I’m gonna pop some tags, only got $20 in my pocket ~Macklemore
I am a die hard thrift shopper. Everything I wear is from Goodwill or a Consignment shop. But you would never know it – I find the best stuff! Designer labels, sexy, boutique-esque clothing. Much of it with tags still on it! For me, thrift shopping is not only my way of being Green, it helps offset the huge medical bills that pile up (can I get an Amen?) Also, I loves me some retail therapy, and being able to peruse Goodwill whenever I want is a heck of a lot better than having to explain a mall binge to my husband.
I had a seriously good haul today (snakeskin pants for $5.20!). And then…stop the freakin’ presses. I found this:
It was magnificent. There were so many things about it that I loved. Jack the Pumpkin King (check), a hoodie (check), it was warm for my poor, cold body (check!) Separately, all of these attributes were awesome in their own right. Together, though…I was an adult in footie PJs. Something I swore I would never, ever don. Right up there with sweatshirts that have Disney characters or pets on them. But it was soooooo cozy…Maybe it wouldn’t completely kill my street cred as a sexual being…Just to be sure, I texted this selfie to my husband at work. Here is an excerpt of our conversation:
Me: I want you to know that it is taking all of my restraint NOT to get this…
Me: I know, right?! Awesome!!! Like wearing a hug.
I love messing with my husband. (Case in point, he has specifically asked that I never blog about him. Technically I am blogging about ME and just mentioning him…) I think sending him this photo keeps it real and makes him appreciate what I do normally look like as opposed to what I could look like. True, I spend too much time in my “physical therapy” outfit somedays, and never get to the cute outfit, but more days than not, he comes home to a wife that looks good. And as we all learned from Dinah Ostenso’s post “She Looks Fine to Me,” sometimes that’s all we chronics have!
It wasn’t always this way in my house. While I worked in the hospital as a nurse (ugh, night shift!), and then after I had babies, I did not have a cute wardrobe. I spent years as a tired new Mom, undiagnosed with the right syndrome, and spiraling downward: fashion was not my priority. But, lest you think I sound superficial, it affected me. I look back at photos of me with my babies, and feel sad that I looked (and felt) frumpy. I also know I have every opportunity to continue looking and feeling frumpy each and every day. I do not work outside of my home. I spend my days in rehab, writing at my computer, or with my dog in my garden. I am exhausted all of the time, and have persistent pains and headaches that cause me to rest and nap when I allow it. This is a Lifestyle that screams sweatpants and footie pajamas! And it is for this reason that I fight so hard to look young and vibrant on the outside, even when I feel old and tired on the inside.
This is the exact reason I gave people when they asked me why I got tattooed 20 years ago (to date, I have 5, and I love them all!) I pierced my nose. I cut and dye my hair in different funky styles, and I let my kids do the same. I love tight pants, animal print, ironic tee shirts, sequins, studded bracelets, smokey eyes…I look like I’m going to a rock concert when I go out with my friends (or school events, who am I kidding?) I might be dying on the inside, but I’ll be damned if I am going to look like it!
Maybe you live with an invisible illness, or maybe you are just a tired parent. My advice to you is to make it as hard as possible to look frumpy for each other: work to blend comfort, fashion and recycling by having clothing swaps or visiting your local thrift stores. Our Grandmothers did have it right: putting on a “nice dress and some lipstick” can make a difference – but that difference is for me as much as for my man.