So…a while ago, I had someone tell me, “You seem like the sort of person who would wear Raybans.” And despite whatever I told them at the time to the contrary, they were right. I mean, they’re delightful. A lot of chic shades cost more than the traditional Wayfarers and go out of style in a few years or just become unusable due to wear. For around $150.00 you can look instantly cool. I mean, sorry, that sounds corny I guess, but look at someone wearing Wayfarers and tell me you don’t automatically think of Tom Cruise in “Risky Business” or James Dean on his motorcycle or…*shrug* some young female, leather coat wearing ingenue.
They’re the ultimate classic pair of sunglasses. And goodness knows I do love the classics.
Today as I’m sitting in a rare peaceful moment writing this and reflecting on many things, I’m finding my thoughts wandering to the ultimate pearl necklace and Wayfarers. …And I’m debating on whether or not to buy a new winter coat. Are North Face women’s puffers from 2015 still socially acceptable? I mean…has fashion moved so far beyond that look that I’ll be judged? And goodness knows people look and do make assumptions. *pondering face* The thing is, I’d like to use my coat and not waste environmental resources or money… It’s still in good enough condition. *shrug*
But…truly, I have nightmarish memories of a mother who wore a huge 1980’s down coat meant for the Alaskan Tundra and loud (they literally made a lot of noise when she walked) snow boots while grocery shopping. She almost looked like a homeless lady except for her hair and what she was buying and not everyone is that observant or perceptive. …I mean, yes, it was the dead of Minnesota winter and that was at the core of her very sane reasoning for wearing these items, but in 1990’s upscale suburbia it was social suicide. And I felt the repercussions of it acutely as a vulnerable child. I’m embarrassed to say that I’d follow her around at a distance as she’d get grotesque stares from the bourgeois neighbors who couldn’t believe anyone would appear that way in public and seemed to find it nearly repulsive. Ha! …As much as I learned a lot about “adults”, social class and how to develop a thick skin about certain things and to have genuine self-confidence from those moments, I don’t want my kids to feel the very real level of intense social anxiety and rejection I did due to the way people misunderstood my mom (or dad) on occasion .
…Of course, nowadays her old coat would be considered terribly edgy and super chic. Sadly though, she got rid of it many years ago. *laugh* …I will say this however, people do award more “acceptance points” for “old people’s style whims” now than they did back then, I think. I feel like…since sustainability wasn’t as big of a deal in people’s minds back then (and it was a somewhat better economy and it was pre-9/11) you were expected to over-update everything (the pinnacle of that trend maybe came recently with so-called, “fast fashion”.). In 2016 I wore my North Face winter coat to a Target in a semi posh area outside of Seattle and a group of teenage/very young adult girls commented loudly about how my coat was so 2008. But as I moved around more and they saw more of my face (they had just seen me from behind up until then) I think they suddenly realized that I wasn’t their age and was instead in my 30’s and from what I recall they then backed off with their commentary and I just became fuddy-duddy mom/older relative material to them instead of “super uncool peer” wearing a totally stupid coat.
…And actually, as I’ve also noted before it’s fashionable nowadays to look a little ratty, confused and unattractive. Ha! Yeah…I’m being honest.
In the last year I heard an older “cool girl” walk past me at elegant shopping location and comment on how, “…everyone here has a Louis Vuitton! God! They must be giving them away! I should go and see if they’ll give me one too!” to the laughs of her posse. And then as they walked away from me wearing my Noé, *gasp* (in a hushed whisper), “Oh my God! She’s wearing one too!!!” *astonished, self-righteous and insecure giggles* Maybe we were all supposed to be wearing Hermès? Or? *shrug* Carrying whatever the coolest thing is at the current nano-second?
*deep sigh and eye-roll*
No, but I wear what I like. …I just worry my kids will suffer the real consequences.
“I loved Harlem!” a young lady I went to college with once absentmindedly said about an excursion she had just taken there before gentrification changed it too much. “I just want to sit and observe!” …And by that she meant that she wanted to go see poor and non-white people “in their natural habitat”. I kid you not. …I look back at that and realize the roots of the current attitude towards abundance. Of course, she was very upper-middle class…but…what crisis we face today doesn’t begin and end with the weaknesses and strengths of the bourgeois?
Oh!! And I’ve also realized in the last few weeks that my parents donated 15% of their gross monthly income without fail every single month of my entire childhood. Yeah. Before taxes (so if you made $70,000.00 gross that’s about $1,000.00 or so every month regardless of taxes). …Putting it gently, I had a difficult, beautiful and eccentric childhood in many ways. My parents gave away so much to help people, saved and rarely had debt. Now they are doing quite well due to the families they came from and their hard work. Perhaps karma or God’s blessings are in their favor some might say? But…I think it might have been nice not to be bullied by presumptuous and angsty kids too though… Regardless, God bless my parent’s sincerely generous hearts. Truly.
In this day of “social skills” (instead of math, English, history or science) being the suprème oeuvre of bourgeois-preppy-schools…I do wonder how one is supposed to deal with the real hatred and ignorance we all experience one way or another from each other. Everyone is supposed to be both totally insouciant and jaded towards (the possibility of?) genuine goodness and paradoxically mind-numbingly careful not to be offensive. It’s impossible.
I’ll just slap on a pair of Wayfarers (they’ll be a birthday gift to myself this year) and take it a day at a time. How about you?