I saw Gillian Anderson in The Fall, the new BBC/RTE co-production where she plays a stylish London cop on assignment in Belfast, a kind of more glamorous Helen Mirren from Prime Suspect, and suddenly I wanted one great pair of outrageously expensive sunglasses.
Or, more precisely, I wanted to be the kind of woman who wears classic style, like those amazing sunglasses.
I have lived in austerity consciousness for so long, a life of self denial, where there was never, ever room for style.
I live in an area where style is devalued. On one hand, that’s good, because there are few poseurs and shops only succeed with reasonable prices, but on the other hand, it means that what we have a chain stores, and the plebeian ones at that.
My family traditions are for cheap and serviceable. My mother would rather buy three pieces of crap than one good piece. Her shopping goal was never to look for the perfect or even the exceptional, but rather to look for the discounted, whatever the quality.
My style is changing. I think more about the investment pieces, the signature accessory, and the notion of a uniform than I ever have before. I want to be sure of my look, sure enough that I can focus on the content of my presentation rather than on my appearance.
Sadly, though, my family traditions are not changing, which makes for a gap between possibility and practice. My sister hasn’t even found time to help measure my pupilary distance (PD) so I can order great sunglasses online.
But aspiration is the heart of growth, and the aspiration to be the kind of woman who has fabulous sunglasses and a confident, throaty laugh, well, a girl can dream, can’t she? Even if she hasn’t dreamed in a decade. . .