Posted tagged ‘skirts’

“Use your imagination, and you’ll see that even the most narrow, humdrum lives are infinite in scope if you examine them with enough care.”

May 3, 2016

Yesterday was a day of accomplishment. I didn’t really do much, but I did everything on my list. Today is a stay around the house day. It is still raining so I’ll do dreaded household chores. I’ll change my bed and wash another load of laundry then I’ll reward myself by lying on the couch and reading. I hope I don’t exhaust myself by turning pages.

I was going to skip writing today as I have absolutely nothing to write about. I have exhausted my childhood, spoken about Ghana so often I figure you all probably feel as if you’ve lived there and have given you details of my day to day life in all its glory. Just look at today. You all know I’m changing my bed.

I have been writing just about every day for at least eleven years and probably closer to twelve as I started just after my retirement, twelve years ago this summer.

In this house we’re all getting old. Gracie will be twelve and the two cats 17. Gracie doesn’t realize how old she is as she is still filled with energy and she is still obnoxious. When Gracie doesn’t get her way, she looks at me and starts talking. When I continue to ignore her, she growls a little, always a friendly growl but still an escalation. Finally she barks at me. Depending on my mood, I either shut her up by giving in or I chase her out of the room. She’s one smart dog as she stands in the doorway, technically out of the room, and barks. I finally give in. She knows I always will.

I have never been fussy about what I wear. I do own three dresses, two of them are short sleeved and flowered for summer wear while the other has long sleeves for winter. I always wear a dress on Easter, the only for certain day. Just in case, I pack one when I go to Ghana, and I did wear it for the swearing-in ceremony in 2011.

I think I wear casual clothes in reaction to having been forced to wear uniforms most of my school days. Even in college, during the first year and a half, I had to wear a dress or skirt. It was a rule. Luckily the winter was so cold that year they changed the rule and once the cat was out of the bag we never had to wear skirts or dresses again. In Ghana I had to wear dresses, but I was glad of it because of the heat. Besides, I had most of them made in Ghana with African cloth. They were beautiful.

Right now I am wearing a sweatshirt with frayed cuffs and a few gnawed holes from the year of the mouse. I’m wearing around the house pants from Old Navy, new ones this year as the old ones wore out, and a tee shirt under the sweatshirt. I’m also wearing slippers. This is my around the house ensemble just about every day. I always hope I don’t get company!

“What a strange power there is in clothing.”

September 26, 2014

The rain fell for most of the night, but it wasn’t nearly enough to wash away the drought. The sky is still cloudy and the day is dark though the sun is supposed to make an entrance later, hang around for a while and give tomorrow some summer warmth. I’m thinking it may be warm enough for the last movie on the deck night.

When I was a kid, I was not a girly girl. My sisters were. They played with dolls, wore dresses with pouffy slips underneath and loved hats and patent leather shoes. I didn’t. I wore skirts and blouses when I was forced to get dressed-up and had to wear them to school and church. Slacks and sometimes sweaters were my weekends and after school ensembles. I went through the wearing the cardigan backwards fashion craze. I suppose that made me a bit stylish or at least current. I remember stretch slacks with the loops on the bottoms for your feet. They were popular for a while, and I got a pair for Christmas one year. I also got a pink fuzzy sweater the same year. They too were popular. I loved that outfit and wore it until the fuzz disappeared.

I don’t get dressed up much any more. I wear nice pants and blouses or shirts when I go out. If it is somewhere special, I pull out one of my three dresses. Because my entire professional career was spent in dresses or skirts, I figure I’m entitled to wear what I want. I do make sure everything complements each other so I’m never messy or odd, just comfortable.

I think there is magic age where you can mix and match whatever you want. That black and white striped shirt is just fine with the yellow plaid capri pants, the blue ankle socks and the white sneakers with velcro. You just have to be old enough to pull it off.

“I was going to change my clothes, but I changed my mind instead.”

August 23, 2013

Today is simply beautiful, sunny and cool with a strong breeze. The nights will be delightful for sleeping: cool, even cold. Tomorrow night could be down in the 50’s. Gracie has been out all morning, and I will join her as soon as I can!

When I was a kid, I didn’t mind being dirty and sweaty. Both of those were from having a great time. My socks often slipped down in my sneaker, and I didn’t even care when I walked on the lump of a sock. I’d eventually pull up that sock, but in a short time, it would slip again. That was the way it was. I took a bath once a week, that Saturday ritual we all had. For dinner, our vegetables, except for potatoes and carrots, came from cans. I don’t remember fresh vegetables, maybe because my mother knew we would probably not eat them. She had enough trouble getting us to like carrots without pushing even more. In the summer, we’d play all day then go to bed exhausted. A bath wasn’t ever part of the nightly ritual, even in summer. I guess jumping into the sprinkler or going to the pool kept us clean enough.

We girls wore blouses, never t-shirts. Some of my blouses were sleeveless, and they were the coolest for summer, coolest in the sense of the word, the opposite of hot. We wore shorts and sometimes clam-diggers. I know why the pants were called clam-diggers, but I had never dug a clam in my life so in a way it was an odd name. We also wore dungarees, but girls’ and boys’ dungarees were different. Ours had zippers, usually in the side pocket. When I was really young, mine had elastic at the waist. Girls could wear sandals. Boys never did, too risky and too open to name-calling. My sisters wore white sandals with buckles. When I got a little older, I stopped wearing sandals and wore white sneakers instead. The sneakers usually had pointed toes, and when I was in high school, I used to polish them to keep them white. Dresses and skirts were still necessary wardrobe components.

The last time I wore a dress was Easter. My friends and I go out to a fancy restaurant every year so we get dressed up. Tony wears a suit and tie and Clare and I wear dresses. Many of the people at the restaurant are also clad in Easter finery. The few who aren’t stand out a bit. I always feel a bit outlandishly proper when I’m in a dress. It happens so seldom.

My uniform of the day almost always includes a t-shirt. At night, for a play, I do wear a regular shirt and nice pants, but not dressy pants. I don’t even own a blouse anymore. I do happen to have a pair of clam-diggers, but they are meant to be worn around the house or to the dump which doesn’t have a dress code.

“She wore far too much rouge last night and not quite enough clothes. That is always a sign of despair in a woman.”

May 22, 2012

I heard the rain through the open window when I woke up this morning. The rain is steady but it’s a light rain, the sort where the drops from the roof make more noise than the rain. I love days like today when the room is dark and all is quiet except for the raindrops.

A lot of the pine pollen has been washed from my deck, but under the deck chairs the yellow-green spots are protected and only pitted by the rain. They look like paintings, like Pollacks dripped from brushes. The umbrellas are back to being red. The deck will soon be in its summer finery.

When I was a little kid, I didn’t need or want much. I had my sled for the winter and my bike for the rest of the year. I wore sneakers all summer, the same pair until I either out-grew them or they finally wore out. I wore shorts and blouses, the summer uniform for girls. Fashionable hadn’t yet become part of my vocabulary. Whatever I found in my bureau drawer was what I wore for the day. I don’t even think I worried about matching colors.

When I became a teenager, clothes were paramount. I had to have what everyone else was wearing. Individuality was a concept none of us espoused. I remember one Christmas getting black stretch stirrup pants and a fluffy, almost Angora like pink sweater. That outfit was so much the rage you’d think it was a uniform for a strange band. I loved that sweater and wore it until it was unwearable, worn and no longer fluffed. We wore our cardigans backwards, the buttons down our backs. They were best worn with tightish skirts which zippered in the back. I never had enough clothes back then-at least I thought so.

In college, for my first two years, we were required to wear dresses or skirts. None of us liked it but we didn’t have a choice. The coldest winter in years occurred during my junior year and the clothing rule changed. We could now wear slacks to help keep us warm. The horse had been let out of the barn, and from then on we could always wear what we wanted though shorts were not part of the deal.

In Ghana, in those days, women had to wear dresses, never pants. I wore a dress every day to teach. I travelled for hours on busses in a dress which actually made pit stops easier as most places were holes in the ground in sheds. Pants would have been complicated. I had a pair of jeans I wore for long rides on my motorcycle, and I had a couple of pairs of shorts I wore around the house, never outside. The good part of all of that was my dresses were made in Ghana of Ghanaian cloth and were bright, colorful and beautiful.

Teaching here started in dresses and went to pants at some point in the late 70’s or early 80’s. My casual clothes were jeans and flannel shirts in winter and shorts and polo shirts in summer.

Now, for the most part, I wear pants and all sorts of shirts. When it’s cold, I wear a hoodie. I have two summer dresses and a spring-fall dress. Seldom do I go places where dressing up is demanded, maybe a wedding or two. My life has slid back into the comfortable. Fashionable is no longer part of my vocabulary.

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