Tuesday, September 16, 2014

What do you care?

I received a bunch of compliments today for my blouse, Leslie.

Something that is true whenever I'm outside of my house is that random strangers constantly come up and talk to me.  I mean out of nowhere--like, I'm beyond (BEYOND!) minding my own business and people will just talk to me.  And not in a "Oh that's nice haha" and move on with your day kind of way. Like in a, "Hey, I bet you have an opinion on this complex topic can we talk about it because I'm sure you have nothing better to do?" kind of way.  At times, I wonder if someone has taped a sign to my back: "TALK TO ME!!!"  Usually, I don't mind it. Sometimes it leads to a three minute conversation, and other times to a thirty minute conversation. We go our separate ways, and then I never see that person ever again.


Earlier this morning, I was out on my run.  I had finished the first third and was walking down the street to the center of town. When I'm out running, I'm vigilant: I stop for nobody, I don't care how much you're dying to talk ... unless you look lost because you're looking for the university football stadium (people are always looking for the stadium) and you're totally confused that it's not in the center of campus.  Then, ok fine, I will stop and gesture where you need to turn to find it.  Especially if you're over 65. Then I will definitely stop.

Also, would it kill this goddamn university to put up a goddamn SIGN TELLING THE OUT OF TOWNERS WHERE THE GODDAMN STADIUM IS????  If they knew how many people stop me every month looking for the stadium they would spend money on this. Their enrollment is outta freakin control, so don't cry poor to me and tell me there's no money for signs.  Baloney.  Spend the tuition on some stupid signs.


Anyway.

I'm walking up the street--a total mess--and this gorgeous girl steps out of her front door onto the sidewalk in front of me.  As the back of my mind is noting how awesome her hair is and how cool her outfit looks, she turns to me and nervously says, "umm, hey, you're a girl: Can I ask you something?"  Literally the first thing I think is, "Oh no, I'm not carrying any tampons--hopefully that's not what she needs."  (I wish I was joking. Why am I such a weirdo?)

Me: "ummm, yeah?"
Her: "Do I look completely stupid in this outfit?"
Me: "uh NO. Why do you think you look stupid?"

She had on a gorgeous tribal print maxi dress with a perfectly fitted dark denim jacket on top.  Like that wasn't enough, she had killer blonde curly hair--perfect ringlets--and great lipstick.  She looked fantastic.

Her: "Because it's a really summery outfit and it's not really summer ... and ... I don't know--I can't tell if this is a dumb choice for today."
Me: "Are you joking?? You look AMAZING.  Do you feel like wearing this outfit?"
Her: "I mean yeah, but I was afraid it didn't fit the season."
Me: "So what? What would you care even if it didn't?" and she laughed.
Her: "Yeah, you're right! Why do I care?"
Me: "I don't know."


Me: "Look, it might get too warm for the jacket later today so as long as you like how the dress looks without the jacket, then really--why do you care?  As long as you aren't sweating or freezing, you should just enjoy it. It's a great outfit."
Her: "Wow, ok thanks.  I really just wasn't sure."

And off I went.


It's possible that she had an enormous ego, knew she looked damn good, and just needed to hear someone else say so. Again.  But, I don't think so.

I've never understood why people dress for the date on the calendar and not the weather, especially during transition seasons like fall and spring.  If it's 70 degrees outside, WHY would you wear an outfit for a 40 degree day?  And the opposite is true too.  If I had a nickle for every grown woman wearing shorty-shorts and sandals during April on any given campus I've studied or worked, I could've bought myself a pony by now.  All these freezing cold females slinking around pretending they're not cold?  I'm not buying it.

On the flip side, I distinctly remember this one girl in 9th grade homeroom: It was the second or third day of school, i.e., Aug 30th or 31st-ish.  This was back in the day when EVERY SINGLE PERSON in our class (of over 400 people) shopped in only three stores: Gap, American Eagle, or Express/Structure (remember Structure?). Or The Limited. That was IT. And everybody wore the same five outfits all the time for about three months (in different colors) until newer-ish stuff came out and the cycle repeated itself.

Ugh, so boring I could kill myself.

So this girl in homeroom was wearing a WOOL SWEATER from American Eagle in this questionable burnt orange color. It was 95 degrees outside.  Granted we had AC inside, but not enough to warrant a freakin WOOL SWEATER. In AUGUST. In PHILADELPHIA.  There were the two of us and maybe two other people in the room, and I remember just sitting back in my chair and watching the circus taking place in front of me: Sweater Girl (who had gorgeous hair) was sweating. Badly.  She was fanning herself and pulling her hair up off her neck and trying to cool off, but when you're wearing jeans and a wool sweater in August in Philadelphia, well ... good luck to ya.  For whatever reason (probably some degree of inappropriateness) she couldn't take the sweater off and just cut her fashion losses.  So she had to wear it.  Can you imagine a worse morning?

I just remember thinking, "What crazy person wears fall--late fall--clothes because it's 'Back to School Week' even though it's 95 degrees out in August in Philadelphia?? Who hates themselves that much?  IT'S SUMMERTIME AND WE HAPPEN TO BE IN SCHOOL: WEAR SUMMER CLOTHES!!"  And of course just take the inverse of this question when we had our first 60 degree day in April--60 degrees as in "60 degrees for a random 15 minutes between noon and 2pm before the temperature falls back into the 40s because it's APRIL AND YOU WORE SHORTY-SHORTS AND FLIP FLOPS TODAY AND THAT'S WHY YOU'RE FREEZING HELLOOOOO!!!!!"

So now you're thinking, "Ok, so you're a hypocrite: You told Maxi Dress Girl that she shouldn't care what anyone thinks about her clothes and to wear whatever she wants.  What's your problem with Sweater Girl and Shorty-Shorts Girl?"  My problem with Sweater Girl was that she wore what someone/something else TOLD her to wear, in this case the front window at American Eagle.  Go ahead and buy the sweater. Wear it til it falls apart.  But, here you are sweating bullets at your desk at 7:30am looking as if you're dying.  Plus, you're wearing a color that has made only two people in the whole history of my entire life look completely amazing (Velma and Syliane).  Are you wearing the sweater ... or is the sweater wearing you?  THAT'S what I'm talkin about.

So Maxi Dress Girl, I hope you had a good day in your dress and denim jacket because it was NOT too summery: It was the perfect outfit for a day like today and nobody could've worn it better than you.  Good for you for using your common sense and not wearing triple winter layers with a scarf and boots because it was slightly "chilly."  That's what late November, December, January, February, March and part of April (or if it's 2014, all of April) are for (in PHILADELPHIA--can I say it one more time?).  But September? No way.  Enjoy those summer pieces now, because two weeks from now you probably can't.

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