Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Never let style become routine

This is how my day starts:

8 a.m. — Alarm goes off.

8:15 a.m. — Second alarm goes off.

8:30 a.m. — Third alarm goes off. If it’s a bad day, I’ll turn it off, roll back over and not wake up until 10 a.m. If it’s a good day, this is the point at which I angrily make my way upstairs to make breakfast and get ready.

8:35 to 8:50 a.m. — Curl lashes, apply eye shadow, eyeliner, other eye shadow, mascara, primer, foundation, bronzer. Curse being pale.

9 a.m. — Stare blankly into closet and reaffirm my suspicion that I have absolutely nothing to wear.

9:15 a.m. — Still staring blankly. Check weather on two different websites. Believe the one that is most detrimental to my hair and footwear. This often leads to walking around in rain boots and carrying an oversized umbrella on perfectly sunny days.

9:30 a.m. — Now in a rush,I throw on some variation of what I wore the day before: tunic, leggings, cardigan, belt, boots, scarf, coat, bangles. Done.

9:45 a.m. — Make my way out the door. Fumble with lock.

10 a.m. — If it’s Monday or Tuesday, I roll into Caribou, get a small coffee with room for cream and find a table near an outlet.

10:05 a.m. — I work on this very column or whatever other writing assignment needs finishing. My writer’s mind expires around noon — by then it’s too busy thinking about other things, like my next source of caffeine and whether I’ll have time to finish reading that book for Lit.

10:30 a.m. — Distracted by Facebook, Twitter, Gchat and hilariously titled New York Magazine articles.

10:50 a.m. — Resume writing.

Noon — Finish assignments, pack up and head out for the rest of my day.
On the surface, this is all fine and good. I live a happy life with a minimal amount of struggle. But as I’ve said before, I grow bored very easily.

Sure, now that it’s the beginning of a fresh semester, this little routine seems great. Getting up at 8 a.m.? Charming! The lackadaisical luxury of winter break was getting to me anyways. Sleeping ’til noon? What a waste!

After just a few weeks or months of monotony, however, I’ll hit a brick wall and approach my day-to-day routine with the same level of irritability as an overextended toddler in need of a juice box and a nap. By the time I get used to writing “2010” at the top of my papers rather than “2009,” I’ll be ready to make some changes.

It’s at times like these — the life and wardrobe ruts — that I need to focus on the finer things, like friends and running and changing the background on my computer screen. And shopping.

Every season I make a long list — too long a list — of everything I want to buy. I’ll only buy things that are on the list (no need to waste money on items I’m not dying for) and shop around until I determine the cheapest place I can get it.

This year some of the things on my list include: a denim shirt, vintage slips, thigh-high socks, a long tweed or white blazer, new grey jeans and a tie-dye scarf. I pick up one of the items whenever I need to spruce up my wardrobe.

We all have our routines that make us feel comfortable. We go to the same places, talk to the same people and wear the same things. But at what point does a routine become a rut? I suppose it’s when those aforementioned habits lose their novelty and fail to bring us the same pleasure they did originally.

Currently I’m trying to pull myself out of my morbidly black monotonic tendencies. I used to think my head-to-toe black ensembles made me look like a chic New Yorker, but now I’m thinking they just make me look lazy. I’ve also recently phased vests out of my wardrobe. I used to wear them at least once a week, but now they don’t seem to add as much to my outfits as they once did.

But here’s the thing — routines are addictive. They’re hard to break. Twenty dollars says if you spot me on campus today, I’ll be wearing all black and a vest.

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