Because I Can Can Cannot
I was walking through boutique after boutique in a stylish little niche of Chicago yesterday, and I felt like an awkward little duckling quacking about, wet from the rain, unfashionable in my pratical walking gear.
Plain tees cost $85.
Pants cost $385.
The only dress I wanted cost $460.
Earrings became life investments, where Target used to make them cool at the price of a box of Easy Mac. I saw new accessories, like stretchy mid-drift covering belts meant to turn long shirts into dresses or dresses into long shirts worn over jeans. A lot of wool goes unspoken for on clearance racks around here. Wool is boring in a town where everyone wants to be seen. Or at least envied. And I hate wool. So clearance soon became passe, and I soon became rotten with anger.
$100 for a shirt? Kiss my ass.
I don't care how much money I make. I don't care that after paying what I have
to pay every month, I'm at least $1000 in the clear. Yes, I have to make college debt disappear eventually with that expansive surplus. And yes, I should start saving some money. Sure, fashion comes at a price.
But why so indecently? I want to buy something that won't make me feel guilty. Or at least trendy beyond reasonable justification. Hand-crafted these or those and fine prints of silk and other fabrics matter to me, but the one shirt I ever spent $100 would have to be accompanied by equally stunning jeans, shoes with pretentious points, watches with bands threaded and manufactured in Milan.
Mannequins are walking around this joint, wearing what I could be wearing. Because I can wear what they wear. I make a decent wage, I have few expenses, I could fill in all those blanks will finely sewn blazers and deliciously fitted tees from snobby boutiques. But I'm not so lavish, not so flashy, not so Moulin Rouge
, dancing about in my frill, drinking 'til dawn, singing "Because we can can can!" all about. I still buy canned vegetables. I don't even have cable. I can't imagine strutting around in so much prim.
I almost spent $49 at the United Colors of Benetton. On a pencil skirt. For work. And that, ladies and gentlemen, was left on the rack because I can can cannot! imagine, even for a second, that I need another skirt. But I feel sad and empty for wearing comfy shoes and dingy old green pants from Old Navy. I should probably go spend $17 on a plate of food then drink a few glasses of $7 wine. Because Sara Pellicori can handle that
kind of tab. One meal: $30. Fine by me. One shirt, likely to last a while longer than an hour and a half: $100. Hell no.
I'm messed. But that's a whole nutha story...