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I wore polka dots today

polka dots are the new black
…and felt like an idiot. Why? I think polka dots are adorable. They are playful and happy and youthful which are traits I value. And the outfit I had on was classy and cute. So why did I feel anxious that someone might pop over unexpectedly and see my polka dots? I’m not sure, but I changed rather than further contemplate the issue.

I think that maybe polka dots aren’t me. Whatever that means. Like all women, I have a closet full of clothes that I never wear. Truthfully, my closet is a schizophrenic mixed bag pining for psychiatric intervention. I must’ve worn these styles at one time, but I guess I’ve changed. Or, more likely, they were never me. I just didn’t know it, because I was adept at changing me to be a part of the crowd du jour.

I don’t think men are this way. A couple years ago, a friend and I took a getaway to Mexico for a few days. We hung out under a big beach umbrella, two pale obviously-American chubbies in a sea of gorgeous foreigners. The women were thin, tanned, and beautiful, but they couldn’t hold a candle to the men. Unbelievably fit, glistening brown skin, boy shorts. At once holding a cigarette and a partner’s perky breast, we couldn’t stop staring at the men.

When the couples eventually got up and dressed, the guys wore capri pants, silky dark shirts, and closed-toe leather sandals. But even through my drool I knew that, were I given the chance, I probably wouldn’t date any one of them. Seriously! They were not my type.

As pretty as the beach boys were, my type of guy doesn’t spend much time thinking about his hair and wardrobe. A makeover is buying his favorite shirt in another color. I’ve never succeeded in slipping Bruni Maglis over his tennis shoes, nor a man purse over his shoulder. Even the plain front/pleated front battle can rage for days, so sartorial transformation has never been in the cards. Men know what they are comfortable wearing, and are usually unwilling to indulge our female fantasies. Truly, I wouldn’t want it any other way.

If men can stay true to form, why do women’s closets suffer from bipolar disorder? Are we multifaceted and complex, or are we being unduly influenced the expectations of our mates, the opinions of our friends, and the daily media mind fuck?

Though my closet doesn’t reflect it yet, my chameleon days are over. I am newly unapologetic about my hairstyle, my yoga pants, and my Doc Martens. When I dress up I usually wear black from head to toe. I don’t show a lot of skin, and hide my few curves. I wear simple earrings, no other jewelry. I no longer worry about fashion trends, because I refuse to be trendy.

My manner of dress is merely an outward manifestation of the natural, unadorned, athletic, private girl that I am. I cover my body in such a way that I’m not constantly mindful of the fact that I’m wearing something. Something that feels foreign and awkward. Like polka dots.

3 thoughts on “I wore polka dots today

  1. HA! Your posting today came close to being the ultimate milk out the nose belly laugh for me. “Schizophrenic mixed bag” is the perfect phrase for my closet, as well, (or should I say huge pile?) of clothes waiting to be sorted, thrown, given away and otherwise fretted over after the big move. Over a month later, and they are still laying there, having suffered through a few grabs and try ons, only to be cast aside for the inevitable t-shirt, shorts and Tevas. My true persona.
    No, no polka dots. But a motley assortment, nonetheless. Thanks for expressing my exact sentiments.

  2. Marie, can I flush my toilet now though it’s just full of pee? It was just a while back when you wrote a commentary about the need to not overuse water by uselessly flushing the toilet, and now we discover that you have a wardrobe that brings back memories of Imelda Marcos!

    As an aside, I have a young girl in the household that always is asking me if she looks ‘all right’ in some outfit or the other? I always respond to her that it doesn’t look perfect with these clothes on, but the important thing is that they are only clothes, and not packaging. Unfortunately, in the capitalist clothes-make-the man…er -woman-world, clothes are seen as packaging, instead of equipment.

    How alienating! One simply does not need to be packaging themselves all the time as some sort of product. There is perhaps a time and place for that, but not all the time! IN fact, as a counter reaction, I seem to have trouble packaging at all. Oh ,well… Coat and tie, anybody?

  3. Marie, i have seen you, yes, fully clothed and all, but I don’t think “chubby” could be a proper term.

    Definitely not in need of Weight Watchers.

    I look in my closet and see a “colorful” array (hey, khaki, black and camouflage are colours, you know) and reflect that it hasn’t changed much in 25 years. a little less like looking into a Vampire’s closet though.

    Just not much.

    By a bizarre co inky dink i have Man in Black on my mp3 playlist.

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