Everything in my wardrobe is black or gray.
Because I can wear that little black dress anywhere and be au fait?
Because I’ll look like Emma Peel (Diana Rigg) in The Avengers?
The effect is, alas, nunnish. I look pale.
I must replenish the wardrobe. Just look at this sweater drawer.
- Black turtleneck, with hole in shoulder. How did it rip? It’s not on a seam; it’s just a gap. Must make gap look intentional. With scissors? Bad idea. Can’t wear black in house because it attracts cat hair.
- Black cardigan, with strange little flower sewn at top button. So much cat hair clings to it that I will have to de-cat-hair with a whole roll of masking tape.
- Old black turtleneck, once size medium, now so stretched out and boxy it still more or less fits. But can’t be worn in house because of cat hair.
- Gray cardigan, with same strange flower as black sweater. Thank God I have something to wear.
- Then there are the thick Fair Isle wool sweaters that I’ll wear when it’s five below. They’re too hot most of the time.
And so I go to the department store to replenish my wardrobe.
I tell my ride it will be five minutes. I shop fast.
Hundreds of baggy cardigan sweaters without buttons hang on hangers. What is the point of a cardigan without buttons? The point of a cardigan is to button up if cold, unbutton if warm. I want a sweater, not a thing to wear over a silk top.
If I don’t want to wear a cardigan I can wear a…cat sweatshirt! Or a pumpkin sweatshirt or a Thanksgiving sweatshirt. My mother gave me many such comfortable sweatshirts. But I have one rule: NEVER WEAR THEM OUT OF THE HOUSE. Last time we went out for pizza, a group of elderly women were wearing cat sweatshirts. I desperately cling to middle age and have decided that even black sweaters with holes are better than cat sweatshirts.
All right, I find a few sweaters.
I try on a fuzzy shawl-neck sweater which gets tangled in my earrings.
I try on a fuzzy turtleneck that seems to be made of intentionally linked diamond-shaped holes, and it also gets tangled in my earrings.
I try on a vaguely ’80s-looking gray sweatshirt with studs sewn on the front. It falls off the shoulder, not a good look for me. I realize somebody in a heavy metal band might have worn it in the ’80s, or Jennifer Beals in Flashdance.
Finally I buy three warm heavy cotton zip tops that are not fashionable but at least look warm and anonymous.
Then I wander through the handbag department and almost buy a $395 Coach bag, which I can’t afford, and then almost buy a $165 Sak Bag for 40% off, which I also can’t afford. Neither bag suits my bicycling needs, so I get out of there before I’m hypnotized and open a new charge card so I can get 20% off and…