Friday, February 14, 2014
The Queen of Appearance
The second month of Jen Hatmaker's "experimental mutiny against excess" (which I referred to in my last post) was about clothes. Out of her vast wardrobe, she chose seven items of clothing:
- a pair of nice jeans
- a dress
- four shirts (of varying levels of dressiness and formality)
- shoes (one pair of sneakers and one pair of cowboy boots -- see note)
[NOTE: Ms. Jen's "Council" (a circle of friends whom she drafted to help her set the parameters of her experiment and to keep her accountable) all agreed to make "shoes" a single item, but limited the scope of that item to two pair. And undergarments were excluded from the fast. Understandably.]
As the month progressed, Ms. Jen found herself enjoying the fact that she didn't have to waste time and energy making decisions about what to wear (something my eldest has enjoyed about having a school uniform). She also learned a lot about how much importance she gives to her image -- and how little most people really pay attention to what you wear -- and how ridiculously much others DO pay attention. And about the importance of regular laundering.
As I was reading this chapter, though, I kept thinking, this would be a breeze for me. I've gotten to a point this year where I seem to wear the same seven items of clothing all the time anyway. (Okay, more than seven items, but still.) And that was a bit of a rude awakening.
I do have excuses for my limited wardrobe, though. For one thing, I'm home most of the time. Nobody sees much of me except when I go to church, go to BSF, and drop the kids off at school. And until about a month ago, we were visiting different churches almost every week, so I could wear the same outfit to church each week and nobody would know the difference (and even if I wore the same outfit to the same church twice in a row, we didn't know anybody there yet, so nobody would pay any attention anyway).
But I realized that the biggest factor is EXERCISE. I have put "exercise" as a permanent item on my to-do list every day because that means I may actually get to it three or four times in a week. This means that when I get up in the morning, I dress for exercise; if I don't, I just cut the chances of my lazy butt actually going out to run by about a fifth. And on the days that I don't run, I end up wearing my t-shirt and sweat pants all day -- and putting them on the next morning so I'm again ready to exercise.
However, it's still kind of sad that I've come to look like a frumpy housewife every day. I'm sure my husband would appreciate my looking a little nicer when he comes home in the evenings . . . or at least would appreciate some variety in my appearance. There has to be a happy medium between needing to dress to the nines to feel good about yourself and not giving a flip at all about what raggedy threads are hanging off of your limbs.
This week, I substituted at my daughter's school two mornings. Which meant that I suddenly had to find "work clothes" in my closet. Wow! It was kind of exciting and kind of annoying and kind of frustrating, all at the same time. And it also made me wonder why, in a school where the students are required to wear uniforms, the teachers are given the "freedom" to express their individuality in their dress.
"Freedom". I think if I were teaching there, I'd find it more freeing to have a uniform. Maybe if I start teaching there, I'll impose one on myself. Standing in solidarity with my students. Yeah.
But it won't be a pleated plaid skirt. I haven't killed my pride that dead yet.