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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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/)

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?!!!

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?

Unsexy Realization

So, I have a question for you.  When did you realize that you look nothing how you’ve imagined yourself?  Have you gotten there yet?  Did it hit you years ago?  Is it a manifestation of a mid-life crisis ?

My demise came a few months ago.  My daughter was “graduating” from her Little Gym class and my family all came up to help us celebrate.  Video cameras and all.  Yes.  Video cameras.  Who knew that a fun family event would turn into a sad source of a memory for me?

I have what I’ve always considered to be a cute and fashionable jogging suit that I frequently wear when I need to be comfortable yet still want to look in style.  I got it from Victoria’s Secret.  Let me here mention that my body habitus in no way resembles a model from that company!  But I swear there must be something on those pages that gets etched in your mind that makes you feel–no, makes you think–that you don’t look like them, yet you don’t look far from them either.  Perhaps their “sexiness” in the outfit you buy lingers in your minds eye and then that’s the only thing you see.  Even when you put it on and stand in front of a mirror!  I don’t know.  But as stated, this was my ‘go to’ jogging suit.  And I wore it for my daughter’s little shindig.  Needless to say, those horrible cameras my husband and father had nerve to bring, captured a side of me that I thought looked A LOT different.  It was in those videos that I saw the real me.  From behind!!!

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I haven’t looked into the mirror and inspected my backside before.  Who doesn’t?  But still, what I saw surprised me.  It shouldn’t have–but it did.  I come from a long line of inherited square booties.  My mom has a square-shaped booty, one of my aunts had a square-shaped booty.  Her daughter, my cousin, has a square shape. And sadly, my sister has the square!  Boy how I would “tsk” at her as she walked by me.  Sad that she was unfortunate to inherit the infamous square!!  Little did I know I’d be sporting it soon enough myself!  To be fair, I have no idea when the square actually showed up!  (Dear God has it been there this entire time?!) I had always checked out my butt when I got dressed, after a shower, at all the usual times one does it.  And never did I realize that it was not heart-shaped.  Well, let me not lie–I did realize it wasn’t heart-shaped, but believe me, it wasn’t a square either!  You do believe me, don’t you?

Watching that video totally changed everything I felt about myself.  I used to saunter past guys and not worry at all about what they were going to see when I went by. No, I didn’t flaunt it at all. But I wasn’t ashamed of it either.  I wasn’t nervous wondering if they were going to be checking me out as I strutted on.  But now, after seeing that video of myself, I want nothing more than to walk backwards away from folks.  Male AND female for crying out loud!!

So let me just tell you that I have come to a definite new idea of myself.  Sadly it is not a good nor happy one.  I am still trying to come to grips with it all.  Because it for sure took me by surprise.  And all thanks to a two-year old needing a recording of her graduation on learning how to do a roll.  (or somersault as they called it there)  Curses to my husband and father for bringing those wretched cameras!!  (Who ever invented those horrible things anyway?!)

In conclusion, beware those mirrors, folks!  They do not show you truly what others see.  My suggestion, have someone video tape you before you go anywhere and play it back before you walk out the door!!!  Be 100% sure you know what everyone else is going to see before you leave!!

You have been warned!!!