I told her she would keep it during our hypothetical divorce. I meant it as a joke, but I did in some ways take it seriously, even though I never really expected we would separate, even well until the end.
The blue sweatshirt has dark stripes on it, and even though it was expensive, Alex bought it anyway for the very first StitchFix box we ordered. She liked it and said that even though it didn’t fit her well, she wanted it around the apartment anyway, and it was sort of a present for me, so she bought it. It has a very specific feel and look to it that makes it wonderful to wear, and she wore it a few times, although not really that much. It was mostly the kind of thing I wore around the apartment on a weekend, or after work, or any time I was traveling to Northford to visit friends. I would usually wear this blue sweatshirt around even though it was hers.
I told Alex it was hers, regardless. As a way of distinguishing it from the others, I would clarify that it was hers during the divorce. But then, after I visited the apartment the other day, and after Alex knew I was coming to pick stuff up, she put the blue sweatshirt on my side of the closet, signalling that it was now mine to keep. Unable to hold it back, I started to feel incredibly sad again. Even though we had joked about her keeping it, she wanted me to keep it anyway.
It’s the little things that get me going, to be completely honest. This blue sweater brings back memories. Lots of little artifacts have this effect. I need to start creating new memories with them, so as not to override the old ones, but to distinguish them in their own light.
I get excited when I find an email saying that we’ve got a package in the mail, or at the delivery room downstairs. Alex does too. It’s a sign that something we ordered online has arrived at our apartment, and with how much online ordering we do between the two of us, we are more often than not expecting at least one or two things to be delivered in a given week. Groceries; dog food, toys, and snacks; underwear and/or comfortable t-shirts; coffee from our favorite Boston-based coffee shop; something Alex forgot on the grocery list; whatever our Amazon wishlist includes for the month; and, last but not least, clothes.
In particular, I want to talk about StitchFix, and no I’m not being paid to write about them. (Although, if they happen to read this and are interested, I’m not opposed either!) StitchFix is a clothing delivery service that allows you to try on new clothes at home, send back what you don’t want, and keep whatever you like and can afford. Though the individual prices are usually a bit expensive, the $20 deposit box fee rolls into whatever clothing purchase you make. And on top of that, you’re being serviced by a personal stylist, who’s on top of your fashion interests and the brands you tend to work best with. You can leave notes to the stylist in advance, such as “comfortable business casual/work clothes meant for summertime,” and they’ll send you options to choose from that are perfectly tailored to that note. It’s a wonderful service that’s gotten both Alex and I some new additions to our wardrobes. I’m currently wearing an A1 blue-striped hoodie while I write this, and I got it from my first StitchFix box. I also picked up two new pairs of pants this most recent time, which is exactly what I was hoping to get from the box.
Today, I’ll be discussing what it’s like to dress up. Being someone who has a job that requires a certain dress code, business casual, I’m used to dressing up for work. I’m used to getting out of my morning shower and rushing into some clothes that I’m not sure will fit me. I can’t just walk into my job on a random day wearing a t-shirt and jeans, even though that’d be pretty comfortable and fun. That being said, on Fridays, I can wear jeans and whatever top I want.
This brings up one of my major fears of dressy clothes, though, that they’ll no longer fit me or I won’t be able to wear them any more. I love the variety of clothes that I have, but I would hate to wake up one morning and find my pants tighter than they were before. It’s a perpetual fear, returning whenever I feel especially guilty for eating something I shouldn’t have.
But overall, I’d rather wear dressy clothes than casual clothes when going to work. When people say that it’s important for us to distinguish ourselves from the kids, I get that completely. I don’t want to be confused for a student while walking around school, you know? It used to happen sometimes during my initial middle-school internship, back in graduate school when I had to observe classes a few times a week.
Dressing up feels good, though. I feel professional, like the master of my domain. I feel motivated to take on the day when I slip on somewhat tighter clothes than I would usually wear. When I get home, I usually get into sweatpants and a sweatshirt, so anything will feel tighter than those. I never had a strict dress code until I started work, but I don’t mind it.