Since I was dressed in my usual fleece zip up coat and jeans, I should not have been at all surprised when my daughter, in all her princessy glory asked me why I wasn’t “fancier.” She sat in front of me, my pint-sized little fashion-plate, smeared in blue eye shadow, way too much blush (and clearly the wrong color) and she was about to roll on the fifth coat of my lipstick carefully applied on every inch of skin from her nose to her chin.
She stopped what she was doing, adjusted her crown, and asked me why I wasn’t like my friend Mrs. G. because Mrs. G, my daughter informed me, has pretty earrings and ruffly sweaters and is just fancier than me.
My answer was simple: I like being comfortable. (Code for I don’t give a crap?)
Now if this isn’t a call for help, I don’t know what it. Stacy and Clinton, where are you??
I know I have a problem. I think there just might be something addictive in fleece. It’s warm, cozy, fuzzy, comes in lots of colors, it’s easy. What’s not to like?
I am not blaming the fleece. It’s me. I can’t take it off.
Every picture of me is the same. Jeans and a lilac fleece, clearly beaten death. Dog hair, stains, burn holes. But I still wear it. Throw it on every day. Over my jeans to the bus stop and preschool. Over my tennis top. With sweat pants. You name it.
I did attempt to ditch it once. I left it at home and drove my brave self to the mall.
I browsed sweaters and other clothing items without zippers or that comfortable softness I am used to. But then before I knew what was happening, I found myself at Old Navy, looking around, secretly and out-of-the-way of the sales clerks, staring longingly at a new display of fleece.
I yanked myself out of the store, mentally scolded myself a few times and then went home.
I tried. I was eager to admit to my friends and my husband that I tried.
It was chilly when I got home. Well, I know you know what happened next.
So as you can deduce, I have tried to deal with this problem myself. And I did actually ask my friends to burn it.
My husband came right out one day and said “I HATE that,” as he pointed to my cozy coverup. I did too, but I couldn’t stop.
Just this year though, I found the most beautiful deep sapphire-purple replacement. OK, it is fleece, but it’s NEW. And it was just 15 bucks.
I proudly wore it. And people noticed.
“Hey, new fleece?”
“Yeah! You like it?” I asked and spun around.
“Well. um, it’s better than that old purple thing. You finally threw it away did you?”
Sadly, I had to tell them. I didn’t throw it away. Just tossed it in the back of my closet.
I know it’s ugly. I know there are so many nicer articles of clothing out there.
There are some days when I do stop and quickly turn around just to see if anyone is secretly videotaping me. Sadly Stacy and Clinton are not there snarkily whisking me off for a fashion intervention in NYC with a $5,000 life changing wardrobe make over.
Well, if not my dear WNTW friends above, perhaps I can try to apply some of the 12 Steps for this kind of thing.
- Admitting that one can not control this addiction or compulsion — OK then. I admit it. I am powerless. I choose comfort over style.
- Recognizing a higher power can give you strength — Nordstrom? The Loft?
- Examining past errors with the help of a sponsor — Perhaps me and my fashionista daughter can go into my closet and just look. I guess I would have to admit to having more than one purple fleece jacket. (3 actually, plus a brown fleece turtleneck, blue quarter-zip and green roll neck.)
- Making amends for these errors — I guess this the part where I throw them ALL out? Can’t I keep just one?
- Helping others who suffer from the same addictions or compulsions — Fleece Lovers Anonymous. I will start a group. You know you are out there.
- Learning to live a new life with a new code of behavior — I might need some time on this one. Life without fleece would be hard. Very hard.
My friend was just telling me she thought there should be a certain time of day in which one should remove one’s workout clothes. Say around 10:30 a.m. That gives you plenty of time to work out if you are so inclined. It also gives you an excuse to bum around in comfy clothes after losing the desire to do so.
I suppose the same goes with my fleece jacket.
But think I need baby steps. I could just put it on in the morning and make sure it comes off sometime before bed. Then I could slowly work my way down to taking it off before dinner. Before lunch, and then gradually not putting it on at all.
Or maybe I can start next year.
Or maybe I will leave being fancy to my girlie girl. Clearly she doesn’t need her mother as a role model for this. In five years, she has created a style all her own.
Perhaps she’ll teach me a thing or two.