I have always been obsessed with Having Other People’s Things. Not so much like: “I want a She-Ra doll, give me yours”. But more like: “I am obsessed with you and I want your stuff so I can sleep with it under my pillow”. I never said I wasn’t creepy.
Right up until a few years ago, I was always trying to swap clothes with friends – the ones I thought were so cool that I wanted to be them. Halfway through a night out, I’d have the hilarious idea that we should all swap dresses and wear them for the rest of the night. Even if I got the short end of the stick, it was unimaginably exciting to me. One particular friend I later fell out with and so possessions were never returned on either side, which means I still have her black polyester 70s disco dress that makes me look like a stumpy hooker, whereas she has a ravishing red silk number that I still miss. To this day I still have sleepless nights over the time I swapped jackets with Vicky Lloyd when I was 15 – I got her way-too-big-for-me boring old black corduroy, while she was the lucky winner of this beautiful pearly-grey velvet blazer I bought in Kensington Market. I have never in my life owned a better jacket, and it makes me sad that I have no idea what happened to it. Weirder still, at the time I was thrilled with this exchange, just because Vicky Lloyd was prettier than me and I thought a little bit of her magic might rub off on me.
With boys I was worse. I doggedly hung onto a plain black long-sleeved T-shirt, somehow finding its way onto my bedroom floor, refusing to wash it and telling its perplexed owner that I had no idea what he was talking about, I’d never seen such a garment in my life. That wasn’t even the most tragic part – I think I was also listening to “Slide Away” by Oasis on repeat and sobbing at the time. Chances are. Still, he did worse things to me than mere T-shirt theft, so I don’t feel bad, just baffled at my former self.
I was having a big clear-out at the weekend and realised something. I don’t do it any more. I don’t want anyone else’s things.
I do still really want a She-Ra doll, though.