Spring has sprung in Eastern Iowa.
Or at least spring has sprung in the minds of clothing retailers in Eastern Iowa.
Mother Nature seems to have a different opinion. Then again, that is the nature of spring in Eastern Iowa – warm one day, cold the next; sunny one day, rainy the next three; rainy one day, snowy the next, melted the day after that.
After a week of unseasonably warm weather, we muddled through a week of seasonably unpredictable weather, only to be smacked upside the head with a weekend of unseasonably seasonable cold and wet weather.
That's Iowa. That's Spring. We're just as likely to shiver through graveside observances on Memorial Day as we are to sweat through them.
I only whine about this because The Princess and I did some uncharacteristically successful shopping recently. I was looking forward to wearing a new, short sleeve outfit, even if it was only around the house.
Instead I'm wearing a sweatshirt and fuzzy socks.
Spring clothing displays at the mall are every bit as enticing as those gardening catalogs you receive in January. They're both so full of promise, potential and color. They brim with the anticipation of warmer, sunnier, longer, busier, more vibrant days. They tempt us to throw off our winter doldrums. They encourage us to drag ourselves out of our suffocating winter rut. To plan a blue-sky escape.
Retailers feed our growing resentment of bulky layers and head to toe coverage, displaying outfits that seem to shrink from both ends, simultaneously exposing shoulders and legs. Tank tops, spaghetti straps, cold shoulder and off the shoulder blouses are paired with cropped pants, capri pants and ever shorter and shorter shorts. Dresses are frothy and loose, form fitting and curve hugging.
Boutiques burgeon with everything pastel and white and sweet and floral and delicate. They sprout aggressive patches of navy blue, black and rust, bursting with big, loud, geometric patterns. Because, hey, this is fashion and we'll wear whatever the designers tell us to wear.
Spring is a season of optimism. That's what drives us out to our yards to rake and clean and plant. That's what sends us to the mall in search of a fresh, clean, new look.
Optimism whispers that yes, we can squeeze into a trendy pair of leggings and the gauzy swing blouse that looks so adorable on that size 0, headless mannequin.
Spring shakes its head, hands us a pair of baggy sweatpants, and tells us to lay off the ice cream for a couple of weeks while we wait for the unseasonably warm weather to become seasonable again.