Sunday, September 27, 2015

"What about my pants?"

   Sometimes while shopping I'll see a piece of clothing on the rack and know instantly, "Well duh, that's going home with me."  When this happens, and it happens quite frequently, I may as well just skip trying the item on.  At this point my mind is made up.  The piece in question has obviously been waiting for me since day one.  The item is simply, "Just so Rayna."  
   The reason I put this last statement in quotation marks is because I hear this phrase from others a lot.  I'll be looking through a catalog and my mom will poke her head over my shoulder saying, "Yep, that's totally you."  I've had friends come to me after shopping trips they went on and state, "I was at this store and they had these boots that really reminded me of you."  Actually, I'm even charmed enough to have one friend who recognizes my style so well he photographs pieces of clothing he believes I'll be interested in.  Lucky for me this man has excellent taste and I owe him much praise for more than a couple fantastic pieces in my wardrobe.  Lastly, the most surprising comment I've encountered was when a close friend of mine told me her husband once pointed out some coats at a store and commented, "These look like something Rayna would wear."  I was fairly shocked to hear that this man I've spent little time with had an inkling of what my personal style looked like.  It's here that I would like to interject that he was correct in his statement,  I do own several coats made by the brand he was referring to.  I guess what I'm getting at is every time I hear someone say that a piece of clothing is, "Just so Rayna," it makes me feel good.  In fact, it makes me feel great because even though I'm an extremely decisive person in regards to the items I like, I'm not always confident on who I am.
   I think every style conscious woman is trying to find a wardrobe that correctly reflects her personality.  Unfortunately, I believe many individuals overthink this goal and end up fudging their character into someone they want to be.   Likewise, I also think people often dress as someone they believe others perceive them as.  I myself have been guilty of this type of thing many times.  Often I've found myself paging through old blog posts and thinking things like, "Well I can give that shirt away to a 17 year old, because that's the only person it would be appropriate for." and, "Did I wear that that outfit for dress like a pirate day?"  All joking aside, I admit to making some pretty extreme errors in the past as far as styling goes.  However, I would argue that, "Hammer Pants," seem to have made a major comeback and who's to say they don't convey the true essence of Rayna? 
   The main point of this post is I seem to have a definite recognizable style.  So when I saw the pants I'm wearing in the photographs above at a friend's store I instantly knew they would be going home with me.  This is how my thought process worked:  Extreme bell bottom cut...Check.  Dizzying pattern and color palette...Check.  Style reminiscent of the glorious 70's...Check.  Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner people!  Despite these glaring facts in favor of an article of clothing that just seemed obviously me, I felt a tad self conscious about purchasing these pants. Lately, especially since turning 36, I've been feeling like I don't dress my age.  I mean, if the magazines are telling me that Fall 2015 is all about the fitted blazer, denim on denim, and tweed why am I so obsessed with fringe, 80's style cinch belts, and gold...well, anything?  Reading my current obsessions now makes me wonder if I've been hanging out at the roller skating rink too much.  Anywho...sometimes a person loses sight of what pieces really define them.  It's times like these one feels forced to make a change.
   Lucky for me, I repress most thoughts concerning change!  I ended up buying the item in question and my confidence skyrocketed the day I finally wore them out of the house.  During my only forty-five minute sprint around the mall I received three separate compliments from strangers regarding these seemingly fantastic pants.  However, I must say the last compliment was my favorite since it actually was not said directly to me, but rather to another person.  All I caught as I breezed on by was, "Those pants really work for her."  Proof once again that sometimes even complete strangers know me better than I do myself.  

Shirt:  Lux
Pants:  Purchased at L Couture Boutique.
Sandals:  Frye
Purse:  Frye
Scarf:  Thrifted
Necklace:  Dead Things
Bracelets:  Thrifted
Sunglasses:  Vintage 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Up To My Eyeballs

   These are strange times we live in.  Constantly, I'm reminded that I have very little control over events in my life.  What I mean is one can be the most careful and methodical individual out on the streets and still have something totally bizarre happen to them, simply because they're out on the streets.  I often have to remind myself that I can't completely control my surroundings.  I can only control how I react to them.  Unfortunately, at times this has been a rather difficult lesson for me to learn.
   A few weeks ago I received a refresher course regarding this mindset when suddenly I found myself stranded in the middle of what I now refer to as a Biblical storm.  Now to give you a little history on my record of being stranded in bad weather I will state that this was not my first rodeo.  As cautious as I claim to be I'll also admit to not being the best at paying attention to my surroundings. This fact seems to go double when I'm driving.  Examples supporting this statement can be found in the multiple vehicles I have backed into, the several buildings and pylons I've scraped, and of course, there was that shopping cart I ran over that one time.  In my defense, I will say that someone else had obviously hit it before I did.  Maybe it was a magical shopping cart that became invisible when putting a ring around it's whee....that's just too stupid to even finish.  Anyway, I admit to not being the best driver.  I blame my super rad stereo and satellite radio because nothing distracts a person more than a little Zeppelin turned up to I right?....right?
   Due to this chronic problem I have with lack of attention, there has been several times I've been stuck in bad weather while driving.  There was that one time in college I decided to take my '78 Cutlass Supreme out on a country road to watch a, "lighting storm," that ended up a deluge causing my vehicle to drift off the road and into the middle of some farmer's field.  To make a bad situation worse, this particular evening I neglected to put shoes on before leaving the house and had to walk barefoot back to town in water that was at least up to mid calf in some areas.  How I didn't end up with Giardia I'll never know.  Reflecting on it now, I guess this particular evening was really more an example of stupidity rather than lack of attention.
   There was also that time I decided to drive to Fargo in January by myself and hit the most terrifying white out blizzard conditions I've ever experienced.  Somehow I was able to find the exit to a rest stop out in the middle of absolutely nowhere and proceeded to wait for about five hours until the interstate was open for travel again.  Fear not though, I was not totally alone at that rest stop.  Yes, it was me and about twenty truckers hunkered down for the long haul.  I will say the men that I was stuck with that day were thankfully very nice.  Some even bordered on too nice, asking me if I would like to sit in their trucks with them to warm up.  While I suspect these strangers had no real ill-intentions I respectfully declined their offers and spent a lot of that day sitting in my own vehicle by myself.  The one thing I won't forget was how a number of those drivers pulled their semis up in order to completely surround my substantially smaller Mitsubishi and protect it from the unbelievable beating wind and snow.  
   So I guess the other week when the sky turned blood red and locusts came pouring out...okay, maybe it wasn't that bad, but it was bad enough to turn my normally fifteen minute drive into a three and a half hour odyssey.  Who knew that insane lightening and thunder were signs that I should call it a day and high tail it home?  We're talking a wall of water coming down around my car.  We're talking peoples' vehicles stuck in puddles of water deep enough to go up to their thighs.  We're talking literally water coming at me on the road in rapids on a residential street!  That friends is when one WAVES the white flag, stops at a subway restaurant, and orders a sandwich...not, to go. 
   In closing, I'm writing this post because I realize there are very few things I can control in life. During my 36 years on this earth I've experienced several, "Oh shit, this could be very bad," moments.  Considering this, I'm thankful for every time I remember to wear shoes, every truck driver that talks to me, and every meatball sub I get to enjoy.  I'm also extremely happy every chance I get to dress like a lady that has her stuff together enough to pay attention to what's going on around her. I can guarantee that this type of woman does not get herself in a position where her moccasins get wet.

Shirt:  7 for all mankind
T Shirt:  (Purchased at a Paul McCartney concert in Fargo, ND. "2014 Tour")
Jeans:  Henry & Belle
Boots:  Thrifted
Purse:  Kate Spade
Earrings:  Dead Things
Bracelets:  Thrifted
Sunglasses:  Coach

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Gracias Debra...ha...ha...

   I am one lucky lady.  I'm in awe at how wonderful my friends really are.  I mean for God's sake, I'm constantly shocked to hear several of my friends actually take the time to read my often ridiculous, and always random blog posts.  I mean we're talking paragraphs that revolve around impersonating auctioneers, my seemingly unending battle against rodents in my vehicle, and of course, the Ebola virus.  All of which are topics that relate closely to the world of really.  My point is I'm extremely flattered every time an individual approaches me and states, "Hey, your last blog post was really funny," or, "I totally identified with that crazy eye twitch you were talking about"... because it's always nice to hear you're not the only one who suffers from uncontrollable facial spasms.  (Which designer sunglasses are perfect for covering up.  If one needs yet another reason to justify this type of guilty purchase.)
   Seriously though, it's amazing to me how supportive people can be.  Especially when they're being subjected to mindless prose in it's purest form.  This being said, I would like to especially thank my friend Debra...ha...ha..., (and one has to say her name just that way), for the absolutely beautiful vintage dress I'm wearing in the photographs above.
   Like me, Debra...ha...ha... is one who stems from a strong creative persuasion.  She is a person of projects, a collector of things, and a patron of the arts.  She understands the importance of lending one's support and encouragement towards the artistic work of others.  She also understands the need to feed other artists...because they're often broke...and starving.  Also, the woman makes an unbelievable egg bake and apple muffins!  Which I would argue alone sparks this artist's creative fires.  Mostly Debra...ha...ha... is an extremely perceptive person who not only takes the time to identify other individuals' passions, but shares in their enthusiasm for them.  She is the type of woman to bring you an original Montgomery Ward Fall/Winter fashion catalog from 1943.  She is that rare kind of individual who gives you a dress, a family heirloom originally belonging to her mother in the 1940's and says, "I know you love vintage clothing.  I thought you may like this." Lastly she's the type of friend that will put aside for you the last delicious homemade apple muffin, because you weren't working the day she brought them in.  However, she is not the the type of lady to stay around and clean up afterwards.  Because as she states herself, "Debbie does not do the dishes." This statement alone has always made me like her even more.
   I guess what I want to get across here is my friend Debra...ha...ha... is a giver.  She's also a bit of a hippie...maybe a smidgen more than just a bit.  In some ways I fancy myself a tad hippie as well. So it should come as no surprise to anyone that I truly believe that all individuals are extremely intertwined.  I credit a large portion of my quirks, talents, and overall personality to the people I've spent this life with.  Every James Brown dance party I've had with someone, every all night wanna be Pollock painting session, every, "let's make tuna melts and hit the road towards Minneapolis," at 4 AM, every Janis Joplin sing along, every movie night quaffing down at least twenty chicken nuggets while watching, "Nosferatu,"  every concert I've attended with a band wearing Mexican wrestling masks and singing Christmas carols, every meaningful conversation I've had sitting on a porch with someone wearing matching cowboy hats, every six hour cruise around town with absolutely no destination only to stop once to pick up a couch and fur coat at the thrift store, (This one I just did with my brother last time I was in Fargo.  Best day ever!), every one of these memories and a million more were spent with people that shared endless stories with me.  (How's that for a major run-on sentence?)  With each new person I meet, I feel like I gain a whole new worldview through the stories and feelings they choose to tell with me.  So thank you Debra...ha...ha... for sharing not only many of your wonderful stories, but also your mother's beautiful dress.  I feel like now a piece of me knows a little of her story as well.  

Dress:  Vintage (Gift from Debra...ha...ha...)
Heels:  Kenneth Cole
Belt:  Anthropologie
Purse:  Kate Spade
Hat:  San Diego Hat Company
Bracelet:  (Purchased at The Classic located in Moorhead, MN.)


*The picture above is of my friend Debra...ha...ha's mother Dorie circa 1940s. (The original owner of the dress)  An item that has been passed from one stylish lady, to the next, to the next. 

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Door Number Three, Please

   I've always considered myself to be a true creature of habit.  However, recently it was brought to my attention by a friend that I may be a titch more than that.  Actually, I believe the exact statement she made regarding my behavior was that, "I was Rain Man."  
   Now, considering my name is Rayna and Rain Man is really not that far of a stretch phonetically I thought this statement was rather witty at first.  Okay actually it was pretty juvenile, but hey, stupidity is generally amusing, right?  It wasn't until I really started exploring the reasons she labeled me this that I became paranoid about my little admittedly many little idiosyncrasies.  
   I guess I always just thought I liked routine.  Yes, I park my car in the same parking spot at work every day.  Now maybe I've been known to get a little bent out of shape when someone parks in my spot.  Okay, and there were those few times I considered playing chicken against other vehicles who somehow seemed unaware that this spot belonged to my mind...which obviously should make it law to everyone else.  It's not that my parking spot is special, sheltered, or even close to the building I work in.  It's just where my car goes.  I think of it like the closet I put my clothes in.  One does not leave their clothes just strewn about anywhere.  At least this person does not.
   Back to the topic of routine, I also strongly prefer to eat at certain times.  For example, the idea of eating lunch at 3 PM is extremely stressful to me.  How can I possibly eat lunch at 3 when my evening meal is certainly going to be somewhere between 6 and 8 PM?  That's simply not enough time to digest in between sittings! 
   I also catch a lot of flak for eating the same things on a regular basis.  I mean, so what if I like Starkist tuna kits, pistachios, and zebra cakes?  These items make a very inexpensive lunch and do not require the use of a microwave or refrigerator if you're on the go.  Also, I do drink a Perrier everyday but how is that any different than the hordes of individuals slugging down Mountain Dew daily...before breakfast I may add!
   I really don't think it's that odd to park in the same spot every day, keep one's meals on a regular schedule, and repeat a lot of the same menu options.  Of course, I also don't think it's weird to; paint my nails every Thursday night, watch a foreign movie every Sunday night, light a candle every time I sit down for dinner, give the cat exactly three treats per day, define in private every morning what my favorite moment of the previous day was, vacuum one, AND ONLY ONE, area rug in my home each day in a feeble attempt to eventually clean the entire house, never eat and drive at the same time, talk to my brother on the phone every weekend for a minimum of two hours at a time, if avoidable never stay out past 11 PM at night, and definitely no late night snacking because I saw, "Gremlins," man and bad stuff happens when one hits the fried chicken after midnight.  Lastly, I spend almost every day I have off reading novels at Starbucks and drinking tall decaf vanilla lattes, (I've been considering hazelnut lately, but the idea kinda gives me the wiggins still.)     
   Basically if these little habits make me weird, than weird I am.  Just think, these are only the quirks I feel comfortable sharing with the public.  As I was presenting my concerns of potentially being a real life, "Rain Man," with my father he said something rather profound to me.  "Weirdness is not a disease," he said.  For a hypochondriac like me it was one of the most comforting things I'd ever heard.
   In closing, I would like to state that I have currently decided I do not have Autism.  Yes, I like to play the 80's station on the radio at work only on Sundays, and admittedly I hit the lock button on my car exactly three times when I'm getting out of it.  However, I'm aware that these are conscious choices I've been making.  These habits are things that I choose to continue doing because they make me feel comfortable and in control of an otherwise unpredictable life.  At any point I can change my game plan and pick another one of the, "Doors of Perception." I want to clarify for all you Aldous Huxley fans this choice would be sans peyote.  I don't really think that's a habit I'm ready to pick up at this point. (Yes I know it's really a stretch, but how else was I going to tie this whole rant in with the above outfit?)  Now, enough with all this deep thinking the cat is waiting for his three treats and he has a schedule to keep.

Shirt:  Forever 21
Shorts:  Thrifted  
Boots:  Thrifted
Purse:  Frye
Bracelets:  Thrifted
Sunglasses:  Vintage