“You’ll grow into it”, my mum would say with a slightly forced chirpiness as she pressed the jumper she’d just finished making against my back. I could feel her eyeballing the (mis)fit of it, pulling and hauling at the shoulders and underarms while she assessed just how too big it was. “Put it on. Let me see”. On the jumper would go, over my clothes or jammies – or whatever I happened to be wearing at the time. Tugging roughly at the bunched up cuffs and baggy waistband, it seemed a fair amount of growing was necessary before I’d be wearing my new jumper. Sometimes she’d started knitting with the intention of giving the jumper to one of my sisters but then change her mind for some reason mid-process. More often than not, the clothes my mother knit for me fit perfectly but of course, like all little girls (and I suspect, quite a lot of big girls too), the ones I couldn’t get my hands on right away were the ones I wanted most.
When I was little I spent a whole heap of my time waiting impatiently to ‘grow into’ things – my big sisters’ clothes, mainly – but also (in slightly different ways, I guess) boys, certificate 15 movies, Campari soda and make-up – gigs, pubs and nightclubs. Funnel neck corduroy jackets, rara skirts, seersucker peg leg trousers, crop tops, Pineapple slouch-wear, lace leggings, bras and lycra mini-dresses… All allowed in the dressing up box – but forbidden outdoors. Or in company.
It’s funny. I spent the first fifteen or sixteen years of my life growing into things – and I’ve spent the last fifteen or sixteen growing out of them. As part of my monster list of 2013 resolutions, I have made a promise to myself. A promise to stop buying/hoarding items of clothing that are too wee with the intention of miraculously shrinking into them.
I may not have begun to address many of my resolutions (I haven’t joined trampolining club, I haven’t bought a flask, I haven’t hung my wallplanner – or created my special post-it note wall, I’ve yet to attend swing dance class, I still say more negative things than positive things during the course of a day and I haven’t sewn cushion covers – or curtains) but I have started work on this. See?
Note: Seams of dress sleeves cut/ripped to accommodate excess upper arm flab/bingo wing. BIN.
You know what? I looked pretty fleekin’ hot to trot in this… twelve years ago. BIN.
That point arrives in every girl’s life when she must admit the days of the denim hipster hot pant are over, regardless of what size her arse is. I’m guessing for some, it probably arrives long before she’s 33. I’ve been squishing myself into these for 9 years. I reckon I’ve enjoyed all the good times in these I’m ever gonna. BIN.
Not only have I vowed to get rid of those items I’m never likely to button up/bend down in again, but that bundle of oversized shirts I planned to synch? Those skirts I planned to shorten? Those jumpers I planned to felt then sew into mittens with strings attached to thread through my coat sleeves? BIN. Bin, bin, bin. People keep telling me 2013 is set to be an amazing year. The year when tonnes of good stuff happens. I can’t say I’m feeling that just yet – but if noubt else, 2013 will be the year of the improved upper arm circulation.