I admit it; I’m somewhat OCD, but usually about clothing. My outfits must match. If I buy something new, the rule is that it must match, or at least coordinate with two or three other items. This has stood me in good stead for years. If I could have things my way, the lining of my suit jacket would match my blouse, which would match my purse and shoes, and even my lipstick. I do prefer, however, that my cats, Ling-Ling and Ding-a-Ling, match.
So, now I have to deal with something which does not match – anything.
Squeak is a rescue cat. Although born in the back seat of a vintage Mercedes convertible, she was brought to the shelter because no one wanted her. We already had Ling and Ding, but we decided to adopt Squeak, since her brother and sister had been taken by a friend. We felt sorry for this funny-looking Tortoiseshell kitten. My other cats were not amused. My issue? Her paws don’t match.
Although I have repeatedly tried to discuss the situation with her, she continues to behave as if she doesn’t care. She’s taken over the house, made friends with the neighbors who walk by, jumped into the mailman’s van, and has charmed her way into everyone’s heart. So what if her paws don’t match? Squeak is part of the new order. Nothing on her matches; nothing really fits. She’s happy, and she makes us laugh every day. It’s starting not to bother me either. Let’s throw caution to the wind – perhaps I’ll wear two different pieces of a suit together. Maybe my nail polish will clash with my lipstick next week. Who knows? Thanks, Squeak!
Back to my sister, Evelyn, who was so much a part of me. We were always on each other’s side, always loving, but honest with each other. We had a saying about someone who seemed to have thrown together an outfit which shouldn’t have worked, but somehow did. “She gets away with it!” This meant that neither of us could wear something that outlandish or in such poor taste, but that other woman could. I can still see her pronouncing this dubious compliment, a wry smile on her lips.
Getting away with it. Was this something to be envied? Sometimes. And yet…
Then there are the people who manage to do more than just get away with it. Sometimes, while on shopping expeditions, Evelyn and I used to follow people with whom we became intrigued. We weren’t stalking, and we weren’t being catty. We merely wanted to further study these people to see why their outfits worked so well.
Which all leads me back here. Just why do some people have the ability to seemingly throw on a couple of pieces of clothing and have it all come together and look perfect? I have, on rare occasions, possessed this ability. I was told so, but not by my sister. If we were going out somewhere, Evelyn would work on me until I passed inspection. “All right,” she’d say, adjusting a scarf or lapel. “You’ll get away with it!”.
These days I want more than just to get away with something. I want to look my best, feel comfortable, and feel confident. I really don’t care about fashion trends. I know who I am. My sister told me. I have forsaken most of my other clothes to wear, almost exclusively, the Carole Wang Collection from Brava!