[Some days, I pick out an outfit for the next day, before I go to bed, and it usually works pretty well. Other days, I don’t do that, and it often plays out something like this.]
Okay. Dresser full of clothes. I can do this. I am a strong, intelligent, independent woman, and I can pick out an outfit for myself to face this day.
Ah! Here is a cute tunic-y top with modest and soft legging-y bottoms. How comfortable! How chic! How multi-function – casual, yet attractive; laid back, yet put-together. What a joy!
But wait – I am a strong, intelligent, independent woman. I do not need things to be cute and chic. I just spent a whole blog entry deconstructing the word “cute.” I should wear jeans and a t-shirt, and screw the fashion industry. Yes, that’s the way to be. Ah, perfect! My favorite ripped jeans. Real worn denim, broken down by falls on the pavement and rough handling at show strikes, not that pre-shredded, manufactured-distressed crap. Excellent! This is well in my idiom.
No. Hang on. I have a meeting with [INSERT PERSON X HERE] today. A strong, intelligent, independent woman I may be, but I do not want to look like a schlub in front of [INSERT PERSON X HERE]. [INSERT PERSON X HERE] will judge me and think that I am not a strong, intelligent, independent woman, but rather a hobo. I must reconsider.
Perhaps this dress will do – I feel attractive in this dress. A tiny bit sexy, in an empowered kind of way. This may be just the thing.
But why the hell do I care what [INSERT PERSON X HERE] thinks of me? Why should [INSERT PERSON X HERE] judge me on what I wear? What makes [INSERT PERSON X HERE] so damned superior that he/she/they/it can judge me on the understated-but-professional sexiness of my clothing? My competency as a professional and as a human being should not be dependent on my showing a little cleavage! To hell with the patriarchy, I say! Arr! Back to the jeans!
Hang on, though – I can’t wear those jeans anyway, because I’m teaching in the schools today. Letting the patriarchy go for the moment, I must present a mature and respectable facade for the kiddies. They must not know of my techie super hero alter ego that wears ripped jeans. Perhaps some non-ripped jeans and a modest sort of blouse. That would surely be respectable. Safe.
But honestly, who has time for safe? Safe is boring! Safe is status quo! Behold, as I dive back into the tunic and leggings! I shall not feel guilt for comfort and cuteness! I want to snuggle this tunic to ultra-soft-rayon-and-spandex-blended death!
Tarnation. These leggings have a hole in them. A small hole, perhaps, but [INSERT PERSON X HERE] would surely judge me if he/she/they/it saw such a thing. Do I think he/she/they/it would look so close? Let me consider by staring into the mirror and critiquing every aspect of my appearance…
[At this stage in the game, my loving fiancée usually rolls over, wakes up, and grunts something muddled and incomprehensible.]
Go back to sleep, loving fiancée. I’m having one of those mornings.
[Loving fiancée accepts that this is “girl stuff,” mumbles something about dinosaurs, and goes back to sleep.]
Alright. I have accepted the necessity that some pretense of professional dress decor must be maintained on this day. I will negotiate with myself that I shall wear ripped jeans on the day following, if I consent to wear something tangentially related to office casual on this day, in order to reach a bare minimum of adult female dressiness. This is an acceptable trade to the gods of feminism, surely.
Also, I’m a theatre professional – why am I holding myself to other people’s chicness standards? I mean, I dress in yoga clothes one day, paint clothes the next day, and a sweater dress the day after that – and these are all legitimate work outfits. My working wardrobe is really confused. Perhaps it needs a therapist. Perhaps it needs a few years off to re-discover itself and get some sort of direction going in its life.
No. Focus. I’ve just wasted an embarrassing amount of time. Wear a long-sleeved tee and a pair of nice jeans and be done with it. This is sufficiently neutral.
But neutral is safe and safe is bad and boring, as we established in article seven.
And sexy is evil and arr, patriarchal.
And cute is bad.
And ripped jeans are inappropriate for working with the chilluns.
I am so running late.
Okay. Okay, don’t panic. If I don’t stop at Wawa, I can make tea at work, and I’ll be okay for caffeine. I can bring something for breakfast and eat in the car. I just need to make a decision and go with it, because I’ve wasted enough time now, and surely, any decision I make is better than wasting further time on indecision. I mean at this point, morality is a matter of maths. Just make a choice.
MY GOD, WHAT KIND OF MONSTER AM I, CRIPPLED BY INDECISION OVER THE SHEER IDIOCY OF FASHION? I DON’T EVEN HAVE A COLLECTION OF CLOTHES EXTENSIVE ENOUGH TO BE WORTH FRETTING O’ER. I HAVE, LIKE, FOUR OUTFITS, WHICH I THEN PURCHASE DUPLICATES OF IN SOME VARIATION. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? WOE. AGONY.
[Loving fiancée mumbles some mild comfort and/or chastisement]
GO BACK TO SLEEP, LOVING FIANCÉE. I’M NOT SPEAKING TO YOU RIGHT NOW.
[Loving fiancée flops over on his pillow and says he’ll make me a sandwich and then goes back to sleep]
Seriously. This is dumb. Dumb dumb dumb. Dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb. Dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb – no, stop humming songs from South Park. I need to get to work. I need clothes that are not pajamas on my body in order to go to work. Just pick something and get up and go.
No, cat, get out of the drawer that I’ve left open inadvisably long. Yes, I know I left it open.
Alright, fine. I’ve decided on an outfit. It’s a compromise in some way, and I don’t like it, but I need to get out the door, and I have more important things to worry about than the fabric adorning my squishy body, so I’m just going to ignore the notion that I should be cute or professional or interesting or whatever, because they’re just clothes, and who cares about them, and–
The weather forecast. I forgot to check the goddamned weather forecast, and the outfit I picked doesn’t work because it’s too [HOT/COLD/DAMP/OTHER].
Back to square one…