Sunday, April 24, 2016

Too Young?

   Lately, it occurred to me that I may dress slightly different from other women my age.  During my thirties I’ve been lucky enough to hear the sentence, “Wow, you don’t look your age at all." Being the, "modest," individual I am, I've always perceived this statement as a huge compliment.  However recently, I’m starting to wonder if that’s the way this comment was intended.
   I think I started heavily analyzing this after I found my first gray hair.  I'd suspected it's presence for quite a while, but had refused to closely inspect my head for confirmation.  I reasoned, from what I remember my hair is naturally a blondish brown color and in the right light my roots may be easily mistaken as having a grayish hue.  You see, I believed I was going blonde instead of gray.  Denial is a twisted thing people.
   Finally, one day on my lunch break at work my guard was down due to the fact I was distracted by the impending afternoon’s tasks.  I was in the restroom when I saw something shiny in my hair.  I leaned forward and, “What the...?”  “It wasn’t too late,” I thought.  I was alone and apparently nobody else had seen the now obviously white, wiry beacon that was protruding from the front of my head.  I quickly yanked it out, desperately inspecting it for blonde from all angles.  “I wouldn’t mind being platinum,” I thought, sinking deeper into my delusion.
   Since that fateful afternoon I’ve been forced to face reality.  I wish I could state I did this subtly and with grace.  However, that’s just not my style and after several phone calls to friends and family I was gently reminded that it’s normal for one to experience physical changes when reaching their late-thirties.  Apparently, this is something that happens to everyone.  I was told I will not always have the same color hair.  This became extremely apparent the evening of my big, “incident,” when I forced my boyfriend to pick through my hair in search of additional evidence of my age. Unfortunately he found several examples of what I now refer to as blonde, to which his response was, “Welcome to the club Raynie!”
   Considering this now, I suspect I'm not the first individual to notice the gray in my hair.  Furthermore, I'm beginning to face the fact that there have been other changes in my appearance that hint at my increasing age.  That’s why it recently dawned on me that when people state, “You don’t look your age!" it may actually mean, "You don't dress your age!"  I must admit when I look at other women in their thirties I don’t see a lot of them sporting crappy band t-shirts and bell bottoms.  Could it be that the classic formulas that always worked in the past for this girl are simply not appropriate for the present woman I’ve become?  Instead of thrifting for kooky combinations should I be spending my hard earned money on perfectly coordinated ensembles at Ann Taylor LOFT?  Oh my god, are people laughing at me for dressing exactly as I did when I was 23?!
   Following these recent revelations I finally came to the simple conclusion that my hair is inevitably going to turn gray.  I can’t stop time and remain the same person forever.  Keeping this in mind, I can embrace the individual I know myself to be.  This is a woman who enjoys thrifting for crazy shit that may, or may not, have a label on it that reads Ann Taylor.  Admittedly, even if I was wearing a classy blazer from LOFT, I'm certain I'd have something like a Hello Kitty t-shirt on underneath it.  I guess some things never do change.  Now...more importantly, I wonder if it's really true that blondes have more fun? According to my boyfriend's recent inspection of my head I should be finding out very soon.

Jacket:  Gap
T Shirt:  Purchased at the Fargo Record Fair
Shorts:  Thrifted
Boots:  Thrifted
Purse:  Vintage  (Coach)
Necklace:  Vintage  (Avon)
Earrings:  Thrifted
Sunglasses:  Cole Haan

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Homeboys Vs. Homebodies

   I’m not entirely sure when it happened, all I know is at some point I decided I was seriously comfortable hanging out by myself.  This realization was strange for me.  I guess deep down I’ve always considered myself a fairly social individu… pfff…I can’t even finish typing that.  The truth of the matter is, I’m just more comfortable when I’m alone…in the company of others.  “How is it possible to be alone with others,” you ask?  “Well, I’ll tell you how,” I answer. 
   I guess this topic came to mind the other day as a result of a conversation I was having with my brother.  He and I are infamous for discussing extremely random subject matter that often results in us comparing our often equally, “unusual,” behavior.  Keep in mind I wrote the word, “unusual.”  This is a characteristic that can also be referred to as, “eccentric,” which is often perceived as, “charming,” by polite society.  Anyway, during this particular exchange my brother was explaining how he would rather go to public functions with a companion.  He was of the opinion that there’s strength in numbers and he felt more confident in social situations when among others he knew.  It was at this time that it occurred to me that my preference may be a little odd.  While I consider myself exceptionally lucky in regards to the fact that I have many close friends, I couldn’t help acknowledging the fact that I possess more confidence while alone in public.  “What the heck does that say about me?” I wondered.
   The whole topic began to consume me, (in between daydreams of new spring sandals, of course.)  "Why would I feel more comfortable by myself," I questioned?  I considered it for days and the only answer I could come up with was, control.  I like to be in control of every situation.  A good example of this happened frequently while I lived in Minneapolis, MN.  During that time, I often found myself going to the movies alone.  Thankfully, this wasn’t a result of not being able to find someone to go with me.  It simply was because I preferred to engage in this activity by myself.  I reasoned, when alone, one can choose any movie they’d like to go to, whether it’s the artsiest hipster flick or the crappiest mainstream flop.  In addition, while flying solo, one can choose any seat in the theater they’d prefer and spread out as wide as they like because there's no one else to contend with.  Let me tell you, this is a perk to consider since some of us are extremely OCD and demand to always sit in the very back row of the theater, despite the wishes of anyone else attending.  In addition, certain individuals may be guilty of carrying enormous handbags that require an entire seat of their own.  Let it be known just because I went to the movies alone doesn't mean I didn’t bring a close companion.  I mean come on, Coach has been by my side through a lot of bullshit.  Lastly, if I start questioning my sanity because I’ve finally become lucid and realize I’m sitting in front of a movie starring Ashton Kutcher, I can bail with no explanation because, “Hey, Coach doesn't care!” 
   One of my favorite memories from my time spent living in the cities was when I went alone to the Uptown Theatre in Minneapolis in order to see the movie, “Lost in Translation.”  I remember I had the day off work and had wanted quite badly to see this particular film.  At the time, it was newly released and I knew little about it except the fact that I was very drawn to the movie poster and had heard the soundtrack was exceptional.  Many individuals had volunteered to go to this picture with me. However, for some reason I knew I had to see this one alone.  I will never forget leaving that theater by myself at dusk.  I walked down that sidewalk located in the heart of, what had always seemed to me, a giant city and I felt completely at peace with the idea that I was alone among all those people.  I certainly didn't overlook the fact that the movie itself was largely based around the theme of feeling isolated around others.  At the same time, this movie displayed the beauty one can enjoy all around them despite being alone.  I guess remembering the serene way I felt that night makes me feel comfortable with the idea that I immensely enjoy spending time by myself. 
   Of course, there was that one time I decided to attend a showing of, "The Amityville Horror," alone.  I love scary movies and was not at all intimidated by going to one solo…until I realized I was the only one in the entire theater.  I will admit that got a little creepy.  I guess there can be too much of a good thing.

Poncho:  Wildfox
Jeans:  Liverpool
Boots:  Miss Sixty
Necklace:  Thrifted
Ring:  Nine West
Sunglasses:  Vintage  (Anne Klein)

Sunday, April 10, 2016

"What a difference a day makes!"

   Lately, I’ve been experiencing some pretty funky mood swings.  This is not because I’ve been obsessively listening to the Parliament album I reviewed this week on  Although if you want to discuss strange behavior, a solid example of it can be found in this bands' founding member, George Clinton.  Of course, Clinton combined eccentricity with enormous talent in order to create a persona for himself that is widely respected throughout the music industry.  Unfortunately, my strange behavior just makes me well…strange.
   The people who know me personally are probably reading this and thinking, “So? You’re always going through mood swings Rayna.”  I’m willing to admit that this statement is fairly accurate.  However, lately I feel like my emotional state has gotten even more unpredictable.  “Not possible,” you continue to think.  “Scary, ain’t it?” I answer. 
   Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I’m running around laughing hysterically at inappropriate things while mumbling curse words to myself.  In fact, that would be an example of extremely predictable behavior for me.  For the record, I see many individuals doing this type of thing and nobody seems to think they’re weird.  Yep, people just don’t judge at the public library. 
   Lately my, "mood swings," have been more subtle.  One afternoon I’ll be on top of the world about something funny I wrote, or how great my eyebrows looked in, “that one picture.”  Of course, the very next day I’ve already defined myself as a no talent hack who is way too old for a fashion blog and is two days shy of a unibrow.  Seriously though, I pluck my eyebrows daily and if I didn’t God only knows what my face would look like.  I worry about becoming elderly and how I'll be able to maintain my eyebrows if I’m too feeble to take care of them on my own.  Interestingly enough, I don’t worry about who will actually take care of me.  I just worry about my eyebrows.  Hey, I have priorities.
   Returning to the topic of moodiness, the other day I was on my way out the door in order to take pictures for this blog when I realized I just didn’t give a crap.  I had spent a decent amount of time putting on my makeup and picked out a fairly snazzy ensemble.  However, when I walked out the door I was greeted with those familiar howling prairie winds and another dreary day.  “That’s it!,” I thought and quickly folded up my tripod, walked immediately inside the house, and hopped back into bed, fully clothed, in order to take a nap.  Yes, I chose a nap over glamour shots!  What?!
   I guess if I was forced to define something as the cause of my recent woes I’d blame the weather.  A good example of this can be found in the above photographs.  These images are pictures I took of two consecutive days.  One of these mornings was full of gray skies and snow covered ground.  The very next day BAM!!!... “It’s spring lady!  There’s no snow so you better be happy!”  I guess I just can’t operate that way.  I need to ease into transitioning seasons.  There’s too much pressure to be in a good mood when the weather's nice.  Keeping this in mind, in the state of South Dakota “good,” weather never lasts too long.  
   Recently, the outdoor conditions have returned to doom and gloom.  This is the kind of weather I'm currently accustomed to. Unfortunately, I still feel like taking naps during the middle of the day.  However, my opinion of naps has now altered.  Seriously, what could be more glamorous than indulging in a midday snooze?  What adult really has the luxury to do this?  In addition, I can think of nothing more frivolous than dressing for bed.  In other words, for one to take the time to make up their face, fix their hair, and pick out a well-coordinated outfit simply to, “hit the hay,” is ridiculous…ly awesome.  I gotta say those soap opera stars are really onto something there.  Not only do they always look fantastic while waking up, they too, often find themselves laughing at inappropriate times and mumbling crazy things to no one.  I’ve concluded one can do all of this and not be judged if they're simply able to maintain fantastic hair...preferably while at the public library.

Outfit #1
Sweater:  Caslon
Jeans:  Liverpool 
Boots:  Vintage
Purse:  Vintage (Coach)
Scarf:  The Limited
Sunglasses:  Kate Spade

Outfit #2
Sweater Vest:  Fossil
Shirt:  7 for all mankind
Jeans:  Gap
Boots:  Ugg
Purse:  Sundance  (Gift from Mom)
Earrings:  Local artist
Necklace:  Thrifted
Sunglasses:  Vintage

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Bob Dylan's Boots

   If you happen to be one of my regular readers, (a.k.a. my Mom or Dad), it’s probably not surprising to hear that I fully admit I can be a little strange at times.  I mean, so what if I’m prone to, "cooking up," bizarre stories behind the objects I thrift?  Okay, so maybe these fantastic histories come to mind so easily that I’m likely to accept their validity without a second thought.  Is it that big of a deal to think of oneself as slightly psychically linked to certain items?  Reading this last statement now all I can think is, “Man, I will do anything to justify buying a pair of boots.”
   Of course, this is absolutely true.  Not only do I own up to my multiple eccentricities, I also confess to my extreme decisiveness when it comes to something I want.  It’s shocking to me when I find myself confronted with an individual who can't make up their mind.  Multiple times I’ve gone shopping for clothes with different friends who simply can’t decide if they like something.  In the 36 years that I've been living I can't recall one instance when I couldn’t decide…well…anything. 
   So I guess here’s where I make another little confession, “I have absolutely no problem making decisions.”  In fact, I seem to be able to make them for myself and others, whether they ask for my opinion or not.  For example, you find yourself wanting to go to a restaurant and aren’t sure what you’re in the mood for.  This is not a problem if you happen to be dining with me.  It's a fact that I've already decided where we’re going long before I was even officially invited.  Likewise, imagine you happen to find yourself thrifting with me at St. Vinny’s.  While picking through the $2.00 bin you come across a pair of vintage black leather gloves that you think may be a little too, "old lady," for your liking until I cut into your thoughts with, “Oh my god!  Those are so perfect!  I can’t wait to pair them with that wine colored corduroy blazer I have!”  As a side note, I did find these gloves at St. Vinny’s last winter and they do look fantastic with my blazer.  Luckily, I didn’t have to rip them out of one of my friends' hands that day do to the fact that I attempt to adhere to a, “Friends don’t let Rayna thrift with them,” policy.  Basically, as a result of my, “charming decisiveness,” I acknowledge the fact that I should shop for vintage alone if I would like to maintain treasured friendly acquaintances.
   Could it be that I’m just a brat who attempts to get what she wants as much as possible?  Most likely…but here’s a thought, maybe I’m so decisive about shopping because I somehow psychically know that certain objects are meant to be with me.  Yeah…that sounds a little more realistic.  For instance, not so long ago I found myself, thankfully shopping alone, at the Ragstock in Duluth, MN.  While I was there I came across many vintage items that I immediately liked and considered taking home with me.  However, there was only one thing in the store on that particular day that I was certain was absolutely waiting for my inevitable arrival.  My thoughts sounded like this when I was cruising around the racks, “Sweater, sweater, ugly sweater…wait, what could I pair that with?  I think I can make this work.  Sweater, sweater…Oh, and there’s Bob Dylan’s old boots!”  Literally, that’s the immediate thought that popped into my head when seeing the boots I'm wearing in the above pictures.  Instantly, I knew Bob’s boots were going home with me.  Now, did I find them super attractive?  Meh…not really.  In fact, I already had several pairs of cowboy boots in my closet that were much nicer than the pair that confronted me that day in Ragstock.  Did I find these boots exceptionally comfortable?  Not really, despite the fact that Bob Dylan seems to have the same size feet as me, these boots have actually been well worn by the previous owner and as a result have molded to their particular foot shape.  So why you ask, did I end up leaving the store that day with a pair of uncomfortable, “Meh,” looking boots that I was ecstatic about?  Well, I guess because I’m a dreamer who likes to concoct stories to make myself smile.  Also, sometimes even the most decisive individuals need a reason to justify why they're so attracted to an item.  However, I’ll have it known that Bob Dylan is originally from Duluth, MN.  I’ll also mention that at least two of his album covers are the exact same color as my Ragstock boots.  Coincidence?...I think not!

Sweater:  Ralph Lauren
Boots:  Vintage  (Thanks Bob!)
Purse:  Gift from my Mom  (Okay, really this time…Thanks Mom!)
Necklace:  Thrifted
Earrings:  Handmade by local artist 
Sunglasses:  Roberto Cavalli