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Descent into adulthood

My mother and my step-mother-in-law both got me crock pots for Christmas. I returned one and used the credit at Bed Bath and Beyond to get an insulated, light-blocking curtain for The Child’s bedroom. Dull and practical.

For her birthday, my cousin got The Child a velour sweatsuit in an unappealing mushroomy brown color from The Gap. I decided I would return it and get myself something. My current wardrobe is hideously limited by the weight I’ve put on in the past year.

So that’s what I did today. I returned the sweat suit and bought myself…. wait for it, drum roll, everyone…. eight pair of underwear.  Four in basic black, three in heather gray with little blue flowers on the front, and one daring pair of baby blue with little white hearts on. They were the entirety of the store’s stock in XL with the bikini cut. All 100% cotton with full coverage in the back.

Have I grown so unutterably dull that I exchange a present to get underwear? Partly it was a matter of practicality — all my knickers have disintegrated in the past month. And why spend money when I’ve got return-credit? partly it was a matter of expedience — the only Kid’s Gap is a car-ride away and I really hate to burn all that gas just to haul myself and two tons of steel up 93North to swap something when I could just as easily walk down to Harvard to get something for myself, which I need.

But it comes on the heels of a big “splurge” last week. My winter socks, like my underwear, all started blowing holes in the past month. Heels shredding, toes suddenly poking out, giant ladders running up the ribbing. I tossed each pair as it shredded and suddenly, after a particularly disastrous last week, realized I only owned enough winter socks (wool or angora, knee high) to get through four days! So I went wild and crazy and bought three very nice pair on Sock-Dreams.

The two incidents together make me feel very dowdy. I bought cotton undies and thick wool knee socks. Whoo hoo. I’m like some charity case in a Victorian Gothic. Next I’ll be buying a serviceable black wool coat on sale.

What’s sad is what I wanted to buy instead and didn’t. An ironwood cutting board. Some wool flannel that’s on sale. An instant-read thermometer.
Am I practical or just worn down into dull adulthood?

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