#274: The Delivery Box

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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.

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#156: The Dress Up

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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.

#57: Sweaters Again

Yes, it’s finally time. It’s here. After 56 blog posts, for some reason it took this long for me to finally dedicate a single blog post around one of my favorite things in the world: a comfy, bunchy sweater. I did write an earlier post about sweater love, but that was overshadowed by another subject. Here, in this post, we only talk about sweaters and nothing else.

If you know me at all, you know how much I absolutely die for these things. Nothing fits or feels better on my skin than a sweater with enough room in the arms for breathing, while also maintaining some breathing room in the chest area, too. Enough for me to walk around in without thinking too much about what I’m wearing, if that makes any sense at all. It’s as if I’m so comfortable and content that I don’t care as much about the shirt I have on or the pants I’m wearing. Everything else is overcome by the glorifying, sun-seeking warmth of the sweater, to which there is nothing better.

Now, you might be thinking, Anthony, what about during the summer? How do you survive during the hot days and months? You couldn’t possibly wear sweaters during the peak of July’s warmth, right?

Wrong!

That’s a good question, but something that I’ve thought about a good deal also. The truth is, sweaters are great no matter the temperature, so long as you have one that doesn’t fit too tight on you. You don’t need to worry about the heat when you’re inside, either, which is the perfect environment to be wearing a sweater in anyway. You wouldn’t want to be running around in these things, but also, who needs running around in the first place? You have gym clothes for that (at least, I do.)

Shout out to my grey sweater, the one that I’ve worn for a while now and has never betrayed me. It’s stood by my side through student teaching and beyond, and it’s never let me down, even during periods of unintended weight gain and uncertainty. I owe that thing more than it knows, or will ever be able to know, because after all it is just an article of clothing. If articles of clothing could talk, this would be the one item I’d be interested in speaking with, if anything for its longevity. It would have loads of stories to tell.

#36: Gift Giving

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Welcome to the twelve, or ten, days of Christmas, according to Alex and Anthony. We don’t discriminate based on the number of days you decide to start counting, and we don’t judge in case you start counting by threes instead of ones. Sometimes the gifts just need to be given!

The spirit of Christmas, after all, is to give, not receive. There’s magic in seeing someone’s face as they unwrap and untangle the gift they received from you, as you wait for them to finally lay eyes onto what you thought they would enjoy. There’s a little bit of tension, as to whether or not the receiver will truthfully like your gift, or perhaps they will just pretend to like it (it happens sometimes). But mostly, this is the positive, joyous season of giving.

For me, I have planned ten gifts for ten days of Christmas to give to Alex, and they are all fairly small except for a few larger ones, and then finally one special gift. Alex also planned ten gifts, and hers tend to have more utilitarian means to them, which is exciting for me. New MeUndies tee and a new pair of underwear? I could jump for joy at the sight of that (and I did). I love receiving new comfortable clothing and new books by Haruki Murakami. Nothing makes me happier.

A younger Anthony would have despised receiving clothing for Christmas, but nowadays, I get excited about it. I think partly one of the reasons I didn’t like it so much as a kid is that the people buying me clothes, often my aunts and uncles, didn’t know what type of clothes I wanted to wear. They would grab me Aeropostale and American Eagle tees, and I would wear them to school where people would look quizzically at the differences between my outer self (my personality, my hobbies, my habits) and the clothing I decided to wear (preppy, put-together, and douchey). There was a total mismatch in appearance versus personality, and I don’t doubt that it looked pretty funny.

Sweater

Nothing like a cold skin bath,

A flesh shower lasting all day

A sitting room with enough chairs

For everyone to sit in,

A day trip without traffic and

Arguments about what to do next,

A little memory relapse,

Now you’re in high school again,

Judged by the clothes you wear,

A dress for your sorrows,

A graphic tee to show your age,

A sweater hung above you,

Nothing like it.

#27: Gratitude & Sweaters

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I’m thankful for friends, family, and food. I’m thankful for Alex, my incredible, impeccable, and always intellectual girlfriend. I’m thankful for my few but strong close friendships, the ones that have helped pull me out of the depths of anxiety and depression and onto my feet. I’m thankful for this blog and the platform it’s given me; albeit small, it is just personal-sized, which is all the attention I think this endeavor deserves. Nothing more. I’m thankful for creative writing, fulfilled through Dungeons & Dragons role-playing and world-building and through this blog’s daily writing goals; I have the opportunity to pour my creative juices into something productive and fun, even after leaving my job. I manage to make it work every other day or so, although the blog posts have been coming a bit out of order recently (trying to work on that, but the numbering is done beforehand and WordPress occasionally screws that up). I’m thankful for video games, the escapist fantasy brought through total envelopment in another world, because the current world is too anxiety-inducing to think much about. I’m thankful for game nights with my friends, a perfect constant after all these years of separation, distance, and amnesia. I’m thankful for late-night board games, early morning people-watching from the apartment balcony, and afternoon coffee. Nothing like a warm cup of joe when my energy isn’t at its best.

I’m thankful for cold weather, sweater and snuggle weather. I’m thankful for clothing options that better suit my personal style. I’ll wear a sweater any day of the year, rain or shine, warm or chilly, day or night, just because it feels good. No constriction, only pure comfort. But being a regular sweater-wearer means relishing in the days when choosing a sweater is just the right option. When a flannel is too thin and rugged and a jacket is too much, a sweater can seal the deal and make you feel better. The close, personal warmth it brings can recharge your spirit, granted you’re not outside. Whether it’s the blue sweater made of lamb wool, the green cardigan, or the classic grey look, I always have a sweater on me. I’m thankful for being able to survive these frigid nights writing on WordPress, with a sweater around my chest, rather than suffering outside without a roof over my head. I went into New York last weekend, and I can never look at a homeless person without feeling complete and total pity about the state of the world. Being privileged in life makes a major difference in the ways in which you are treated by others. Give and you will receive, in one way or another. I’m thankful for Alex in more ways than I can count right now.

I’m thankful for the Internet, for the communities I can join in and out of in an instant on websites anonymously. I’m thankful for the friends I’ve met over the Internet, the ones I talk to every once in awhile and the ones I am lucky to speak with every day. I’m thankful for friends I met in person but whose friendships blossomed thanks to instant messaging and emailing. I’m thankful for their advice, suggestions, and constant presence in my life, even when I feel needlessly frustrated. I’m thankful for their random messages of encouragement and enlightenment, always when I need them most; let no one tell you the world is getting “too soft,” when a little bit of softness is sometimes all we need to get by. I’m thankful for those who feel comfortable exposing their vulnerabilities without feeling threatened by the mere presence of emotions. I’m thankful for people who both seek and provide comfort.

I’m grateful and thankful for so many things, and this is hardly a complete list, just the stream of consciousness that came to my head as I wrote. Hopefully it suffices for now.

Eleven

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Eleven 29 o’clock in the evening and the room is still a mess.

Basketball shoes, running shoes, Gatorade bottles and 

Torn-up papers from last semester probably strewn across 

The floor like deserted strangers, unnecessarily flung into abyssal

Apocalyptic wastelands of trash heaps and garbage disposals. 

Eleven at night and there’s nothing to drink up but the Gatorade,

And the sounds of drunken relentless birthday sex ringing 

Across the room  from yesterday at eleven 29 o’clock.