Monthly Archives: October 2019

Things Men Have Said To Me (#32)

IĀ  was watching the kids’ annual outdoor costume parade in the town center. A stranger, an older, grey-haired man, approached me and stood by my side.

HIMĀ (pleasantly): “What’s happening here?”

MEĀ (pleasantly): “It’s the children’s Halloween costume parade.”

HIMĀ (very sarcastically): “I’d have never guessed.”

ME (half-joking, half-not): “Then why did youĀ ask?!”

HIM:

A briefest of moments passed.

HIM (pointing out a costumed pet): “There’s Wonder Dog.”

ME:

Man goes away.

 

Look back (move forward)

I have a reflective nature. Sometimes I’m even more reflective than usual. I think that as I get older, I have more to look back on but curiously, I find myself returning to my earlier years in that they stand out in relief. On a timeline, they draw my attention.

It has occurred to me recently that my life wasĀ front-loaded. The specific ages of 19-25 had the most significant events packed into the shortest period of time. I don’t remember thinking that as it happened but here, from a good distance, it looks that way. When I think of the events of my life from those years, I want to lay down and take a nap. As a group, it appears exhausting. Then again, maybe that is from my current perspective. At the time, what the hell did I know? It was just my life.

In part, the importance of those years is tied into a number of “firsts” which lends them a certain gravitas. That’s not the whole of it though; it wasn’t all about the emotional wallop of first-time experiences.

Certain occurrences were brought on by my own hand; others were beyond my control. I simply can’t think of another period in my life so far that had as many of both. It isn’t that nothing much happened after those years – plenty did, has – but for sheer drama and impact, those years are it. (If I can help it, I’ll never again have a set of years like those; once was enough.)

If I go ahead and include the first 19 years of my life in this equation, then the years from birth to 25 had the most intense, dramatic events. It’s no small point that the first 19 years of my life were lived with my family; my many siblings and my parents. It was a dramatic, chaotic, populated, volatile household. While I had some notion of that while I lived in it, it is increasingly with years that I see just how dramatic/chaotic/populated/volatile it was.

In some respects, I’m still working out everything that happened before I was 26. Or– maybe I’m just revisiting them, I’m not sure. Don’t get me wrong – these aren’t bad thoughts. I don’t feel stuck or unable to get out from under long-ago happenings. I just think I’m appreciating it from a different angle. I never thought of my life asĀ front-loaded before this past week and I’m rather taken with the term and the idea. I haven’t figured out everything it means yet but it gives me a fresh(er) way of looking at things.

Free clothes from the clothing swap

Last March I posted about free clothes I got at a women’s clothingĀ swap. The local yoga studio hosted it and it was welcome to anyone (not just customers/practitioners) and I had an excellent, fruitful time. I really like the idea of women gathering for a swap; the comradery is fun and it’s more personal than simply dropping your unwanted clothes off somewhere (which I still do frequently). At the time the owner said she planned to do it again in September but when September came and went I thought maybe the idea had fallen by the wayside. I’d started putting (nicer) things for another swap aside immediately after the last one and had a full bag.Ā  Happily, the owner advertised on a community Facebook group that another swap was scheduled for this past Friday evening. Since I had plenty of notice, I went through my clothes again and filled another bag to share. I have come to think of my wardrobe as something I bothĀ curateĀ andĀ cull.

This swap wasn’t as well-attended as the one in Spring and there weren’t quite so many clothes but I still did very nicely for myself. Here’s my group shot, including a pair of red gloves.

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Here’s a pair of New York & Company low-rise, slim jeans (a brand I’d never buy at full-price), Athleta pants (I’d never heard of the brand but that’s the fun of second-hand clothes be it at a swap, a thrift store or a rummage sale; you see things you might never otherwise), and a pair of linen pants with interesting pocket details at the top and sides.

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Here’s a trio of cover-ups. The gorgeous blue/green one is Hard Tail, yet another brand I have never heard (googling shows it to be a fairly expensive US company), the pink/salmon sweater is Banana Republic, and the I’m-not-really-sure-what-color-that-is (tan? charcoal? a shade of green?) sweater is Wind River, another unfamiliar brand.

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This little dress is made by Om Zappy, which may have been a funky littleĀ store in Seattle – all I found online was Yelp reviews and a website that is no longer. I think I could wear it with tights or over leggings or jeans. I don’t typically wear collared blouses but this New York & Company 7th Avenue blouse looked good on me so I figured I’d try it – that’s the beauty ofĀ free.

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Lastly, here’s athletic wear.Ā  It’s easy to fall into a trap of wearing dark clothes in winter but I try to make sure I bring in bursts of color. The first is snug on me so I’ll wear it as a top. The middle one is thick and cozy. And I can always use black tank-tops.

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