Sunday, 2 November 2008

So Symbolic!

It can be very easy to go overboard on the symbolism at times, especially in English lessons. The literary world, for example, seems to particularly rejoice in linking passages from classical novels, poems or whatever back to sex. Personally, I get quite sceptical with symbolism because how often can the author have really been thinking 'oooh I know, I'll give this character a pet rabbit to symbolise the eternal struggle of womankind for freedom against the barriers of society'? You know, isn't it possible that the character just has a pet rabbit?

But, being a bit of an English geek at myself, I also enjoy a little bit of symbolism. Throughout my life, my choice of clothes has always felt quite symbolic of my mood and the general state of my mind. Maybe it's actually practicality speaking rather than symbolism, but when I'm feeling lazy and bored I'm more likely to wear something simple, unimaginative and baggy. When I'm feeling more confident or excited, my whole outfit seems to exude more energy in terms of colour, style and the look-at-me factor.

Recently, I've been feeling that the state of my underwear drawer perfectly symbolises the state of my mind. As my mood swings between restless and tired, my socks swing between pretty but worn out and dull, thick and boring. My many multicoloured tights lay unworn and those useful staples of black, grey and ribbed are all becoming old and full of holes. So I got some new tights. I got home and realised that I'd somehow purchased a brown pair of tights (I never wear brown!) and thinking another pair were ribbed, I now saw that they were patterned and full of holes. Right.

Delving further into the symbolic state of my underwear drawer, we reach the bras. Bras are the eternal bane of my life. My awkward size means that they're always expensive, often ugly and I rarely have enough. My mood always plummets when decide I need to buy a new bra and when I'm in a bad mood, I always remember that I need a new bra! And today I was wearing a white vest, a black v-neck jumper, jeans and pumps. Could that be any more symbolic of my bad I-need-a-new-bra mood? But then I went and got a couple of new bras. One black: good, reliable and comfortable. Another white: good, reliable, comfortable but also pretty. Behold, the Pollyanna bra!

The perfect name, don't you think, for an optimistic and uplifting piece of lingerie? Perfectly symbolic of the state of mind it puts me in.

Anyway, as I got home, and went to my underwear drawers (confusingly labelled 'handkerchiefs' and 'collars' - again, so symbolic) I realised that I could barely open them. They were literally too full of the old, too small, worn and holey things which I'd replaced but not thrown away. I rearranged, organised and as a result I felt a little less chaotic too. But I still couldn't bear to throw them away and so for now, old and new mix together, the drawers overflow and clutter prevails. Might that symbolise something?


  1. Perhaps the mixture symbolizes the mindset of a girl who's changing, a girl who's holding onto old ideas, even as she ushers in the new.


  2. Ah, buying underwear is a very underestimated delight! I'm glad there's someone out there who knows how to appreciate it :)