It’s a tough job, trying to build up a new wardrobe.
As previously mentioned, I lost a bit of weight over summer, with the result that when I started needing my autumn/winter clothes again, I found that rather than just fitting back into them, I have shrunk out of them… Which is of course a pleasant change from the other way round; but it does involve quite a lot of “work”.
For one thing, because of limited wardrobe space, I could not just buy new clothes without also radically throwing out a lot of old ones. And what on earth was I to do with all those which no longer fit (and that I have no wish to fit back into)? Having no car, and a bad arm (not able to carry much), I would require help to take them to a charity shop (across town) …
One day a few weeks ago, while out walking in my neighbourhood, I was thinking about this and wishing for some place closer to home where I could leave them. Then, passing the recycling station on the estate where I live – which has hitherto only had recycling bins for paper, plastic, glass and metal – I happened to look up; and there, right in front of me, was a brand new container which must have been added this month. And it turned out to be for clothes; by courtsey of some environmental non-profit organisation. I don’t know much about them (I think they’re new), but I don’t really care. They have now got about half of my old wardrobe! … Which leaves me some room to go shopping!
On Thursday night this week, one of my favourite clothes shops in town had a special shopping night for members, after the usual closing time – with 25% discount on everything bought during those three hours. As among other things I needed a new winter coat, I decided this was worth a bit of queuing. I’ve never been to one of these club nights before, but it did indeed soon get very crowded… Phew! But it did save me around £45/$70. The items bought (that night) were the ones above.
That’s not the only shopping I’ve done this week. I also bought new shoes (not that I’ve shrunk out of my old ones – but I do tend to wear shoes out by walking).
However, even a new winter coat or good walking shoes seem fairly simple purchases compared to the major ordeal of the week, which was a vision examination followed by having to choose no less than four new spectacle frames (as just one pair of progressive glasses does not sufficiently cover all situations for me).
As anyone with bad eyesight (and not wearing contact lenses) knows, choosing spectacle frames is an ordeal because one has to try on the frames without the correct lenses in them; which means not really being able to see properly how one looks in them. And on top of that knowing that these frames will be part of one’s appearance every day over the next two or three years or more.
Have you noticed the change in spectacles fashion lately? I’ve actually been avoiding walking into opticians’ shops over the past few months (even though I knew I’d soon have to), because I was so afraid to find nothing but the kind of frames that seem to be turning up everywhere around me lately (especially on TV). That is: huge, thick, plastic ones, covering half the face. And I don’t want those!
(image courtesy of Google image search)
My apologies to anyone who happens to love them. They may of course look just awesome on you. I just don’t want them on myself!
Which is why, when I finally stepped inside a couple of weeks ago to make an appointment, I found myself in a big predicament, as the assistant behind the counter (offering to help me with a preliminary look at frames) was herself wearing a pair similar to those above. Only purple instead of yellow.
The predicament increased, when among the frames she picked out for me to try, were the very same big purple ones that she had on herself…
N.b. this was after my (obviously inefficient) attempts to make clear that I really did not want plastic frames at all, but was looking for metal ones similar in shape to the ones I’ve worn for the past 2½ years.
In my attempts to explain my reasons to the purple-framed shop assistant, one of the phrases I used was “been there, done that”… I doubt she understood what I meant, but I have proof:
(Any wonder I don’t want to go back there? This was 1977. I would not mind the better hair quality back, please – but not the glasses!!!)
I think she must have jinxed me or something, because contrary to my resolutions, I still ended up going home that day with three pairs of plastic frames that I did not like at all, on loan until my appointment this week.
By then I had come (back) to my senses, though. And luckily, it was also the optician herself, and not the assistant, who helped me make the final choices. And she seemed to agree with me (or at least had the professional skill to pretend to).
Which means all four of my new pairs will still be metal-framed ones of reasonable size. Actually the ones for allround use will be the exact same model as the ones I have now, only a slightly different colour. (I’ll show you when I get them.)