Usually, when I buy a piece of clothing, I have some idea of where I might wear it and what other clothes I'll combine it with. How wrong those ideas can be! A good deal of the time, when I get it home, I discover that the brown in the shirt doesn't really match the brown pants I was thinking of. Or the lack of pockets bothers me even more than I thought it might. Or it never is the perfect temperature for that shirt, or I never find the right occasion for that dress. I once had a skirt I loved but never found the right top to pair with it. Nothing matched it. So eventually I donated it, and I hope whoever got it found the perfect shirt for it.
Then there are the clothes I end up
loving more than I thought I would. The pants that are so comfortable,
the shirt that matches everything, the sweater that's just right for
chilly days. I don't always recognize these "greatest hits" when I first
meet them; they grow on me.
Today I wore a black T-shirt that I
originally bought to wear under a particular low-necked sweater. I
found out that I don't like the way it looks under the sweater, but it
pairs perfectly with a skirt I've been holding onto for years. The skirt
originally came with a matching top, and I wore that outfit until the
shirt began to fray. The skirt, with its shades of blue and purple and
black, was so pretty that I couldn't bear to throw it away too, and
after all it was still perfectly wearable. So it's been waiting in my
closet--apparently waiting for this shirt to come along.
writing is the same way. I have the stories that seemed like great ideas
at first, but didn't really work. The stories I thought I'd try to
write, but weren't really "me" after all. The ideas I pursued on a whim
just to see where they went--and ended up loving. Like pairing that
black shirt with that skirt, I have pulled characters out of failed
stories and paired them with plots or settings from different failed
stories, and realized they were made for each other.
Despite all the planning I do, surprises are still inevitable.