I made the old plan before I got the new job.

I had a little plan, a little path of things to be acquired without having to let any balance sit on my credit card accruing any interest whatsoever. I made this plan because there are things that need replacing and I have what I like to think of as a healthy fear of credit card debt.

Part of the plan, the first step really, was to get a new job to be able to pay for these replacement items.

But the new job added replacement items to the list, things that needed to be put at the front of the line immediately. And all the items in question were items I knew would need replacing in time, but I’d hoped to put it off as long as possible: clothing.

My feelings regarding clothing are all over the board: I’m trying to reduce because I’m a recovering hoarder; I’m trying to refine because I want my appearance to be low-maintenance and professional and personally expressive; and, my original favorite fairy tale (because fairy tales come into play in every area of my life) is “Beauty and the Beast” which has the surface-level lesson of not judging/being overly-concerned with outward appearances.

But a new job is like a new part in a play, it requires its costume. Something consistent in appearance so that regulars and co-workers alike know what to expect from you, and that’s also appropriate to the duties one is required to perform. There’s also the weather to take into consideration.

I work in a bookshop now, as a writer my existing attire mostly works. But, as stated above, it’s replacement items that are the issue. Especially since it’s summer.

The Replacements Plan

First up, handled yesterday, shorts. I had two pairs of “fashion”shorts I suppose you’d call them. They were cute, purchased a number of years ago, multiple patches of those years of use, never meant for the daily exercises to which I recently started subjecting them. Whoops.

But, like I said, handled yesterday. Went to the mall and bought a single pair of running shorts. Made for daily exercise, they’ve got nice clean lines (did plenty of test squats in the dressing room to make sure they’d be appropriate for work), and there’s a zippered pocket in the back of the waistband perfectly sized for my phone which has all of my OCD-management alarms for time awareness.

Next up, to be handled this afternoon, shoes and socks. The canvas is tearing on my tennis shoes and the laces are due to come apart any day now. My socks — like my shoes — are getting up there in footwear years and very much showing the signs so that they aren’t very clean- or professional-looking.

When I went to the mall yesterday, I did some reconnaissance on the new Keds available with orthopedic insoles and sock packs and know exactly what purchases I’ll be making today. Gray shoes. Colorful socks.

In progress-ish, bralettes. After years of altogether avoiding bras because of the cysts in my breasts, a couple of years ago I finally got bralettes just to be able to wear light-colored tops without anyone commenting on being able to see my nipples. They stretched out almost immediately and I have to go overly-careful when wearing them so they don’t ride up and off my breasts.

I got over-excited and ordered some online, realized a way to streamline the whole online order process for myself, and am now waiting to hear back from the online store regarding their order canceling/changing policies which aren’t listed anywhere on the site.

Eventually (but hopefully sooner rather than later), tanks/shirts. At the moment, the only way to keep my appearance consistent from the waist up (important when being the face behind the register at checkout) is to cycle through four of my Gubler shirts (black with self-portrait, purple with Doogan Gooseberry wearing Gubler-flu shirt, black with glow-in-the-dark Mr. Skeleton Head, and white Las Vegas with a heart for the V).  The artwork is consistent in style and they’re the only shirts I haven’t felt the need to alter for physical comfort.

But they’re my favorite t-shirts, and I’ve already worn one (Gubler-flu) to the point that I’ve stopped wearing it so that it will still look good when I eventually get it framed to hang on the wall as art. I don’t want to overwear the others so that they can “retire” to being art as well when their respective times come. I’ll probably get this bit squared away sometime next month.

All of this is going to require the use of that thing called credit, and I’m just gonna have to channel my fear to deal with the balance as quickly and logically as possible.


Also published on Medium.


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