To wash? Or to wear?

Wornclotheschair

A little while back, my sister and her husband were over for dinner and lightheartedly got into a dispute about dirty clothing.  My sister was fussing that clothes belong in one of three places–the drawer, the closet or the hamper for washing.  But my brother in law disagreed.  He felt that the arm of the chair, the side of the footboard or gently placed on the floor by the bed were acceptable places as well and should be added to her list.

My sister looked to me for support–because in most cases (an estimated 9.99997 times out of ten) I agree with her–hands down.  But to her bewilderment and my husband’s excitement, I agreed with my brother in law.  (Who has been and still remains one of my 6 arch nemeses)

Here’s the logic behind it.  Some clothes just aren’t dirty enough to be put in the hamper, but not clean enough to be put back where they belong.  Short and simple.  So where do they go?  To one of the aforementioned areas.

I don’t know of which opinion you find yourself on the matter, but let me give a detailed scenario to explain myself.

Say you wake up one fine sunny day and want to sit out on your patio.  You wash, pick out a shirt and pants from your drawer or closet and go have breakfast outside.  You read the paper, check email, play games on your phone or enjoy the family. After this, you perhaps help your little one build a fort or order a few household items online.  You then decide you want to catch up on  a few shows that you DVR’d.  So you sit on the couch to create more space on your cable box and enjoy three episodes of Criminal Minds  (12 minutes missed because you dozed off) and maybe a light lunch until you’re reminded that you have to get up and get ready for your dinner plans that evening.

And here’s the clincher–what do you do with the clothes you just had on?   You perhaps recall perspiring ever so lightly due to the beautiful heat from the sun earlier.  But no sweat glands could call themselves completely expressed from it.  And you’ve done nothing but sat and watched TV for two hours with an occasional long stare out the window.

Whereas the clothes are no longer the best choice for say–a lunch date with colleagues–they are still perfect for another day of loafing around.  Or perhaps a quick run to the store.  You could use them to cut the grass or wash the car tomorrow. (Which would for sure merit hamper status) But you also have to keep in mind that you had two small meals in it.  No stains, but could the shirt imperceptibly smell like that garlic vinaigrette that was on your little salad?  Maybe?  Maybe not.  But you feel as though you cannot put these items back in the closet with  freshly washed items.  So?  Where…Do…They…Go…?

Exactly!!  The floor, the footboard or the arm of the chair.

We discussed this for about 45 minutes over assorted grilled cuisine because there was nothing we could say to get my sister to understand our sentiments nor to agree with our arguments.

I don’t know if I’ve persuaded you or not, but it was 3 to 1 that night; so it could be safe to assume that more of you have clothes lain around your rooms (as do I) than not.:-)

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Disciplinary Guru

I have a 6-year-old kid.  And kids do crazy things that get themselves into trouble.  But I find that I am now having a hard time coming up with proper and effective ways to discipline my daughter when she does something I do not favor.

Let me give you an example.  My daughter recently picked up the habit of holding spit bubbles in her mouth and rolling them around with her tongue.  Well, I find this nasty.  Here I am trying to talk with her and she’s not able to answer me because she has to swallow the tablespoon of spit she has let collect.  Or I look around the room and lovingly gaze at the profile of my daughter (if you knew me, you would immediately tag this for the exaggeration that it is) before she turns toward me and reveals the spasmodic seizure bubbles she’s harboring in her mouth!  Again, it’s just nasty.

So I have tired myself of gently chiding her about it, which then moved to yelling at her about it, which graduated to threats of doing something about it, until I had to come up with some form of discipline.  Well, what the heck kind of discipline is a parent to dish out for a spit-hoarder?  What kind of punishment fits that crime?!  I threatened the discipline so of course I had to follow through with it and create one.  But when it came time to, I lacked all imagination.

In talking with friends, I have found that I am not the only person finding stress in this area.  One friend has three boys, and says she will make them do exercises as a form of discipline.  Didn’t clean the kitchen? 50 push-ups.  Forgot to take out the trash? 15 suicides in the backyard and so on.  I actually like this idea.  But call me a feminist (believe me, I am not) because I felt like this was great–but more so for boys.  Does that make sense?  No.  Because my daughter would actually hate to do any form of exercise. It would probably be the perfect route to take.  But then I would have to stand there and watch her do it all.  To ensure she actually finishes the allotted chore.  So, whereas I have not taken this off the table of ideas, I still have not implemented it into my repertoire.  (Yes, I’m lazy.)

I have another friend who takes away all electronics from her girls and sends them to their room.  This worked until she found them cuddled up reading books to each other and enjoying themselves.  Under normal circumstances, this would be a parent’s dream–bickering children now playing in harmony.  But not when you are trying to teach a lesson.  So she next had to say no to books–including coloring books.  She reminded them that this forced quiet time was to be used to reflect on ways to be better and all that kind of parental garbage talk that we do.  Well, she now finds them in their rooms fast asleep!  Maybe they are dreaming of their abhorrent acts and of ways to make it up to their parents upon awakening.  Though I strongly doubt it!  So are they really learning any lessons from this discipline?  Or do we just get to enjoy some quiet time away from them?  Which in itself is a highlight.

I have sent my kid to her room on numerous occasions.  But I am not lucky enough to find her asleep.  She sits on her bed with her door open and tries to hold conversations with us as we walk by.  She feigns sudden interest in anything she can think of to engage us in some kind of banter.  Even if we make her close the door, she will talk through the crack.  (Think of Elsa and Anna in the scene from Frozen)  So it ends up being more annoying than satisfying at teaching a lesson.

Well, back to this spit habit.  I had to come up with something the other day to fulfill my threat of discipline.  I was in the moment and felt true pressure on what to choose.  My husband wasn’t home so he couldn’t help me.  I was on my own.  I quickly tried to think back on anything I was forced to do when in trouble in my youth.  As the rolodex flipped through my mind, it stopped on a weird page just as a flash of The Simpson’s title sequence with Bart writing on the chalk board flickered in my mind.  So that is what I made her do.  Write “I will not play with spit” 10 times every time I catch her doing it.

Yes, my husband and sister laughed at me when I told them this.  As you quite possibly are doing as well.  But it was all I could come up with at the time!  So far, she has had to write it 50 times and has 10 in queue as you read. Just this morning she had to write it 20 times before she could watch tv or play with her tablet or even think of putting Barbie in the convertible mini-coop.

Do I think this punishment fits the crime?  No.  But as I asked before–what punishment would?  Do I think this will be effective?  I don’t know.  The first time she had to do it, she was actually proud of her work!  She asked if we could keep it.  I’m not sure, but I think she was under the guise that it should be framed!!  However, I caught her rolling spit a few minutes ago and when she saw me looking, she quickly swallowed it and said something to the effect that she “had a tickle in her throat and wasn’t playing with spit, just trying to clear her throat”.  All of this was said without me saying one word.  So maybe, just maybe, it’s working.

We parents have no idea what we are doing.  Who knew that we would be trying to concoct methods of punishment for eating toe jam or taping boogers to the wall?  Or that our kids would be in the best physical shape of all their classmates without playing even one school sport because they are doing pull ups from not finishing their homework?

I for one am not afraid to admit I have no idea what I am doing as a parent.  But I am open to suggestions.  I’d love to hear how you are keeping your kids in line and ensuring obedience… 🙂

My daughter's writing assignment
My daughter’s writing assignment

Roller Skates and TV Screens

I have read many articles that talk about the plight of our children today and how many are diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder.  Most articles explain how some cause of this could be due to children being overstimulated with too much television, electronics, video games and the like.  I am in total agreement with this and try hard to get my daughter to do more throughout a day and not just sit in front of the TV.  I try to keep craft projects on hand so that she can have an alternative to all day tube viewing and I sometimes will leave her to her own imagination to come up with constructive things to do.  (Which somehow results in a lot of talking to herself–not sure if this will be cause of future concerns! ha)

Anyhow, I say all of this to tell of a recent experience that ground my gears.  A friend invited me to a skating party hosted by her son’s school.  I felt this would be a great opportunity for some physical activity and looked forward to my daughter learning some sweet disco moves.  So imagine my surprise once the games were done and the announcements were made, that a huge screen was pulled down in the middle of the rink that played cartoons during the skating party!  Huh?!  What was with that?  I was so disappointed!  There were so many kids who stopped skating to stand in the center of the rink to watch episodes of popular animated series.  I had to literally move my daughter away from the screen multiple times to get her to start skating again.  And I was not the only parent having to do this!

I didn’t (and still don’t) quite understand why a skating rink would find it progressive to play cartoons while there is loud music playing, neon lights blaring and 100 square feet of available flooring for kids to skate on. If the kids are there to engage in skating, why are you upsetting that plan and adding a television?  What would be the purpose?  And how do you expect me to try to defer the causes of ADD in my child when I take her to a place to focus on some physical activity and then she’s thrown a curve ball with a need to choose between falling every forty seconds on wheels or standing still to see Beast Boy turn into a gorilla on Teen Titans Go!? On wheels.

Throw me a friggin bone here, people!  Help a mother out!

Lessons From Little Ones

I have mentioned that I have a three-year old.  And I have also mentioned some of the challenges she imposes me with.  So why not talk some more?

My daughter engages in a list of things that upset me daily.  From rubbing Vaseline all over her face and hair to crushing my toes with her “princess heels” as she walks around the house.  Or wiping her hands on her pretty dress at dinner rather than on the napkin she just asked for 30 seconds ago.  There’s a ton more but I’m sure you get the idea.  Well, right now, I am torn as to how I should feel when she does something like, say, pour water all over the counter and floor for no apparent reason or spoons soup out of her bowl and places it under the placemat at the dinner table and proceeds to smash it into the table.  Once I realize what she’s done, she immediately shouts out an: “I’m sorry” along with the appropriate level of ‘sad face’ to fit the crime.  Although these are the most insincere apologies, they are still well-timed and what I have been training her to say after doing something wrong.  The thing is, after one of her befitting apologies, she promptly goes into singing, talking to her dolls or going so far as to tell me how much she loves me! All thought of her recent wrongdoing seem to be erased from her memory and she goes on like it never happened!  Doesn’t she realize I just yelled at her and that my blood pressure has gone up at least two systolic decimals and that I’m still angry with her?  I recognize that this could be a ploy on her part to deflect my thoughts from deciding to punish her any further than I already have.  But nonetheless, here lies my dilemma.  The kid has a point–neither of us should be reflecting on the wrong that was just done.  We should be moving past it and getting on with our lives. But I don’t want to!!

Even though she is displaying the best attitude to have toward any negative situation, that’s not how it all usually goes is it?  When someone offends us or hurts us in any way, we want them to know what they’ve done, realize how it has affected us and to feel some kind of anguish for it.  We want them to stand there and listen to us explain how hurt we are and why.  Perhaps allow us to delve into soliloquy to truly define the torment and pain they just caused.  Then we want them to prostrate themselves at our feet and plead for our mercy. Stress their ignorance to the sensitivity of our emotions and request a plan for how they can do better–no, be better–in the future.  After my daughter engages in one of her many transgressions, I want her to carry a ‘look of shame’ for the rest of the afternoon.  Bow her head in humiliation any time I walk pass her to show deep remorse for the wrong she has committed.  Talk to her dolls about her well-developed plans to be the ideal adolescent for years to come.

But none of that is happening with a toddler, let me tell you.  She doesn’t care about the infraction 10 seconds after it occurs.  So it is now up to me to let it go myself. I need to remember there is no use crying over spilled milk.  Literally. (or juice or soda or oatmeal or ice cream)  I have to stop looking for more from her and just accept her apology. However contrived I think it may be.

I’m hoping I can get better with it in time because right now, I’m still battling with it all.  But I already see how following the example of my little hellion will be a good trait for me to attain.  It’ll help me to be more patient.  More forgiving.  Less stressed and angry.   It’ll enhance what we have together as well as benefit me and all of my relationships. What a good little lesson this little booger is teaching.

So if you catch me fussing at her for grabbing onto clothes as we walk by with our cart, nearly toppling over the rack…just know that I’m really going to try to be done with it after she apologizes.  And not fester with anger as I pick up all the items that have fallen to the floor.

Welcome to the Valley of Pits and Dimples

I went to an event over the weekend where everyone was dressed in business attire.  I am a people watcher, so during the noon break I sat back with my boxed lunch and watched folks mingle. I checked out what everyone was wearing as well.   (This coincides with one of my previous blogs “Dress to Impress” https://elesjackson.wordpress.com/2013/02/08/friendly-influence/)

So you know I was checking out my fellow ladies to see what is trending in our fashion world.  Getting a good look at all the new styles I’ll be behind in catching onto.  (Another previous blog https://elesjackson.wordpress.com/2013/03/28/fashion-failure-again-and-again-and-again-and/)   And I got to seeing young women in their dresses and the outline of their thongs underneath.  What tickled me was the smoothness of their cheeks under their skirts.  Before you get confused and wonder about my sexual preference, let me explain.

For you fellas, the original purpose of the thong was not for your erotic pleasure.  It was an accessory for us women so that the bulk of our pantyline would not show through our clothing.  Something I laugh at because I tend to see thong outlines now just as often as I see a panty outline!

Let me tell you of a recent experience I had and then we’ll get into these youngens and their smooth butt cheeks.  I was getting dressed for some other event recently and put on what I thought to be a pretty cute dress.  When inspecting myself before leaving, I looked at myself from behind and saw my pantyline. I have grown out of the causal use of a thong and now only wear them for their intended purpose.  No lascivious use here.  And this situation was cause for a thong.  After digging into the absolute bottom of my drawer, I finally found one that still fit (sort of) and put it on.  Re-checking myself in the mirror.  And that’s when I found other shapes and misfortunes protruding through the polyester/spandex combo material of my dress.  No longer is a pantyline the height of my fashion fears.  Now, I must try to hide the divots and craters that have infested my thighs and butt cheeks from cellulite!  Through my dress, a child could have the best time driving a toy car through the valleys of my butt!  So, where I felt I was making the choice to wear a thong only when necessary, it has now been a forced issue that I can no longer wear one at all!!  What accessory is going to be made to hide all of the butt dimples I have acquired?  I hope Bali and Maidenform will get with Home Depot to create a “Spackle Panty” that will hide these grooves in my backside.  So that I can feign a smooth bottom like I used to have.

This gets me back to the women I saw at the seminar over the weekend.  Yes, I admired your smooth cheeks as you walked by.  Because it made me remember the time when I could wear a thong and walk around with confidence that there was no sight of a pantyline and not even a thought of a dimple!  **sigh** It seems like just yesterday. You ladies: Google ‘how to avoid cellulite’ and don’t forget to add squats as part of your regular exercise routine.  I do not want you to end up taking longing looks at younger women’s butts in the future and sadly reminisce of better backsides and smoother buns…!

(Oh yeah, check out another blog I wrote before about my butt https://elesjackson.wordpress.com/2012/07/16/unsexy-realization/)

But, why?

I have a three and a half-year old. I have experienced the dreaded “terrible twos” which actually started earlier than two and extended beyond the threes. I’ll venture to say that they are just now starting to subside. Finally. And thank God for that!

I was always told about the “Why?” stage. That my child would bombard me everyday with ‘why’ questions. That I would grow tired of the endless questions like: “why can’t I have it?, why do I have to wear it, why is that blue?” I got myself ready for the endless questioning. But to my surprise, it never came. Sure, she would ask it every once in a while. But in a more controlled and understandable way. It actually made sense when she asked and it was easy to answer and/or explain her request.

But…! (you knew it was one coming, right?) I was never warned of the “Can I have…”stage. No one ever told me how bothersome this phrase would become because of the overuse of it. So I am here to educate you moms and dads of this displeasing and less often mentioned phase of childhood.

I don’t care what it is that I am doing or have in my hand, my child is asking if she can have it as well. I have never counted the number of times my child asks this throughout any given day. But I can tell you that the annoyance from it is considerable. Some things I understand her asking for. The typical things like snacks or treats. The unending request for candy!  But it starts to get out of control when she’s asking to have some of my heartburn medicine or some of the Bacitracin I’m putting on the cut in my nose!!

What is it about kids and them wanting any and everything you (or anyone else) have?!  My kid won’t even know what it is I’m rubbing on my arms, spraying in my hair or dropping in my eyes.  And it doesn’t even matter to her.  She must have it.  So, all day I am grieved to hear “Can I have some of that?”  “Can I taste it?”  “Can I smell that?”  “Can I have a flashlight?”  “Can I have some chapstick?”  “Can I have a rock?” I am sitting here and actually calling to mind a plethora of things this kid asks for throughout the day.  And I am strongly tempted to write them ALL in here.  Just in case you don’t have a child that has gone through this phase.  Or maybe you don’t have children at all!  Misery loves company and I’d love to share that long list of “Can I have’s” with you.  But I don’t want to lose you as a reader. So I better not. lol

I don’t know if my kid traded the ‘why?’ with ‘can I have?’ and that the irritation of both is the same. I can see that being the case. So, if you have been lucky enough to bypass either of these stages in your own children, sing your praises now and rejoice!  If not, brace yourself for it.  And if you have any warnings for me of any phases I’ve got in store–ones that aren’t abundantly mentioned (and kept secret) such as this one–please share it with me so I can be prepared!  Together, we parents can be triumphant!

“Do you need to go potty?”

I am beginning to fear my conversation with others.

I have a little one at home and there is no end to the training that must be done with her daily. The reminders to say “please” and “thank you.” Or the stern voice I use to show her that I mean business. However, I am finding that these ‘toddler talks’ are starting to become the normal template of my conversations. With adults!

 
I have caught myself on numerous occasions, saying something marginally inappropriate to family members,  friends, and even co-workers. Asking folks about going potty or if they need tissue for boogies.  Once, after handing my patient her shoes and eye glasses after her procedure, I found myself prodding her with a “What do you say…?” when she didn’t say thank you! And although that little old lady was in fact rude for not thanking me, it was so not proper for me to scold her!

I have the habit of asking my daughter why she did a certain thing that was perhaps out of line.  To get her to reason things out for herself and see the folly of her decision.  This too has become my mode of communication with others.  Asking “was that a nice thing to do?” or “will that make me happy?”.  And finding myself having to laugh things off as a joke once I realize what I’ve just said.

I have been mortified with myself at snapping my fingers to get someone’s attention.  Something I do to my daughter when she’s too distracted and not paying me attention. I find myself using “the voice” with my husband when we are in the middle of a tiff or disagreement.  You know how men don’t listen very well–they always want to fix things so fast that they’re not really hearing the diagnostics of the problem, right?  Well, my husband is no different.  I once caught myself sternly telling him: “listen to my words!”.  This is something I tell the kid when she’s not focusing on what I’m telling her to do and continues to do what she thinks is best.  Well, even though this applies to my husband trying to be Mr. Quick Fix, I’m sure it’s not the best form of communication for marriage mates.

I mean no harm with any of this.  But it is really hard to switch out of Mother Mode when I’m talking with others.  So far this hasn’t gotten me into too much trouble but I doubt my luck will last indefinitely.  The day is going to come when someone won’t be so understanding of my days spent coaching a little one.  So let me apologize now if I do this when talking with you.  But if you say “please”, wash your hands after you potty and put your toys away, we shouldn’t have any issues.  😉

Fashion Failure again, and again, and again, and…

I just need to vent. I don’t know what my problem is. I have no clue why I am such a fashion misfit. And why I won’t spend the time to correct it! I get in these moods where all I want is to match a great dress with the perfect shoe, wear a cute shirt with nice jeans and all the right accessories or just put together a banging outfit. But I still end up walking out the house wearing jeans from under the bed and a pajama top!!
Right now I am so annoyed with myself because I have once again let a season go by without wearing the awesome clothes I bought for the winter!!! Let me explain what I do. I’ll go shopping one day and see something that I think is really cute. The problem is that I’m not sure what to match it with or whether it goes better with jeans or a skirt. But I get it because it has potential to someday make me look hot! I take it home, and then put it in my closet and that is where it sits for months. And I really do mean months! Years even. Like I said, seasons pass and these items sit in my closet longing to be worn. But as I also stated, I don’t take the time to figure out what I’m supposed to do with these things! I wait until one day when it just comes to me what to do. Or I’m so fed up with seeing it sit there that I just grab it and wear it with whatever. I’ve kept things on the shelves in my closet for so long that it started to go out of style before I’ve even worn it once!! Pathetic isn’t it?!
I tend to shy away from trendy items. Again, because I either don’t think they will look right on me, or I can’t think of the right way to put it together. Then after months of seeing the item, I’ll finally decide it’s not that hard to wear a scarf around my neck or to mismatch bangles on my wrist and finally give in to the trend. But what is with this hesitation I have? It is really so annoying.
I hate winter. I think I suffer from SAD. And I am so happy, every year, to see it leave. However, I am just now settling into good ideas for outfits in this winter weather! I’ve just found a cute pair of brown leggings that match these awesome boots I just bought. So that automatically gives me three cute outfits I could wear. I also just found some sweater stockings in my closet that I bought last winter that were supposed to hook up some really cute something (still never quite figured out what to do with those) that I’ve never worn. So this will now mark two winters that these stockings have sat unopened! Oh! And those other super hot boots I bought at a great deal?–Yeah–Just found the perfect skirt and jacket that will set them off!! So now I’m actually mad that there is no snow on the ground for me to wear this outfit!! So I’ll have to yet again wait eight months before I can wear the boots, the outfits and the sweater stockings! And you know by next winter I’m going to forget what the heck I planned to do with all of these items, right?!!!

“Yes, Barbara, you can sign me up for your newsletter…”

I recently tried to take on the task of finding a vacation destination for my family.  This is a job my husband usually fulfills but because the trip was to include my whole side of the family, I felt I should carry the responsibility.  I logged on and tried finding vacation homes and hotels that could accomodate all of us for a week.  There was one hotel in particular that looked very nice online.  I was having a hard time finding out room rates so I had to call to get more information.  The receptionist was extremely nice.  And very helpful.  And with rates at $845 a night per couple, she sure as heck should have been!  I was floored at this price.  But I still felt the need to play it cool.

And that, my friends, is the point.  Why do we feel it necessary to pretend our mouths are not left open at the complete shock of hearing things like this?  Whether it’s the price of a hotel, jewelry we are looking into buying or even a new washer/dryer set.  When someone tells us a price we cannot understand anyone in their right mind paying, why do we feel the need to “play it off”?   I don’t think that we need to curse out a receptionist and tell her where she can stick her $845 a night fee.  Or take that pretty bracelet and shove it down the jeweler’s throat.  But we could easily say something like: “Whoa!  Wow.  I wasn’t expecting that.  I am looking for something a tad bit cheaper.”  And perhaps ask if they have a place they could recommend.  Sounds good, doesn’t it?  But no, we don’t do that.  I think part of all of this is that we know the person on the other end of the phone has no idea who we are.  So we can pretend to be whomever we want.  “$845 you say? Oh that’s a great price compared to what we paid last year in Aspen!” is how we might decide to respond.  Or we’ll keep asking more and more questions to pretend we are actually thinking of still paying such a price.  “Do you have a swimming pool?”  “Is your hotel kid-friendly?” “Do you serve a continental breakfast?” “Can I request a late check-out?” 

The fact that these persons have no idea as to who we are should allow us to just be ourselves.  But it doesn’t.  We should have no fear to let them know that we have lost interest in their item because of the price.  But we do.  We should not be embarrassed to ask if they give discounts to AAA members.  But we are.  So at the end of the conversation, when they ask if we want to go on and book the dates in question we have to connive our way out of the situation.  “Oh no.  I can’t book this without my husband’s consent.  Let me talk it over with him first.”  “Well, this is the first jewelry store I’ve been to.  I’d like to shop around a little more first.”

I have fallen victim to this so many times I’m unable to tell you.  So when the receptionist asked me if she could get my email to send out upcoming events and specials of the hotel, I didn’t have it in me to tell her that no discount would ever be enough to get me to stay there.  “Sure.”  I said.  “Please send me more information.”  And I may have added an: “I’d love that.” on the end.

Why are we wooed by the wiles of the voices coming from our telephones?  How is it that we get spellbound by the three-minute conversation we have with an operator and suddenly decide that they are our friend–and we don’t want to disappoint them?

I say all this but I cannot guarantee that I will man up the next time I’m asked if I want to be on the calling list to receive updates on the migration patterns of geese in our area.  I think my mailbox will continue to be barraged with newsletters and bulletins from every company’s secretary that I talk with.  But maybe I’ll start sharing them and start to forward them to all of you…;-) jk

Dress to Impress

A good friend of mine (an older gentleman) once told me: “Women don’t dress to impress men, they dress to impress other women.”  My first thought was to debate this comment.  But after a brief moment, I realized what he was saying was true.  I attest some of this to the fact that men (husbands, boyfriends, brothers, close male friends) are so pathetic and lame when it comes to complimenting us women on our new shoes or the fire-red dye highlighting our hair.  I won’t spend time on that right here and now.  Perhaps I’ll talk more on that in a separate blog.  But they either don’t notice or care to comment when we look appealing and perhaps exceptionally dapper one evening.  However, take those same shoes and that same day you colored your hair, and you will possibly get compliments from women as they pass by.  I too am one to blatanly walk up to some woman I have never seen before and earnestly tell her how much I love her purse.  Or ask where she got those sexy shoes she’s wearing.  I’m not shy to tell a woman the jeans she’s wearing fit her really nice.  (stopping short of telling her that her @$$ looks great in them!) I think it may be because we as women know what it’s like to find items that make us feel good or to help us feel hot and sexy.  So we are quicker to let a fellow comrade know that we agree and approve of their decision for that shoe or that fire engine hair color.

But I feel I am going a little wayward of what it is I really want to discuss here.  I actually want to talk  more on what my friend mentioned a few years ago to me.  The statement quoted above.  I couldn’t argue with him because I immediately knew who it was that I dressed for.  And no, it was not (is not) my husband.

I grew up with a friend that I will call Bonnie.  I’ll spare you the history of our relationship and just let you know that we used to shop for clothes together.  There were no jealousy issues of any kind.  We were completely honest with each other of how we felt the other looked in an outfit.  And we would go to great lengths to help the other find that perfect pair of jeans and even the shirt that would accent the breastline just right.  We would annoy sales clerks asking if we could use the same dressing room so that we wouldn’t have to waste time while trying on outfits.  Even if not together, we would look out for each other–knowing what the other was in need of in their wardrobe.  I could get a call at any time with Bonnie telling me she found a shirt that would match that green skirt that’s been in my closet for two months waiting for a mate.  We didn’t even care if we both liked the same outfit.  We would both just get it.  Surprisingly wear it to the same function?  Sure!  Who cared!  We were like that.  If it looked good on both of us, then we couldn’t outshine each other.  It was that simple.

Explaining all of that lets you know that Bonnie was who I dressed for at that time.  For years even. Her and I were a great team.  I still think of how we were truly there for each other in the stressful world of retail.

But I got married one year with her getting married the very next.  I moved, she moved and we both just got busy with our new lives.  We still talk and are still good friends.  But as it goes, we grew apart.  I began to hang more with friends my husband introduced me to.  (Not on purpose.  It just sort of happened this way.)  Which now leads me to a friend I’ll call Alicia.

Alicia was different from Bonnie in many ways.  Her style was a lot more hip than what I was used to.  Her expense account was a little bigger than mine also.  When we would go shopping, we went off into separate sections of a store.  I’d be alone in a dressing room and would have to text her to see if she’d come and tell me her idea of what I was trying on.  She’d get in line at the checkout without me even seeing a glimpse of what she purchased.  If I asked where she got a certain shoe or skirt, she’d feign memory loss.  I guess in fear of me buying the same thing.  But still, even though this was completely different from what I was used to, I found myself slowly giving way to the style she portrayed.  I liked it.  It looked good.  And then, there I was, getting dressed for her!  Wondering if she would notice the way I accessorized my jewelry to match my shoes and purse.  I would think really hard about what I was going to wear before we went together anywhere.  I thought more of what she felt about my clothes than I felt about them myself. Although our shopping experience didn’t copy what I was used to, she would give me her advice and ideas on things when we were together.  She knew how to make me look like a trendy million bucks.  (It was at this time that my friend made the comment to me about women dressing for women.  And it was Alicia that came to my mind.)

Sadly, Alicia and her husband are no longer together.  It’s classic in these cases that the friends split like the couple who decided not to stay together.  So my husband and I are friends of Him.  Not Her.  (Again, not on purpose.  It just happened this way.)

So what do I wear now?  Sweatpants and old EMS sweatshirts from my husbands fireman friend.  When I’m at a store trying on jeans or a cute coat (Is it cute?  I’m really not sure without someone there with me to testify.) I feel as though I have no idea if what I’ve picked out is alright.  But alright for who?  It may be okay to me.  But, who gets dressed for themselves?  That’s so boring!!  It’s not the same to walk away from a mirror saying : “I look nice tonight”, knowing your husband won’t even notice you bought new boots and skinny jeans.  How much better it is when you have that girlfriend to assure you that yes, those boots are perfect  and your are “rocking” those jeans!  Right now I go shopping with my three-year old.  She has no influence yet on what I buy.  But will she be the next woman I dress to impress?  She just might be! ha

I don’t say any of this to say I am having an identity crisis.  Just that I realize that his statement was more true than I would have realized without being told.  You ladies, think about it–who do you dress for?  Be honest and let me know.  Are you expecting compliments from the man in your life?  Or do you think it’s more reasonable that you’ll get more from me if we pass each other at the club tonight?