Friday, March 18, 2011

wanted: more sweaters

with my 2011 push to propel myself into adulthood, i organized my closet by color, and discovered a whole lot more about myself than i bargained for.

15 grey sweaters.

JCrew loves you

15 grey sweaters, that i actually love and wear, and have no intention of ever giving away.

this unearthed sweater guilt is a bit difficult to admit. one, because that's an inordinate amount of the same color for any one person's needs. two, because when i arrived home from india i had three sweaters. none of which were grey.

anthropologie i hate you. i love you. i hate you. iloveyou.

as far as material possessions go, i grew up identifying as under-complicated. not uncomplicated. just under. simple. give me a coat and a toothbrush. i can make it work. stock my fridge with simple pleasures, i am happy as a clam. i once visited vermont for two weeks, with only what fit inside my backpack. a more dramatic excursion involved a baha'i winter school in the mountains of valencia spain for eight days - where i survived with the clothes on my back. somewhere in between an intense training workshop- sleeping in a linen closet - washing my hair with bathroom hand soap - and using paper towels to dry off - i knew my capacity to do without was larger than most. i saw this friendship as a positive, and treasured it as such.

i assume part of this came from max and i being raised without a lot of excess, which is easy to do when you don't have money to spend on vanity. why own a hairbrush in your early 20s when you don't (want to) brush your hair? who needs a second lipstick in college when you have one from hs prom circa 1999? i was branded with the ability to identify need vs. want, carried it with me through high school, and then onto college. i associated spending money on pure wants as wasteful. and in my gut, it sort of still is.

even though i make my own money, and pay my own bills, and have a 401K, deep down i am petrified of the wanting enslaving my life. this reaction isn't just limited to big ticket items or buyer's remorse. i'm speaking of irrational thoughts on simple purchases. little devil whispers lurking in the isles of target.

put the body lotion back, it's 10$.

but i want it, i use lotion every day.

then buy a cheaper one.

but i love this one - the fragrance reminds me of a tuscany romance.

fine. one pump. once a day. (eye roll).

the ludicrous continually harps that somehow people would see my 15 grey sweaters, and identify me as a grey natured gal. this of course would be completely accurate. they then go on to perceive me as being frivolous and shallow. good thing my boot addiction is still under wraps.

somehow this unhealthy relationship with my own personal stuff, bled into the ish i have with your belongings as well. ooooh i like your purse doesn't mean i want to borrow it. please don't try to lend it to me. help yourself to anything in my closet is a phrase more or less wasted on this girl. there are others in this world better suited for this friendship. with balls of fire, let me introduce you to anna 'the absconder' kiani. she'll take borrow anything. your sweater, your purse, your child, your heart. and then proceed to 'pull an anna'...where she keeps it. for herself. forever. however, since i see this as her one and only flaw, she is forgiven.

i will attribute this particular conditioning to my best girl friend-sisters emily, juliette, and rachael. more commonly known as the cholas of la mia. since the age of 7 i watched on as three girls fought dirty over every possession imaginable. clothes, hair product, territory of the 'front spot' during bath time. yes they are beautiful. yes they are talented. but don't let their web of charm fool you. lose her hairbrush? gurl knows how to cut-a-bitch. i will never borrow juliette's belt ever again. i am so so sorry.

[side note: if any of the sisters have a different story, i really encourage them to start their own blog. we then could begin a blog war. not only would it be a thrilling glimpse into the pathology of opposing familial gangs (yes? its a word), it would give siticom and tv series writers everywhere enough material until 2100. not to mention - lead the way to a major book deal. head out to your local barnes&noble, scoop up their best selling memoir, Champagne Wishes and Ketchup Sandwiches...which can be found on the shelf next to my very own, How to Paint Your Mother's House: A Story of Life and Loss]

in closing, though my sweater collection is an embarrassment, i will be keeping all of them. my boots as well. it's winter time over here and a girl gets cold easily. justification trumps sick childhood hang-ups.

here's a sweet vid from cindy on skype, showing off her new square dancing boots.

suddenly everything seems so clear.


  1. i accidentally bought 3 gray sweaters last week. also. donesh and i are dying over here after watching cindy dance 17 times on repeat. and i feel responsible for the belt. tell juliette i'm sorry.

  2. elizabeth!
    how can it be, that i am JUST NOW finding this blog? :) and how can it be that it has been, oh, a DECADE since i've seen you? i've jumped around this here virtual space of yours, laughed and giggled and started to achingly miss you! and remembering the summer i turned 15 and you showed up with a whole gang of other gringo kids to spend a month in the mud with us in progresso and talamanca, and i somehow ended up with third degree sunburns on my back (oh, maybe it was the lack of sunscreen and my illusions of not being white...) and had to borrow (steal) a lumberjack t-shirt on your very last day in costa rica?... at any rate, this blog you got here has made me miss that summer, and our letters, and YOU!
    big hugs and smooches,

  3. ELIZABETH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. creeper. please identify yourself.

  5. mom...just change your password already.

  6. i gotta figure out how to do it


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