I am reading Augusten Burroughs’ memoir, Dry, about his recovery from alcoholism. He is a great writer and makes me laugh out loud, even when he is writing about serious stuff. He has been a journal-keeper his whole life and because of that recalls details and conversations which add rich texture to the story. He describes returning after a month in rehab to regard his apartment through new eyes. First he is horrified to find over 700 empty Dewars bottles all over the studio with millions of fruit flies hovering around them. Then he takes a hard look at the furniture which he had selected while drunk. It occurs to him that he had made big mistakes because he had bought that furniture for the person he wanted to be, not the person he was.
That phrase resonated with me. Because I’m not really sure who I am,(“Do I contradict myself? I contain multitudes,” Walt Whitman.) I am often uncertain about what furniture, or even clothing I want. This past weekend Ron and I went to a store I like in Asheville (Sunnyside Trading Company in the River Arts District). I had no intention of buying anything, it was simply a browsing visit. But they are having a big sale. Need I say more? When I first moved to Asheville from Charlotte I bought a Bessarabian rug for the large living room in that first house. I loved that rug, but got rid of it when I moved to a house with a smaller living room. I have missed that rug. On sale were three similar rugs, and I could not resist. I chose the one that I thought would best fit my living room, but then realized that the new rug would look horrible with a chair I already have in that room. I told the store owner about my concern and he asked me to describe the chair. I explained it’s a roomy wing-back chair upholstered in hand-sewn crewel embroidery. He acted as if I had said that the chair was covered in poison ivy. “Ewwww! That’s so eighties!!” he declared.
I felt a bit embarrassed, I must admit. How eighties of me to like a chair that came from way back in the era of leisure suits and mullets! I like that chair, though! It’s so comfortable and feels as if you are being held when you sit there and read. Nonetheless, I bought a new, modern chair (very 2019!) to go with the rug. I will bring the crewel chair to the shop so I can still sit in it, but don’t want my house to be sooooo dated. Stupid, huh? I like what I like and normally don’t worry about what is in fashion. The trendy part of me won out this time.
As far as clothing is concerned, I have clothes for all sides of my personality and for the person I would like to be (someone with lots of money!) I still have patched and embroidered hippie clothes, lots of loose and flowing clothes, and my favorite old sweaters with holes in the elbows. Sharing the same closet are designer outfits I bought on sale and wear when I am feeling affluent or when I go to Charlotte to browse South Park Mall. Many of those clothes feel awkward on me, but I then pretend it’s Halloween and I am in disguise. Then I can relax in my Armani blazer and John Fleuvog shoes. Those are my Ladies Who Lunch clothes.
Going to Indiana this weekend for grandson Christopher’s high school graduation. He will be at University of Texas next fall. I’ll be back Tuesday, and Ruth will fill in for me while I am away. She’ll be a little late Friday, but will be here asap. Stop by and say his to Ruth!