As I have often stated, I am not a fashionista, a trend obsessive or a gal who cares about her hip clothing quotient. I do not spend my spare time searching malls and catalogues and websites for the latest and greatest glitzy Glamour Do’s. I have a kid and a dog and now, a crinkled, aging cat that has decided to use the living room as a universal litter box anytime we turn our backs or run upstairs to experience the more comfortable of our two mediocre toilets.
Today, in fact, was a real doozy of a morning, complete with a sacrificially soiled sofa, a shit-slathered Crate and Barrel throw pillow and a urine-drenched down blanket that soaked up as much kitty pee as a two-bedroom tear down on Hoarders. It is a little, yellow slippery slope. It always starts with the feral felines and ends with an elderly, toothless woman wearing an “I Love Las Vegas” t-shirt the size of a circus tent wallowing in her own excrement on a mountain of empty Diet Squirt bottles that have clearly replaced the love of her children with the noisy, sticky hugs of a five-cent deposit.
Then, when her spaghetti-soiled pant leg becomes fused with a crusty hair net and a wicker basket of petrified fruit she received from her employer upon her retirement from the pencil factory ten years earlier, she realizes that she very well may perish in her precarious pile of collectible contamination and calls 911 through a soup can and string she’s had since childhood. After passing her over and mistaking her for a laundry hamper overflowing with dirty adult diapers and mismatched flip-flops, the local fire department finally discovers her wedged between a bloated, splintered kitchen cupboard door to nowhere and a rusted yet perfectly good can of Crisco she had purchased for the famous Pillsbury Bake-Off of 1972. She made Snicker Doodles and lost in the first round.
I do not want to be a woman who has an army of putrid house cats and cares nothing about appearances and hygiene. I want to be able to find my toilet without crawling up a hill of old Hot Pocket wrappers with the coagulated cheese still clinging to the edges. I want to want to fantasize about leisurely jaunts through the racks of trendy boutiques and fake cobblestone streets that lead to designer duds that only the top one percent of all coke whores and trophy wives can afford. I want to really want to walk out of my house and not be confused for an old Ikea duvet cover with legs.
To prove that I care about not caring I even received my first copy of Vogue in the mail yesterday. And just because this subscription came to me not out of a fervent passion for fashion but a letter from Delta Airlines aggressively stating that if I did not fly with them within thirty days (like I’m going anywhere before May) that my five thousand points would vanish into the atmosphere, the same atmosphere that has been poisoned by their jet engine fumes and hair spray canisters used by the very unpleasant and coiffed cabin crew.
The letter went on to state that out of the kindness of their hearts Delta would trade my paltry, unused mileage for a handful of glossy magazine subscriptions of my choice. And so I chose. And I said yes to Vogue, the main stay of the fashion-filled. I said hell yeah to Dwell, the diary of modern malaise. I said you betcha to Entertainment Weekly, the best toilet reading this side of a discounted E.P.T. box. And when the bible of bobbles arrived with Tina Fey smirking on the cover I ripped it open ready to find that perfect pair of do dads to thrust me into a whole new me.
I used to care. A lot! In high school, I had thirty pairs of jeans, a shoe collection that Belinda Carlisle would shoot up for and I lovingly spent two hours a night debating on what my ensemble would be the following morning. Sure, my SAT scores were as alluring as a dirty twin mattress in the city dump. And maybe my class ranking hovered around a number that is better associated with passing Go in Monopoly than ardent school work and college prep. And during college, all three I attended, I installed shoulder pads like a angry left tackle, tapered a pant leg like a Dutch bicyclist and Jap-clipped my unruly mop top like a Texas Chi Omega at Lookout Point. I use these examples to illustrate a point that I do indeed have a history of being alive and well in all things trendy.
But after giving birth, forgoing style for comfort in the form of black yoga pants and sleep and throwing away clothing that once made me feel like Christina Aguilera’s stand-in I see very little point in spending any time deliberating over $200 jeans when all my kid cares about is whether or not I think it’s funny if he spits up Cheddar Goldfish onto my shirt. Plus, seeing my breasts drip like a milk shake machine in a Target dressing room while I was still breastfeeding has made me less than excited to return to the scene of that horrific double murder.
Though I did read Vogue cover to cover, what I came away with was an intense desire to go thrift shopping and rifle through bins of stinky, mothball flavored dead people clothing and try to score at least one cool piece of someone else’s history that is back in style. I do not think that that is the Pavlovian response that Anna Wintour had in mind when she screamed together the Best Of Spring 2010 issue. Maybe I’ll do better with Dwell and find a sofa that my cat won’t shit on.