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Vacation wardrobe crisis status: resolved.

2008-01-07 - 10:41 a.m.

I realized, foolishly belatedly, that I’m going to Cuba on Friday and that Grommet was a lot smaller last summer, plus last time I was pregnant in the summer it was early enough that I didn’t need maternity clothes. Yikes! The scramble was on! And do you know how hard it is to find summer clothes – be they child or maternity – in early January in Ottawa?

I went to my tried-and-true, trusty, maternity/kids consignment store and did indeed find, in addition to a couple of winter/early spring items (which I desperately need), one pair of slightly-dressy short light pants (long shorts? Just over-the-knee length at any rate) and two spaghetti-strap tank tops. A week-long wardrobe these do not make however. Yet, at this moment, I have all the clothes I need for both of us. How is this possible? Friends to the rescue.

I made 3 phone calls and everyone came through for me. The friends with 3 daughters had, in fact, coincidentally already put aside 2 bags of clothes that they’d intended to give me, and they added another 2 bags when they heard I was specifically looking for summer clothes in 18mo to 2T. They themselves have been the recipients of so much hand-me-down largess that their girls’ storage space was bursting at the seams and they’d been trying to cull stuff out for awhile. I think I’ve got enough clothes for the next year for the Grom.

I have another friend that promised to check her summer-maternity stuff and has now got a few things together that she’ll hand over to me later today. The other friend, however, was a veritable goldmine of stuff.

When she heard my message that I was looking for summery stuff to wear in Cuba for a week, she called me back and, even though she was heading out the door, made arrangements to leave a plastic storage bin full of stuff for me to borrow on her doorstep. When I got home I headed straight for my room, covetously clutching the bin. I opened it and started pulling stuff out… and I swear to God I almost teared up.

It wasn’t just likehaving access to an entire wardrobe’s-worth of clothes belonging to someone who has better taste than me, actually likes to shop, and doesn’t mind spending some serious money on clothes she’ll only wear for a few months, it was, in fact, exactly that situation. More than half the clothes in that tub fit me and I spent a good 15 minutes as a flurry of arms and legs as I shimmied into things, preened briefly in front of the mirror, then shrugged out of them, snatching up the next round. It made me wish that it was warm here so I could wear all these pretty, stylish things all the time, instead of just for a week down south.

You have to understand, between trying to get pregnant (so why buy clothes when I could be pregnant any day and they’ll be out of style by the time they fit again), actually being pregnant (why spend a ton of money on clothes I’ll only wear for a few months? I couldn’t justify getting much that wasn’t consignment and “would do”), losing baby weight (these clothes will be too big for me soon and I hope I’ll not get much use out of them), trying to get pregnant again (this verse, same as the first), and being pregnant again (ditto), I’ve spent 4 years not really getting much in the way of pretty, up-to-date clothes. I’ve forced my eyes away from store-windows glittering with pretty things and bought practical, “classic” clothes, and then only when I really needed something. My first pregnancy, even though the clothes were consignment, I felt that I dressed pretty well for a lot of it and felt good about myself for a lot of the pregnancy. This round I’m finding that I feel the lack of the few cute pieces I borrowed the first time ‘round then returned, and a lot of my previous maternity clothes for the dead of winter are still too big for me so I can’t use them yet. Don’t forget, I was due in early February last time, and this time I’m not due ‘til June. As a result, I’ve been seriously lacking in the variety department lately.

I am amazed that I’d forgotten what a lift to the spirits it is to be wearing clothes that are a step up from, “it’ll do”. I feel so cute and sparkly when I put on one of my purloined outfits, and not just big and tired-looking.

This same friend mentioned I should borrow more clothes from her, “and not just for Cuba”. It’s taking some serious self-control not to follow up too avariciously on this offer…

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