raison d’être

13 Jul

Today I’ve been looking at dresses online like crazy.  Is that cheating?  It’s kind of like shopping, but since I have no intention of buying anything, it’s not actually shopping, right?  It’s kind of like when I walk around Bergdorf Goodman.  It’s a store and they sell things.  Things I like.  But I’ve yet to walk in with the plan of buying anything, so it would be odd to say that I shop there.  And I don’t think I’ve ever bought a dress online at all, so it’s not hard to not buy one.  In an actual store with the dress in my hands it can be easy to impulsively buy dresses, but the temptation is not so great online.  And then of course there’s the possibility of needing to return a dress purchased online, and that always sounds like a hassle.  So I think my looking at dresses online that are available for purchase is not really shopping.

People (mostly men) keep asking me why I’m doing this project.  I explain that I hope that people will find my writing to be interesting, entertaining, and funny.  The response I get is usually “Uh huh.  But why are you only shopping at Walgreens?”  I usually consider telling them about my interest in creative nonfiction, and how this sort of project is…  kinda… well, what creative nonfiction is about.  A.J. Jacobs read the entire Encyclopaedia Britannica to have something to write about (I would guess) rather than just to learn a great deal of trivia.  Of course the major difference between Jacobs and me is that he probably had a book contract before he started.   He could tell people he had to finish it or pay back his advance.  I’ll bet that’s way better for getting people to stop asking silly questions.  Anyway, drifting back in the general direction of a point, I usually end up actually telling people who ask, that I think it’s kinda funny, and also, this way I end up buying fewer shoes and dresses.  Putting myself on a shoe diet at least seems like a reasonable answer to these guys with the “why” question.  And really, I’m certainly not buying clothes I don’t need as much as I usually do.  Though I’m still managing to do that a little.  I still haven’t worn the dress with the giant purple flowers on it yet.  The shoe withdrawal should be coming on strong, but I haven’t particularly missed the shoe shopping…  Yet. I bought boots late last winter so those will come in handy in the fall.  Those boots and the hundred other pairs of shoes that I own.

Here are some of my seldom-worn dresses to illustrate the fact that I probably won’t be in any sort of dress emergency that I can’t handle  between now and November 19.  While I was putting the dresses away, I found a cocktail dress that I forgot I even owned.  Now, in my defense, I bought it on a whim at Goodwill right before I started this project, so it’s not so bad.  But it ain’t good neither.

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