1. intellectual depth, 2. the quality or state of being profound or deep
I have a confession. I – originally a very girly girl – have been walking around for some time looking awful. Not because I don’t have the slightest clue what is flattering or cute. But because, for so long now, I just haven’t cared. I have this syndrome some chubby girls get in which I tend to procrastinate buying clothing out of the desire to buy them “after I lose some weight”. Intellectually, I’m aware this isn’t a good attitude. I’m just saying it happens. Some of us visualize the ideal “me” we want to be and don’t want to acknowledge the needs of the current “me” we are.
I did something shocking in recent weeks. Shocking and so unlike myself that the word “profundity” comes to mind.
I threw out my entire wardrobe and bought a new one.
It was the realization that someone might get desperate enough to nominate me for What Not to Wear that made me realize I needed a change. Although not extreme in the kooky or sleazy sense, I’ve looked tired for ages and in dire need of new duds. But my illness earlier this year forced my hand. I had been hearing people tell me it looked like I was losing weight, but thought it was maybe 5 or 6 pounds. Turns out, it was 34. And, following the death of my father in May, I lost even more. My clothes – which were limited in quantity to begin with – were falling off of me. (I’m still thankful it was just my BFF with me when I had that embarrassing tankini malfunction, but that’s a story I refuse to ever tell you.)
So, with a goal of mix and match separates and adding some color to my style, I headed out with a couple of friends and a 30% off the entire store coupon from Kohls– including sales/clearance. In the spirit of What Not to Wear – though without the $5,000 budget and designer clothing stores – I shopped from the skin up.
I was shocked to discover stress had eaten two entire dress sizes off of me in the months preceding and just following Callum’s diagnosis and the death of my father. Typically, stress adds weight to me — which is how I got chubby to begin with. (Peanut butter fudge is a most efficient caloric source, you know.) But that was before Callum. Worry for one’s child is a whole different kind of stress. One I never imagined back in my single days when I thought I had problems. The loss of my daddy just magnified it.
Instead of gaining weight, it just melted off. And, though ready for the runway I’m decidedly not, shopping was a lot more fun than 40 pounds ago. I like the clothes out this season so much more than a couple of years ago. And I realized it was time for a cool change. I picked things I liked, with fun colors, and bold prints. I chose dressier clothes, so that I wouldn’t be as tempted to schlep around.
I bought a whole new closet. And, since I’d done all that, I went and had my hair colored and highlighted. Then I pulled out my rarely-used-of-late makeup brushes and makeup and dusted them off. And now I know a little how those folks on WNTW feel when they return for their “reveal”. People were thrilled to pieces. My coworkers got excited. My boss was beside herself. And my little girl, who I confess has rarely seen her own mama dress up, was mesmerized and told me I looked beautiful. Another “layer of understanding” if ever there were one.
No, not all mothers of autistic children are sloppy dressers. Many look fabulous. It wasn’t autism’s fault. It certainly wasn’t my son’s fault. Autism didn’t make me stop trying. I did that. That’s on me. I avoided shopping and stopped looking cute long before my son came along, so the only cause for blame is my own rather listless reaction to stress. Yes, of course there are medical labels for such phenomenon. But, I’m too busy to go seek one. And the end result is the same regardless. As with our children, call it what you want. The question is always, “What are you going to do about it?”.
I, for one, am going to do better. Not because I view looking well as a noble characteristic — but because I see it as a necessary one. I cannot just fall apart or walk around looking as if I might. I have to enjoy my life – or I won’t be able to enjoy him as much as he deserves. I, like female shoppers in dark parking lots, have to look the part of someone who could take on the world. Because I really do have to take on a world.
So, there you have it. My new clothes. My new return to feeling girly. My new determination to not forget myself again. I never thought the clothes hanging in my closet were symbolic in any way. But they are. And, though my new assets are depreciating ones, I’d still say they are a heck of an investment.
FYI: Later in the day that I published this post, I was contacted by a very nice lady affiliated with Kohl’s (and also has autism in her family) who wanted to wanted to offer my readers a discount they can use online. It is a 10% off code that can be stacked with other department discounts. You can use this code until October 24th. UBLOGTEN
And, no – for you suspicious types, I am not affiliated with Kohl’s in any way myself, nor are they paying me for linking to them or sharing the code. I just dig their stores and thought you guys might like the discount.