Ricë, over at the Voodoo Cafe, was having a notebook giveaway. She asked people to leave a comment and tell her “something about notebooks--what you like, what you don't like, what you remember of your first notebooks, way back in The Day.” It was a nifty notebook, just not my favorite color. But it did get me thinking. I still get that excited, heady feeling when I am in possession of a brand new notebook. That moment just before pen meets paper is so full of possibilities. It never gets old.
I remember when I left parochial school and its attendant uniforms to go off to public school. I was fourteen and a freshman. I suddenly had to figure out what to wear to school - every single day. Daunting! I read magazines, watched T.V. and knew my way around the shopping malls, so I wasn’t clueless. But I was intimidated. So I began keeping a notebook where I listed my “outfits”. It was a spiral bound, single subject, lined notebook. I can’t recall the cover, but something “mod” - it was 1972 after all - would have been likely.
Each day I would carefully note what I had worn - dungarees or skirt, blouse, sweater, shoes. Before I would pick my clothes for the next day, I would look back to be sure I wasn’t repeating an outfit. Mind you, I did not have a zillion clothes. But I would be sure to mix up one sweater with a different pair of slacks and so on. I was so earnest and precise - and yes, obsessive compulsive. In hindsight, I’m certain it was a very practical way for me to gain some control over a tumultuous time; a way of keeping my anxiety under control.
Now, nearly four decades later, I have no idea how long I kept up with that notebook - one semester? two semesters? or longer? What’s particularly amusing to me from this vantage point is how much smaller my wardrobe is now. When I find something which is comfortable and fits well and works (pockets and such) then I tend to buy it in multiple colors. (My singular and snazzy fashion indulgence now is vintage purses. Almost all of which have come from eBay.)
I wish I could zip back in time to tell my fourteen year old self that it would all turn out O.K. - even if she were to wear the same exact outfit twice in the same week.
Poor thing, she just fainted dead away!