Allow me to acknowledge that it's a privilege to put myself on a "clothing fast" in the first place. The premise is that I can afford to buy myself unneeded clothing and I have decided to cut back. I am at an age where some of my friends own beautiful homes and drive late-model cars and in that context I can get lazy and start to see us as broke. Then I remember that we're in the top 5% of the world's wealthiest people. Broke? Please. Last month we put new tires on the car and our sick cat had to spend the night at the vet getting various procedures and we wrote those checks without flinching. I mean, it wasn't a fun use of one zillion dollars, but we'll be fine, you know?
My guilt about consumption does not make me feel righteous, it just makes me feel lonely. I hear phrases like "starter home" casually invoked. An acquaintance who spent 3 years in an actual hut in Niger in the Peace Corps recently posted a rambling screed to Facebook about the failures of her iPhone4 and the raptures of the iPhone5. Her screen would sometimes freeze, you see. So I guess no one is immune. Everyone wants better and more, and I honestly feel like sometimes in addition to wanting less, I want worse. When my phone battery dies in the middle of the day it feels like a vacation. In some generational inversion, I officially don't understand how to use my parents' TV. Not sure what THAT is all about. Not sure what that is accomplishing.
I don't want to tally up how much I spent on clothing in 2012 because it will depress me. Suffice to say, I spent a goodly amount of dough sending marked-down clothing to my door. (It is important to my sense of self as a thrifty non-sucker that I point out that I almost never buy something at retail) Now I just ignore everything. I see smart ads for fall boots, cardigans, jackets, and they just bead up and roll off me. Nothing can get through. I am a wall.
Target. That place. Nearly every time I go in there to pick up something for the apartment I'd end up with some clearance rack garbage moving down the belt at check-out. The last few times I've been there I've just completely avoided the clothing area. It is a relief.
The temperature is dropping. I wore tights to work today for the first time. I am looking at my fall wardrobe with a bit of a grimace. Hopefully it is possible for me to re-sole my very worn brown knee-high boots and get another few seasons out of them. And I am going to get some of my too-big, unfortunate-silhouetted trousers tailored so I don't feel dumpy at work. Other than that, I gotta deal. I own no fewer than TWELVE cardigans after all.
I am still not sure whether I own more clothes than my friends or whether I just have no place to store them in my apartment. I'm still in the process of purging unnecessary things. It feels great.
My friend Lyn sent me a shirt as a gift and it made me giddy. I wonder if what appeals to me about new clothes is mostly the newness. I feel just as excited when I find a top stuffed in the back of a drawer that I had forgotten I owned.
In a moment of weakness I bought a tank top ($9) to wear for the marathon. Then, after my 15 mile run on Sunday it became apparent that I will not want to wear something cotton soaked in my sweat on a cold October morning so that was a flop probably. Maybe I subconsciously knew that and just wanted a tank top. Hard to say.
It is our anniversary next week and I think I will finally wear those gold shoes.