I bought a dress from Land’s End. To get the free shipping, I had to spend an extra $10 which would save me $9 in shipping costs.  I bought a blouse. Navy blue cotton knit. Boatneck. Long sleeve. It looks exactly like all the other blouses in my closet.

I couldn’t remember where I’d put it and spent a full hour searching the bedroom. I thought I’d lost it, but it turns out, I had hung it up in the closet. One navy blouse amidst a sea of black, dark gray and navy is invisible. I could — I was — looking at it and didn’t realize it. I had my hand on it … and didn’t know it was what I was searching for.

Me, photographer

All of my clothing looks the same. I’ve been wearing the same clothing for 50 years. Fashions come, fashions go, but Marilyn wears the same clothing. Jeans. The same Clark’s sandals I was wearing in 1962. The materials from which they are made have altered, but otherwise? The same.

Having told Garry I had lost track of a new Land’s End blouse, I had to tell him I’d found it.

“Where was it?” he asked.

“I hung it up,” I said, expecting him to congratulate me on my neatness.

“Big mistake,” he said. “You can never find anything in that closet.” I absorbed that and had an epiphany.

“It makes shopping for me easy. Just buy me clothing that looks exactly the same as everything else I own. You could buy something different, but I probably wouldn’t wear it. If you feel like experimenting, buy a lighter shade of navy or medium rather than charcoal grey.”

He raised an eyebrow.

“Well, think of all the time and creativity you don’t have to waste trying to find something different. Just buy the same stuff. Hey, you are still wearing the same shoes you were wearing 20 years ago. I don’t mean shoes just like shoes you wore 20 years ago. I mean you’re still wearing the same shoes. So, Mr. Smarty-Pants, don’t raise your eyebrow at me!”

Time on a warm day in October with my guy ...

He smiled and went back to watching The Six Million Dollar Man, a show so awful it now qualifies as a comedy.

We are totally creatures of habit. I found My Style when I was 16. Round toed shoes. Flat, comfortable sandals. A-line skirts. Jeans. Turtle necks in the winter. Boat necks or slight scoops in the summer, preferably long, at least hip length. Dark, neutral colors with a touch of red for accent. Sometimes something in dusty rose or mauve. Or taupe.

That I have been wearing the same clothing for 50 years — what does this say about me? So does my husband. And best friend and her husband. We are all still wearing the same styles we wore when we were teenagers. Listening to the same music, pretty much. I’m married to the same guy I used to hang out with 50 years ago.

About the only things that have radically changed? What I eat is completely different and I don’t use recreational drugs. They’d probably kill me.

I’m the same person I was at 16. For all practical purposes, my life has been a gigantic circle back to where it began. I’m less agile, more arthritic. A lot less worried about what people think of me. More impatient with stupidity and bureaucracy. Still liberal, still a Democrat.

Still believe in helping other people, though more careful about who I let into my life and home. I’m still a sucker for animals. Horses, dogs, cats, Most anything furry and cute. I still read all the time, unless I’m writing or working on photographs.

I use new technology to do the same stuff I’ve always done. Technology has made doing what I enjoy easier, but it hasn’t changed what I like.

I still scream at spiders and watch birds. My sense of humor is the same. My hobbies haven’t changed: I write and take pictures. I don’t play the piano anymore. Arthritis finished that. I also am significantly less active, but not by choice.

So … how much have you changed from the person you were in your late teens? What, if anything, do you do completely differently? Do you like the person you’ve become? Are you trying to change? Do you fit in? If you met the young you, what would you tell yourself?

Categories: Entertainment, Life, Marriage, Personal, Photography, Reality, Seasons, Shopping

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

21 replies

  1. Great post. I think it’s hilarious how men become attached to a piece of clothing.
    I also recently quit smoking. It has been the hardest thing I have ever done. Good Grief, still a battle at times.
    I felt so bad one day that I sat on my floor and just laughed which turned to tears. I was laughing at the irony of feeling so bad was self -inflicted in order to be healthy. Really?

    Yes, the amount of extra money I have was a surprise. I’m saving for a new pack that I’ld bought prior to quitting.

    I had my son take my car keys away for almost a week so if I wanted smokes I had to walk 2+ miles.


  2. LOL on the Six Million Dollar Man comment. I used to watch that show when I was a kid.
    I thought being bionic was cool.
    Overall – I think I’m basically the same person. I did become more confident & more appreciative of myself as I got older. If I met my younder self – I would tell her that she’s beautiful & not to wear too much make-up. Oh – and pink lipstick – NO!


  3. Hey, “The Six Million Dollar Man” is a classic!! That’s why I keep the Safari jacket since leisure suits are verboten. Watch me bounce down the hallway like Col. Steve Austin. Ooops!!


  4. Fun post and I always like to see you two. My style (or lack there of) has not changed. Jeans, tennis shoes or sandals and some kinda cotton shirt. I spent some years in between wearing long dresses. Some years in between with my own buyer? can’t remember the term, but my boss set me up with a salesclerk at Nordstrom and I looked great for awhile. Back to jeans, which is where I started. Black has been my main color choice, but lately I’ve been getting wild and adding bright colors. In 2004 I lost 80 lbs (thyroid) and I had a blast wearing sexier tops and better jeans. The 80 lbs found me again in ’08-’09, while my husband was sick and dying. Oh, well, skinny was fun while it lasted.


    • For some reason, you got put in spam .. which is weird since you’re already on my pre-approved list. Anyway, I found you and brought you back to the light side 🙂 I think most of us remain the same people and even though we take side trips to interesting and different places, we ultimately came back to whatever that foundation stuff is that is who we are. It can be very surprising.

      I lost 140 pounds in 2002. Surgery. I refound 40 pounds of it recently, after treatment for cancer, but I’m still way far from where I once was and have forged an uneasy truce with my body. Especially since I don’t seem to have a whole lot of control over what happens to it!


      • Glad I’m back in the light :>) It has been happening to everyone lately on WP…having to re-up our regulars.
        Wow, you lost a lot and that is a long time to keep it off. I guess we just do the best we can with what we have. Which is pure bs coming from me…I still smoke, eat infrequently and don’t sleep much, but I DO try!
        Just pretend I said the perfect thing and it made you smile.


        • I gave up cigarettes when I discovered I had cancer. You might want to rethink that one.

          On Tue, Sep 24, 2013 at 12:03 PM, SERENDIPITY


          • I have many reasons to quit.


            • We all have lots of good reasons to quit. It’s just difficult as hell. I must say that quitting smoking the hardest habit to break. I know people who got off of heroin and said cigaretts were much harder. So get any help you can. It’ll also save you a ton of money. I didn’t realize how much I was spending on cigarettes until I stopped.

              On Tue, Sep 24, 2013 at 12:52 PM, SERENDIPITY


  5. Ok I need to think on this one…I know there are many words to answer your questions as I have changed alot…lordy:) And you are right on!!!!


  6. The blue shirt I often wear to work on a Monday was my first interview shirt (circa 1991).
    The fluffy blue jacket I wear in the office when it gets cold kept me warm during my PhD (circa 1993) (that’s the jacket I’m shown wearing in the 10yr illustration I posted at the weekend). It’s got a big hole in the sleeve, it’s finally worn through.
    Same clothes, same me!



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