I was going to ask for socks for my birthday — though probably no one but my mother would believe that I really wanted them.* But due to unforeseen and cataclysmically happy events, I get to go sock shopping very soon (you should see my smile as I type ‘sock’ and ‘shopping’ in the same sentence) — yea, not only that, but shopping for winter garb that is worn even above the sockline.  I was just realising this past week how much warmer it is than anything else to keep your already warm pajama pants on during the day and just put some other garment on over them.  And to wear two undershirts and a long sleeved shirt to bed and just throw another shirt and a pullover on over those.  And over all of this one could cast a light, and then a lengthy sweater.  And over that, a shawl.  And then one could wrap a blanket around one’s girth and tie it off with a scarf.  So that eventually one could emerge from the bedroom looking like an enormous mound of material with eyes, retaining underneath the warmth of the previous nights’ slumber for several hours, at least.  (Here I imagined myself emerging from the bedroom under half the things in my closet and some of the things on the bed, shaking my fist at the thermostat of the 68 degree apartment; shouting ‘BRING IT ON!’)  I was reading Lady Mary Wortley Montagu’s account of the Turkish women’s clothing, and, except that their layers were light and gauzy, this seems to be very similar to how they were apparelled.  Very sensible of them, I say.  And not only that, but I have always liked the flowing upper garment over pantaloons under satin sheath tied with sash that can double as a bedspread, concealed by long flowing cloak which could double as awning over lawn party style for aesthetic reasons.  And I have to confess that I secretly have a purely pragmatic attraction to burkas.  They look *so warm*.  Plus, imagine slicing onions in those.  But don’t worry; I’m not going to convert just so I can wear their clothes (though they do say that considerations of a community’s ‘aura’ influence a lot of people’s decisions about being a credo or paedobaptist.  Unfortunately neither of those communities wear burkas.).

(I’m sure there is some steadfast grammatical rule which should prevent the awkward  ‘.).’ above, but given the extenuating circumstances of having two sentences in the parenthetical phrase, which is yet part of the sentence to which it is appended, I don’t really know what it is.  Laura?)

However I was figuring that my sole pair of pajama pants which is suitable for peeping out from under the hems of my skirts would probably not hold up for literally every day wear. So imagine my joy when I was told to come up with a plan of how to garb myself for winter.  I have drawn this sketch.

It should be fairly self explanatory.  Except that perhaps it’s impossible to tell from the artist’s rendering that my inner man is slathered in whale blubber.

I have also — no doubt against the laws of the religion of which it is an accoutrement — taken a picture of myself in a make-do burka.

I plan to slice onions in it.

The vital point of all this is, to wonder aloud if there are any suggestions on articles of clothing that are especially Useful for staying warm??  It should be obvious by now that I’m slightly impaired when it comes to getting in touch with my more practical side.  I have all the resources I need, barring simple intelligence.  So Help?

*Why is it that when you are little, everyone gives you presents which, I flatter myself, it takes some maturity to appreciate: but when you are mature, no one considers that you would now actually appreciate them?  What seven year old is really excited to receive underclothes and socks for its birthday?  And yet this is what all its aunts — who probably wish someone would give them underclothes and socks — wrap in enticing paper and give it.  Yet these same aunts are never heard from in the underclothes and sock department once one is oneself an aunt, able to give nieces and nephews Things Wrapped Enticingly in Paper . . . Dear Aunts, I now understand you.  And I feel like Orual from Till We Have Faces, when she understood why the gods refused to dialogue with her until she could say what she really meant.  What I really mean is — thank you.

And I know that I already said it, when I was seven; but I didn’t mean it then.

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