The Loh Life is writer/performer Sandra Tsing Loh's weekly take on life, family, and pop culture in early 21st century Southern California.
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Burning Man Made Easy, Part Two: Moisture

Sandra Tsing Loh's friend has second thoughts about attending the Burning Man festival.

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with The Loh Life. Today's topic: Burning Man Made Easy. Part Two: Burning Shoe.

So I've been describing my friend Lily's quest to turn 50. Fabulously.

First, she thought a trip to Paris. But the euro's too strong.

Then she thought "Burning Man" in August! In Nevada, much more conveniently located. And we got excited looking at all the amazing Burning Man art on the Web and the fact that we would at least be near psychedelics and nudity and saturnalia, which would give us middle-aged ladies a story to tell. It would be our version of going to Nepal.

But now Lily has entered the down curve of summer-planning excitement. All the pressure of turning 50 is getting to her. So instead of our mad cinematic quest to experience the apocalypse, on our very own "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert" RV, Lily says she wants to keep it simple. She wants to celebrate her 50th with a bistro lunch, in a nod to Franc, and then for us to get facials at her local day spa.

I can't quite believe it.

"I'm serious," she says. "And you know how much I love this moisturizer I got from them. It's amazing."

"I'm sure this moisturizer is amazing," I say. "And moisturizing certainly is important. But is it really our raison d'etre? Is that really the bold statement you want to make to cap off your first half-century? Hydration?"

"It's a great moisturizer," she repeats. "It has lavender and aloe. And then we can go shoe shopping."

"I mean, look at these photos!" I cry out. "Look at these giant oil derricks with statues praying around them, and at the end, everything's set on fire! The theme this year at "Burning Man" is America, how cool is that? We're going to give all that up for a ladies' lunch?!"

Of course, I am the sort of woman who goes to Blockbuster and comes home with Beowulf, American Gangster, and 300. As opposed to anything from the female side of the video store, like... 27 Dresses!

27 Dresses! Ohmigod, it's just that there were all these dresses! "I just find it hard, as an American woman," I say, "to have so few thoughts. I find it really takes an effort to keep my cerebral cortex so baby-smooth and unfurrowed, for all the, the beach reading and the chick lit. Which are all like, Confessions of a Shoe-a-holic! 'She's a talented 27-year old Manhattan shoe-buyer, so focused on her shoe-buying career she doesn't have time to date. But who turns her world upside down but Patrick Dempsey, an even more talented shoe-buyer. They spar.'

"Oh hell, maybe I'll just go to Burning Man myself and burn a giant shoe."

"You do that," Lily says. "But you'll need to take moisturizer."