I would have done.

Valentino red suede pump originally $695 and then marked down to $465 and then marked down 30% off. I think that brought them down to about $375. I haven’t looked at the sales receipt yet. But I cannot quit looking at my shoes. Can you?

Weasel loves red Valentino pumps

About Me

My name is Tracey, aka La Belette Rouge. I am a psychotherapist and the author of Freudian Sip @ Psychology Today. I blog about psychology, my therapy, dreams, writing, meaning making, home, longing, loss, infertility and other things that delight or inspire me. I try to make deep and elusive psychodynamic concepts accessible and funny. For more information, click here .
These blog posts are informational only and not meant to replace individual psychotherapy, counseling or medical advice. If you are in need of help, reaching out to a professional may help you decide how to proceed or how to find the care you need. For a referral, contact

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