The Way Things Are



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I have jumped the shark
2005-03-31, 5:13 p.m.

I believe I have jumped the shark as far as getting dressed for work these days. I have taken the easy way out one too many times, and now I realize why frumpy women dress in loosely constructed clothing and tennis shoes. Because it is way more freaking comfortable than pointy shoes, dressy pants, and constricting jackets.

I havenít really dressed all suity and business-fancy since the late 90ís, when I jumped ship at the city and went to the nonprofit world. Nonprofit sounds all casual, and social worky, and relaxed, doesnít it? It ainít necessarily so, as my friends from the 80ís, Bronski Beat, would say. I held onto a business casual style for years, wearing nice trousers, button downs, nice shoes, the occasional scarf. I did that for probably 7 or 8 years.

Not anymore. Today, I am wearing a getup that gets more casual as you go down. Sitting behind my desk, the casual observer would see a neatly pressed bluey-purple button down. If I got up to shake hands with said observer, they would see that my shirt is untucked, and Iím wearing what look suspiciously to be khakis from Target. If I walked around my desk to offer them a drink of water, they would see that the khakis are cropped, and Iím wearing running shoes.

I have grown to loathe all of my shoes with a white-hot hate. Since weíre building The House that Sucked Our Souls Out of Our Bodies and Our Finances Out of Our Control, I have not bought new shoes in quite a while. The ones I have in my closet have degenerated, decompensated, and decomposed to the point that they stink, they cut into my feet (which appear to be widening), and like anything you wear over and over and over again, Iím just sick to death of them. I see a visit to the Old Lady Shoe Store in my future Ė those shoes that are designed for comfort and orthopedic support first, with style running a distant second.

But I donít care anymore. I do too much running around, too many different things in one day, to be able to dress for the office all the time. Today, for instance, LG has a golf tournament. Iím dressed appropriately for sitting behind a desk and walking a golf course. I could go either way, and then I could stop at the grocery store when Iím done. And do a little dance and drink a little water. Sorry. Name that song reference. Anyone?

Many a time, Iíve been sitting at my desk and a co-worker comes in and says (with some surprise, which should probably concern me) ďYou look nice today!Ē One incident that comes to mind was a white t-shirt type of scoop-neck shell, a stretchy black long-sleeved shirt worn as a jacket, and my fake pearls to give it all a touch a class. And jeans and running shoes. I look nice as long as I donít stand up. Oh, and as long as I bother to go spend 4 minutes in the bathroom putting on makeup, too, which I have neglected to do so far today. If I skip that, the whole deal is off.

So letís see: my manner of dress these days consists of business-like on the top, and completely inappropriately casual on the bottom. My style is the clothing equivalent of the mullet Ė business on the top, party on the bottom.

Party on the bottom! Sounds kind of dirty doesnít it?

UPDATE: As a matter of fact, I did meet a new person today, who was brought around to my office, and I stood and shook hands with her, and laughed inside at the thought of the tennis shoes she couldnít see. And later, I walked down the hall to the bathroom, and she saw me in my full slacker regalia from her seat in the conference room. Doh!

And alsoÖI learned why all my old shoes have started hurting and cutting into my feet. Iíve gone up a half a size. On a whim, whilst out driving LG around, back and forth, hither and thither, here there and yonder, I stopped at Deichmannís Shoes because I have something I have to dress up for on Monday and I wanted shoes that didnít cause me great shame or discomfort. Whew. Long sentence. Yíall, Iím not a 6 Ĺ anymore. Iím a 7. The 7s felt all roomy and nice, and didnít cut into my feet and hurt me. I loved them so much, I bought two pairs. They arenít Old Lady Shoes; they are Woman Shoes. So for whatever reasonÖmy feet have grown not only wider, like my ass, but longer, like my tits.

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