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Dawn's Column Let's Party
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It's party time. My first Christmas get together will have happened by the time this column comes out, but right now, as I write this, I'm prepping and primping for the party.

Some of you who are readers of my column may recall that I have frequently lamented about getting older and losing the ability to dance in high heels all night, let alone even wearing them for a couple hours without my body complaining. For the last few years, I've paid the price for wearing heels in the form of sore feet, aching back... You get the picture.

Well, since I've gotten myself back in shape, everything is stronger and more toned, and I've found that another great benefit is that I can wear high heels again without the previous consequences. I had occasion a couple of months ago to be on my feet for several hours in high heels. I was amazed that my back wasn't killing me by the end of the evening or the next day. I was quite pleased about this revelation.

So I recently purchased a new pair of stiletto high heel boots. Before, I would have been looking for a slightly lower, more chunky heel, but now I feel emboldened.

Now that holiday parties are on the horizon it's the right time haul out the high heels and party outfits. I'm not saying that I can wear heels and dance all night like I did in my 20s, but I think I can at least make a commendable effort.

Knowing that I'll be wearing heels, I recently treated myself to a pedicure. (Note to friends and family: pedicures are a good Christmas gift.) What can I say? Love 'em.

Toes look good, now what outfit to wear? I know I'll be wearing something black or a combination thereof, but which black shoes? Because of course, the outfit determines the shoes. For some reason, men don't understand that one black pair of shoes does not work for every black outfit. Maybe I'll wear leopard print shoes.

Since I also want to step out with a good hairdo and not a hairdon't, I'm trying to figure out the right style. I want it to be different than my everyday look, but I have a fair amount of difficulty creating even a basic up 'do. Likely, I'll attempt to put it up in some fashion and struggle with it for a while before I just resign myself to the fact that I will have to wear it down. Disappointment will ensue, but will shortly subside after I have a cocktail.

I have to say, I'm stoked about going out during the holidays this year, as I'm actually looking forward to wearing high heels and being able to put on the sizes I haven't worn in a few years. This is truly a time for me to be merry.

Christmas shopping is another story... not so merry about where I'm at with that. Some of it is done, but I feel woefully behind the proverbial eight ball. I always tell myself I'm going to start my holiday shopping early "next year." I say that every year.

While I may get one or two things out of the way early, it's usually countdown time by the time I get it all done. I'm almost positive that this is an inherited family trait. I find that I'm typically helping a certain family member pick out something for another family member (I'm protecting their identities so one doesn't get in trouble with the other) late in the game because Person A usually doesn't plan far enough in advance either.

I also have a cousin, who would zip up into my driveway in his sports car and "kidnap" me every Christmas Eve. We would literally race to Modesto, weaving in and out of traffic, and shop, running from store to store. Come to think of it, even before he had a sports car, he would drive his Toyota sub compact like it was a Ferrari. I remember once, my father told him, "Don't kill my child." My cousin just laughed. That was our tradition.

I kind of miss those days. My cousin lives out of state now, so it's unlikely, but not totally inconceivable, that he'll show up in my driveway on Christmas Eve. I also miss those days because back then I didn't have the fear of dying.

I guess that means I'm still lamenting about being getting older. But hey, at least I can wear high heels again. That helps me feel young.

Dawn M. Henley is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News, and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at or by calling 847-3021.