Thursday, February 19, 2009
I rarely shop.
It isn't that I dislike shopping, isn't that I find it distasteful. The problem is that my natural frugality (what my family would call extreme cheapness) comes into conflict with my urge to acquire material possessions, and more often than not the overpowering desire to save money wins the battle.
I have far more in the bank than the average twenty-year-old college student, but I still feel a sensation akin to my nails being pulled out when I contemplate making any large purchases.
Of course, I buy small things all the time; I usually allow myself one six-dollar container of sushi each week, and just today I picked myself up some Vitamin Water. But, for the most part, I bring in more each week than I expend.
This week marked a very significant departure from that trend.
Unlike my brother Powell, I don't care much for shoes, but I do have a passion for clothes. I love them so much, and if I were wealthy they are one of the things I would splurge on (along with a chef, a masseuse, and an awesome house).
Because I spend so little on clothing most of the time, I allow myself twice a year--once in August and once in February--to go out and buy whatever I want. I don't even look at the price tags.
In August of this year I went and picked up some Fall items, most prominently a Hollister jacket, which sat in my closet for over a month while I anticipated the soft feel of its warm cotton against my skin, hugging me tight on a winter day. When an October morning finally came that was cool enough, I eagerly donned the coat.
Last weekend, I went out with Black Dress Girl to the Western City Mall, where I thoroughly enjoyed the imput of a girl in choosing my new outfits.
We stopped at Hot Topic first, where Black Dress Girl picked out the gem you saw at the top of the page.
"Because you like to blog," she said. "I figured you'd like it."
"Black Dress Girl, I love it," I said, my fiscal reserve falling away the moment I saw the shirt. I knew I had to have it. "And the people who read my site will love it, too."
In addition to the magnificent piece of clothing just described, I bought a white studded belt and a black and gold Zelda shirt to go with it.
I may have played Zelda one time as a little kid, if that, but the shirt just went so well with the belt, giving the outfit a very Emo/Scene type feel, which I love. Oftentimes, the image or idea that a piece of clothing expresses is irrelevant to me; barring pro-GOP tee-shirts or something equally audacious, I go for things that I find visually appealing.
A few years ago I purchased a jacket by the band "The Used," evidently a rock group of some kind. I've gotten tons of compliments on my great musical taste, but I've never listened to the act and only got the jacket in the first place because it looked cool and was on sale for $10.00.
The deals were pretty good at Hot Topic: the shirts were $5.00 each, the belt $19.00.
Then we switched stores and styles by heading over to Hollister, with which I have an ongoing love affair.
One of the best things about revealing your sexuality is being able to embrace your true personality, to own intersts and likes that you previously distanced yourself from. For example, I am a Kelly Clarkson fanatic, something I no longer feel the need to conceal from others. She's awesome!
Now, I hadn't actually told Black Dress Girl about my orientation, but by the end of our trip through the mall, she was commenting, "Wow, I never would have said you were metrosexual before..."
I just let the act fall and watched her response. You can't really understand the amount of effort that goes into hiding something of that magnitude until you've done it. Before, I would have pretended to understand little about clothes and would have tried to affect as much masculine discomfort as possible in trying them on (insomuch as anyone can appear masculine in size 28 shorts and size Small tee-shirts).
Instead, I reveled in it, trying different colors and mixing various tops with multiple pairs of shorts. For the first time in my life, I openly went out looking for "outfits."
I know how childhish and superficial this must seem, but you don't understand. I've loved clothes for years, and now I don't have to pretend otherwise. So liberating.
In the end, I left Hollister with three different combinations, which included three tee-shirts and two pairs of shorts.
Black Dress Girl actually picked out the green shirt that goes with those khakis, for which I was very glad. That color compliments my hair and skin tones, and brings out the green in my hazel eyes. Plus, with those shorts, it's just great!
She was less fond of this orange number, but I have a soft spot for that color.
"You should keep orange and yellow away from your face, because you're blonde," she said.
"I know," I replied. "Trust me, I learned that the hard way with yellow. But orange should be dark enough to work."
She was reluctant, but when she saw me in it she agreed it was good, though I conceded that the green shirt was way better with the shorts.
I took a slight risk with these shorts. I'd never owned any plaid ones before, because I worried that I couldn't pull it off or that I'd get accused of being preppy or something, but screw other people. Who cares what they think? Isn't that why I've put myself through this for all of these years?
When I saw that white top from across the room, I literally gasped with delight.
"It's perfect," I said.
I won't actually be able to wear any of these things until May or April at the earliest. I'm hoping we'll have a freakishly-warm day some time before my birthday on April 10th, which would allow me to don one of the ensembles early.
Now, you may want to know why I enjoy clothing so much?
Well, as I delve more into myself I'm discovering that in many ways I think like a girl, so most of the women will probably understand this while some of the guys probably won't.
I love the way that certain items of clothing make me feel, the way they accent my natural features and set off the good that's already there.
A green top can do wonders for someone with blonde hair and green eyes, while khaki shorts give my legs a sleeker, tan look (and I'm not tan).
Then, of course, there's the matter of size; in garments of the dimensions that my summerwear has, there's nowhere to hide. Tiny shorts hug a tiny waist, and small tees make thin arms and a little stomach very evident. I feel free, more natural, more like myself. I hate to cover up.
The simplicity of shorts and a tee-shirt highlights a simple and pretty boy, a label that I no longer shy away from.
I sometimes forget that most of you have never seen my face, and so can't visualize things that I easily see, but in all of this you must keep in mind that I look about five years younger than my actual age. I will be twenty-one in April, and you would never know it.
The few readers who have seen real photos of me will tell the rest of you; it's ridiculous. I seriously look about sixteen years old. For years I've winced at derogatory comments about my appearance (including one made by an alleged friend who recently referred to me as a "baby boy"), but I'm done faltering under criticism.
This is my body, as it is, and I will celebrate it. Yes, I could pass for an 11th grader (telling people I'm a "Junior" results in all kinds of complications). But I'm happy with the way I am. I like myself.
I spent a ridiculous amount of money between those two stores (about $280.00, all things totaled), but I had fun.
I came out to Black Dress Girl after we'd left and gotten coffee, and she seemed a bit surprised but not very moved.
"All my friends are gay," she said. "How would you expect me to react?"
She's kept asking me why I think I'm bisexual, and I just tell her, "Well, you know what you like, and I like guys."
It's almost like she thinks I'm mistaken or something. She's been supportive, though, and that's what matters. I'm really glad to have her to talk to. Plus, she's a better shopping buddy than she thinks (she told me before we went out that she wasn't like a "normal girl" and wouldn't be able to help me).
Now the clothes are at home in my closet, waiting for warmer months.
It's a long way until June. But the excitement makes it better.