Obsessions

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Just came back (yesterday afternoon) from spending a long weekend back home with family and friends in Dallas. Ahhhh, I’d forgotten how much I absolutely despise Metroplex traffic — and I didn’t even drive the entire time I was there. We’ve only been away for five months, but I think the traffic has actually doubled in just that short amount of time. And the attendant stress levels — for both driver and passengers — are higher than ever.

No writing done, but I also didn’t get much sleep either. B. and I spent a whirlwind 3-1/2 days running around with the families (his and mine), so it was a highly caffeinated weekend. We also went to a karaoke box on Saturday night with J., E., L., M. (friend of J. and E.’s) and T., a friend of L. Total b-l-a-s-t. It’s located in this rather seedy area off I-35 in Dallas, with only a dozen small-ish rooms to rent and somewhat indifferent management, but there was much rejoicing all around. It helped that B. and I hadn’t been there in so long so that we hadn’t grown tired of our “usual” songs (yet), but we’re thinking that the next time we go, we may try just going through the entire catalog and singing all the songs in order, even those we don’t care for. Hey, L. and I sang Air Supply’s “Lost in Love,” which isn’t exactly one of my faves, but I guess when you’re with a happy group, it’s a late night and there’s a disco ball a-spinnin’ above your head, any song sounds appealing.

One thing I’d quickly forgotten about Dallas is how well-dressed everyone is, and how brutal it can be on women who aren’t especially keen on dressing for the grocery store. It’s gotten even more so now that the fashion world has sat up and taken notice of all the money that just gushes through town: NorthPark Mall (my favorite) is brimming with high-end stores you wouldn’t have expected to land in Dallas just a few years ago. Ya got Barney’s, Oscar de la Renta, Bottega Veneta, Salvatore Ferragamo, Cartier, Giorgio Armani, along with the standards: Tiffany’s, Dooney & Bourke, Anthropologie, BOSS Hugo Boss, Kate Spade

I’ve gotten so used to living out here in the deserts of western Colorado — with its standard uniform of fleece vest and yoga pants — that I felt a bit lost and not a little underdressed even just going to a local hibachi restaurant with the ‘rents and the sibs on Friday night.

Not that I eschew the fashion world. I love reading Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and, yup, Lucky Magazine, and not just for the articles! The Devil Wears Prada is one of my current favorite films, and that gorgeous blue Marc Jacobs purse featured in that scene with the main character’s friends at the restaurant….ahhhh, that was exquisite.

On the other hand, the whole poor-although-not-quite-starving-writer lifestyle doesn’t really accommodate generous shopping sprees at Target, let alone Neiman Marcus, so I’m limiting my purchases to thrift shop digs (no joke — you can find the coolest, most unique clothing at thrift shops if you know where to look) and garage sale finds (ditto).

I know that writers aren’t supposed to be interested in such ephemeral, “shallow” desires, that we’re supposed to keep our eyes and minds focused on the deep and true, but haven’t most writers been “guilty” (if you can call it that) of a little vanity? When I write, I want to be at my most comfortable, and that usually means donning a hoodie jacket and matching pants. Clothes themselves interest me as art, but I’m hypersensitive about comfort (comes from growing up a tomboy, I suppose), so in my daily life I generally dress very casually. On the other hand, I’m obsessed with handbags and am unfortunately only interested in the upscale designer ones.

[Side note: I notice that fashionista writers and blog posters liberally use the word obsessed to describe their passion for a particular item, whether it’s a specific one like the aforementioned MJ purse, or a general category like purses or belts or shoes. Maybe I’m being picky, but it irritates the bejeezus out of the writer in me. Use of the word assumes that the writer/speaker is consumed by thoughts of the object in question, but because most of these women (and they’re mostly women, natch) obviously have lives and jobs and families and friends and appear to be otherwise mentally healthy individuals, I assume that they are not actually obsessed with these things but are instead keen to purchase them. Two totally different concepts, no? Grrr. BUT…on to our regularly scheduled program…]

Anyway.

I’ve got my eyes peeled for the perfect handbag/tote: one that’s stylish, preferably not in black (’cause all my other purses are in that color, and I’ve got spring fever), roomy enough for at least a couple of small books, my wallet, calculator, a snack, a small bottle of water, cell phone, pens, notebook, and day planner, but not bulky. (I sound like one of those profiles in InStyle magazine where the celebrity lists the contents of her purse, no?) I expect to spend the next 2-3 years searching for it, which will give me plenty of time to save up the dough.

Ohhhh… almost forgot! B. and I spent a lot of time this weekend (when we actually were together, which wasn’t often) laying the groundwork for a joint writing project that will probably take up most of this year to plan and execute. We’re looking at writing out a full screenplay, then producing a short film of it to [hopefully] show at a festival next year. Ya, I know, yet another project on my otherwise overflowing plate, but I love the idea of working once again with B., and he’s such a creative genius (the story was his idea), not to mention a great partner all around. So stay tuned for more news on that as we progress!

MRA

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2 thoughts on “Obsessions

  1. hey marjorie.great post. i also have family in texas but in san antonio. clothes-wise, since i live in l.a. and my work also requires me to attend dressy events sometimes, my closet is a mix all kinds of clothes. i completely understand your love for thrift shops. i have the standard expensive, midpriced and yes thrift shop buys which i love because they’re unique and cheap and look good. but you have to spend time looking for these finds.as for writing, i wish, wish i could sit down and compile stuff i’ve written and make it into a book. i have the material, it’s just a matter of sitting down and working on it. but a lot of things get in the way.anyway, long enough post. love reading your entries.

  2. Hi, <>Amee<>! I have a love/hate relationship with Texas. I can’t stand the traffic, and the pollution is unbelievable (although where I currently live is getting pretty bad, too, despite its location in the desert mountains). But I also love the fact that it’s home, i.e., my entire family’s there, as well as many of my closest friends. So there you go.And I <>love<> San Antonio. It has fantastic shopping and a great arts & culture community.I bet you have <>fantastic<> thrift shops in L.A. I know that <>Lucky<> mag often features these quirky shops in the greater L.A. area with the coolest clothes and accessories. I had more time looking for stuff when I was in Dallas (or maybe I just devoted more time to it!), but I always had fun. This weekend, I scored a really lovely Southwest-inspired blouse with turquoise detail around the neckline for <><>$2<><> at Marshall’s. But again, it does take time.I keep telling myself that these things don’t write themselves, that they’ll never just spill out of my mind and onto a page. I’ll only get busier as I get older, so what am I waiting for? That helps motivate me. But I’m also a perfectionist at heart and sometimes have difficulty beginning things because of this unreasonable fear that they won’t be any good.Thanks for visiting!!!Cheers,Marjorie

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