I was lucky enough to receive a wonderful Christmas present last year. I got a pair of silky/cashmere long-sleeved gloves. Fabulous fashion attire. Such finery is most certainly not for everyday wear, but if looked after, it can last a lifetime. And plus, being so extraordinary, my beautiful present wasn’t ‘in fashion’ therefore it could never ‘go out’ of fashion. While I try to live as light as I can, I do occasionally make room for something exquisite. I could more than accommodate these silky wonders, and though mere fripperies they may be, they were treasures to me.
I am inclined to an individualistic-style of dress. And the wonder-gloves, being versatile fashion accessories, proved themselves to be very handy.
I wore them a lot. The thing is, I was never quite relaxed while wearing them. Somewhat compulsively, whenever I’d taken them off, I felt compelled to check my pockets or bag for them, just to make sure they were still there.
And sometimes I wouldn’t wear them, just in case I lost them.
But that’s no way to live: what’s the point in having something one never uses? So the gloves crept out more and more, as I got myself out and about more.
Really it was just a matter of time before my wonder-gloves dispensed themselves of my possession and found a new owner, as any person who’s ever had an umbrella can attest, it’s inevitable.
…But this time it wasn’t mere carelessness or absentmindedness, for which I’d be less self-critical. I lost them because I got pissed.
Joddle wakes up and ponders what to do with her day. The sales are on; she could go out and get some bargains. But she takes a deep breath and stops herself, reminding herself she doesn’t need anything. ‘The more I buy the less I am satisfied’, she sighs. I am the same self. Be myself.
Eating is a dialemma for Joddle. There are too many plastic things in the world and it takes time, effort, and energy to avoid them. Evidence of excess is all around. What difference does one person make?
And all the while, the number of things and people in the world multiplies, and desire is fed.
I once had a dressing table full of perfume bottles. I wore pefume everyday and would stop wearing a particular bottle if it started to run out (because I didn’t want to dwindle the collection). The bottles were ornate and colourful, sometimes they came in tins or cardboard boxes which I would preserve, like new. Wearing and displaying the perfume - I thought - was a very grown up thing to do. I was not a teenager; I was a woman!
At some point I stopped being interested in perfume. Over time I have become intolerant to strong scents. For example, I can’t bear the smell of perfume on other people’s clothing such as scarfs. I also find it revolting when I can smell someone’s perfume in their wake as they walk down the street. The only time I still think scent is sexy when there is the faintest whiff of it when you’re up close to someone you find attractive.
Sometimes if a person sweats, it reacts badly with perfume and it can smells like cat urine. Cat urine smells worse than sweat.
I would like to think I don’t smell of sweat or breath or milk or fish or fecal matter. But I can’t smell myself. I can’t know for sure. Sense of smell is culturally relative and where and how you were brought up will influence the kind of scents you like. In Victorian times, civit extract, which smells of fecal matter, was a key note in men’s perfumes.
As you can imagine, bearing in mind I no longer like strong scents I find the Christmas perfume marketing bonanza a ridiculous affair. The adverts are hilarious and replete with absolute nonsense. I think now, no wonder I loved perfume so much. Teenage minds just absorb all this stuff - the glamour, the beautiful people, the edgy names. If you buy this perfume your life will be fabulous.
My ‘favourite’ perfume advert is Blue de Chanel, which has a swinging sixties Rolling Stones backing track, and is directed by Martin Scorsese. I laugh every time. You’ve got to check out this guy pulling a magnum (remember Ben Zoolander?):
‘I’m not going to be the person you expect me to be anymore’ - a profound message indeed. And one that’s keenly targeted to appeal to teenage angst and bulging Christmas stockings.