Tuesday, March 11, 2014

On eBay and Bellies

When I was at college I was a pretty die-hard eBayer. I was 17 and straight up and down and took punts on loud floral jumpsuits and button-down suede skirts and everything I ordered would arrive and fit me well. Now that I have hips and a little belly the eBay experience has become somewhat murkier territory and as a result I was put off for a while. Ordering bottoms became risky, sort of like a sartorial dating profile in which I would eye the denim skirt sitting at the top of my wishlist and project our perfect future onto the thumbnail. I would make plans, deciding which blouses to pair it with only to experience the heartbreak of misfit once it arrived. The glass ceiling gets a lot of press but often it feels like the thing really stopping me from getting shit done is the hip ceiling; that moment when you're standing in front of the mirror with a waistband exhausted at your thighs and you're pulling and you know how this is going to end and you could cry with frustration but then you think if you do that the soundtrack might kick in and you'll realise that you're actually just a character in He's Just Not That Into You and that is not a road you are going to take.

Unfortunately I don't have a redemptive tale to share, and for those in a similar situation (we all grow, don't we?) my only nugget of wisdom is to embrace the tape measure and then if all else fails, your stiff upper lip. And so my love-affair with eBay has been revived. These things come and go in waves and as I'm currently suffering disillusion with high street shops, that trusty internet auction site has reclaimed my affections. Who knows how long this will last- probably until I next pop into Cos- but the satisfaction of being able to hunt for completely random, niche things online reigns. A couple of months ago I was buying lunch in Co-op and the woman serving me eyed me suspiciously. "Just one thing," she asked as she handed me my change, "why bananas?" I looked down at the fruity brooch pinned to my jumper and could have shaken her by her shoulders reasoning "Child! Because of eBay!" When offered an empty search box would you not also feel the pure, unadulterated joy of entering whatever your heart desires and then sifting through the resulting contents? Yes, that's why bananas. That's also how over the years I've cultivated a wardrobe that contains an impressive collection of snakeskin, a retro lunchbox set I never needed and an angle poise lamp in just the right teal. Now once again I'm coming home to parcels of the sort of dubious purchases my friends may never understand (see: Katherine Hamnett lime green cord jacket) and being challenged on a nightly basis to love and cherish all of the weird shit that seemed totally right in the midst of 11pm internet-land but is sometimes more adventurous 'IRL'. Me and my little tum are relishing it.