Monday, January 23, 2012

Clarifying My Feelings Towards Robes

Least you all think I am some sort of robe-obsessed-oddball, I thought I would take my second blog post to clarify my first.

To be quite honest, it's rather strange that my inspiration for this project came from clothing inspired by towels (ie: how I have always, until recently, thought of robes). The ugly robe was actually a gift from my mother. Though, one could argue that anything that ugly is no gift at all. I have to say, even though my mom's style choices for me often fall flat, usually what's at the heart of her giving is incredibly intuitive. In this case, my mom knew before I did that I would actually enjoy the robe experience. She just happened to introduce me to this fact via a very ugly, very embarrassing specimen.

A little over two years ago I purchased a rather small, quite old house. And I really began to embrace certain aspects of being a homeowner and a homebody. But I started to feel that maybe my neighbors weren't (or shouldn't be) too keen on my tendency to clean in the nude or near-nude. Maybe it was the result of living alone then or the way the sunlight streamed in through the windows at the time of day I typically shower, but more times than I care to admit, post-shower I would catch a glimpse of the dust bunnies gathering in the staircase, or the dirt on the windowsill, or the overall disarray that can come in a small, old house. And so I would grab the vacuum or mop or duster and go at it...naked. Why on earth I couldn't pause a mere second to throw on some clothing has never occurred to me until this very moment. Perhaps I was afraid the feeling would leave me, and ultimately that was a bigger crime than nude cleaning. I won't psychoanalyze (this).

Anyway, I have a lot of windows in my house, and one day while putting some real effort into a particularly resilient stain, I thought: "I'm naked and surrounded by windows and someone could see me right now. And that would be very, very embarrassing for us both. Because I have a mop, which is not a good naked accessory." And then I finished getting out that stain and went upstairs to put some pants on. Followed by a shirt.

I think I recounted this story with a nervous laugh to my mother: "I keep finding myself cleaning in the nude! Isn't that funny?!"

About a week later a package arrived with the baby blue, floor-length, hooded robe. Mom's always been a bit of a prude and moral purist. She was sending a clear message: cover up, lady!

And so, with a bit of a heavy heart, I put that robe on. At first I resisted the confining feeling of that terry-cloth beast, but slowly I warmed to its comforting embrace and I started to see the pros of life in a robe. You really could just waste an afternoon puttering around the house in your robe. This is coming from a person who is spread very thin and lives a busy existence. Me-time via robe was overdue.

Not that this is about laziness or me moping around the house in my robe with a romance novel in one hand and a box of tissues in the other. Quite the opposite in fact.

This project isn't about robes really. My decision to get a robe that I feel good in and good about- rather than one that I felt would only be slightly better being caught in than being caught naked - is about this larger concept I briefly touched on about really stepping into the life I want. And more so, being an active creator in my life story rather than a passive observer. It's really about not being lazy. Which makes the fact that this comes from the laziest "clothing" known to man rather hilarious.

So despite this all coming from my - shocking - discovery that I liked relaxing in a robe, on occasion, and deserved to be in one that made me feel kind of cute and kind of stylish, this is about the opposite of lazy. Imagine me taking the collar of my own shirt, picking myself up and saying, "Get to it!"

Today for instance. My car broke down this weekend and though I rely on public transportation for most of my travels, I have some car needs this week in particular. And it also is probably a good thing to fix my car before a blizzard strikes. So I decided to learn, with my housemates help, how to jump a car. I should know how to do that. And I want to know how to do those things for myself, with the help of a friend, instead of always turning to an expert. Through trying things out for ourselves, asking questions and making the effort to learn things that don't come naturally, I'm hoping we (I) can became proficient, if not eventually experts in certain (probably surprising) areas of life.

And despite a nice, young man pulling a rather unsafe u-turn to see if we "need help with that?" and despite it not working on try one, two, or three and despite the tow truck operator I eventually called being the one who finally got it to start via a jump, overall I get the concept now. And I think I could do that again in the future. Which is the point - I took something I didn't know or understand, said I wanted to know and understand, and so now I do. I feel rather good about myself.

This is just one of many little hopes for myself that has been growing and stirring in me for some time. Yes, as silly and small as it sounds, learning how to jump my car was on my list of things I wanted to know and do. I look forward to exploring - and documenting - more of these little dreams. I have a few at the top of my head, and next time I visit this space, I'll share what's next.

Or maybe, by that point, what's already happened.

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