Saturday, August 22, 2015

Wearing Purple

“When I am an old woman I shall wear purple

With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.”
This is what happens when you take the Jenny Joseph poem too literally, which I have done for most of my life, previous thirds included:
In Yiddish, this is called a schtunk. It is my normal attire. It consists of a slogan T-shirt and an odd pair of Bermuda shorts that are made of some fabric that stretches out a lot. At least now I wear a belt. I used to put my hands in the pockets and the pants would slide down. I roll up the legs under the illusion that makes them seem more fashionable, and this whole get-up is what I wear when I need to be more “formal” than regular shorts. My daughter tells me I can’t wear socks-that-show with shorts, but sometimes I disregard that fashion advice.

When I was in college and wore only overalls for a long period, I used to think I was a pleasant surprise for a boyfriend: schtunk transforms into beautiful naked woman.

And recently I looked at myself and thought,

Who am I kidding?

Even the slogan T-shirts have gotten boring: 50% of them are Mayor’s Midnight Sun Half-Marathon T-shirts. I have drawers full of T-shirts. Some of them are actually the right size with an appealing cut, but I wear them even when they’re too big or shapeless. After all, how many can I relegate to the sleeping shirt drawer? I once described them in archaeological layers based on the era of acquisition.
So I marched myself off to J.C. Penney (armed with my $10 off for a purchase of $10 or more coupon – free money!). Miraculously, I actually found, tried on, and bought three shirts. Practically a Ralph Lauren makeover! Now I am vowing not to appear in public in a slogan T-shirt again (except if I’m camping, orienteering, being athletic, or doing messy, dirty work). I am going into my Third Third … attractive!
I am going right to those drawers and toss the ugly shapeless ones. Will I really need 15 of them in case I’m painting? Would I really paint for 15 days without doing laundry?


Watch this space to see if I actually do it. (I mean, why do I need to dress up to take garden pots in for recycling?)


  1. Before you toss those old shirts, make sure you don't want a t-shirt quilt to commemorate your races.

    1. "Ugly and shapeless" means they're really beyond memorializing. On a quilt? Ugly dreams....


Sharing Button