So, those of you unfamiliar with the Blogger interface, first of all, congratulations, and second of all, let me tell you that there are two buttons at the bottom of the screen when you are composing a post. One button is Save Now and one button is Publish Post. Yesterday, I clicked Publish Post rather than Save Now, thus publishing the post below before I was finished with it. It was still in a "vomit-onto-keyboard" phase, rather than a "polished refined writing" phase. (You may think, viewing the rest of my blog, that there is no difference. You are wrong.) I briefly considered taking it back down to finish it, but then I decided what the hell, it went up, so I'll leave it up. Re-reading it now, I am slightly mystified - how did I get from bragging about the Little Purse to writhing in a spasm of self-hatred? I am also slightly alarmed by the strength of my anti-me vitriol. (AREA WOMAN FINDS OWN SELF-HATRED UNATTRACTIVE.)
The most bizarre thing about the post, though, is my use of the word "chic." I don't really know what I meant by it, but it was clearly REALLY REALLY IMPORTANT at the time. Upon reflection, I have realized this is something that happens to me with some frequency. A concept - like Good for Travelling, or Chic, or Palazzo Pants - will suddenly seize my imagination in a vise. Sometimes, as with Palazzo Pants, the seizure ends with my procurement of an appropriate commodity. (Two pairs! Yesterday! I am so happy! But probably not for long!) Sometimes, as with Good for Travelling, the seizure is ongoing with no end in sight. Sometimes, as with yesterday's Chic, the seizure is mysteriously brief, coming on ferociously and departing abruptly, leaving no trace. Indeed, if I had not mistakenly published just when I did yesterday, I probably wouldn't even remember my short, violent encounter with Chic.
Actually, though, I think I may know (at least partially) what Chic was about. Since the baby was born, I have done a lot of thinking about the choices I have made in my life, both professionally and personally (if the two are distinct, which I sort of doubt), and how those choices have shaped where I am now and where I am going. I spent last weekend with my lovely college girlfriends, and I felt very conscious of the fact that their lives, at this moment in time, seem very different from mine. I couldn't help but feel that, over the next few years, as we each settle into the choices we have made for our adult lives, these differences will become more distinct and more important. Because, while I know that I am still very young and life still is a glorious sprawl ahead, I also know that, inevitably, every choice I make further circumscribes the choices I will have in the future. I think it is real, and not particularly pessimistic or bitter, to acknowledge that growing up is partially about the shutting down of possibilities, and that the choices that we make are important not so much because they open certain doors but because they close many others. There are things, now, that I probably will never do or be, and for a moment yesterday, "chic" stood for all of those things, rather than for ballet flats and a neat chignon. So, in that sense, I guess I was right - I never will be chic, and that's the end of that. But I sure do have some killer pants.