I’m cheap. I’m poor. I love a bargain. While many people throw their Tuesday junk mail, full of supermarket Weekly Special ads, into the recycling without a second thought, I scour the said “junk mail” to plan my upcoming grocery shopping needs. It was there that I learned of the “10 pounds for $10” sale on organic peaches that QFC promised would begin the following day. I arrived at the store prior to 8am on Wednesday in order to get the very best selection of peaches. Apparently there was not an overwhelming demand. Not only was I not battling throngs of peach-shoppers in the parking lot but when I arrived at the produce section the peaches were not yet on display. I had to track down the tousle-haired manager, who appeared to have been napping, and ask for them. My daughter and I wandered around, looking at what was new in the world of dairy-free cheeses (frankly, not much) until he finally reappeared from behind his plastic curtain, peaches in tow. He yawned, looking genuinely irritated, as he unpacked the first box of peaches and arranged them on the stand. Timbuk3’s, “The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades” played over the in-store audio system. While I do find this song to be one of the very worst of the 1980s (with the possible exception of every song ZZ Top wrote during that decade) I did see some humor in the situation. He did not. I gave him a smile, loaded up my bags with delicious, pesticide-free goodness and went on my way.
That evening my daughter and I went to the Farmers Market to stock up on berries for one last jam-making hurrah before summer’s end. As I arrived at the market, with Timbuk3 still a most unwelcome twosome in my mind, I spotted a sign: “ORGANIC PEACHES! $15/20# BOX!” Well, I’ll be. Sometimes the early bird gets the shaft…
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Last week, my cousin and I stopped by Urban Outfitters to buy a gift. My cousin is 16, adorable, and looks fantastic in everything. In other words, she is an Urban Outfitters shopper. She saves her babysitting money, buys the cute outfits and looks great. I, on the other hand, had not been inside of UO for years. Probably not since 1995 or so, when Free People babydoll dresses were in style and girls like me breathed a sigh of relief in finally finding something to wear that was both fashionable and tent-like. I saved my babysitting money, bought the most tent-like babydoll dress I could find and looked, well, like a much bigger Courtney Love but with Janeane Garofalo’s Reality Bites bangs. As you can imagine, the reality of that really did bite. These days, I am not an Urban Outfitters shopper. And this shopping trip confirmed it. For one thing, I am plus-sized, zaftig- phat with an f. In addition to that, I am thrifty, frugal- pour with two o’s. But putting those facts aside for a moment, I saw something last week at Urban Outfitters that I just can’t seem to get out of my mind. What I saw shocked me and put the fear of God into me. It was not natural. Literally. It was rayon. I realize, and even appreciate (sort of), that the 80’s are back. I know that we all must suffer through them (again) and that this too shall pass but I don’t believe that we, as a people, can sit idly by while rayon makes a comeback.
Rayon and Me: The Backstory…
Between the years of 1987 and 1989 I was 12-14 years of age and living in Seattle. My wardrobe consisted of more than a few pieces of rayon. I can recall a drop-waist (so flattering…), navy blue dress, a pair of high-waisted (also fetching), floral shorts, palazzo pants (actually somewhat slimming but very Bea Arthur-esque for a 13-year old), and a few other pieces I don’t care to mention. I also had an unusual number of rayon hair scrunchies. In short, there was a lot of rayon in my life. I don’t know what 12-14 year-olds are up to these days (and from the looks of the Dateline and 20/20 exposés I see on the topic, I’m not sure I want to know…) but I rode the bus and/or walked a lot. And in Seattle this meant getting caught in the rain a lot. Have you ever seen wet rayon? It becomes somewhat stiff, strangely cold and then dries in a manner not unlike papier-mâché. And once wet, it will never return to its original splendor. Life is hard for a 12-14 year old. Life gets a little harder for a 12-14 year old when she looks like a papier-mâchéed Golden Girl.
So, fine. Let’s bring back the 80’s. Hell, nostalgia is fun. But can we all agree to leave the rayon back in 1989 where it belongs-with Hypercolor t-shirts and Rob Lowe’s underage porn video?
This is not me.
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