All this talk about shopping…

(See, e.g., Sweaty Brain, Second Trip to Mysore, to name a few) has made me feel a bit of shopping lust. Unfortunately, I am bound by legal contract (I kid you not) to not shop until December 4, my birthday. And by “not shop”, I mean NOT SHOP. I mean, not shop for the obvious clothing and shoes and outerwear, but also not shop for household items like sheets and candles and bookends, and not succumbing to my addiction to beauty supply stores like Ricky’s and Essentials, where I can pack up a little shopping basket with nail polishes, hair gels, hair deep moisture packs, hair thingies to tie my hair back away from my face, lip glosses, face creams, iris-scented serums….Oh…I could go on…but it pains me.

In truth, it’s easy enough to stay away from handbags. I am kind of over them finally. They all start to look the same to me, and ultimately, the only bag that really works for me is a big giant one that I can sling across my chest like a messenger bag. For a while, I accomplished that with a black nylon Prada Schoolbag. But alas, it really wasn’t serviceable enough. It wasn’t large enough for all my gear. I replaced it with a Capezio dancer’s bag. For like a tenth of the price, I had a much bigger black nylon bag. Unfortunately, that one was TOO big. I could never find anything I had stashed in it. Recently, I acquired a Kooba messenger bag in gold leather. It manages my stash quite nicely, and it’s designer, and it’s comfy. So, what other bags do I really need?

It’s also easy to stay away from shoes. I already own them all. Seriously. How many more pairs of black boots and brown boots can a person have? When one gets overly worn looking, and can’t be rejuvenated at the shoemaker, I replace it. But I’ve got the spikey heels, I’ve got the platform heels, I’ve got the wedges. I’ve got the cheapies from Aldo, the designers from Stephane Kelian and Michael Kors. And ultimately, I spend 9 out of 10 days walking around in my Steve Madden Dutch shoes – vegan shoes with a four inch but incredibly comfortable platform.

Same thing with jeans. I’m over it. I got my ridiculously embroidered True Religions with the big slouchy buttoned pockets that hang well below my butt. I have the Hudsons that do what True Religion does without all the unflattering low-hanging pockets. I’ve got the serviceable Blue Cults, Citzens, Sevens, and I recently purchased my first pair of Levi’s Skinny Jeans since I threw out my 501’s a few years ago. What left is there to buy? $300 Deisels? Nah, I’ll let Linda corner that market…

Outerwear is easy – an Andrew Marc forest green hip-length peacoat was added to my selections, and now my taste for outerware has been slaked.

Shirts in general are easy. I pretty much wear a uniform of SweetPea layered mesh shirts, Michael Stars long-sleeved t’s, a few wrap sweaters and a v-neck cashmere thrown in for days where the vibe is “comfy”.

But there is one thing. What I really am lusting after, more than anything else these days, is far from the mundane, and yet incredibly plain, pure and simple. It is the perfect crisp white shirt. I know where to get it. I pass by the store every time I meander up Madison Avenue. I saw it on Saturday night walking home from Carnegie Hall. The store is Anne Fontaine, and pretty much all she sells is perfect, crips white shirts for women. Of course, the problem with me, the very obvious problem, is that I am a complete slob. Give me a crisp white shirt, and I will promptly dribble coffee on it. Or back up into a chalkboard. Or wipe my fingers on it, unconsciously, of course, after reading the New York Times.

I brought up the object of my lust at dinner the other night with The Husband, the kids and my parents. Since my birthday is coming up soon, my mom asked what I wanted. I usually have no answer, since I tend to buy everything I want, myself, as soon as I want it. But now, being under legal contractual obligation to not shop (is a contract between a husband and wife that hasn’t been vetted by actual legal representatives or signed in front of a notary even binding?) until December 4, the moment seemed ripe with possibilities. I told my mom about Anne Fontaine.

Mom: “What would you were this for? Where would you wear it?” Yeah, I thought of that. I don’t exactly have an answer. But I think that the answer will be related to how I deal with the next issue…..

Husband: “You can’t wear white. You’ll get it filthy within five minutes.”

See, I knew that. I have pondered that ever time that I have walked past Ms. Fonaine’s store. And I have finally come to the conclusion that just because I have a tendency to be a bit of a slob doesn’t mean that one day I can’t put on a perfect, crisp, white shirt and manage to focus on keeping it clean. That would mean wearing it on a day when I am not going to the dog run. That would mean wearing it on a day when I am not walking around with a cup of coffee-to-go. That would mean wearing it on a day when I am not engaged in shuttling the kids from place to place. I’d have to carefully apply my makeup. I’d have to stay away from my children’s pencil shavings and erasure dust. But I believe I could pull it off. I do. I want to. I think I owe it to myself to try.

I want that Anne Fontaine. I want to wear it untucked over a tailored black skirt, black tights and black knee-high, nylon boots that I bought at Martinez Valero a few years ago. I want to wear it on a day when I don’t need a jacket. That might be challenging if I am not getting it until December. But if I do need to wear a jacket, it will have to be cropped – shorter than the shirt.

I can do this.

And this will be happening right about the time I will be (hopefully) cleared to begin my Ashtanga practice again! So many exciting milestones! Ashtanga, a crisp white shirt. My life is filled with excitement, isn’t it?

But I prefer, no, need it, that way.



3 Responses to All this talk about shopping…

  1. samasthiti says:

    I just posted a comment that I think went into outer space.
    White! You can stain it easy, but you can clean it easier. BLEACH & STAIN STICK. If you get blood on it, soak it in milk then throw it in the wash. Pen, I think it’s alcohol, every stain has a remedy.
    You will be fine. I want a white slip-covered couch for the same reason.

  2. Jude says:

    …and just think of all the years you’ll get out of it, dressed up , dressed down. EVERYONE needs a classic white shirt! I’m really trying to purge the results of my shopping compulsion – I kept buying duplicates of things I already had – Oh well, I’m sure the people at GoodWill were happy.

    Great commentary on the concert, my husband is a guitarist when he’s not a mortgage broker and we really like Pat Metheny.

    So, do you walk around with your shoulders rounded forward to protect your poor, wounded chest after this surgery as well or is it easier the fourth (or is it fifth?) time? Hope your range and comfort level are increasing every day. You’ll be back practicing before you know it.


  3. boodiba says:

    I stopped buying white clothing when I moved to NYC, but them I’m probably a LOT messier than you are. I remember having a pair of white jeans in high school!!!

    You know what kinds of unnecessary items I lust after a lot? Expensive rocks, and I’m not talking about the kind you wear. Fossils and globes and shit like that. There’s a shop on 34th just east of 6th… they have this huge geode thing that looks like a brain & is cut in half to reveal the lavender crystals. Is $5,000. You know you’re flush when you can blow that much money on a pretty rock.

    Not that I even have space in the hovel. I stared at it for a long while like it was the messiah though.

    Good luck getting your white shirt!!! Hey – it’s a lot more practical than a big rock!

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