Mourning our Losses


No, this is not an election-related post.  Loss is part of life, and in addition to the life-altering ones, we all have our share of smaller, everyday losses to mourn.  When it comes to beauty and fashion, these losses may seem trivial, but do not be fooled.  I am willing to bet that every woman out there can remember her most painful losses over the years.  Here are mine.

The I-Am-A-Princess ring

I don’t remember what it looked like or where I got it.  I only remember that, when I put this ring on, I felt beautiful.  I was transformed from a gawky, poorly dressed 10-year-old into a delicate, feminine creature.   I think I owned this ring for all of two days, until I foolishly chose to wear it on a family hike in the woods.  While crossing a shallow brook, I pointed to something in the water and that ring – I swear to God – popped right off and was swept away in the current.  I was inconsolable.

The cool motorcycle jacket

It would probably look horrible by today’s standards – very eighties, with a tiny, tapered waist and broad, almost triangular shoulders.  But it had this cool gunmetal grey color, and the tough design made me feel like a badass.  I know it was secondhand, though I can’t recall if somebody handed it down to me or if I bought it at a thrift store.  In any event, I left it behind in Terminal C of Boston Logan airport.  That’s the last time I agree to pick up a friend in the middle of the night!

My favorite race T-shirt

No, it wasn’t fashionable.  Race T-shirts are fugly, by design, as well as uncomfortable, and I have way too many of them.  But this was the first 10K I ever ran!  And while I know this could be my imagination, I believe it was softer, less stiff, and better fitting than any other cotton T-shirt I’ve ever worn.  It disappeared  right after a weekend trip in the Berkshires with my extended family.  An investigation is still ongoing, and my family members have not been cleared.

The best necklace I ever made

I used to make bead necklaces, most of which weren’t fit to be worn.  The notable exception was a long string of beads in a perfect combination of brown, gold and black.  It went with everything, and it was shiny enough to look special but natural enough to look like me.  It was also long enough to perk up the most blah, plain, high-necked tops I owned.  I had to disassemble several other necklaces to compile the beads for this one, and I re-strung it three times until it was just the way I wanted it.  I wore it lovingly until one fateful day when the seatbelt grabbed it as I was getting out of the car.  The next thing I knew, all the beads were tumbling onto Main Street, rolling under the car toward the filthy curb in front of a sleazy liquor store. I did not attempt retrieval.

More earrings than I can count

The only ones I vividly remember were the super cool, faux jade (plastic) ones that my Mom bought for me during, naturally, the eighties.  They were shaped like a Chinese symbol, meaning unknown, and I wore them every day for about three months.  The first time I lost one, I was at a playground in the middle of the night, hanging with friends, swinging on the swings.  Everybody helped me search, but to no avail.  Surprisingly enough, I found the earring later than night – comically wedged inside my bra.   My celebration was premature, though, because it disappeared for good the following week.

The collagen in my face

I don’t really know what collagen is, and I’ll bet you don’t, either.  But I’m told that we’re all losing it, and fast, and I suspect this has something to do with the unsightly frown lines that have taken up permanent residence between my eyebrows.  Mr. Frump – God love him – tells me they give my face character.  Me, I’d be willing to trade a little of that character for some damn collagen.

Well, that about does it for my list of losses.   Now it’s Reader Participation Time.  What was your most heartbreaking loss in the realm of fashion or beauty? 



About Anne @ The Frump Factor

Reflections on beauty and style, for women who weren't born yesterday. Bring your sense of humor and "Fight the Frump" with me!
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11 Responses to Mourning our Losses

  1. Karen S. says:

    I still grieve the loss of my best-ever t-shirt. It was pink. It said “Floyd” on the front, in distinctive lettering. Someone took it out of the back seat of my car while I was parked in front of my parents’ small-town home.

    Then there was my great-grandmother’s engagement ring, which I wore because it looked awesome with a sweatshirt. I left it in a practice room in the music building. Someone turned it into the office, and then the janitor stole it. (He was caught later and fired for a series of thefts, but the ring was long gone.)

  2. I mourn body parts being where they used to be. I mourn healthy, strait white teeth, and my thick curly hair that I once hated and cursed at daily! OH and my metabolism! That is a biggy!
    In fashion I mourn my platform rockabilly shoes that I could wear and not have it seem not age appropriate! All my vintage and reproduction 1950’s dresses…see previous comment!!
    Oh and though it fits neither I miss my sports car that I only had a year and had to give up when we moved to Texas for a SUV!

  3. ZippyChix says:

    I am grieving the loss of my ability to announce that I am going to lose 10 pounds and then do it with ease. Every lb is now torturous to lose… oh my…..aging is annoying!!!

  4. BigD says:

    Things I mourn:
    -Like Stephanie, my metabolism. I don’t know what happened. One day, about 18 months ago, it shut off. Since then, I’ve developed this little pooch around my navel area. I’m annoyed. Now I seek out the Spanx with the higher waistline.
    -The perfect silver watch with a square dark blue face. It was the prettiest watch I ever got. I loaned it to my BFF Laura in 7th grade PE, so she could time her laps. She swore and swore she laid it on my clothes on the locker room bench. Yet, I never saw it again. That’s when I decided that leaving all your stuff to jump into the horrid nightmare PE gym showers was not worth getting ripped off! To this day, it’s still the prettiest watch EVER.
    -What ever became of my black Members Only jacket? I was a little late in obtaining one (call me fashionably late, or just plain the child of cheap parents who always waited for the knock-offs to hit the flea markets before they’d buy us anything–whatever!). But, I loved it. I was finally in style for 1980–whatever.
    -My size 10 feet, without bunions. My feet went up a size the first time I got pregnant. Since then, I’ve had to rebuild my shoe collection. Sadly, the section (note: affordable) is not what it should be in the “10+” section. And, as I’ve aged, the bunions my father genetically assigned to me have made finding adorable pointy-toed beauties (that I can actually walk in without agonizing pain) oh, so rare. My one prized paire of pointy black slingbacks are actually a size 13, just to I can get my achy dogs in them. I weep for smaller feet.

    I could go on. And on. But I should stop, since I’m starting to drip tears on my keyboard and I may short out my PC.

  5. Lynn says:

    My most devastating loss was losing my grandmother’s cross somewhere on the playground at work back in the early 90’s. The chain broke and the cross must have fallen off. I didn’t discover this until the chain fell off when I removed my blazer .

  6. Gail says:

    My biggest loss was a perfect LBD. I bought it in an antiques fair and it was a genuine 40s number with a shawl collar, and looked as if it had been made to measure. I loved that dress. But unfortunately, my mother put it in the washing machine….and I was never able to wear it again! I think I grew up that day and did my own washing.

  7. Molly says:

    I’m still kind of in mourning, so this isn’t easy to write. I had the PERFECT little black jacket. Casual enough to throw on with jeans but polished enough to wear over the lbd. It was just the right weight… warm enough to fight off a chill but not too bulky to make me look like a marshmellow. It just went missing a few weeks ago – check that, I just noticed it was missing a few weeks ago. I have to stop typing now, the tears are making it difficult to see the computer screen.

    Leaving the House in THIS?!?!

  8. Oh my goodness, you are all making me so sad! I didn’t mean to cause tears across cyberspace! LBD’s, perfect black jackets, and family heirlooms are difficult losses, indeed.

  9. Rapunzel says:

    Love this post! I’m mourning a recent loss of a bracelet that belonged to my mom. It was the only piece of her jewelry that really looked like “me” and I wore it constantly during the year after her death. I don’t know where it is, might have left it in a hotel room, but continue to hope it’ll turn up somewhere someday.

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