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In praise of old stuff that still works

My car was just pronounced too far gone to repair. Better the car, than me I thought. We both have had bad breath, a little problem backing up, and troubles getting started on  cold dark days. I’ve had this car for 9 years and the mechanics told me it was dying after the first month.  I just treated it nice like you would treat anyone who is dying and we all are.

I have lots of old things. If something still works and I still use it then why get rid of it? This is how I find myself a promising candidate for  “What Not to Wear.”

Here are my Sorels. These were purchased at The Yosemite National Park in 1986. They were the last pair of men’s size 10’s and my boyfriend at the time bought them for me as I was woefully unprepared. Little did he know that I would move to Alaska and wear them much more often than I did in Los Angeles. I’m not sure they are still made in Canada. I like the little maple leaf because the leather is the color of  maple sugar candy soldiers.


I’ve been tempted to buy those new lovely tall “Joan of The Arctic” Sorels. I ‘m tall! My name is Joan! I live in Anchorage! That’s what they’re banking on. I am their demographic. Me and a bunch of teenagers. I want them just because they’re in style but I don’t want to pay $150 for something which doesn’t work any better than what I already have.

These are my bike shoes. I got them at a biking event held on The Hawthorne bridge in Portland Oregon in 1996.  They only cost $10 new! You can see the weird pedal attachment on the bottom which has never been used. I don’t like having my foot attached to the pedal.Image I I do like having a  hard sole that stops my feet from cramping up. They also don’t look like bike shoes which is good because I would hate to look like I was trying too hard. It’s quite obvious I try too hard so why make it worse. I have two basic facial expressions – pained and overly enthusiastic. I would rather have people look at my amazing hat collection or brightly colored pants than at my shoes or spendy athletic gear. That way I can surprise them when they don’t take me seriously.  My sister Beth will recount how I peeed myself during my first cross country race because I knew if I slowed down I wouldn’t get a medal. She knows because she refused to lend me her sweatshirt after the race, knowing what I was going to use it for. I have a tendency to overdo everything. I’ve ridden my bike to work 3 days in a row this week. There are parts of me that hurt that need not be elaborated upon.

Note that I have updated these shoes with curly fry shoestrings. I thought I was going to use them for a triathlon but it wasn’t worth changing into running shoes afterwards.  Maybe they will come in handy as I get older and can’t bend over well.

That brings me to the one piece of clothing I still wear on a regular basis which have owned since 8th grade. It’s so retro that I suppose it’s hip. It’s also acrylic!Image

This is a vintage 1972 headband which was probably popular at the height of Bobby Orr’s career. I currently wear it ice skating, running and cross country skiing. I don’t know why a 13 or 14 year old female would wear something like this. I think even back then I thought I was Sporty Spice  though I’m not sure she was born yet. I don’t like to have the top of my head covered too tightly so I own a few of these things. One is a red fleece Conoco Phillips headband I got free at some event. I try to act like an engineer when I wear it. I like my head to breath, it needs lots of oxygen because I’m always overthinking something. I also can’t wear nail polish because my fingers feel like they’re suffocating. You can imagine how I deal with relationships.

All the other things I own that are old were purchased because they were retro which doesn’t really count. I’ll probably buy a used car that won’t outflash my wardrobe. I would get a mini cooper just to look funny being so tall, unfolding myself like a pro basketball player as I got out. A 4 wheel drive car will go better with my head band and boots. Perhaps I can find one in plaid.


About polarflares

My head is so big because it has so many holes and air gets in.

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