I love accessories, Gentle Reader, all manner of jewelry and accoutrements and things. I am a thing girl. I talk about materiality in my classes, I work with materiality in my academic texts, and I worship it at home.
Shawls. Necklaces. Earrings. Bracelets. I even go so far as to make my own jewelry, as you can see in this Halloween costume from 2011, when I went as a Steampunk Rosie the Riveter:
The necklace I am wearing says “WE CAN DO IT” in typewriter keys. I made my cog earrings (woe, the Steampunk “just slap some cogs on it, but darling earrings, are they not?), the badges, the pocketwatch, and the “ROSIE’S BOX OF STEAM” which functioned as my purse for the evening. DH antiqued my drill, which was a kid’s toy at one time or another.
I love Halloween. I love dressing up and playing with fashion and makeup. There was a time, Dear Friends, in which This Humble Author wore A Lot Of Black Eyeliner ™, otherwise known as Dr. Montz’s Youth as a Goth. I don’t think I ever quite outgrew the desire to dress up.
But I also collect things, namely shawls. I write on the role of the Kashmir shawl in the Victorian era. It was a priceless accessory, both metaphorically and monetarily. It cost hundreds of pounds and usually assured a woman’s place in the middle class. But I also have shawls, from India, from Syria, from Greece, from Iraq, and continue to collect them because they are, as Elizabeth Gaskell says in North and South, “very perfect things of their kind.”
Unfortunately, I also have a new accessory I am not so fond of:
Yes, your Humble Narrator is currently suffering from Carpal Tunnel in both wrists, but worse in the right. I see the doctor Friday, and it cannot come soon enough. In my job I am a teacher, a reader, but most importantly, a writer, and this has, if you will excuse the pun, put a cramp in my work.
Like what you’ve read? Visit my website: The Life and Times of the Postmodern Bluestocking.