Ode to Target

Target-Logo-copy The contents of my Target shopping basket tonight, along with the rationale for each purchase:

  • One bottle of kids' Gummy-vitamins (fills the gaps)
  • One bottle of Fiber-gummies (for the kid who won't go potty)
  • Brown eye shadow (replaces one that's more than 2 years old)
  • Burt's Bees facial night creme (bringing in the big guns)
  • Revlon Foundation (I've yet to find the perfect hue)
  • Panti-liners (because. Just because.)
  • A 3-pack of black underwear (because! Just because!)
  • Two pairs of headphones (to replace the ones I loaned to my son, which he then lost) (on sale, half price)
  • A black V-neck sweater (can you ever have too many black sweaters?)
  • A red drapey scarf (matches my red Wellies)
  • One bagged Caesar salad kit (to go with tonight's dinner)
  • A Greek yogurt (strawberry) (have you tried this stuff? Soooo creamy)
  • One box of Toaster Strudel (kids' request)
  • Crest sparkly kids' toothpaste (also, kids' request)
  • One empty spray bottle (you never know when you'll need one of these)

Thank you, Target, for being the store where I can buy a Bagged Salad and a Black Sweater, all on the same trip.

Next stop: Frumpyville

While walking on Connecticut Avenue in DC recently, I made a beeline for took a detour through Filene's Basement, just for some retail therapy to see what was on sale.  I was feeling like my work wardrobe was suffering in the "tops" department, and also in need of a basic black skirt in a size that fits me. My time was limited – I had to get back to work – no time to try things on. So, I grabbed one of these off of the rack:

August silk drape collar cardigan
…in a dark heather gray, with a matching sleeveless top in the same color. For layering.

It looked roomy comfy, and stretchy, and, due to its neutral color (did I mention it was gray?), I was sure it would match the rest of my unspeakably drab wardrobe.  And that, I was okay with. I don't dress to impress when I head to the office. I dress so that my attire does not distract from my crazy-mad human resources skillz.

The first day I wore it, I declared it the Most Comfortable Sweater Set EVER. It was flowy. Swingy. Possibly even Sassy! I liked how the shawl collar draped, and was pleased with the layered effect. It looked fine with a long skirt and boots. Its neutral tone had the potential to coordinate with all of my equally-neutral slacks and shoes.

But when I wore the ensemble today, with a pair of plain black slacks and black clogs, I made a startling discovery. I entered the office ladies' room, with its large mirrors and unforgiving fluorescent lighting and was horrified to see this lady staring back at me:

Beaarthur

"GAAAH!" I screamed inside my head, and flinched, for only then did I realize the sad, pathetic truth:

I have started dressing  like a Golden Girl.

I am becoming Bea Arthur. BEA! ARTHUR!

Oh, the horror.

I squinted into the mirror. No gray hair – but only because I applied an all-over brown-hued color two weekends ago.  Underneath, it's closer to Bea's color than I ought to admit. My facial skin is starting its inevitable surrender to the relentless pull of gravity. And – let's be honest here – that swishy, swirly sweater? Is designed to hide my spare tire muffin top and my expanding rear end.

It occurred to me that I'm not fooling anyone in my strategically-draped garb.

But my subsequent thought, that should have been an epiphany, was actually anticlimactic. And here it is:

Meh. Big deal.

I have accepted that my body just ain't what it used to be. I mean, I've been travelling around in it for more than four decades; it's bound to be showing some wear by now. To the extent my health is not compromised, I'm content to drape flowy gray knits around my midsection. I accept that the jeans at Old Navy aren't made for my body type. (Heck, I have accepted that women of a certain age just shouldn't be wearing Old Navy… unless it's to bed.)  I don't mind, really, that I can't wear cute high heels or strappy sandals, lest I risk further damage to my already-ruined feet. I know that capris are more flattering (or less unflattering?) for my body type than shorts. (Even long-ish shorts.)

Of course, this means accepting that I'm not getting any younger. I'm hurtling towards middle age, and it shows.  The wheels are slowly starting to fall off… but as long as they can be repaired, and the vehicle remains in good, functional condition –

WHO CARES WHAT I DRESS IT IN?

I have read that women reach a certain age and begin to accept and even love themselves, and I think I'm just about there.  And I can smile as I write that. Sincerely.