How long is too long to harbour a crush of the sartorial kind?
That is a real question, not the traditional rhetorical ones I usually throw around. I’d really like to know. Is there a timeframe? Should you move on after a set number of weeks or months or years has expired? What’s the etiquette here?
I’ve been holding a candle for a certain something for a certain time and I’m just not sure if I should continue the charade or except that we will never be together, mourn the loss and move on. Throw my unwavering adoration towards something else, probably equally unattainable, but something else nonetheless.
In the interests of answering my own questions (a kind of hobby of mine) I googled, like all good questions answerers, and discovered there is actually a science behind crushes and even a word for a crush that doesn’t go away and is not reciprocated - limerence, in case you were wondering.
According to the scientists, the symptoms of infatuation are a lot like those of mental illness and our brain chemistry when under the spell of the crush is comparable to that of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Things are weirdly starting to fall into place right now.
Like going back to the same store, website, instagram account that you first spotted your favourite on repeatedly, just to check up on it. Which is strange when it’s a human - and also called stalking - and stranger still when it’s an inanimate object.
Or like obsessively searching for said item in a bid to either a) actually find it available somewhere or b) find it in some magical 95% off sale which brings it fractionally closer to meeting your budgetary demands.
We are, alas, powerless to stop the affects of the crush rampaging with our heads, and also our hearts. It’s out of our hands. Our obsessive, ridiculous, weird, creepy and often sad behaviour is completely out of our control. So we should just give ourselves up to the crush, let those good time chemicals flood our brains and enjoy the benefits.
For up to two years anyway.
After that, things get bad real quick. That’s where that limerence comes in. I’m getting real close to limerence, I think it’s time to let go. Nobody like a crazy woman possessed with uncontrollable thoughts and shortness of breath over a pair of shoes. Right?
Guys. Don't freak out, but I think I've got this shit covered. It's all so clear. So obvious. So much so that this has no doubt been said a thousand times already by people with much more clout than me. But here it is, right from my jumbled up head. Fashion is just one big dirty circle.
Nothing is really new. Even the people making clothes out of plastic and tin and string - people are doing that - it's ALL been done before. We've seen pink coats, leopard print, patchwork denim and floral over and over again. And over and over and over again.
But somehow we seem able to divorce from our memories the fact that this has all been done before. That nothing is new. Because every season we clap our hands and ooh and ahh about how amazing and brilliant and clever and NEW everything is. But, guys, it's not. And it's okay. Really it is.
Just because it's been done before doesn't mean it shouldn't be done again.
I mean, you eat your favourite food over and over again right? I've read The Secret Garden a thousand times and worn my favourite charcoal Sportsgirl knit nearly as many times. And that is ok. Because I like that story and I like that knit.
The only difference is sometimes I read The Secret Garden curled up in bed, sometimes I'm on a plane or outside laying in the grass in the sunshine. Sometimes I wear my charcoal knit with denim or leather or over a shirt. And fashion and it's trends are much the same.
Sometimes our pink is done boxy and oversized, sometimes our leopard is done in a trench or a clutch, our patchwork denim is less patchwork and more denim and sometimes out floral comes in bomber jackets. So maybe, just maybe, it's not the trend we clap for, but the form it takes?
I’ve spent the best part of the past week binge watching seasons one and two of Girls. A party I’m well past fashionably late to. But a party I’m quite happy to have gate crashed nonetheless. Despite watching all twenty episodes, it is episode one that I keep returning to. Or perhaps more specifically a scene within episode one.
You know the one I mean, right? When Lena Dunham’s Hannah tells her parents that she may be the voice of her generation, or a least a voice of her generation? It’s not Hannah’s steadfast belief in her storytelling ability that sticks with me, it’s the simple notion that for the goal of writing to be serious, you must aim to be the voice of your generation. You cannot simply write, you must write the best prose ever to grace the page, or in the case of my generation - the website. You cannot just be happy with mild success, or even rampant success, you cannot be happy with a little monetary return or even a lot - you must be THE VOICE.
When Hannah makes that statement to her stunned parents I feel an empathy for her, because I often find myself in situations where I’m forced to justify my choice to make writing my life and career. As if making a choice to use words, as opposed to medical instruments or law books, is less valid or not as important? Am I projecting onto a character in a television show? Probably, but I wonder if that is the magic of the psychology of television. Does seeing some part of you in a character on the screen give your life and choices and decisions some perspective, some support, some weird justification? Or am I just making all this shit up? Anyway, here's to Girls and Lena Dunham and writing and binge television watching and being fashionably late to parties. And here's to not being anyones voice, except your own.