I just read a Boston Globe by a suburban mom. She uses her column to berate her mini van colleagues for wearing “lycra and fleece” to drop off and pick up appointments. She has suggestions for six wardrobe purchases that would enliven the closets and souls of comfortable unruly women everywhere:
1 pair of jeans obtained after 3 hours in a dressing room or whatever it took to become muffin top-free (gasp!)
1 rainbow of T shirts by your favorite designer (I don’t think Target brand counts)
1 silk blouse, even if you’re staying home with the laundry, don’t save it for special! (sweating around the house in silk, good times)
1 dress, off-the-shoulder is cool and it should be paired with sandals or Vans (someone alert Vans, the suburbs are calling) #sonotcool (I stole the hashtag the authors used on these every day mommies)
1 supply of leggings, not lycra because who wears lycra out of the gym?! (everyone but you, my friend)
1 blazer for work that also pairs with the silk blouse and bright printed shorts to make for “quite the date night” (whoaaa, momma. children might be reading)
There was a time in my life when a woman like this would frighten me. (I’m still frightened but in a cheeky sort of way.) Mostly I just feel a little sad. She sounds younger than I am and a little frightened herself. A little old-fashioned and stodgy. I never let fashion get a hold of me. My great rebellion was refusing to mani or pedi.* I feel a little sad for me that I didn’t know stiff boring things would go out of style and be replaced by letting women be themselves.
Convention can lose its grip as you get older, but I wonder if it’s losing its grip on our society as it gets older. I love the current theme I see everywhere now, about collecting experiences instead of belongings. I love how it’s popular to upcycle and delight in thrift store finds.
Tiny homes, tree-houses, remodeling and road trips are all over social media. Some would say that’s because of the recessions. I think it’s a new awareness of what’s important. Like that last minute with your hubby before the kids get up. And making them french toast for breakfast instead of pressing and buttoning that silk fucking blouse.
I’ll bet you’ve heard this Warning before. But here it is again, just for fun!
When I am an old woman I shall wear purple With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me. And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter. I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells And run my stick along the public railings And make up for the sobriety of my youth. I shall go out in my slippers in the rain And pick flowers in other people’s gardens And learn to spit.
You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat And eat three pounds of sausages at a go Or only bread and pickle for a week And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.
But now we must have clothes that keep us dry And pay our rent and not swear in the street And set a good example for the children. We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.
But maybe I ought to practice a little now? So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.
*Once in my twenties, my friends and I were in Tia’s at the waterfront, looking for guys with BMW 520i’s. A guy came up to me and we started chatting. At one point he picked up my hand and spread out my fingers, examining them as if I were livestock! He smoothed his thumb over my un-manicured thumbnail, pulled it eye-level for closer inspection. And then he placed my hand gently on the bar. We didn’t have cell phones in those days, so he couldn’t say his buddy was texting him and he had to leave. So he just switched his gaze to some big hair behind me and said, “I’ll be right back.” I knew he wasn’t coming back. Later loser. I vowed to love and honor my fingernails, acrylic and acetone free, for as long as we both would live.