The more entrenched I become in this whole adult thing of dressing up, going to work, and acting respectably, the more fed up I get with it. Especially the dressing up bit. Is it a coincidence that the most “professional” clothing is also the most uncomfortable? As long as I don’t have mustard stains on wrinkled smelly clothing, why should it matter what I wear?
Clothing was once a rugged animal hide that protected our more sensitive bits. Did cavepeople ever get embarrassed over a nip slip or an errant buttcrack? Who knows. At what point did we get so uptight about our silly bodies? When did we decide that the animal hide needed to be tailored to fit our bodies more snugly, but not TOO snugly? Since when did it become tacky to wear animal print?
I’m running away with myself.
Now, clothing is one of the first things by which we’re judged. I’ve got “work” clothes, “regular me” clothes, and “home” clothes (one item being my beloved sweatpants, much to F’s chagrin.) Whatever. Sweatpants are deliciously comfy and warm, and I love them. They’re perfectly acceptable in the US, but considered ghastly and barbaric here in France (from what I gather). A few weeks ago, I even caught flak for wearing them to help move a friend out of their apartment.
So the general ridiculous and arbitrary nature of the “proper” clothing rule soothes my burning embarrassment when I relive the memories of past wardrobe malfunctions. You know, those lovely memories that make you twitch and recoil while saying “Oh, GOD, no…” when they pop into your brain for an unexpected visit. I rock myself back and forth while thinking, “They’re just made-up rules, nobody remembers that but you, now shove that memory back under the rug where it belongs…” That helps me forget the time when my sandals broke early on in the day, and I had to go to work wearing them, having to maintain a cool, casual straight-leg walk (which is, coincidentally, the opposite of swagger). Or the time when I discovered wearing that cute summer dress with leggings causes friction near the derrière when wearing a backpack, causing the back of the skirt to ride up. Never mind the fact that I realized this after I had already walked all over town with more goods on display than I intended. Ah, good ol’ mortification, you’re always there for me when I thought I’d long banished you.
Well? Have I inspired any shudders of painful memories to sneak up on you? You’re welcome. As the saying goes, mortification is better when it’s shared with friends.