A Day Late and a Dollar Short (Krissie)

That was a saying from my Danish grandmother. Probably common in the first half of the last century, I imagine. I’m sitting her with a spiffy new bottom of the line MacBook Air (people don’t usually brag about bottom of the line, do they?) but of course I didn’t have my sign in info so I couldn’t get on until way late in the day. But I got my proposal and 25k words out the door, and I’m juggling lots of stuff, but not feeling as achy or overwhelmed. Bird by bird, and this year I’ going to revel in the good things. I love your choices for word of the year – I’m looking forward to seeing Jenny’s changes.
As for me, I’ve made a couple of decisions this week. One, that I need to be braver. I don’t drive a lot of places because heavy traffic scares me (snowstorms, not so much). I know there are places where people panic at a snowflake, so I’m guessing it’s simply what you’re used to. Horribly long commutes are terrible in theory, but when you’ve got one you just do it and don’t think about it. I don’t get stage fright, I’m not afraid of failure. I just need to be more adventurous.
And … I realize I can finally be a colorful old woman! I’ve written plenty of them – women with flowing garments and ditzy behavior and fierce strength beneath their eccentricities. Now I can claim that for myself. (Yeah,i know, already been there, done that, but I like claiming it). I found a board on Pinterest (you guys know I love Pinterest, right?) that was incredibly inspiring and liberating.

Milan Fashion Week September 2009
Ready to Wear Spring/Summer 2010

If you don’t know how Pinterest works, you find photos with links to instructions or articles either in Pinterest or on-line and you collect them (Pin them) to your own boards. I have boards for each of my recent writing projects, heroine ideas, hero ideas (yeah, I know, they’re mostly Tom Hiddleston, but there are other possibilities too). I have sewing and dolls and baking and crochet and house plans and Danish and writing tools and all sorts of good things.
Then, other people like the pictures you’ve added, and they pin them to their own boards. I followed someone who’d pinned a dress I liked to her board, and fell in love.
The board is by someone named Mariaelisabet, called Clothes and Things, and I just realized she’s Scandinvian (Swedish, I think). Anyway, the clothes she’s pinned are loose and flows, sometimes with masses of lace, etc. Stuff that an eccentric, skinny young woman might wear.
Except that she’s pinned pictures or larger models, and older models (some really old) wearing the stuff and my reaction was “hell, yes.”

So I am going to embrace my eccentricities (the world trembles). I’m going to wear any damned thing I please, because I am an old lady and I can do it. Mind you, I always did (nun habits to rock concerts, saris to Greenwich Village, maxi dresses when people wore minis. I remember one day I went to work in NYC at the Rockefeller foundation wearing hot pants and a graduation robe. Another time a vintage girl scout uniform (ca. 1940s) and fishnet stockings.
In fact, I tend to be more uncomfortable in classic clothes – I feel like I’m trying too hard.
So prepare for the glorious new, colorful, ancient me!

Funny that this just came to me in the beginning of the year. I hope I claim it and revel in it. Anything you guys want to claim? Anyone want to redefine themselves? For me, it’s just another level of reinventing my own fabulousness. How can you reinvent yours?

MILAN, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 22: A model walks the runway at the Daniela Gregis Spring/Summer 2012 fashion show as part Milan Womenswear Fashion Week on September 22, 2011 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images)

10 thoughts on “A Day Late and a Dollar Short (Krissie)

  1. Sharon Bates says:

    I love this entire idea of dressing to please yourself. I recently met a friend who I hadn’t seen in awhile and was amazed. Not only did she have a daring new haircut and color but was carrying a beautiful Michael Khors bag. Of course I was surprised at the transformation and told her so. She told me that when she turned 70 she realized that she was tired of buying sturdy, black purses that would “go with everything ” and having a hairstyle that was “easy care”. Those 2 things changed her life-she got rid of her so called classic clothes and has never looked back.

  2. Jessie says:

    When I Am Old. by Jenny Joseph

    When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
    With a red hat that doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me,
    And I shall spend my pension
    on brandy and summer gloves
    And satin sandals,
    and say we’ve no money for butter.
    I shall sit down on the pavement when I am tired,
    And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells,
    And run my stick along the public railings,
    And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
    I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
    And pick the flowers in other people’s gardens,
    And learn to spit.
    You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat,
    And eat three pounds of sausages at a go,
    Or only bread and pickle for a week,
    And hoard pens and pencils and beer mats
    and things in boxes.
    But now we must have clothes that keep us dry,
    And pay our rent and not swear in the street,
    And set a good example for the children.
    We will have friends to dinner and read the papers.
    But maybe I ought to practise a little now?
    So people who know me
    are not too shocked and surprised,
    When suddenly I am old
    and start to wear purple!

    I need to buy something purple. But I am most comfortable in jeans and a tee and a large sweater. And now I am older, I am a large woman – all the women in my family become large as we age, regardless of being a size 8 or 10 when we are younger. So jeans and a large sweater means I have a significant presence. I also like to wear my work clothes which are paint stained and tired and have baggy butts since I lost 20 pounds. But my husband is horrified by the look so I only do that when I am actually painting or sculpting, which is not often enough.

  3. Kari says:

    After years of not being able to focus long enough to clear out my closets, it’s time. All the old “work” clothes that I will never wear again, everything that doesn’t fit or delight me, can go back to the universe for someone else to benefit from. Prosperity as space – freeing up space, allowing myself to take up space with what I want and who I really am. Not a reinvention so much as a deep breath of truth, followed by a deep exhalation of fear.

  4. Lois says:

    I have decided the same thing about clothes. I wear bright colors and only what is comfortable. It has been so cold here that I keep adding layers so have warned my girls that I might be starting to look like a bag lady and I’m ok with that.

    I can not come up with a word this year. My mind is scattered and I am just putting one foot in front of the other. My son in law (42) died suddenly and unexpectedly a few days before Xmas. We are still in shock. I’m of course worried about my daughter, they were a good couple, and the 3 boys.
    So asking for positive thoughts and energy and prayers (if you say those).

  5. Carol says:

    Prosperity as space – this is brilliant. DH and I are going to begin a couple-of-years-long Swedish Death Cleaning process, so that when I retire we’re ready to jet off to live in Europe unencumbered. I believe I will propose this as our motto.

  6. Jill says:

    A couple of years ago my granddaughter asked me why all my clothes were Harley (Davidson). I asked her if she liked new clothes. She said yes. I said all my new clothes were Harley clothes. At 74 I am comfortable with my Biker image.
    We came to South Padre Island Texas for the month of January. We planned to ride a lot. That is not happening. With apologies to you people in the frozen north, the temp here could be ok to ride but the wind chill and wind speed is not friendly for bikers.

  7. MJ says:

    Just saw this, Lois – sending you warm thoughts and, yes, prayers.

    I hesitate to add this, because everyone’s life is different…but in case it helps: When my sister-in-law died suddenly at the same age, that whole first year was simply putting one foot in front of the other. My brother said he felt like he didn’t truly grieve until the second year. But more than five years later, he and the kids are doing well.

  8. MJ says:

    My dad regularly said “A day late and a dollar short.” Also “big as life and twice as natural,” which my husband and I have fun defining.

    Rah for claiming your style, Krissie! When I realized I could search Etsy and Ebay for my favorite style–dropped-waist, mid-calf cotton sundresses–my wardrobe took a happy, comfortable shift for not very much money.

  9. Pippa Griffin says:

    Really love the clothes you shared here but cannot find this gal on Pinterest. Could you share the direct link to her either on Pinterst or Instagram? Thanks so much!!!

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