Wednesday, February 27, 2013

How to Be a Woman Priscilla King Envies

I've written about being envied by other women, so it's time to write something about women I envy. Well, not to the point of its becoming a Deadly Sin, but enough to make me think "She's so lucky, she's so blessed, I envy her."

And, local lurkers, yesterday afternoon I just set things up for you to be "her."

I went into Mountain Treasures, bought a large bag for $2, and filled it with a few books and some name-brand clothes I would wear in Washington. Then I bought another bag and filled it with jeans and jerseys to wear if I get to work on another remodelling project this summer, which I want very much to do. Then I bought two more bags and filled them with all that nylon and polyester fabric that no fashion-conscious female would actually wear in this century, but it's sturdy and should make lovely linings for knitted handbags. I have lots of leftover yarn and would like to knit some unique handbags. That's $8 altogether, and rather than wait and see whether I could jam those four big bags into a car, since it was four o'clock anyway, the storekeeper just hauled the bags up to the Cat Sanctuary in a truck.

Where does that leave our local independent charity store? Stuck with five racks of adult-size clothes, not to mention a whole room of child-size clothes, I can't wear. But I wish I could.

I'm a "Winter." I have no hang-ups about wearing makeup in a cold, dry climate where it stays on and feels nice, but I live in a warm, damp climate, so I try to avoid wearing makeup at all. If you wear only your own colors, you can do this and people won't ask whether you've been ill.

So, still on the rack when I left Mountain Treasures, there were beautiful pale pink and blue "Summer" blouses...that would make me look as if I hadn't washed my face lately, and I have.

There were fashionable "Autumn" sagebrush and willow-leaf green dresses...that would make me look jaundiced, and I'm not.

There were durable, practical brown jackets...you should be getting the picture now.

Also there was an utterly cool sweatshirt, not noticeably worn, with a message like "I Want My Senior Discount." This is for someone who may still occasionally be mistaken for a student due to things like slimness, black hair, energy, running down the street, playing with kids, etc., but is at least 55 years old. I want this shirt, but somebody else out there could enjoy it during the years before I'm old enough to wear it.

Also there were a lot of men's things, and things for women who are taller, shorter, fatter, or thinner than I am. Things that will look good on somebody else, not me. Somebody else is lucky. I envy her.

I didn't even look at the children's things, although I know people are always looking for bargains on little boys' jeans and I've seen several pairs in this store. The Nephews go to school in other states. Somebody else has children who live at home and go to a local school. Sometimes I envy her, too.

And books...I found a few treasures. One reader's trash is another's treasure. Somebody out there has yet to read Russell Targ's wild and crazy "memoir of a blind biker," Do You See What I See. Lots of people just automatically assume it can't be true, rather than read about the technology--and the legal fine print--that allow it to be true. ("Legally blind" includes a lot of people who can read and walk around with glasses. Targ's one of them. Now don't you want to read about how it's possible for him to ride a motorcycle?) I read that book. I sold it to one of the storekeepers. You have yet to read it, whoever you are. In a way I envy you, too.

Local readers, the Mountain Treasures store has been given clothes, books, hearing-aid batteries, fake turquoise bead jewelry, I even saw a HP DeskJet printer in there, to sell to raise money for local food bank, shelters, and disaster relief programs. These are local people's efforts to keep local people independent after small-scale disasters in their lives. They are the places where you or I would go if we lost everything to an earthquake or a forest fire. And the store has been receiving truckloads of summer clothes, which the Experience Corps workers who run the store are eager to put on the racks, but they can't start putting the summer things on the racks until you clear some more winter things out of the way.

And now you know we're not talking about the nasty spun-plastic things out of somebody's grandmother's closet. There are still some cotton-lined nylon jackets in the store, but I cleared out all the nylon dresses and polyester pants suits for you. We are talking about natural fibres, fashionable colors, designer labels. We are talking about things you'd see young, rich women wearing in affluent suburbs of Washington.

So please go out to the west end of Jackson Street, across from the Citgo store, go around to the back of the block to find the door to the first floor (the ground floor will become our new police station), and buy a whole bag full of garments that might be called bargains for $2 each, only, during the rest of this week, you can buy them for $2 per bag. I may recognize some of those bargains on you. And I will envy you.