Posts Tagged ‘clothing swap’

The Empresses New Clothes

November 4, 2016

I got some hand me downs today.

Let me say it’s been a hot second since that has happened.

I used to get them in elementary and middle school.

High school once in a while too.

Hated hand me downs.

Tossed away, given away, old grumpy clothes that weren’t pretty or bright, that were already tattered.

By the time I was in high school though, I was buying my own clothes.

Mom’s rules.

She paid for school supplies.

And as soon as I started working I paid for my school clothes.

I think I got the raw end of the deal in hindsight, but you know, whatever.

I was frivolous with my first real paycheck.

I bought a brand new leather jacket with a removable rabbit fur collar.

God damn I loved that jacket.

Loved it to tattered bits.

It was my own version of the Velveteen Rabbit.

I spent my entire summer earnings on that jacket and I did not give any of the fucks.

It was mine.

And it was fucking glorious.

Top Gun had come out the that year and it reminded me of the leather bomber that Kelly Mcgillis wore in the movie.

That was probably the last time I wore a hand me down.

At least for a while.

Now.

Well, fuck, we just call it a clothing swap and throw all our stuff in a pile and go hog wild and wow, this will work great at Burning Man!

I have gotten some sweet pieces from clothing swaps.

And.

Today I got a bunch of clothes from my boss.

It’s funny, I don’t always have a real good feel of my size, I think I’m bigger than I am and then I obsess about how I look and who the hell wants that?

I try to stay off the scale.

And I have felt that I put on a little weight over the last few months.

And I did.

Like two pounds.

OH NO!

I laughed my ass off when I weighed myself, not something I do very often, it’s not necessary for me, I can get all wrapped up in the stupid number and then be wrapped up in the idea that I’m not enough, and well, that shit is shit.

I’m a beautiful woman.

I’m not stupid.

But.

Often times I just don’t see it.

Oh, I see it, but I don’t act it.

I remember an ex boyfriend years ago looking at me from across the kitchen table at his house.

“What?” I asked him, “what are you staring at?”

“You really have no idea how beautiful you are do you?” He asked.

I blushed.

He got up from the table, straddled my lap and smashed me with his mouth.

God.

He was a good kisser.

We could make out for hours.

I miss make out.

It’s been a while since I have been properly kissed.

Anyway.

I digress.

I was two sizes larger than I am now.

But I was perfect and beautiful and he couldn’t keep his hands off me.

Note to self.

You are exactly the way you are supposed to be, the body is exactly how God wants it, relax.

So.

My boss has money.

Obviously.

And nice clothes.

And good taste.

Granted.

Not my taste.

And we’re not the same size, but we’re not that far off either.

She’s maybe two sizes smaller.

So.

Her jeans.

Not a fit.

But I took them anyway.

“Take them, try them on, give them away, sell them, they’re yours,” she said and dumped a huge pile of clothes on the table.

Fuck yes.

And she was totally correct.

A lot of them are not my style.

The jeans are so not a go.

She’s shorter than me too.

But.

They’re Vince Camuto.

I can sell that shit.

I also scored a sweater that surprised me, I wasn’t expecting to like it, but I was thinking, hey lady, you’re going to Wisconsin for Christmas time, a sweater might be a nice thing to have.

I mean I have two.

But I’m there a week and it gets cold and I’m going to want more than a couple.

So I tried it on, also a Vince Camuto.

And it fits!

And it’s cute on me.

Score.

I also scored three super cute long skirts that I thought, yes, these too, I will wear them in Wisconsin.

Skirts in winter?

Fuck yes.

Layered over wool tights or fleece lined tights, which I do in fact own quite a few pair of, paired with my black engineer boots and some layered thermals and a sweater.

Perfect.

Super stoked for the new clothes.

“New.”

Heh.

I’m not so picky anymore, nor so tied to it being new.

I have plenty of re-sale shop clothes, clothing swap clothes, vintage clothes.

I’m happy to accept the gift.

And I may not get much for the clothes, Crossroads doesn’t always take what I bring in, but they usually take a few things, and I’ll get a free lunch from it or a manicure.

I’m down with a free manicure.

Any old day of the week.

I might do some clothes shopping this month, I thought to myself this morning as I was sitting and sipping some delicious coffee.

I was sent a package of Stumptown Holler Mountain from a friend who commiserated with my grad school and full-time work hours.

Thank you my friend.

So good.

I “splurged” on the second cup and heated up unsweetened vanilla almond milk and made a cafe au lait and sprinkled it with raw cocoa and cinnamon and nutmeg.

Swoon.

I was happy.

Just a little.

Then I did my numbers for the month of October and tallied my expenses.

After that I did my spending plan for November.

Not bad.

Not too bad at all.

I may even have a few ducats to actually buy some new clothes.

Not much.

I don’t need much, especially after the windfall today.

But I could use a new pair of jeans.

Perhaps this weekend I’ll do that.

I was invited to go dancing tomorrow night and that’s a possibility.

And I have a coffee date and MOMA visit on Saturday.

Which makes me laugh.

I think folks have finally figured out that I have a membership.

In exchange for a coffee in the Sight Glass Cafe that’s inside the MOMA I will happily escort you into the museum for a free companion ticket.

I can take up to two people in with me at a time.

I can always handle doing another stroll through the 7 floors of galleries.

Always.

And perhaps I will get dressed up too.

I have some options.

And tomorrow.

Yes.

Is Friday.

Yay!

Making it through the week.

One

Little.

Baby.

Step.

At.

A.

Time.

 

All Things Challenging

May 4, 2014

I did them today.

I tried on jeans.

I rode my scooter all over the city, day and night.

I went to brunch with ladies.

I told a guy that I like that I was attracted to him and should he want to go out for coffee to let me know.

I blushed.

At the last one, anyhow.

But I did it.

Sigh.

Such relief, doing these things, these challenging things, these silly things that make up being alive.

I feel right alive I do.

The scooter ride back home tonight, glorious, smooth traffic, up and over hills, not Castro, but I did do Church and I cannot relate how amazing that view was coming up over the top of Church Street, the dark bowl of Dolores Park just below me to the thick sprinkling of lights downtown to the drape of white ropes flickering on the Bay Bridge.

Amazing.

Then I remembered the first time I ever took a scooter ride along Lincoln Ave, it was about nine years ago and I was on the back of a friends Vespa heading out to the beach.

Never in a thousand years did I imagine that I would one day be taking the same ride, at night, on my own Vespa.

Nope.

That had not occurred to me to even want.

And yet, there I was flying down the road with the stars ahead, the smell of the ocean pulsing over me, the wind whipping by, on my way home from a long, wonderful, life changing day, in the smallest most wonderful ways, to my little spot by the sea.

I woke up this morning a tiny bit on the cranky side, but put a little breakfast in me and some good coffee, write a few pages, meditated a little, get right with God, and the next thing you know, all feels good in the world, and I can do this.

What ever this is.

The first thing on that list of “this” was to put air in my scooter’s front tire, I planned on riding it out all day long and needed it to be performing at it’s best.

I filled up the tire, wiped down the Vespa with a soft cloth, and checked to see how the gas was holding up–just fine.

I gathered the things for my day, including a bunch of clothes that I was taking to a clothing swap a friend of mine was hosting in the outer Noe Valley neighborhood–off Church Street and 30th.

I just realized, I took my longest scooter ride to date, just getting over there.

I did have it broke down into two legs, I had a pit stop to make in the Inner Sunset, and met up to do the deal at Tart to Tart at 7th and Irving.

I got to sit, have a coffee, shake the crazy out of my head, get some perspective, get encouraged to show up and have a fun time with my friends and maybe even get some clothes.

I had absolutely no doubt in my mind I was going to come away with nothing (nothing being two new pairs of pants, a new hat, and a great new scarf) and that I was not going to have any fun whatsoever.

I had a great time.

Caught up with the hostess and got to congratulate her on her new position at work and hear about her travels, re-connected with a friend who I hadn’t seen in some time, and yes, score some clothes.

I was standing looking at a shirt when a mutual friend walked in with a stack of pants and a bag of shirts, took one look at me, and said, “Carmen, you should try these pants on, I think they’ll fit, and they’re brand new, I never wore them.”

What.

I was loath to drop trou, but when I saw them, I thought, hmm, she could be right.

Now I have the hardest time finding jeans that fit and that I feel comfortable in.

Not only did the fit, they fit fantastically, and, hahahaha, they’re “skinny” fit.

The jeans had some stretch in them and they made it over my bicycle calves and thighs and hugged my butt in the most sassiest of manners, I was blown away, all the girls applauded, and I have a new pair of jeans.

Amazing.

That was not on my agenda.

In fact, I also scored a pair of cords that I wouldn’t have tried on either, but a friend insisted and she was right, they fit, and they matched the outfit I was wearing.

Two pairs of pants in one fell swoop and they’re free?

And there was bacon at the brunch.

Hello.

Happy Saturday.

I stayed, sipped tea, caught up with my friend and felt so much gratitude for going, yes the pants were awesome to get, but so was the human connection.

I can and will isolate at the drop of the hat.

To make myself known and available to friends, and female ones at that, is a big, big deal for me.

I left feeling free and open and, well, well dressed, I never took off the jeans, I put my old ones in the messenger bag, and zipped off on the Vespa to Noe Valley where I had some business to attend to.

A little grocery shopping.

A box of salad to eat at the coffee shop.

Fellows to hang out with.

A little bit of reading and some experience sharing with another woman.

And then up the hill a bit further to do more of my Saturday night thing.

“What are you doing,” my friend said to me as I hemmed and hawed and packed my messenger bag and re-packed it.

“Getting up the nerve to tell a guy I find him attractive and does he want to go have coffee sometime,” I said.

He wasn’t supposed to be here, he never comes here on Saturdays, what the heck is he doing here?

I was just talking about him earlier, how is he here?

My friend smiled, “you look like you’re hiding,” she said astutely.

“I am hiding!” I admitted it.

If there had been room in my messenger bag to crawl in, I would have done it.

“I’m going to go, so you can do your thing,” she said, gave me a hug, and then I spent some more time fumbling around while he spoke to a mutual acquaintance five feet away.

Unpack, re-pack, re-arrange messenger bag.

Adjust scarf, take off scarf, re-adjust scarf, take off hat, ruffle hair, stuff hat in bag, oh God, what does my helmet head look like?

“Hey are you going with the guys,” he turned and asked me.

“I uh, no, I have to get my groceries home,” I said.

Lame!

Lame!

Lame!

“Let me know when you guys go dancing again, you didn’t go last night did you?”

“No,” I said, “did not, but I will, let you know, that is.”

Oh my god, help me, please.

“Ok, you have a good night,” he said and started walking away.

“T______,” I bleated out, “wait, uh, I, uh, come here, for a second.”

He turned, walked back to me and I rambled out the most goofy, off kilter, silly, I’m not good at this, but I find you really attractive and you make me laugh, and if you ever want to have coffee and laugh with me or at me, or, um, have coffee, I already said that, and I don’t know if you’re interested or available, but uh, yeah.

Or something like that.

I was blushing.

I think he might have blushed.

He said, “that’s very sweet, and good to know, thank you for telling me.”

He smiled.

I smiled.

Ok.

He walked away to join his friends.

And sigh.

Done.

Doesn’t even have to go anywhere.

I got it out and it won’t sit on my chest any longer.

Dispelling the fantasy.

I don’t believe he’s actually available and he might not be interested, and it doesn’t even matter.

I am so proud of myself.

Socializing, brunch’ing, trying on jeans in front of a room full of women, asking a guy out, getting on my Vespa and tackling the mean streets of San Francisco–have you seen the hills here?

Doing all things challenging.

Aka

Living.

 

 

Up & Down

June 24, 2013

I breathed deeply in the car and tried to stifle the tears.

They fucking slid off my face anyway.

I apologized to my friend, “I am super sensitive right now and feel like a raw nerve, I’m sorry.”

I’m going through withdrawal.

You don’t care, don’t believe, or think I bats, but there’s plenty of evidence, not my own, that sugar withdrawal is like drug withdrawal.

Alcohol is predominately sugar.

Studies link the dopamine receptors that cocaine stimulates to be the same ones that sugar hits.  I love me some alcohol, some cocaine, and some sugar.

Except for the come down.

I know this time around the detox will be easier, but I am moody and I am sensitive and I do feel frayed around the edges.

Yesterday I thought, Jesus I must be hormonal, I forgot that just a few days back I had 48 hours of sugar and processed white flour (ie sugar) in intense amounts, ie I had a big ole binge on that  shit.

I had forgotten that there was going to be a little time necessary to get my equilibrium back and I really feel like I walked through the worst of it today.

Not so much with physical or mental cravings, those actually passed relatively quick, but with my emotions.  I felt a bit depressed and a bit like withdrawing.  Add that to my already typical isolationist perfectionist I can do it on my own tendency and there she goes down the rabbit hole.

I was in some social situations today that I felt like I was on another planet.

I felt on the outside, unloved, unliked, and rather alone.

Now, this is not true, I was none of these, and I could finally after some service to the situation, tidy here, pick up there, step into the bathroom and breathe in deeply, I was able to actually let go and enjoy what was happening.

It was fun!

But it was hours in before I realized that I was actually enjoying myself when I was getting out-of-the-way.

Plus it was a clothing swap!

I only had a few things to put into the pile, but they went quick and I was happy to see the folks that took what I had brought to the party really liked them (two articles of clothing that I had been given in Paris that no matter how hard I tried were not a good fit for me) and were glowing when they wore them.

That felt wonderful.

Then I got into the mix and what do you know, I found some stuff.

Some of which I had hand-picked out for me, “Carmen, this is so you,” and what do you know, it was!  I got to get my clothing needs met, and got to be of service and get out of my emotional way.

Of course it came back.

When I was hungry.

Thank god my friend was able to ask me what I needed and we stopped at a little market in Glenn Park.

Sidebar–Glenn Park how cute are you?

I slammed a cup of coffee, grabbed a low-fat unsweetened one serving tub of Greek yogurt, a banana, and a sugar-free protein bar.

I ate, felt my body chemistry swing back to normal and drank some water.

Which is what I keep reminding myself to do, drink more water, you will feel better.

Pause for sip of tea followed by bubbly water.

Man I love me some bubbly water, can I just put that on tap please?

My friend and I headed out to Maxfield’s and got some tea and then I got to see more folks and check in with an old friend I had not seen in a while and my friend and I had just an amazing talk, compassionate, sweet, wise.

I have said it before, I will say it again, I am so blessed to have the women in my life that I do.

Seriously blessed.

“Carm, you got to own it,” my friend said to me, “look at that hair, you’re exotic, love it, be happy with you, you don’t have to become anything, you are ok.”

I always have this idea that when I get there I will be fine.

Except the there always is moving.

I am going to be fine just here.

Just now.

Just right.

I am in a flying blind part of my life, but I have support underpinning it all, and when I realized that I was just in a really tender, sensitive place, I was actually able to work through it.

With some guidance and sweet words and insights from my friend.

Who also said, “he is NOT married,” when I saw some one who smiled and waved from across the street.

“You’re back!” He hollered and waved.

I wasn’t sure if he meant my friend or myself, both of us have been outside of San Francisco on and off for a little while now.

But when he came up to me directly an hour later and gave me a big hug and shined at me, I thought, boy howdy, good to know you’re not married.

“Hey,” I said as he walked away, grabbing his hand with a squeeze and pressing a folded up piece of paper into it, “I always thought you were married.”

“Nope,” he smiled, “I’m not.”

“Well that’s good news,” I said and grinned back, “that’s my number, call me if you ever want to have a coffee and hang out.”

He smiled back and walked ahead to catch up with his friends.

Who knows what will come of that, but it felt nice to do.

With every down there is an up.

Thank God I can see what has been happening and thank god I have friends who tolerate my crazy.

Just got to walk through a few more days of sugar detox and I’ll go back to the regularly scheduled brand of crazy.

Thank you for putting up with me until then.

 


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