Clothes Make the (Wo)Man


It’s hot; it’s cold.  You’d think at my age swings in temperature wouldn’t affect my body as much as they do.  And there are certain unreasonable rules of life.  While I still had hot flashes they seemed to come unbidden after I was dressed and had on my makeup.  Now when temperatures reach 80 degrees in Florida in December it seems to trigger something akin to those irksome hot flashes.  The other night I was at a party which spilled out into a lovely lanai area, but there were insufficient breezes to keep me cool and dry.  Thank goodness I didn’t wear a holiday sweater!

If I am bicycling, then I expect to swelter.  If I am off to a social event, then I certainly don’t want to be a woman who “glows.” (Some Southerners say that horses sweat, men perspire and women glow.  I am definitely a woman, but I do more than glow!)

Some of my cyclist friends are so efficient they don’t even have a bag on their bikes – the lighter the load, the faster they ride.  I have a big bag behind my recumbent bike seat that has a folded tire, at least one tube, assorted tools, a lock and some first aid items.  There’s the inevitable mobile phone and ID, too.  This time of year the bag also may hold a brightly-colored vest, windbreaker and full-finger gloves!  I may start out shivering, but in a few miles I start stripping off the extraneous clothes and stuffing them in my bag.

I have been going through my closets again.  Do I really need to hold onto more than a few wintry coats in case I ever find myself in northern climates in the winter?  (Uh, maybe not.)  Do I really need black pants in a light weight, mid-weight and thick ponte knit? (Yes.)  Even if Pantone’s 2018 Color of the Year is Ultra Violet, does that mean it is a “must” to have a purple tee-shirt, purple blouse and purple sweater?  (Definitely!)

Going through closets also means assessing my need to hang onto Rick’s clothing.  Most of his items were donated long ago, but there are some pieces with which I am loath to part because they were favorites of his.  I also keep his bright yellow bicycling vest and windbreaker hanging next to mine for no other reasons than that’s what we always did and it brings me comfort.  I have come so far in these past 18+ months, yet every day — multiple times a day — I think of him and wish he was still here.  (I’d even cull my clothing to give him more closet space!)

As you think of loved ones no longer at your holiday tables this season, I wish you love, peace and joy.


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