I flush with embarrassment for a few seconds and then think "Oh god, I'm turning into my mother." Whom Susan knew. And what's worse, she agreed.
Repetition and its cousin, routine, are valuable to me now. I savour many of the same meals, clothes, scenery and music—as Milan Kundera wrote, "Happiness is the longing for repetition". The pipeline of novelty keeps flowing; friends suggest new music, art and books, but sampling what's new competes with the comfort of proven pleasures. Keeping up becomes a lot.
Just after my gaffe, Ronni Bennett, of the insightful blog Time Goes By, wrote an empathic post, Elders Repeating Ourselves, on the subject.
I've decided, about clothes, that the notion of a rut is irrelevant. By the time you're past 45 or so, there are but two categories: what works and everything else.
As for trends like wedge sneakers or asymmetrical hems (seen everywhere in Montréal last summer, so absolutely not going to be seen next summer), I enjoy them shown off on the young, who don't mind the disposability.
I remember a woman in her seventies whom I saw in Toronto the winter before I moved; she was standing on the street chatting with someone. She wore a charcoal-grey wool reefer with a tart apricot wool scarf at her throat. The colours were spectacular together, arresting yet discreet at the same time. Set off by her white bob, the whole effect was of calm, timeless grace.
|MaxMara "Rubino" coat|
|Chann Lu scarf|
Though it's pure projection on my part, I doubt she was trying that silhouette for the first time.
Ditto my admiration of Renata Molho. (The cigarette: I know; Not that.) Just beautifully tuned to colour and proportion.
|Photos: The Sartorialist|
Different seasons, same glasses, repeated because they are right for her.
But I'd hoped to escape repeating stories.
Maybe, though, repetition is the yellow highlighter of life, showing us what's valued, worth keeping and returning to, as long as we can.
For that reason, I head into 2014 with familiar friends: Lindt dark chocolate with sea salt, sheepskin slippers, yet another year recorded in an ancient navy calfskin Filofax, even though there are all sorts of apps I could use.
I'm wondering what you keep repeating, because of the enduring enjoyment or other rewards.