I Can See! I Can See! Now Maybe I Can Dress Myself.

After five years of not buying contact lenses, because to spend the money seemed frivolous, I finally treated myself yesterday - AND I got new glasses, because my prescription had changed quite a bit.

It feels really, really good to be able to see again. I also found an Aveda training salon, where I can get a nice cut for not much money.

Here's the before & after:

I have eyes! I feel so much more open when I wear contacts, like I'm hiding behind my glasses. Maybe I am.

It felt odd but good to spend money on myself, for what I consider "outside" stuff. It always blows me away on What Not to Wear when they give the participants $5,000 to spend on clothes. Five THOUSAND dollars! On clothes! My mom is from Maine, and I feel so at home when I visit my family there - you're not expected to spend a whole lot on clothes, they're just supposed to do their job! And I've pretty much always held that view of clothing. I'm seeing now why you don't want to wear worn-out clothes out in public, but it seems SO wasteful to throw out perfectly good things because of a tear or two. I have a sweater that has a small burn mark on the arm - the underside of the forearm - and I've been wearing it that way for probably the last year or so. It just dawned on me last time I started to put it on that maybe, just maybe, I ought not wear it. But it's a perfectly good sweater! It keeps me warm!! It goes against my grain to throw it out. I can hear my mother now: "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without." That's probably part of her post-depression-era/WWII upbringing, as well as the practicality of Down Easters. Isn't it better for the environment to not consume, consume, consume?

I have learned it does make a difference if what you're wearing looks good. I don't have very many things that I think look nice on me, but when I wear them, I do feel differently about myself. And that really, really bugs me! It seems so... superficial.

This is an area I'm just gaining awareness in - I need guidelines. So: no stains, rips, or tears (or burns, apparently). That much I can do. And, yeah, I'm just learning that. I feel torn!

OK - funny story about the burn: At church, we have candles at the front that folks can light for joys, concerns, prayers, etc. There are two circular stands, each with about 25 candles on it. I went up & lit a candle one morning, and when I got back to my seat, I crossed my arms, and OUCH! My hand got burned just a bit. Apparently, when I reached across the candles to light mine, my sleeve caught fire. And I didn't notice. There weren't flames, it was barely smoldering. I rubbed it out with my hand, and soon after, the lady beside me started sniffing: "Do you smell smoke?" Of course, I just sniffed, too! "Hmm - I think I do!" I was cracking up inside. If it had gone on any more than that, I would have come clean, but that was the extent of it.

So not only does my sweater keep me warm, still, it has a story attached! I told a friend this story, and she said, "Caren, you deserve to wear clothes that don't have burn marks." I don't really know what to make of that. Deserve? What does that mean? I know it's all tied in with self-esteem, values, etc. It seems like too much to think about, most of the time.

Maybe I'll just stay in my jammies. My sister did get me a pair of these for my birthday! And I feel silly telling you how much I love them... but I do.

At least I know enough not to go out in public in them.


Zenmomma said...

Why can't you keep the old things for when only comfy, well worn and full of memories will do? Then have some nicer things for those times when you need that boost of a little exterior sprucing up. Personally, I don't think it has to be either/or, no matter what Stacy and Clinton say. ;-)

BTW I love your new hair! It really frames your face and makes you look stylin'.

ps pirro said...

I wear old clothes, too, and mostly black, and I have paint all over most every item I own except for a couple shirts I purposely Do Not Wear at the art table... until I do. Ha. You look great!

Mrs. G. said...

You look beautiful!!!

I think we all deserve to look the way we want to look...without comments from others.