Sunday, February 7, 2010

Replacement Shopping

You know, I may have forgotten how to blog. Let's see if I can just type random things in here and see if I get my skills back.

I need new black boots. You'd think this makes me happy but it doesn't. I mean, new black boots? WTF!!! I have those! Why can't I spend my money on something entirely new and different that I don't already have? Like, um, purple boots! Or teal! Or neon orange wellies!

And when I was thinking this as I was assessing the damage to my boots (they've leaked water for a while, now there are some tears right along the tabs where I pull them on), I realized why I both like and hate shopping, and why it is so hard for me to get rid of stuff.

I have a terrible time dumping ruined or old clothing and then replacing it. It seems that this does nothing to satisfy my shopping urges, for "replacement" is almost like not buying anything, there's no newness, no fresh idea, no feeling of infinite possibility. This is why I have several coffee-stained khakis and haven't bothered to get new ones. I have khakis and I don't want to buy any more. Even though they are not really acceptable for teaching any more because I am a slob who spills things. Cleaning these "basics" out of my closet doesn't give me any feeling of accomplishment either, since I'm not really making any room if I'm just going to buy new ones. And nobody walks in and compliments you on nice clean khakis without stains the way they do when you walk in with some sort of new and different pant or skirt combo.

This explains why I have so many different colors of shoes in my closet right now, as I've been tempted, off and on lately, to buy shoes and I always get something totally unlike everything else in my closet. And this works for shoes since my clothes are pretty boring, so when my other "basic black" shoes got too beat up I got rid of them and didn't replace them. Unless you count the embroidered or the rainbow or the snakeprint shoes. But this tactic does not work for dress pants and it doesn't work for rainboots.

Of course, we've probably had our two rainstorms for the year already and I could hold off until next year. That's what I did last year, after all. Which led to me forgetting all about it, wearing the boots like normal all fall, and then being unpleasantly reminded of their new non-waterproof status during the big deluge. But the little tears are bad enough that I can't be seen in public with them any more --- it looks like they are flaking apart up by the cuff. Meh.

I need new fuzzy house slippers as well, as long as I'm complaining about things I don't want to bother replacing. See how long it takes me to get to those purchases.

And while we're on the subject of boots, I've been smitten by that knee-high-boot-over-skinny- jeans look. Mainly because it showcases the whole boot, unlike boots under pants. And I love the really warm brown leathers and simple gold hardware that are on a bunch of boots these days. But besides the fact that I just bought some new jeans (took a long time to get around to replacing the old ones of those, too) and they are rather flared instead of skinny, I worry that being short and, uh, plump, would not go well with the boot-jean look. I mean, I look really stumpy and wrong in those tiered broomstick skirts everyone was wearing a while back, and the same with maxi dresses. I am a squat little square not a rectangle, and the horizontal line of the boot tops would probably cut me up like skirt lines do. And I'm not really skinny legged to fit that skinny jean look either. This wouldn't resolve the black boot dilemma, anyway.

I wonder if all this resistance would go away if I had a job with a real paycheck. Maybe. I'm certainly interested in getting a new couch or new desk. Oh, that reminds me ---- there's a chair out by my recycling that I was tempted to exchange for my crappy desk chair. Both are crappy cheap office chairs from officemax, but mine has arms. Arms that are crumbling apart and have big chunks missing from either cat damage or slobby-me damage, depending on which square inch you are looking at. But even though those arms look terrible, I still like having arms on my chair, so I left the other one out by the recycling. And then it got rained on so the point is moot. Moot like a boot. Heh. See what I did there?


nic said...

So you haven't blogged in a while eh? Well you are doing fine. Hope you try something different like is my favorite color. Hey wait! Your blog is purple. Yay! I love it. Well thanks for sharing your story. Think I am in a similar boat...

Lucky Jane said...

I feel you on the replacement shopping: it's a chore, like laundry and dishes, or replenishing your stash of dry pasta and canned/tetra-packed tomatoes. Sisyphean.

Like you, I almost never throw anything out. I'm not sure a regular salary makes much of a difference, since the glamorous grad student life has lasting effects, analogous to surviving the Depression.

Indeed, I have twelve pairs of black heels and four pairs of knee-high black boots, all obsessively cared for and in regular rotation. It helps to get them on clearance, after the season. Moreover, I think the trick is to make sure they're vastly different, yet presentable, styles. My black boots range from stretchy patent and vaguely hooker like (worn with trousers) to Louis XIV heeled with annoying hooks all the way up (with skirts and curiously patterned/colored tights). Like the thesis to a freshman essay, them boots are similar, but different.

Dr. Koshary said...

I have mostly given up on buying clothing. I can get by with what I have, and until I'm lucky enough to get even an adjunct position, I can't really justify spending my food/rent money on looking fabulous.

Your post, though, reminded me of when I could think a lot more about such things: high school! Remember when we were kids and everyone had to get a pair of these? (Before name-brand companies started making them!)

Sisyphus said...

before name brand! At my hs they had to be Doc Martens or nothin'! (10-hole Docs with a floaty flower-print dress, that's what I remember ... could I be any more Cranberries-mid-90s? No, no I could not.)

Sisyphus said...

PS Lukyjane, if I could find something with a cool Louisxiv heel, we might be in business.

I wish I could make myself do the patterned tight thing! :( I just hate spending money so much that I don't buy any more tights these days --- besides, I'm always putting a hole in them first time. Still, it would be fun to get a bunch of weird, off colors and work them into my boring wardrobe.

Dr. Koshary said...

The Doc Martens were solely for the pretty colors. There was an alternative at my hs of going to the military surplus store and getting a pair of actual paratrooper boots. Like usual, I caught on to the trend way late and then overdid it by getting a pair with steel toes. Those boots hurt like a mother. Too bad I didn't know how to size things properly when I was young and stupid.

Lucky Jane said...

Though all of my Doc Martens were acquired in the last century, I still wear them often. Don't the colors make you smile irresistibly when you look down? For the same reason, I always paint my toenails garish colors.

Here are the Louis boots. The drawback is that I got mine, which are only a little different, in England two springs ago, when spring really felt like spring. I can't vouch for the boots at Victorian Trading Company, whose wares I find tacky in that peculiar overstuffed Victorian way. I do, however, own a dress and a bracelet from them. Both were gifts, and I've had them almost ten years now.

kfluff said...

Short stumpy girls unite! I just had to pop in to say that I was deeply suspicious of the boots over jeans look, having the world's shortest, thickest legs. And yet, strangely, it can work. I think the secret is boots with a bit of a heel (I have wedges.) So, to echo Lucky Jane, maybe you want black replacement boots with a different heel?

Phul Devi said...

Hi Cog -- hope you are well! You've been silent for a while, but not forgotten!

Dr. Koshary said...

I second Squadrato's comment. Give us a holler, Sis!