Saturday, February 26, 2011

Betty's Clothing Confession



Rest assured, Betty knows how to rock a fashionable outfit. When Betty leaves for work in the morning, even the crows atop of roof stop and admire the snazzy jacket, pants, and coordinating shirt she has placed upon her body.

“Yeah, Betty! Lookin’ good, Betty!” they say in crow language as they nod their glossy black necks in approval.

Each evening I come home in the same natty outfit I left the house in, pick up the mail and enter the front door. To the outside world, a well-dressed, respectable person resides within this house. People walking by smile, envisioning me sitting down to a pot of tea and a crossword puzzle, still in my sophisticated outfit after a hard day of work

However, the harsh reality is, that in a scene reminiscent of the board game “Mystery Date,” anyone coming to the door even five minutes later would gasp in surprise, astonishment, and a tad bit of horror.

Why?

Because when I come home, I immediately take off those work clothes, and I look in my closet for something to wear around the house. I look past all the cute tops and sweaters I have purchased expressly for wearing after work.

Instead, I dig around for the object of my desire.

I am a woman who, when offered a fine meal in a five-star restaurant, declines and searches instead for the old burrito she knows is somewhere in her refrigerator. There in my closet, I search. I scan the floor and at last, I see it: the torn, the ragged, the stained red sweatshirt that I love so much.

I ignore all the healthy clothing choices and slip this bad boy on over my body.

Immediately, I revel in the sheer joy this old, heavy cotton bag with ripped sleeves gives me.

Ahhhhhhhh….

My clothing drug of choice.

Yeah, baby. I’m feeling good.

Add a pair of jeans: from natty to ratty in five minutes flat.

(Sometimes I leave my earrings and necklace on, just for that extra bit o' glamour.)


Time after time, I have vowed to stop wearing sweatshirt. It belongs in the trash. I know that. Many times I have stood in the garage with it in my hand, hovering over the ragbag, trying to convince myself to just let it drop.

Once, I even forced myself to paint in it, thinking that splatters of paint would convince me to let it go. Nope. Years of reading those lying tags on expensive sweaters paid off. “The variations in the weave and dye of this garment should not be considered flaws, but enhancements to the natural fibers of which this fine piece of clothing is created.” Ah yes! I finally understood! Through my glazed eyes, the paint stains actually DID add to the beauty and sheer authenticity of the sweatshirt.


What is it that draws me back to this worn-out, rag-tag sad excuse for a sweatshirt? I don’t even remember where I got it. It was not especially expensive. It has no insignia on it that makes me nostalgic.

Is its effect Pavlovian? Does the donning of this sweatshirt signal that I am home, safe, unencumbered by the demands of the outside world? Since there are many nights that I sleep in it, does wearing it bathe my brain in thoughts of peaceful sleep? (Poor HOB! This is my version of sexy lingerie. I may have ruined him for his next wife.)

I know that if HOB or my children were hanging around the house in the same type of item of clothing, I would harass and annoy them to no end. I would give them lectures on self-respect and dignity. I might even go so far as to hide the item of clothing. (As I did as a favor for HOB when his mother sent him that shirt that made him look like an Easter egg.) AND I would never let them out of the house something that ragged looking.

Now, before you get the mental picture of me trudging through the frozen food section of the grocery store in my sweatshirt, placing a large plastic bag of generic hash browns in my cart, and being stared at and pitied by all those around, let me tell you that I DO take it off if I need to go to the store, or over to a friend's house.

However, I have no problem buzzing around the neighborhood on my morning and evening walks in it. My justification of this behavior varies day to day, but generally I choose from this handy menu of thoughts:

A.) I walk so incredibly fast, no human eye can track my movements, and therefore no ordinary retina can focus on the torn sleeves and frayed neckline of my sweatshirt.

B.) Ratty exercise wear indicates an intense dedication to sport. People will admire my passion. My sweatshirt connotes that I have no time to think of fashion. Instead, it sends the message that I am in training for some future incredibly athletic event.

C.) My sweatshirt grants me the superpower of invisibility when out walking. (This one is my favorite and most often used.)


One of the sleeves is now hanging by a thread. I know that when that frays and breaks, that will be my signal to give it up. It will be time. I will move on. Right? I will not think of using safety pins, or even sewing it back on with honest-to-goodness needle and thread.

I’ll know when it’s time to give it up.

Really, I will.


So, my dear readers, do you have similar clothing quirks? Do you have pieces of clothing that you know you probably shouldn’t wear but do?

Gather around me, my support group.

Soothe me with tales of your shabby, your ripped, your stained clothing, yearning to be worn.

Tell me about the sweater with the large cat head on it.

Does the cat have jeweled eyes?

One or two?

Tell me all about it.

Leave out no detail.


57 comments:

The Adorkable Ditz said...

When I was younger I had a few clothes like that like my Lee jeans, but then all of a sudden they were gone. My mother tossed them. It was for the better I suppose I wore those jeans to the threads.

Now I don't have any clothes really old enough to be frayed at the edges. I have worn clothes that I wear for workout wear and pjs but for the most part not really.

And I must agree you DO walk fast. Sometimes I look out the window in class then all of a sudden you're at the front of the room. Where did you get that lovely super power!

The Adorkable Ditz' Missteps

Teresa Evangeline said...

Where do I begin... A kindred soul, a fellow junkie. I think the invisibility shield was the part I could most relate to. Nothing like a well-worn sweatshirt, or coat... However, they're not getting me laid. Perhaps I should change my tactics. Or my clothes.

Love this post. Thanks.

Ami said...

Hm. I don't really have anything like that in my current wardrobe.

But my Aunt Sue Ann had a ratty old tan sweater that she wore out. And continued to wear. When she left home, she left it in her closet.

And when I moved in with my grandparents, I adopted that old sweater and wore it and wore it and wore it.

Thanks for reminding me.

I need to write my aunt a letter.

Pat Tillett said...

Do I ever...
I think old and comfy clothes do the same thing for us that old friends do! We are more relaxed in their presence.

I am so much like you in this regard! I aspire to one day become the old man "down the street" who walks down to the mailbox while still in his pajamas. It's only about a 30 yard walk, but I love my old pj's...

Brian said...

I hate to over simplify, but if it feels good, do it!

Daisy said...

I have no clothes like this at all. Absolutely none! I can't believe you would even suggest such a thing!

Well... except maybe my super-faded gray sweatshirt with an autumn scene on the front. You can't really tell it is an autumn scene because the colorful leaves are almost completely faded away, but I know what USED to be there. And yes, I AM wearing it right now. How did you know? :D

Out on the prairie said...

There is a feel for certain clothing. I am a clothing addict so dress fairly nice no matter what the day is. I do have a house sweater that I never go outside in, least all those lonely housewives forget what a dapper dan I really am. I laugh how old some of my stuff is, I cleaned out one closets worth when a friends son got a job finally, to encourage him to stay with it.I used to wear sport jackets and it hurt to narrow down my selection to 4-5 from over 25.My last suit I call a marrying or burying suit, hoping to get some wear out of it.

Venassa said...

I used to have a sweater that I wore like that back in high school. These days, I just throw on some pj pants and a comfy hoodie as soon as I walk in the door. I just can't be comfortable in something classy and form fitting. I understand your sweater love completely.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

A most enjoyable post. I love to wear clothes I feel comfortable in, Jeans, tops, sweaters that sort of thing but can rise to the oaccsion to dress up if need be.

Yvonne.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I do exactly the same thing. I'm wearing my favorite soft old sweat shirt right now with fuzzy socks and slippers on my feet. This is the life.

Tracy said...

Ahhh, Betty, I must confess...that article of clothing I've been wearing for years is a pair of white sweat pants with the elastic around the ankles; well, elastic around just one ankle because the other is stretched out...yeah, Honey, that looks really nice I hear my husband saying.
However, not to stop there...I have an Ohio Barns Bicentennial sweatshirt that I match because the sweatpants are no longer white but a dingy gray with specks of dirt where they no longer come clean. The Bi-Ohio Barns sweatshirt is at least 8 years old and it too is white--okay whiter than the sweat pants and when I get home the bra comes off and I throw those tow items on until bedtime, well that is if I take them off at all :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I have several loungewear pants that are in danger of disintegrating next time my wife does the laundry.

Joyful said...

Wow Betty! You've really kept that sweatshirt long past it's due date. I don't have any item of clothing like it however just like your reader above, I do tend to keep some sweatpants a little too long. Recently I got rid of about 3 of them and of course had to buy more. I think these ones may last beyond their due dates also ;-)

Linda said...

I love comfy clothes, and sweatshirts are the best. I have some that are around 15 years old that I can't bear to part with. But I haven't subjected them to paint, so they look practically new. :)

This was a great post. Had me smiling all the way through.

Laura said...

When I saw the first photo of the sweatshirt, I thought, "Well, that isn't too bad." But when I saw the second photo I thought, "OMG." Then I remembered a comfy nightshirt that I had. It was so worn out that it started getting holes in, what my husband thought was, all the RIGHT places (if you get my drift). I wept when I finally threw it out.

A Tale of Two Cities said...

I call it "comfort clothing" sort of like comfort food--thee's nothing quite like it. I have an old winter gown, that I keep thinking I will replace, and I have bought newer prettier gowns, and consider throwing the old one out, but I can't bring myself to do it. And to top it off, I even pull it out of the drawer from underneath the newer ones and slip it on way too often, much to my husband's disdain. I can't help myself! sigh.....

Ann said...

I actually go to work in jeans and a sweatshirt so i wear comfortable clothes all day long BUT, since the jeans and sweatshirt are work clothes it is mandatory that when i get home I put on the pajama pants and any other shirt. The shirt could range from a hoodie to a stained and stretched t-shirt. Makes no difference as long as I'm comfy.

Madi and Mom said...

MOL BB, mom does the same thing. SHe walks right into her bedroom to change but she does a weird thing she changes clothes in the closet..becasue she doesn't want to put the shades down. I'm always sitting on the bed waiting for her too,
Hugs Madi and Mom

Old Kitty said...

Oh BB!! How could you even think of getting rid of such a fine garment!!!??? It's PINK!! It;s got the scars of many BB hard won battles!!! It's got HISTORY!!
:-) I say Yay for Pinkie!!!

I have an overbaggy - as in down past my knees and sleeves trailing on the floors - christmas jumper (lots of snowmen and pine trees) that hibernates in the bottom of my drawers. It's main use is that it's very warm, very snuggly and I got it in 1988. A grand year for me! Yay! take care
x

Flartus said...

I'm with ya. I have multiple garments of that variety, and I too wear them when I walk the dog. My thought process? Everyone will think me slightly batty, and leave me in peace.

It mostly works.

Marlene said...

I love my old ragged "comfies", as I call 'em. I look like hell in them, and wouldn't be caught dead out in public in them....but in the privacy of my home - they are ME!

Susan in the Boonies said...

I absolutely do, as my Mom did before me.

My Mom horrified and embarrassed me in regard to the ratty old things she used to wear.

And now, I carry on this fine tradition by embarrassing my own daughter.

The truth for both of us is, probably, that it had a lot to do with letting our abdomens have a nice break. And why not? Abdomens are people too. Sort of.

Miriam in KS said...

Dear BB,

I can fix that...really! just sayin'.....:)

Dina @ 4 Lettre Words said...

I've always been the same way...and this post made me smile BIG!

Vodka Logic said...

Luckily I don't have to dress nice for work so I am all about comfort. 24/7

Catherine said...

Oh yes ~ after wearing dress clothes to work 5 days a week, there is nothing I like more than coming home after work, taking everything off and throwing on my sweat pants and sweat shirt. Perhaps not quite as 'broken in' as your, but still very comfy!

No cat sweaters though.... ;)
xo Catherine

Anonymous said...

My older daughter is 22 and I still have and wear the sweatshirt I used when I was pregnant with her. I go through phases with it, and put it at the bottom of the drawer from time to time until I just need the closeness and connection it provides.
Hot pink, with the words: London, Rome, Paris, Oxnard.

Linda Myers said...

I have a couple of pairs of Not Your Daughter's Jeans I bought used on eBay last year. I alternate between them and everything else in my closet doesn't get touched. All the clothes I used to wear to work are about to get sent to Goodwill. Why on earth would I wear anything except what's comfortable?

My sister says she refuses to buy any clothing that touches her body.

citymouse said...

I am with you sister! I come home from work and put on my comfy, stretchy yoga pants and my favorite tee shirt. After that, no one better ask me to go out anywhere... it just ain't happenin'.

Hilary said...

But of course. I have a similar sweatshirt, a couple of t-shirts and one embarrassingly worn out tube top which I only wear out in the sun when I can't be seen by anyone. You're certainly not alone.

Sandra said...

I agree: ratty clothing while working out demonstrates that you are both so fast nobody will see and it shows your devotion to sport!

faye said...

I have an old .. very old tee that
I must wear when I mow.. nothing
else will do.

Mrs. Indecisive said...

I love undressing when I get home hahaha unfortunately I don't have a sweatshirt to wear after work. Lucky!

Barbara Shallue said...

When I was really young, I had a pair of jeans that were ripped to shreds that I refused to part with. I guess I finally outgrew them. Now, I still tend to wear the same things over and over. I hate having to make decisions! (This made me laugh out loud, by the way!Thank you!)

Jennifer Shirk said...

Oh yeah, I totally have a 'comfy uniform' I wear around the house. Although I am so vain that I will change if I have to leave the house. LOL
I had a tattered pair of jean shorts that literally looked like it was held together by a few threads. I finally--FINALLY--got rid of them. Wah.

Anne Gallagher said...

You won't belive it but I'll tell you anyway. I have the same sweatshirt. Mine is blue. Well, purply blue now. Got thrown in with some bleach one day.

It has paint on it as well, along with a stain from who knows where. When my neckline got really ratty, I cut it off. When my cuffs were like yours, I cut those off too so now it's a 3/4 length sleeve. Which is okay because they don't get caught in anything by hanging by the thread. If I have to go out to the store or anywhere, I turn it inside out. It's a whole other shirt!!

This shirt was bought in 1989. Yes, it was. And I have no intention of getting rid of it. It's become a part of my 'essential' wardrobe.

I wore 'the snot out of it'. To coin a phrase.

Barbara said...

OMG...we're "Fashion Sisters"... Reading your blog I always knew we were close somehow...now I know!!!

Mamma has spoken said...

Night wear. My ratiest of clothes is night wear especially night gowns. As soon as the the weather turns a little cool, I put them on as soon as I get home from work. On the week-ends during this time, I spend the day in flannel pj bottoms. Unlike you, I've been known to be seen in those pj bottoms's with teddy bears, cows or polar bears in public. But that's been at the grocery story, running for a lone item so it doesn't count.

Joey @ Big Teeth and Clouds said...

I must confess, I am addicted to my, um, house coat. I think it's really supposed to be a robe, but it has a zipper. From the get go I was confused about it's intended purpose. That's when I started wearing around the house. It keeps me warm. You can't tell whether or not I'm wearing a bra under my many layers. It has big pockets. It looks like hell.

Shan said...

How funny! Just half an hour ago I removed *my* ripped, stained and faded sweatshirt. Even as I wore it I thought of why I was going to keep on keeping on in it. It's something I treated myself to after cutting five minutes(!) off my personal best time at the Carlsbad 5000 (you can google it, but I'll just tell ya... it's a 5k). Sure, that's the race where I was passed by an 8 year old girl. A woman pushing a double stroller. Oh yes, and the 80 year old speed walker. Whatevs. Five minutes off my time! I reminisce as I creak around the house these days.

Seams Inspired said...

Nothing's better than slipping into the rest of your day in your favorite attire! :o)

PS...For me, I honestly have no ratty-tatties other than my jeans for yard work. At the end of my day, my favorite comfort-wear is my flannelback satin pajamas. Love them!

Happy Sunday! :o)

jenny_o said...

I so enjoyed this post and everyone's comments. I thought I had some bad items of clothing but after reading these I feel MUCH better!

gayle said...

I hate wearing clothes! Usually stay in my night gown with a pair of sweat pants.....well not at work of course.

I love your sweat shirt...never throw it away!

Nat said...

Working from home, I spend most days in clothes like your beloved sweat shirt :-) Comfy is top priority!

Velvet Over Steel said...

Ha.. I used to 'hide' my sons old ratty and 'favorite' shirts & jeans when they were growing up... yet I still wear the MOM sweatshirt whenever possible & it sure has seen better days. But it holds so many memories and it's oh so comfortible!! Glad I'm not alone! :-)

Hugs,
Coreen xoxo

Mary said...

Hi BB I've just released my old baggy sweater into the wild ... and I miss it so. Working on that 'comfy lived in'look with another sweater ... it could take some time.

Please stop by and collect your Stylish Blogger Award this week!

Stephen Tremp said...

My wife finally threw out a sweater I wore for like ten years. She absolutely hated it. Then one day we saw someone wearing the same sweater. She said the sweater was haunting her.

Everyday Song said...

Hot dang Bossy Betty. This is SEXY in Wisconsin. I see no problem with this shirt, it is Badger red after all. Seriously, I loved the natty to ratty comment - now you need a hoopty ride!

Donna B said...

Oh yes. I refer to my worn and tattered garb as "hang out clothes". I have an ancient Colorado sweatshirt with yellow paint...a pair of worn thin, tie at the waist, navy blue sweat pants which I cannot count the times I have sewn up various holes...not easy as the material is so dang thin.... I also have a pair of pajama, short bottoms I will not part with...

They are like "old friends"....tried, true and comfy.

slommler said...

Mine is a black tshirt...well kind of dark gray in places now. Ha! Holes in many areas and definitely a frayed collar. I wear it all the time and haven't had to sew it yet...but the time may be coming. Lately, I have been trying to wear nicer shirts and good jeans. Put on make up and jewelry...it is working. I haven't work "the shirt" for weeks now. I may have broken the cycle.
Good luck
Hugs
SueAnn

Gaston Studio said...

I don't go out to work anymore, so I don't have to dress well every single day; sometimes, I call a particular day "PJ Day" and that's how anyone who comes to my door will find me. But I also have a pair of cargo type jeans that are unflattering because of all the pockets and are as old as sin, but they're perfect for working around the house or gardening. And I have a similar pair of cargo type capris that I use in the warmer months... I wear both of these much more than I should because they're both so soft and comfortable, accompanyed of course, with a similar sweat or tee shirt. I'll keep them until they fall apart and can't be repaired, so keep your sweatshirt Betty and wear it proudly!

Liz said...

I have a sweatshirt, too! And there are holes all along the cuffs like the one in the picture.

They are too good to get rid of, right?

Cake Betch said...

I have a few of these. A green sweater that has been burned, has holes ripped in it, the cuffs had become frayed, and I laid it in cleaner and bleached one of the sleeves. It's so big and comfy though I can't imagine getting rid of it.

I also have a pair of yoga pants (that have never seen a yoga session) that have holes along the seem on the outer thigh as well as a giant one right in the crotch. Nice.

Southwest Arkie said...

Uh, I'm all for comfy clothing, but after seeing the second photo, I'm seriously worried you are going to be walking out in the neighborhood and it will actually fall apart at the seams! ツ Maybe you should carry a spare just in case.

Cricket said...

This one hits a bit close to home. Actual quotation from my wife: "Are you wearing your stupid red sweatshirt again?"

Before that it was a black cardigan sweater, all gone to pilling. Not a Mr. Rogers zip one, just buttons. Wore that 'til it fell apart.

Hmmmm... maybe I should get another?

CherylK said...

I knew we were kindred spirits for some reason...THIS is it!

Mine is a bathrobe. I bought it years ago in a posh shop in Arizona. It was on sale. But, honestly, it is the best bathrobe in the entire world!

It keeps me warm when it's cold outside and it keeps me cool when it's hot. I do not know what its secret is but that is the honest truth. It's pretty ratty looking.

I have three other very nice bathrobes. But this is my fave. By a long shot. I will be sad when it has finally dissolved into nothing.

Barb said...

Hey! I have that same sweatshirt, only mine is navy blue.. or use to be