Friday, January 21, 2011


I got really sick this last Christmas. Really, really, really sick. Thankfully not the embracing-the-toilet kind of sick, but it might as well have been.  For whatever reason, a virus set up camp in my throat and my body took up arms and waged the most vicious of bodily battles using the greatest virus-fighting weapon of all time: fever. Fever raged and raged in my body until there was nothing left to sweat out and my cat had decided I was as good as sitting on a floor vent. This went on for six and a half days, during which time all I could think about were things I didn't want to do (eat, sleep, think, be awake, move, drink, talk, be alone, be with other people) and for some reason I kept thinking about clothes.

Now, apparel has never been a huge part of my life. I feel like I hardly even noticed clothes until I got to junior high where there were girls who did care and Delia*s and Alloy started appearing in the mailbox. Even then I carefully considered every purchase for days and days before committing. I still have a skirt from Alloy that I wore on the first day of 8th grade 10 years ago. I didn't even know how to pronounce 'khaki,' a word I'd been coming across in books for years, until I was in 7th grade. Grade school was one big parade of huge t-shirts and leggings and boy's size flannel shirts in the winter.  I did find some good things at the popular thrift store in town (back before anything was more that $9) and on the Urban Outfitters sale rack (I swear, things from there lasted longer than they do now) and in my friend's closets, but the rotation was pretty limited and I always felt self-conscious because I couldn't afford to shop at the Buckle or Abercrombie and Fitch.

Then came high school.  I had started lifting weights as a freshman and was competing in Olympic Weightlifting by the beginning of my sophomore year.  As a result of 4 day a week workouts, I was solid.  Before this goes too far, let me explain that weightlifting is far different from bodybuilding.  I had a ton of muscle, but it wasn't anything like those people who spray tan and grunt and smile and flex.  No, my muscle was concentrated in my hips and thighs, which was helpful standing up from a front-squat in a clean, but not so great trying to fit into jeans.  On top of that (literally) my stomach and waist were as flat and skinny as any girl could ever want, so when I did find jeans that fit my butt, they were too loose in the waist. I wore whatever I could find that fit, which were usually second-hand jeans two sizes too big with a belt.  The I had to wear a shirt big enough to cover the awkward cinched waistline I was sporting and voila - frump.

Time has progressed, and now I'm 25 with a debit card, credit card, Gap card, driver's license and internet access.  In my fevered state, approaching the new year in all kinds of misery, I told myself that the only thing I cared about was getting and feeling better so I could appreciate all the things I couldn't do while an invalid.  I wanted to kiss my boyfriend without getting him sick, I wanted to go to shows and movies and museums, I wanted to antagonize my cat with the laser pointer he got for Christmas...I wanted to do things that made me truly happy and would stay with me forever.  As I came to these conclusions, my New Year's Resolution was decided. I will not shop for clothes in 2011. Here goes.

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