Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Second Time Around...

I'm about to head to Newbury to the newest Second Time Around consignment shop, which is in a basement near Hereford Street, next to the Boston Architectural College.

I've got two bags of stuff. I was fearless: there are things in there that just a couple of years old. A bright-blue flowered sundress from Boden. A frumpy dirndl skirt from Anthropologie. A clingy black number from Banana Republic that's so sheer it needs a slip. Who wears a slip anymore? What was I thinking when I bought this stuff? 

When will I figure out how to choose clothes that look good on me, and that work for me, instead of just buying clothes I like? After all these years of clothes-shopping, I have to say, "Probably never."

Then there's the brown Ann Taylor suit. Unemployed freelancer writers rarely wear suits — at least this one avoids it at all costs. But I sometimes feel insecure and worry that I'll suddenly get an important job interview and I'll need a suit and I won't have one. So I agonize and buy a suit, even though I hate them. Even though I feel like I'm in costume whenever I'm wearing one. I even get a wild urge to commit petty acts of vandalism in my suit, like robbing a parking meter or spray-painting a mailbox. I'm just unsuitable. It's not because I'm too "creative" to wear a suit. I think it's because my mother was a Teamster and my dad is a 1930's socialist and member of the AFL-CIO.

Anyway, I'm about to leave.... nervously. There's nothing like having your clothing rejected by a consignment shop to knock your self-esteem into the gutter. More later.


They took a lot of my things, so I don't feel too embarrassed. But I still had a big bagful to bring home. Including the suit. They said they can't sell them. (Does everyone hate suits as much as I do?) I guess it will go to one of those non-profits that provide business clothing to women breaking into the job market.

They also rejected five iffy tops, a perfectly nice Gap safari jacket, and some old-fashioned sandals.  I can't complain. And now I can take the rest of it, and a big bag filled with rattier clothing, to the Salvation Army.

But first, I need to become an expert on John Singleton Copley's European period. That's today's writing assignment. I'm still way too slow at this writing project, but I believe I'm doing a decent job. I certainly nailed Benjamin West yesterday. I think he's as boring as oatmeal, but I somehow managed to make him seem interesting. Back to it.


  1. Save a trip. You can drop the clothes at the Dependable cleaners at Hereford and Newbury and they will forward them to Boomerangs to benefit AIDS Action in Boston. They'll even clean the ones that Boomerangs wants cleaned. And, they will give you a charity receipt.

  2. Thanks for the reminder, Penny! That's exactly what we did!


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