Monday, 21 November 2011

The post where I have to admit I have lost any sense of self control

These I will keep.

It all started inauspiciously enough, I was on my way to the NPG to look at the recently opened Taylor Wessing Portrait prize exhibition as well as listen to two of the photographers discuss their work. This exhibition has become a double edged sword for me on the one hand I love looking at the photographs, on the other should one of mine not be there? I did enter this year, but did not submit the image because it just looked crap on a larger scale. I am aiming for next year all guns blazing, or not.

I digress.

Because I never read anything properly, I'd made some stupid assumption the tour started at 5.30pm, which would be logical since most teachers have a long way to commute into London. Sadly, it started at 5.00pm. So I ran in only to not find anyone, no one knew where they were, and I was told to go in and wait inside the exhibition. I waited for half an hour but no tour appeared. I decided they must be in the lecture theatre and since I was hot and very stressed and had for some reason a crippling stomach ache, I limped home, tail between my legs and walked the dog, smarting from having wasted £7 on travel and even more money in COS.

What made it worse was I was outside the gallery at 4.45pm, but then decided to run up to the London Graphic Center to buy some spray varnish for some work I am attempting to sell. I shot through Waterstones and bought a book and of course was then lulled by poisonous sirens into COS. In the heat of the moment I bought a tunic dress and a knitted dress. Impulse. So I was both poorer and missed the talk.

I put the irritation to the back of mind, but then this morning I woke up and stood frozen like a rabbit in the headlights in front of my wardrobe. It's not that I do not have anything to wear. I have felt 100% positive about all my sartorial style until today, but this morning something cracked under the strain, and the reason is.... Historically I have always felt cold, I'm only comfortable in warmer climes, but it has been my misfortune to spend the last 7 years in a classroom with no heating. I am therefore programed to buy wool anything really. Dresses, jumpers, skirts, even Nora batty tights all worn over up to two thermal layers.

So what has changed?

For a start weather has not got much colder, balmy climes most days, second, I have a feeling they may have fixed the heating but worse of all I feel like I am going to combust most days, so I feel it has all gone horribly wrong. I am hot, so hot I can now only wear 40 denier tights, plus I have to fling my cardie off every 5 minutes. I no longer wear a vest let alone two, and I often have to open a window at work. YES it's the menopause. But how do I know this will last? Do I buy the wool just in case? But then I feel like I have wasted my money. I itch to wear the new stuff, but I feel like I'm going to explode the minute it goes on, so I get ready, then get ready again. I was so pissed off this morning, I stand there looking at all the clothes I have bought yet cannot wear and having been fine for weeks now I feel it has all fallen apart.

On top of this I have started to wake up in the night and then lie in bed raging against the lack of self control I have, and then I think does it really matter? Then I start to think what am I doing with my life? Why am I even here? ON and ON it goes.

So I have written it all down, it's now in a box and I just have to get ready for Sundays craft fair. because lets face it, that is my problem, the though that I will stand and sell nothing and then have to lug home all the stuff I have spent hours wrapping and wonder why I am even bothering, why don't I just read a book and give it all up.

Oh and yes, I did get dressed eventually, I think I will return one jumper and one dress, please, please pray I can find the receipt and return them, and more importantly walk past Eileen Fisher, because those clothes are gorgeous especially for a menopausal woman!!


Amanda said...

I really like that black sweater you picked out, you shouldn't rage about that. I think the next time you think about going in to a store, just go for tea or have an ice cream instead - once you enter a shop, you're under temptation and it's really hard to just say no. Don't beat yourself up too much, even the most austere of us break down sometimes (I do it all the time!) =)

Lisa said...

I really relate to this post Alison. But it's worse for me because I (seemingly) have an internet-shopping addiction. I don't even have to get off the couch to be side-tracked into spending money.

Oh the guilt.

By the way, I've been reading your blog for ages, and really enjoy your writing.

indigo16 said...

WOW, two newbies. Amanda you are so right, I always buy badly when hamstrung by Leyla or I'm rushing. I will instead go and have a pint!
Lisa I too had the internet problem, I am so busy right now I have managed to stay off it since the summer. Once I realised that I judge my clothes by the feel not the look I realised I had to stop buying online. That said the minute I look on ASOS or Toast I twitch!

lin said...

I relate to this story - I have gotten my appointments completely wrong and ended up spending money as some kind of displacement activity. The other day I was late for a yoga lesson (even though I wasted $ on a cab) so ended up not being able to get into the class, and having no alternative, and 2 hours early for my next appointment. So I went to a posh supermarket and bought expensive chocolate, instant coffee, and biscuits for my office drawer. All completely unnecessary. I suppose you can return what you can but just try and enjoy the rest of the things, since beating yourself up over it is going to be unproductive. I'm going to take Amanda's advice and work off the need to spend with a cup of coffee instead.