Friday, January 25, 2008

A Big Step Forward (an Ostrich Post)

Okay, folks, I've managed to make you fear for my life in my canary posts, so here we go, a new category...ostrich post :).

Where the canary bravely lives life on the edge (though usually not by choice), the traditional (not real) ostrich buries its head in the sand and hopes for the best. Don't know whether this is just a laugh or something useful for character study but...

I'm a nurturer. This has served me very well over the years and has been an incredible blessing in trying to manage the myriad of ways that my life changed when I married and when I had kids for example.

However, it has a downside. Very simply, it's hard for me to put my needs first. I have trouble buying things that I need if I can make do without them, I tend to get bowled over because I don't put my foot down, and being noticed makes me uncomfortable. Simple things that often go unnoticed in our "first person" world.

Well, today you should cheer for me...through your gales of pitying laughter of course ;)...because I have made a huge stride forward :).

When I was pregnant with my oldest son, my mother-in-law took me out to get some pregnancy clothes to places that honestly I could never have afforded on my own. Now remember that thing about not buying things for myself? Well it works out to being very uncomfortable when things are bought for me as well. But we muddled our way through my intimidation and discomfort quite handily and ended up with some clothing that while it could accommodate my physical changes, was also flexible enough that I'd be able to wear it more than nine months or even eighteen. (I wear clothes out, so ten, fifteen years later, I'm still in the same ones.)

Which brings us to the present (yes, all that was back story and if this were a short story, I would have to cut it out :p). My oldest turns fifteen on this very day. That means the whole preggy clothes purchase was some sixteen years ago.

Now many of the clothes purchased that day have worn out over the years, but I still have the leggings, mainly because I only wear them under jeans when cold because molded clothing is something I don't tend to wear...well, except for jeans, but I'm a bundle of contradictions :). One pair is my absolute favorite. It's good thick cotton with ribbing and is both comfortable and warm enough to make a difference. Given my preference, this is the pair I'd choose every time, except...

I have a long torso and short arms. This might sound like it has no relevance, but it is critical. It means that 90% of the tops I purchase, whether off the women's or men's racks, are not long enough to stay tucked in my pants as I prefer to wear them. So there's a tiny gap, okay, of several inches, of bare skin with nothing between it and the icy cold air.

And when I wear the pair of leggings I absolutely prefer because they're so comfortable and wonderful, their horribly scratchy and irritating label is right on that bare skin where it irritates until my back has a red itchy patch.

Now an age ago, I still clung to the belief that over time the label would get less scratchy, that as I washed it, the material would soften and become just another part of these comfortable leggings. Some sixteen years later? It's a bit long and WAY too many washings to hold on to that delusion. So instead, I just suffered. Accepted the bad with the good, accommodated to the world around me as I am wont to do. I still wore the leggings, just wasn't as thrilled or hopeful when I pulled them on.

However, this morning a crazy, wild, amazing thought crossed my mind.

Hmm, what if I...removed!...the label. I could do it. Just a few stitches snipped and my wonderful leggings would be wonderful all over. No one would care. No one would even know (a bit late for that now ;)).

So to make an already long story come to an end, that was my victory. I forced the world to conform to my needs for once. I changed my own environment to suit me. I snipped off the irritating label!

/me peeks out the curtains.

And the label police haven't even shown up yet as I sit here enjoying my now completely comfortable leggings :).

So, don't leave me out on a limb. Maybe I'm completely strange and out there, but I'd guess not. Share one of those moments where something becomes obvious that should have been all along so I'm not out here by myself :).

8 comments:

Mama Rose said...

I'm sure if I thought about it long enough I could come up with a story for you. I can already predict what's going to happen. It's 7:30 am and I've barely started my first cup of coffee, so my brain's not awake yet. What will happen is that at 2 or 3 am I'll remember a tale for you.

In any case, that stuff happens to us all. I think it's because we don't always see things as a problem that needs a solution--the whole accepting things as they are. So, we accept and miss that there's an obvious way to fix this thing. Or we get stuck on the "usual" way we do things and miss the more creative way that may improve life.

Anyway, thanks for the laugh. I admit that as soon as you talked about scratchy labels, I remembered a few I haven't cut off because I forget about them after I take the garment off. I love that they've stopped putting labels in the neck of T-shirts.

Valerie Comer said...

I'm with mama rose. It was high time the technology was invented to go label-less in t-shirts and underwear. Like you, Mar, I have put up with quite a few itchy labels in my life. Hmm, wonder if there's a message there?

Something else that folks do is don't organize kitchen cabinets logically according to use. They'll open a cupboard to get the mixer, a drawer to get the beaters for it, another to get a bowl. Drives me crazy! :P And some people's kitchens I could walk straight in and cook in them, even if I'd never been there before.

It's not quite on the same level as leaving a label in for 16 years, but it's an annoyance that wouldn't take much longer to streamline!

I'm not much for clothes-shopping either, Mar, but really. 16 years?

Jean said...

About half way through the read, I was thinking about maybe considering cutting the label out. But I confess it would likely have taken me 16 years to do the same thing. Frankly, I'm more envious that you can wear the same size sixteen years later.

As for kitchens, one of the best things of my divorce nearly twenty years ago was being able to give my ex- all but the most minimal of kitchen stuff. I had junk I never used. I haven't missed it all these years. I have flatware, plates, bowls, cups, glasses, one set of Revere Ware, one set of stainless steel bowls, one cookie sheet, one cake pan, one pizza pan, on 8x8 covered pan, and a set of Corning ware. That's most of my kitchen. I'm beginning to dread merging with hubby. He has a ton of stuff neither he nor I use (he must have forgotten to unload on his exes the stuff he didn't use). I have an electric knife (somewhere) and a hand mixer with beaters that fall out when you use it (but for the two or three times I've used it in the last twenty years, it's worked fine). I finally bought a nice toaster about a year and a half ago. My five dollar one died.

Maripat said...

I envy you to be able to wear clothes from 16 years ago. My kid has mine from three years ago.

Tags...evil things.

Margaret said...

Hmm, Linda, you might have the right of it about not realizing a solution is feasible. And after deciding on this solution, I forgot several times to do it (all in the same day). If I'd waited until I changed into my nighttime clothes, I would still be itching my way to perdition :).

And you all missed the point. Yes, I can wear my PREGNANCY clothes from 16 years ago. Yes they're stretchy, but these fit me at least until 4 months out and I was quite large for that one :).

Margaret said...

Oh, and I forgot to add...

Val, I completely understand about the kitchens, but I have an even worse one to add to it. You'll hate cooking at my house. There are more than two cabinets in one of the sets so the whole kitchen was done with the openings inconsistent. One of these days, I'm going to pull the door off when trying to open it from the hinges side...and these are cabinets I open every single day.

And Jean, I love that. Maybe he didn't take advantage of his exes the right way :). We don't tend to have a big trouble with dishes, they tend to break, but the rest, yeah, a few too many things.

Jean said...

My current kitchen was easy to logically organize. The new one? Ugh! It needs a complete redesign to make it user friendly. We're working on that, but it will likely be a few years before we get around to that -- it's lower priority than exterior painting, finishing the garage, and landscaping the outside.

(Once we finish the garage, we'll have a kitchenette we can use while the main kitchen is torn up.)

Margaret said...

Now that's brilliant planning. I'll bet Val wished she'd had another kitchen during her renovations :).

Our trouble is the house is brand new. Changing anything is just silly, but how they did it is silly too :p.