Living Beyond Archetypes, My Name Is.
You all are great commenters. I swear I wander through my day sometimes with your imaginary voices in my head. Embarrassing, yes. At least I don't talk to you out loud. Just to myself. Which is bad enough. I did that in the supermarket the other day, mentioning how hard it was to find the right beans, I believe, and from the surprised sideways glance of the woman behind me I could tell I was one step from scary. The fact that I had reverted to wearing my son's khakis might have contributed to the problem. What? It is hard to find the right beans.
Your recent set of comments on the Little Black Dress got me thinking. a) These archetypes are only some of many. They are High WASP archetypes and do not aspire to world domination in any way. Actually they are very polite and hope they don't offend you even if you do have wallpaper they can't approve of. b) These archetypes overlap. Hence the diagram above. I believe I'm Sturdy Gal x Grande Dame. I do realize that this puts me in the Queen Elizabeth camp, but let's just pretend that one of the Queen's cousins liked to talk. I'll pay extra attention to my haircuts, just in case.
I love the way people identify themselves. Julia, from Ordinary Saturdays, said "Sturdy Gals can wear leopard? Sign me up." Darla and Jan chimed in as Sturdy Gals, known to Duchesse's ex as, "Jennifer Cleanjerseys." Jill says she's artsy. Surprising no one, since she's the Goddess of Caftans. Mrs. G and Amanda claim the Grande Dame, while Academic, Hopeful and DocP, anticipating the diagram above, raise Artsy Dame hands.
Slynnro, JMW, Maureen, The Preppy Princess, Queen Bee Swain, and the Queen of Cashmere weighed in, (no surprise to see Princesses and Queens) either professing love for LBDs, or pointing out real issues with the ones I had bought. Sometimes both. Jill, Duchesse, f8hasit, and Academic, Hopeful all suggested places to buy LBDs (or little plum dresses in f8's case), which Deja Pseu, Joyce Lau, Twenty Four at Heart, Maya, What A Splurge, Sharpiegirl, Cate Subrosa, the class factotum, Her Preppiness, and Turquoise Diaries might enjoy. Me too.
Sweet Tea, Kristen, and Queen Bee want more stories. (Maria wants to know what the archetypes drink. A woman after my own heart.) OK. There are more stories. That's what happens when you like to talk. And are starting your 5th decade. Of course, by you I mean me. With any luck, by me, I also mean you.
Identifying ourselves, making meaning in the sheer fact that our eyes open most mornings, is what makes us human. It is also what makes some of us buy way too many cashmere cardigans in the wrong colors. And then, with a sigh, consigning ourselves to the world of pink and navy, give those sweaters to our sisters. Who look much better in seafoam green than we do. Without the crutch of pink lipstick.
BTW, my name is Lisa. Seemed like time. Names, like archetypes, like Little Black Dresses, are ways to know who we are or are not. There's a chart here that shows how prevalent your name was when you were born. And the Social Security Administration can tell you the top names from your year of birth. Yes, I was born in 1956. But it's OK, I have found, to have a popular name. Turns out they don't make us stay in the same classroom all our lives. If my mom had known what I knew at 16, clearly she would have named me Skye. Then all bets would have been off.