October 16, 2013 will go down as a dark, dark day in my own personal Austin history. It’s the first day that I pulled this stuff out and used it since I moved here from Seattle a year and a half ago…
I bought this Ilse Jacobsen raincoat and Hunter wellies to cheer myself up and make the dreary Seattle weather a bit more fun (it didn’t work, but if I still lived there you know I’d be chomping at the bit for these beauties). These items had essentially been collecting dust since my move down south, and, I have to say, I really didn’t miss wearing them. Aside from the fact that I hate being cold and wet, I also hate having to haul around a bunch of excess gear just to make it through the work day without looking like a total mess. Given that Austin seems to be suffering from a bout of meteorologic schizophrenia this week (81 degrees on Tuesday, 58 degrees on Wednesday, and then back up to the 70s for the rest of the week? MAKE UP YOUR DAMN MIND), I broke these out and powered through the day (though I did receive several compliments on the boots). I almost got nostalgic for the seemingly never-ending days and weeks in Seattle of begrudgingly pulling on these boots and heading off to work, the hood of the rain jacket pulled over my head in an attempt to shield myself from the sideways-moving drizzle that always ruined my hair (and my mood).
As I scanned my wardrobe the morning that I resurrected my rain gear, I realized that I could go through my closet and be able to tell you the month and year I purchased every single item and roughly what I paid for it. I could probably also tell you who I was with when I bought it, what kind of mood I was in, and other random, inconsequential details surrounding the acquisition. Does anyone else have this ability? Why is this my superpower? I feel as though these are the variety of stories I’ll be telling people three generations my junior when I get older: “It was 2011: a particularly horrid day at the office, and I needed a pick-me-up. Fortunately for me, and for the local economy, I worked a mere two blocks from the flagship Nordstrom, and my credit card was in need of a workout…”
I remember very specific details of outfits I had back in elementary school and how that outfit made me feel. Shopping, even just window shopping without a need to make a purchase, has always made me feel better when I’m feeling anxious or sad: looking at pretty things and projecting myself into a snapshot of my theoretical life, in a scene where I’m happy and carefree, wearing the outfit in the window, and all is right in the world. Why is it that my long-term memory seems to be tied to my clothes? Lord only knows, but it seems my love of shopping dates back to when I was still in diapers. My mother, who was a stay-at-home mom up until I was in junior high, told me that when I was pretty young and still stroller-bound, she would be itching to just get out of the house, and so she’d take me to the mall and we’d just walk around for hours. She’d push me in my stroller, and she said that I loved it, just staring wide-eyed at everything around me and taking it all in. To this day, if I’ve had a bad say at work or if I’m just feeling antsy, I’ll just get out and walk, people-watching and analyzing outfits in window displays.
Catharsis, man. Everyone needs their own outlet. Especially when it rains.