By Faye Klein
It has been a bumpy road to spring.
As some more chilly temps visit us, we are quick to forget the unprecedented warmth that came before this face-slap back to reality. The astonishing arrival of real spring, (practically summer) weather—right on the dot of the calendar-pin-pointed, vernal equinox—lifted spirits, brightened attitudes and brought the pasty and pale outdoors for some vitamin D and emergency lawn work.
While most people begin to think of daffodils and dandelions; barbecues and bumblebees, my annual spring and most preoccupying thought is whether or not I am going to fit into those summer pants.
I ritualistically pack away my summer clothes when closed shoes are required and swap the winter and summer clothes again when I paint my toenails to don dozens of sandals for the season. I tell myself this is a habit borne of good organizational skills, but it probably has more to do with the fact that I have far too many clothes and can't stuff all hot and cold seasons-worth into my dressers and closets.
But this is not because I am an addicted or congenital shopper. In fact very few of my clothes can be called new and none of them can be labeled the latest style. If I followed the trends and made any attempt to stay in fashion, I would have no worries about my summer pants. But since the vast majority of my clothes are between 10 and 30 years old, the challenge gets more serious year after year.
Every winter, when I set out to channel a hibernating bear, burning off my calories during those short days and dark nights, I find myself quixotically gaining a few pounds instead. What else but parties and holidays are going to make the winter more tolerable? I can see it happening in the mirror and in an attempt to stem the tide; I start in January self-rationing myself to a single chocolate-covered Ritz cracker every evening.
It's not easy watching my husband plop a piece of cake in the bottom of a bowl, top it with a couple scoops of cheap ice cream, a stream of chocolate syrup and a hefty squirt of whipped cream which he chases with something out of the snack cabinet to satisfy his latent salt fix.
Witnessing this night after night, I mostly bite my tongue which serves the dual purpose of not admitting to my jealousy and at the same time, rendering me unable to chew! Why is it that I feel the powerful need to maintain my fighting weight—goal being the weight I was when I got married—when my husband (who intuitively saw this widening waistband coming years ago) always buying pants too large for himself, finds them fitting perfectly 28 years later? He and I are utter body opposites. He as the apple and I as the pear would make the perfect hourglass if merged.
Am I boxing myself in by making sure I can still wear tops from the late '70s?
I tell myself that most of my friends find my style of dress eclectic. Well, that’s what I tell myself anyway. Does anyone else still own a tube top? It's shallow or vain or simply a psychic boost, but I continue to measure success by squeezing myself into those pants and I tip my hat to the genius who invented the elastic waistband.
I convince myself it isn't really cheating, but those couple of pounds each year has added up and the elastic can only go so far. This third week of April, I got into the first pair of pants and as the day wore on, I wondered if they were too tight or whether they always fit that way, but I just no longer am comfortable in tight clothes. Yeah, that must be it. I do this every season, winter and summer.
Recently, I muttered that I hated all my clothes which caught my husband's ear.
He said, "Buy yourself some new clothes. Give some clothes away" (That's why he graduated with honors from "boy school"). He was giving me a pass, an out, an excuse, a reason to be fashionable and comfortable. And I will go out when the summer sales are advertised and buy a couple of items to stuff into my bursting dresser.
I will give some clothes away. But a lot of my clothes are like old friends and I welcome them back each season, smoothing out their wrinkles and curling down the flipped up hems. They still fit for the most part and they make me feel good. They herald the change of weather and a fresh start.
I just have one question...are shoulder pads ever coming back?
Editor's Note: Faye Klein is a Canon-McMillan Patch reader and Venetia resident. If you'd like to write a guest column, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.