All of this shopping was fun and satisfying; I don’t regret any of my purchases. But now, here I am sitting on the deck at the cottage, wearing the same pants, shirt and sweater that I do every day when I’m here, trying to make sense of my clothes, both new and old. Where is the balance between this simple, solitary life, where I spend more and more of my time, and my social life, which is still a part of who I am? How important are clothes to me?
When I was teaching I loved buying a new outfit to wear in the classroom—nothing like a kindergarten wardrobe! Then, as a hospice spiritual care counselor I had my appropriate bereavement outfits. Two ends of the spectrum with other outfits for all those in between times! Nowadays I have fewer opportunities to get dressed up at all. Truth be told, if I live to be 101 and never buy another piece of clothing, I’ll probably have enough. But some part of me still wants something new, still wants to dress up. And then there is the flip side, the side that doesn’t want to look like a bag lady, doesn’t want to appear in the same pants, shirt and sweater every day when I go to the supermarket, nor in the same dress at every social event. Shoes are different—they are in the category of comfort—well not entirely.
That’s what’s running through my mind about it all at the moment, but I am also well aware that there are other issues that I haven’t touched on—natural fabrics… fair trade products… gratitude that I can afford to buy something new…. And then there is that perennial fundamental question: How much is enough? None of this is simple.