I'd like to have a wee heart to heart with you about the sad state of affairs, my wardrobe is in, this week.
Honestly, the only word that could adequately describe my wardrobe, has to be 'bleh'. But how, I asked myself did my wardrobe acquire this condition of chronic anaemia. Had it come about suddenly or crept upon me, over time. And even more perplexing, how? I mean, I love colour, so why was I walking around like a storm cloud?
The answer, of course, was simple. I dressed for other people, not for myself. For God forbid, I should be caught in a colour that 'didn't suit me'! I had learnt, very early on, that certain colours were my colours and others were not. My personal rule book, regarding the colours I was ‘not allowed’, included anything that exacerbated my pale complexion or highlighted my ruddy cheeks, ruling out orange, pink, purple, and the biggest offender of all, yellow! as it, (don't be too horrified now!) ‘drained me’…
So, the colours of the rainbow denied, I stuck, for the most part, to a sombre palette of black, brown, baize, navy and white, obediently shunning all forbidden shades, and dutifully adopting the stance of, 'Ohmigod! that's fabulous! but it wouldn't suit me!'
The only concession I allowed myself was nail colour, in the beauteous shades, I hungered for, until I began to ask myself if I really needed a concoction of dubious chemicals, to brighten up my life, but that's a whole other blog. Anyway, one day, recently, everything changed, after I chanced across a poem, by a lady called Jenny Joseph, with the defiant opening lines;
‘When I am an old woman I shall wear purple, With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.’
And that's when I thought, enough of this colour boycott! me too! Jenny Joseph! No more am I denying myself, the colours that make my heart sing. When I am old I shall wear yellow and I won't give a flying monkeys, when they say ‘look at yer one, she'd take the sight outta yer eye’ or dub me the walking traffic cone! I WILL WEAR YELLOW! even if I start having a case of the ‘doesn't suit me’s’, especially if I start having a case of the ‘doesn’t suit me’s’ WHEN I AM OLD I SHALL WEAR YELLOW! YEP!
Thanks for taking a look : ) very much appreciated! Have a great week!
*Poem by Jenny Joseph, in full.
'Warning' by Jenny Joseph (1961)
When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple, with a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick the flowers in other people’s gardens
And learn to spit
You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.
But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.
But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.