Sunday, March 29, 2009

Who the hell am I?

I was going through old papers the other day - the endless war against holding on to everything for posterity Vs functionality - and I came across some old journals.

Some were from when I was at school - endlessly outside the loop and dreaming of how many I was going to invite to my first million party. The plan was I would blow all of that on the party and horde the next million.

Some were from when I was on the cusp of one life and entering another - throwing away the chance of that million and the party but dreaming of the life-long party my life was set to become.

Then there were those from when I first had 'Salina and life with P. was unravelling. Certainly no party nor millions in store.

I have moved a long way from the schoolgirl, the hippie and the newly solo mum floundering around.

But I still look at the girl/woman that I was at those times and the girl/woman I am now, and I know those versions of me and understand far more of the creature that existed in those static snapshots than I do now.

I know a lot more of the who I want to be (more like little bits of those snapshots - but cropped!) and the who I DON'T want to be.

Of course, this introspection is brought to you by the sentence "shopping".

I did it yesterday - and came our poorer and not much wiser.

Yes, I actually bought some (1 shirt, 1 pants) clothes, but I tried on far more than I bought and lost a lot more than just self-esteem.

Truly - I can recommend one fitting-room where a market-savvy hairdresser should discretely place cards, because it made each grey root glow!

And then there was the advice I could give one t-shirt designer - putting a print of a girl pouring tea on a shirt - nice. Putting the teapot spout right on a nipple? Not wise!

Finally, if you see a size (insert relevant number here) shirt at a certain chain store, they meant it for all measurements except that where they saved material and increased profits - between the shoulder and where the bust should sit. Really - the band should go UNDER the boob.

Oh for the days of uniforms or hip business suits or tie-died cheesecloth or not giving a damn.

Clothes may make the (wo)man - but I sure as heck can't find the ones to make me!!!


Kari said...

Whoever said shopping does us good or whatever that phrase is was full of bunk.

I often walk out of clothes shopping feeling lighter... because the good ole self-esteem was left in the dressing room.

Mary O. Paddock said...

I do most of my shopping at a really nice (well-lighted, carefully organized and surprisingly well stocked) local thrift store, in part because I can take the clothes home for a song, try them on, quietly return what doesn't fit and only lose two or three dollars (at best). In my mind this is fair trade off for privacy and leisure. And if I want to wait a day or two to decide whether I like something or not, I have that option. This takes a lot of the pressure off and leaves me with more of my self-esteem intact than do department store mirrors. Too, I've been amazed at how often I find the very outfit I sighted in a store with a huge price tag attached for two dollars or less.

When I have to shop other venues (on the rare times the thrift store lets me down), I am miserable. :)

Debby said...

I'm with Mary on this one. Are thrift stores popular in Oz?

Ree said...

I hear you! I love a pair of well-cut pants, but they are soooo difficult to find when you have a butt (or two, like me!)

jeanie said...

I know Kari - sure, when you find that perfect score it is a buzz, but I am not one for the chase when it takes so much (e)steam out of you!

Mary - I know op shops. I love op shops. Especially those with great clothes and bargains. When I go down to the smoke, I even shop there. The problem with the oppies here are (a) clothes are VERY well worn before being donated; (b) they aren't priced competitively enough to consider "bargain" status; and (c) they aren't open at convenient hours for me at the moment. Sob.

Deb - see above - you are talking to the ORIGINAL op shopper - ask my sister - but the op shops in Paradise are letting me down.

Ree - nothing like some hip hugging - and then some - activity to make you dream of well cut pants.

BB said...

You know what I will say - go the 'appro' baby!!!

Jayne said...

I have my own style gathered from many hunting expeditions to op shops ;)

Woman in a Window said...

I went to the thrift store? Does that count? And I still hated to spend five bucks on a shirt. Hey, no tea spouts though. I'm ahead of the game.

Debby said...

Oh, my gosh, Jeanie, the op shops, as you refer to them, are amazing here. We have very upscale secondhand clothing stores where you can buy designer labels. I don't shop there, because I don't feel the need for labels but I dress in second hands almost exclusively. I'm very picky, and people are always surprised to find out this little fact about me. I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that Americans tend to be more wasteful, and get rid of their clothes before they're worn out.

Jen at Semantically driven said...

It's the age old - pardon the awful pun - problem of not being able to find something suitable when you're a certain body shape and/or age.

♥.Trish.♥ Drumboys said...

I buy whatever is on special at Target clearance sales quickly as I can...before you know 'two' pulls all the clothes off the rack or strangles themselves on the clothes ( one did almost once the white stringy bits they use to tie the clothes to the hangers -he was trying to try them on)

I hate change room mirrors too - what a great idea ....change room advertising ! Market that Jeanie and you might make your first million yet.

Sigh I burned any diaries or journals I kept because I couldn't bear the thought of anyone else reading them.

Yours are treasures to hold onto.

Pencil Writer said...

NEVER get rid of journals! (I still need to collect mine--many tidbits recorded here and there in dozens of spiral notebooks scattered in my so unorganized boxes and shelves and boxes. :-})

About clothes--I really don't understand why designers don't realize that "one size doesn't fit all". Perhaps it's because some designers haven't passed the magical age of 30? Or don't eat real food? I dunno.

Tanya said...

Oh my God! I hate those shirts with a seam under the bust - that actually goes across the nipple-line! It makes me think I'm sagging and yearning for my late teens again. Which really, considering all that angst, I never want to return to those years - sagging boobs or not!
Hmmm - is all that too much to write about in the comments section??

MissyBoo said...

I burnt all my journals of teenage angst... I didn't want to go back and revisit them!

mommamia said...

Shopping ca be very fustrating. Most of the clothes look like they were made for 20 somethings and certainly not woman in their 50's.

Hope your next trip is more sucessful.

jeanie said...

BB - I haven't tested appro, although the shops here aren't quite as compliant as those in your region.

Jayne - I used to have one, too. Unfortunately there are very few funky oppies in this neck of the woods.

WinaW - I know, I chafe at paying $13 (which is cheap in this town) for a garment when it used to be cheap at $5. Still, its not $97 which is what some retailers seem to think you may be willing to pay.

Debby - oh to be on the next plane over...

Jen - so true, old girl, so true.

Trish - what aisle do you think I was buying from? lol 'Salina did try on a few garments herself.

PW - I did get rid of a lot of high school which is why it is hard to get rid of ANYTHING now.

Tanya - no, not too much for a comments section! I am looking forward to the day when it isn't a problem (and not because my boobs aren't sagging, but because designers get the picture).

M+B - there are some things best viewed through the lens of time without material evidence.

Mommamia - so true. Although there are also the shops that don't cater for the 20s - they think everyone should pass for 68 - but an ageless 68!!

Maude Lynn said...

I'm all about tie-died not giving a damn!

Mistress B said...

I LOATHE clothes shopping. I have many problems finding clothes that fit the woman I am.

Loz said...

I've kept a journal since 1976, on and off, and changing in content over that time and I love revisiting it to see how I have changed over time.

As for clothes shopping - I'm a bloke, that probably tells you all you need to know :)