Gray Matters

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

photo: Kathryn Stabile

I'm going to break ranks with my fashion blogger sistren and be the devil's advocate today. I'm not anxiously awaiting warmer weather or pushing spring fashion. The older I get, the more I find myself understanding the value of winter. I like that the colors of the earth fall drab and the physical evidence of life tucks itself away for a later date. Life goes inward. Literally, metaphorically, financially, spiritually, all those things. I'm okay with drab. I'm okay with dark. Once the Christmas tree is on the curb, that means there's nothing going on. Fine with me.

mixing prints
photo: Kathryn Stabile

Our brains are wired for stimuli. Mine perhaps more so. Here's a confession. I'm ADD. I'm not talking self-diagnosed. I'm talking straight up. By several doctors. Back in the day even, before it was ADHD and just plain old ADD. I did all the tests. Had electrodes taped to my skull. My brain is wired differently than your brain, but I haven't noticed it for the past twenty-two years because of all the Adderall and Ritalin. God, I love em both. Adderall more. I don't care who knows it. I've become a super productive member of society thanks to them. But when you get married and get to be a certain age and start entertaining the idea of children, 
the Doc says, Maybe you shouldn't be on the's safer to be on Ritalin in case you accidentally get pregnant.
Okay Doc, I says, I'll go back on the Ritalin.
so I went back on Ritalin. It's not as awesome as Adderall, but still way better than coffee. Or diet pills.
But then a couple years go by, you finally finish your first draft, and you really get to be a certain age where whether you're ready or not, it's time to knuckle down and start having the kind of S-E-X that 50% of country thinks God created it for.
The Doc says, Life begins at...well, let's just say practically immediately. You won't know it of course until you get a positive pregnancy test though.
Sooo, I says.
Don't take the Ritalin, he says, unless you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you aren't pregnant.
I scratch my head.
So I guess that only leaves when I'm menstruating, I says.
Yeah, he says, yeah it does.
This is going to be difficult, but anything worth doing is worth doing right, I tell myself and sneer like Billy Idol. If I can even have kids at all, I can't be having speed babies.

photo:  Kathryn Stabile
It's been a couple of months of you know. On one hand you feel sexy and on the other, you start regarding yourself like a science experiment. I noted that my breasts swelled up a lot, more than my usual PMS. Last week I had a brief and candid conversation with one of my friends, Do you think that means...? She squealed and said, Maybe!!

Yesterday, I texted my friend, False alarm.
Are you sad? she asked. 
No, but I miss the amphetamines, I texted back. 

Then I thought she probably needed to see a picture of James Bond in a terrycloth romper and so I texted her that.

Re-commence with the randomness I mostly left behind when I was 14.  

So I'm here and unmedicated for the most part. I'm an adult with rekindled ADD. ADD.2 
It's taking some getting used to. If you follow my instagram stories, you'll know that certain noises shut me down. I have olfactory triggers too. Don't get me started on visual stimuli. Just seeing college girls run in packs with their ponytails swinging in unison triggers some vestigial instinct within me. They look like gazelles with twitchy tails on the African prairie and part of me wants to give chase.  Like I said, my brain is wired differently than yours. 

photo: Kathryn Stabile

So after a weird, very personal, and impulsive detour, let me get back to the main point of this post. I look forward to the quiet winter months. I enjoy the gentle nuances of gray. I enjoy being swathed in it and the mental stasis that comes from it. It's nice to have that down time, to turn inward. I find when there are less distractions, it's easier to find that inner strength, not to hope and dream and hustle, but to catch your breath, blend in, and just be, if only for a moment.
photo: Kathryn Stabile

What I Wore: 

Jacket: old Anthropologie
Long sleeve: old Ann Taylor Loft
Striped tank: old J.Crew
Skirt: I made this myself in 2000, it's reversible. I got the fabric from the Herman Miller remnant store in Zeeland, Michigan. Possibly the last thing I designed and sewed myself.
Boots: Freebird Coal by Steven Here! (I wore them last year,HERE .)

Your Bosom Friend in Pittsburgh, 


  1. Beautiful post Meryl. It's so brave of you to be open like that on your blog. I don't think your brain is wired all that differently than mine, I also have a visceral response to college girls with pony tails. Enjoy the peace and quiet of Winter.

    1. Haha. Thanks Tori, and that is encouraging to hear I'm not the only one:)

  2. Right on... I hate winter. But there is something so very unsettling about what is happening right now. So stay gray, I say.

    Also, you know I love your honesty. And meandering through your thoughts. It's the most fun reading your posts (even if it takes me months to catch up in between).


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