I was thrifting with my friend Heidi last week when, at 61, I clearly saw my body in the change-room mirror for the first time in my life. My legs are short and my torso is long and I never actually registered that fact before. I always just saw myself without actually seeing.
Is that bad, a disproportionately long torso? Short legs? Not really. But it does help me understand why clothes fit me weird. Also, sharing these videos is an exercise in accepting my body as it is. I wince when I see my stomach and then I work to get over myself. My biggest problem with my stomach is not how it looks but how it prevents pants from staying up.
Anyway, a few things about Heidi. Heidi is a force of nature and we've known each other since the early 1980s. She and I worked together at an ad agency in downtown Toronto back then, and though we weren't super close, we were easy work friends and I really liked her. One day, she announced she was quitting to go work for an airline. I was sad to see her go, and that was the last I saw of her. I was too shy to pursue a friendship outside of work. Oh, Amy.
Cut to September 2022, and this gorgeous Scandi-blond style goddess shows up on my TikTok feed. But my ADHD brain doesn't yet make the connection. She's mesmerizing to watch, as she styles her thrifted fashion options. A few days later, she shows up again. Why do I think I know her? So I drop into her DMs and ask...do we know each other? And she reminds me that we absolutely do, and that she helped address the envelopes for my wedding invitations and my head explodes. OMG HEIDI!
Yup, that's her in the gorgeous toasty brown suit. (Shoutout to Monica in front of her and Diane in back of her, and of course hello to my ex. This photo feels like 3 lifetimes ago.)
Since last fall, we've hung out multiple times, coffeed and lunched, and we have the most amazing time together. She's fun, she's full of life, and she's lived European adventures people like me only dreamt of. She's also a cool mom, and now has built this super-clever TikTok and Instagram following, sharing her love of thrifting and how to put together outfits on almost no budget. She can find gems among the endless racks of discarded cheap fast fashion, and what's fabulous is that, as different as our body types are (she's a size 4, I'm an 18ish), she can always find things to fit me.
1980s me was scared of a lot of stuff. 2023 me is a whole different animal. So glad I sent that DM, because having Heidi back in my life is one of my great joys.
And I'll be writing more about thrifting, because it really is the smartest way to handle a changing body when you don't have endless money. Heidi taught me that.