My fashionable friend tells me it’s a ‘universal truth’. But I’m more inclined to say it’s a feminine one. No matter how many new clothes I buy, I still can’t seem to find something to wear in my closet. I don’t walk out of the house feeling like I’ve stepped out of the pages of Vogue. Usually I feel like I’m one wardrobe choice away from landing a modelling contract with Angling Times.
It has been like this for as long as I can remember. I rarely pick out my clothes the night before a day at work, so I spend a frantic ten minutes – precious time I usually don’t have – staring at the cavernous space inside (it’s not really cavernous but I like the word) and wondering why I can’t find something that doesn’t leave me either bored or vaguely dissatisfied.
Usually this leads me to wonder why I’m so bad at putting together clothes and if I need to seek help. In a frail moment – usually at night when I’m looking at my favourite clothing websites after half a bottle of wine – it will be used as an argument for why I need something else, which usually produces a crisis related to money. This in turn leads to a crisis with the English Husband.
I’ve now discovered that I might have passed on the ‘clothing indecisiveness’ gene to my two children. Every morning I hear the same thing from the seven-year-old Chatterbox, who whines loudly: ‘But I don’t know what to wear.’ I’ll peek into the bedroom and see her staring at the clothes in her drawer, eyes as blank as a dead fish sitting behind the glass of a supermarket counter.
Meanwhile, her little sister Raging Bull is developing the kind of attitude to clothes that would send me reaching for the liquor if only it wasn’t 7.30 in the morning. She doesn’t like jeans; she hates seams because they itch; she’s not overly enamoured of dark colors; and she mostly wants to wear tights every single day with some kind of dress with frills. Even better if it resembles a tutu.
This would be bad enough if I only had to get her dressed in the morning, but I’m often negotiating with this obstinate child while I’m barely half dressed myself.
Eventually time forces the issue. I start to lose my patience, the Raging Bull or the Chatterbox end up wailing that ‘Mommy screamed at me’, I storm off to my room and look at the closet some more and then I’m about 10 minutes late for the bus, which means I end up waiting half an hour for the damn thing.
Being late to work inevitably sparks another crisis related to ‘why am I doing this?’ and then it all kind of starts over again.
I can only assume that men and their child counterparts, boys, don’t suffer from the same closet crisis that afflicts most women on a regular basis. Correct me if I’m wrong.
I’d like to think the girls will grow out of their clothing indecisiveness in time for their teenage years, but I fear they will be learning their future habits from the master architect of the closet crisis complex. Which will make for very happy mornings when they are 14 years old.