A Material Connection

We’ve all felt it: that rush of blood to the chest. The flutter of adrenaline making you shiver with excitement. That unabashed knowledge that you’ve finally found the one. You walk across the room and reach out to the object of your desire - just to make sure it’s real. 

And finally…yes! 

You’ve found the perfect pair of jeans. 

I’ve always likened clothes shopping to that of finding a new romance. You start off tentatively wading into the dating pool, otherwise known as your local shopping centre. The friends you have employed to help you through this frightening and often disappointing process offer words of encouragement like, “It’ll be fun!” or “you don’t have to commit to anything, just look around.”

So off you go, treading lightly amidst all the potential. Some offer comfort, others offer style. At the same time all claiming they’ll make you feel special. Important. More worth while.

Then, after several hours of taking chances on items you would never otherwise do so, you see it. There, in the corner, usually hidden amongst the pompously glittered and the otherwise rejected. You lock eyes with it and then BAM! You’re in the dressing room awkwardly trying to refrain from shouting words of glee. 

The feeling is so rare you don't know what to do with yourself. You think: at what cost will this feeling come? And the price tag gently swaying from your hand offers a hint of sadness mixed with disbelief. Surely this is worthwhile though, right? You’ve never felt this way before; completed, perfected and utterly wonderful. 

So you take the item home, not wanting to waste another second with all the other potentials in the area. You fling your purchase onto the bed and admire it from every angle, all the while thinking, “Oh yes, this is perfect. I am so happy.” 

You go out for the first time, relishing in all the compliments everyone showers on you. Walking around doesn't feel the same anymore. Everyday activities become more colourful, more exciting. After enjoying you first outing you come home, and to your horror, realise the item you bought has a stain, most likely from that extra hotdog you weren't meant to eat. And so ensues a barrage of emotion. Anger at yourself for dirtying the once perfect thing you had. Sadness at thinking your purchase was made in vain. Regret in thinking “what if I hadn't bought this? I wouldn't have worn it and it wouldn't be stained.” and then frustrated for being so silly and blinded by the happiness the item initially gave you. 

Several washes later, the colour has run and the seams are fraying. The fit just isn't right anymore, it’s no longer moulded to you, instead it does what it wants. It tugs at you this way and that, making you uncomfortable and hurt. 

Soon you realise, maybe this wasn't the item for me. Maybe I need something else. 

After the painful release of that material connection, you’re left with the realisation that, items of clothing may come and go, but you are your own self forever, and they must learn to fit with you as you do with them.