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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Grieving through the week with fashion thoughts.

So I'm sitting here thinking "There's something evil about autumn coming and my mama isn't here to enjoy it with me" and immediately my brain kicks my heart and asks "What's evil about that? For that matter - when is the last time you enjoyed an autumn with your mama?"  And I can't remember. And I don't know. About the evil that is. I guess it's evil because I want my mama. I want to go visit her. I want to laugh with her. I want to tell her risque jokes and then laugh wickedly till tears stream down my cheeks. I want to bask in the utter approval she gave me. I want to feel like I am the bestest thing in the whole world - and in spite of all the loving kindness other people give me - nobody could bestow approval like mama.

Sometime over the funeral stuff my older sister commented on some memory and couched it with "... and of course I'd do anything to win mama's approval." And those words sounded so weird. Because I always felt her approval. It didn't just flow from her - it gushed. I always thought she thought we were the four most perfect human beings in the world. I also felt her disapproval when it came - and I was willing to change to get her to approve of me. It's just that .... I didn't have to change very much.

YES. I know. But it is NOT true.

Each of us is goes through life with our very own personal filter. So when you say "I like that red dress" I hear one thing and my next door neighbor hears something else and you probably mean something entirely different from both of us. So when you throw THAT in my face just know that my filter keeps it out. I hear it but I don't pick it up.

And speaking of red dresses - or any dress, for that matter, (Look! A Bird!) I guess I owe my mama a thank you for making me finally buy a black dress. I do not look good in black - I look jaundiced. So I don't ever buy black and had to borrow a black dress for Daddy's funeral and I looked like crap in it, too. In fact, Mama told me over and over again ... like, till I was sick of hearing her ... how bad I looked in it.

Getting through that funeral took two rather extensive doses of retail therapy and on the second one I found a black dress that had reflective fake jewels sewn along the neckline and what do you know? Wearing it, I didn't look like I'd just risen from the sick. Truth is, I looked pretty good in it. Those sparkly things even worked when I put on a black jacket so I wouldn't freeze in the church. Best of all - it was from Dress Barn which is an inexpensive store. I didn't have to drop a bundle on a dress I will only wear to funerals. (and no. I am not 18 feet tall like that model so the dress hits my legs at a reverent mid-knee spot)

You have to know, though, that a good black dress with reflectors on it has to have a hat and in another store (Macy's ... you can usually count on finding something there even between seasons) there was a black hat. There was a BlackHat too - that was about as glamorous as a hat can be but it was really too fashionable and attention grabbing for a funeral and honestly I'd have to line it with some other color to wear it, but OMG, it was drop dead gorgeous, with a brim that swooped over your head from shoulder to shoulder like cathedral architecture and now that I'm typing this, and now that I've thought about lining it, I maybe ought to go back and buy it since I have an occasion to wear it coming up and wow - there I could wear it without looking too greedy for attention.

Love me some run-on sentences.

But back to the hat situation - there was a black hat. And it was a modest hat. And it was intended to be worn on the top of your head, tilted over your forehead slightly in a saucy slant but, ugh. When I wore it that way you could see every bag, every wrinkle and every droop in my aged face. Of course there is a happy ending to this shopping story or I wouldn't bother to write about it at all. This particular hat could be worn on the back of the head in a very 1940's manner that made a kind of halo around my head. This was how Mama always wore hats anyway or at least - it was how she wore them when I remember her as a young pretty thing. Worn that way all the ugly shadows disappeared and the rest is shopping history. I won't wear this hat too often - but whenever I have a funeral to go to that is not in the Dead-0-Winter this puppy will come out of its box.

Here's what I mean about the halo effect. No. I do not have a picture of me in the funeral hat.

Gad, Wish I were that young again and ... you know .. I'd kinda like that hat too. And so would Mama.

Which is why I am nattering on about fashion when I'm really just puking with grief. Because Mama loved her some new clothes. It was something we shared deep within our souls. We loved the architecture of clothing. We loved the engineering of it ... how it could disguise a body flaw ... how it could cloak a body in those equilateral triangles that are the geometry of beauty.

We loved the color of fashion. We both of us were totally mystified by the Blackening of Fashion that has swamped Europe and is now blanketing even the brash colorful instincts of Americans. Mind now - even Not looking Good in black doesn't mean I am immune to it's powerful effect. How do you think the LBD ever became something that could be acronymed? Because black is a powerful color that Makes A Statement. Except - it doesn't any more because now that it's the only color anybody is wearing (just look at a street snapshot of London - my god - it's as dreary as a rain storm in a coal dust cloud) the statement is completely silenced.  Black deserves to mean something. It deserves to be heard. It is just too darn bad that it's being drowned out by the lack of contrast with the rest of the rainbow.

So that's my take on the blackening of fashion.

But to get back to the fun part - Mama and I also loved shopping and I have a favorite little shop I like to drop into regularly just in case I see something new. And yes. I have entirely too many clothes and really wear only the same 20 favorite things all the time - but I LOVE to look at new clothes. And as long as Mama was around I could always just say "hmmm. Maybe I can find a little something for Mama". Only not any more. I dropped in on Friday night and the first thing that hit me was .. can't tell that little fib any more. I never get to buy Mama something new again. And I hate that. I hate it so much I'm tempted to go find me a little old fashionable lady in a nursing home and start buying her little somethings I just picked up when I was in town.

And actually - that's not such a bad idea. I think I will go by the nursing home in town and see if there is a little old lady who could use a new blouse....

Huh. You never know, do you. You never know when an idea will float to the surface if you jabber on long enough.

So. It's been a though week. But it's over now. or - almost. Tomorrow will be the "One week ago we buried Mama" day and then it starts receding. I'm sure this is not the last time I'm going to talk about all this stuff. But at least I've begun to talk at all. I've been pretty numb and frozen this week - what with Issues and Stuff that had to be dealt with. I've been wearing my armor of Normalcy. It helps. Doesn't feel very good, but it helps. Just know. I'll be back. 

1 comment:

  1. Just loved this: Mama loved her some new clothes. It was something we shared deep within our souls. We loved the architecture of clothing. We loved the engineering of it ... how it could disguise a body flaw ... how it could cloak a body in those equilateral triangles that are the geometry of beauty."