My sister and I went swimming last night (trying to get some of that ‘exercise’ everyone is talking about these days — I hear it is all the rage; all the kids are doing it). I had forgotten just how uncomfortable it is to change in front of other people (even those of the same gender). There is all this maneuvering with the towel to keep the important bits (mainly one’s entire trunk) hidden from view while pulling on intimate bits of clothing; the desperate attempts not to make eye contact and to keep one’s gaze away from the nakedness of others. It is unnecessary torture. And I don’t know what was more painful – seeing a number of naked bums, or knowing that my bum was out there for others to see. Shudder.
So awhile back I blogged about all the whoz-its and whats-its on womens pants vs. the simple button and zipper on the male career pant. Today I found out what is useful about this aspect of women’s clothing. I lost a button; well, not lost it, I know where it is, it’s sitting on my desk in front of me, but the point is, it isn’t on my pants where it belongs. Thankfully there is no concern that my pants will fall to my ankles at any point in the day (by their own volition anyway) because the additional clasp on my women’s pants are securely keeping them at my waist (yep, my waist; as we’ve discovered in another previous post I am too old for trends like low-rise). If a man lost the sole button on his pants he’d probably just jerry-rig his pants with duct tape or a paper clip or some other fool thing. We women are able to avoid these messy solutions.
Phil and I had a disagreement this morning — and I’m not just trying to soften what was really a fight, it was actually only a disagreement. I thought I looked fat in everything I tried on this morning and he disagreed. Poor man. What could he do? And in his defence, he’s been instructed by Brad Paisley to lie in those situations.
Our disagreement this morning leads me to why I hate about half the women I work with. No, I don’t really hate them, I was just going for impact. I know, I know, I should be careful with that word and be like my friend who is very cognizant of only using that word in extreme cases (i.e. to describe his feelings for the Sens — then, and only then). But here is why I tend towards disliking them. They are all younger than I am, skinnier than I am, prettier than I am, and better dressed than I am. (Phil also said something this morning about comparing myself to others and that it was HIS opinion of me that mattered, blah, blah, blah, but I just tuned him out :)). When I started working here I was young enough and cool enough to rub elbows and make friends with the university students we had working for us. Now, I am old and fat and frumpy. There are entire fashion trends that are just plain inadequate for my girth.
Here, I think, is the true rite of passage into adulthood. Getting your drivers license, the right to vote, the ability to purchase alcohol – pshaw, kiddie stuff. It’s mourning the loss of those days before back fat and yogurt cheese thighs when a bikini was an actual possibility instead of something that just made your stomach rolls slap together as the mere thought sends you into uncontrollable laughter. That’s what makes you a true woman. (Or maybe it’s accepting the back fat, cellulite thighs, belly rolls, etc. as making you a mature woman – no, let’s not go there…)
I think it’s also being able to disagree with someone and not fighting. Sigh. I’m all growed up.
Why is women’s clothing so complicated? The pants I am wearing today feature two clasps, a button, and a zipper. Is all of that necessary? Men’s pants — one button and a zipper. And they don’t seem to have a problem, what gives? All the buttons, clasps, belts, and ties double my time in the bathroom — it’s affecting my productivity! Perhaps that’s why there is a glass ceiling for women…while we’re spending all that time in the washroom (oh and then there is fixing your mascara, freshening your lipstick, touching up your hair — not that I do it, but I’ve seen others primp…), the men are appearing busy at their desks. Again, I blame the fashion industry.
Boy we are ready for Spring aren’t we? This morning — when it was still only 3 degrees, I saw a girl dressed brightly for Spring in a t-shirt with an open cardigan and a skirt and sandals. She was bare-legg-ed. I was cold just looking at her. It amused me (unlike my irritated reaction when I see students and faculty/staff alike walking around campus in -20 weather WITHOUT hats and/or gloves or proper coats — people we live in CANADA, dress for it!). I’m with her — bring on Spring. I’m just not ready to sacrifice my bare legs to the early morning chill. Or endanger those around me with the scariness that is my “winter legs” (as white as the snow).
Well, maybe I’m not as frumpy as I feel. I just went down to the cafe in our building with some co-workers and one of the guys complimented me on my shirt, and his compliments are actually coveted by some around the office (Mari, it’s Jason). He said it looked sporty and sophisticated at the same time. So there you go.
I feel frumpy today. And not just today. I have been feeling really uncomfortable in my clothes lately. I’ve always dressed for comfort – by wearing clothes that are comfortable and clothes that I feel comfortable wearing; meaning I feel good physically but also emotionally. I try to wear what I feel suits me and looks good. But lately, I don’t know, I guess I’ve just been missing the mark. It could be the several extra pounds that I didn’t used to carry (only some of them I shouldn’t actually be carrying according to my BMI [although you’d think I’d be used to my roundness by now]). Clothes fit me differently now and though I keep buying bigger sizes, nothing seems to make me feel good anymore. Or it could be that the stereotype exists for a reason, and frumpiness is really part of this new librarian persona I’m adopting. Or it could be a phase. The other day my sister said that she went through a frumpy stage, so maybe I’m following in her footsteps (which, incidentally, are made with really cool shoes and boots, a far cry from my dorky footwear these days — sigh, I remember the days she envied MY shoes…). Whatever it is I hope I can get over it. It’s really affecting my confidence. Don’t they say the clothes make the man? I don’t know if that’s true, but I can tell you, it sure feels like it defines the woman.