Thursday, October 7, 2010

Does This Match My Soul?

I've always been the queen of hand-me-downs. When I was young, it was hard for my mother to keep up with the rate my legs were reaching for the sky. There really wasn't enough capital to provide cover for my ankles for an entire school year. There was also the age-old issue of what a daughter thinks she should wear and what a mother knows her daughter should wear. Rarely did Mom and I agree on that point.

I came to rely on the kindness and quick-acting boredom of my friends. They woud pass a piece or two along to me as the whim took them. Once I learned how to make clothing, I became golden. The story was that if I didn't like an outfit, I would change it- literally. Change a neckline here, turn those now-too-short jeans into a skirt there, etc. The look was somewhat ragged, but it helped define my eclectic tastes and personality.

It also set the pattern for my style to be a season, or, even sometimes, a year, behind. And, I'm good with that. I've always felt that by not rushing into a trend of the fashion world, I was able to discern whether it would be something I could be comfortable with in my mind. Or, adjust it so that I could make it my own.

Oh, yes, and the deals! Impervious to potential personal health violations, I used to love to shop the Goodwill stores which are heavenly deposits of yesterday's fashion gold. With a bit of digging, I could come away with bags of items for pennies on the dollar, and support a wonderful organization. I could never fathom why people would spend hours rifling through the racks of T.J. Maxx or Marshalls to find more expensive clothes that had been tried on by more people than the stuff  at Goodwill could be, ever. Of course, there was also the joy of the seasonal clearances at the mainstream stores: Henleys for $2 each, long, flowing skirts for $5. Shear delight!

Unfortunately, as I've gotten older, I tend to be more cautious about buying clothes that have been handled be a lot of people. I'll bring clothes home to try just before I can jump into a shower. This queasiness has manifested itself in difficulty opening doors in public restrooms, refusal to buy any undergarments that are not factory-sealed, or raising the level as to where I purchase my clothes. Mind you, this cootie fever I have doesn't translate to my own home or vehicle. Those cooties are okay- they're family.

It has taken a great deal of spontaneity out of my style. Kind  of like all the other daily details of life that stop me from stepping out from the mundane. And I miss it.

But the other day, I couldn't hold out any more. I went into a dollar-style store to grab a puzzle book that I can locate only there. All last year, I'd been eyeballing the colorful scarves that were popular last fall and winter seasons. The folds of material added a certain grace to the tops they were paired with, and washed away a good deal of the winter drabness of those same tops. There they were: on clearance. At a dollar store. I had to do it. I did do it. And, I'm so glad that I did it.


Dancing the Dance

The brightness of the colors- the teals interwoven with the deep pinks and speckled with tiny sequins- combined with the lightness of the wispy material draped around my neck, lifted me. I returned to a younger, "fun-ner" time. I know the face in the mirror still looks like that of the middle-aged woman that I am. But my heart, my core said, no, no, you aren't. Not right now you aren't. And I believed.




With the constant drizzle of the last few days, the scarf has served some practical protection, but whenever I lace it over itself, I still get the floating sensation I felt the first time. With luck, I never lose it, never get bored with it. There are few tangible things that can bring you a feeling of youth, of hope. I intend on enjoying my magical scarf as long as I can.


The First Tree on "Paint"


1 comment:

  1. Nice post. So are you saying I chose clothes on a "whim"? And FINALLY you have come to appreciate the "cootie factor" that I've been complaining about for years. Although I must say I am quite surprised you have not commented on my blog and corrected 99.999% of all my grammer -or have you edited my comments somehow? :-)
    -Stephanie

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