Last weekend, my friend and I went shopping. While looking at clothes, I went toward my usually styles and colors–meaning anything in Black. My friend shook her head at me and said “No, you need some color in your life.”
She picked up a few outfits for me. Floral prints in the form of dresses and Hippie Chic blouses were the selections. Always being a good sport, I tried them on.
“I can just see you in this dress, sitting on a bench at the Huntington, doing your writing and catching the eye of a well-educated gentleman who will sweep you off your feet,” her response to the long floral dress she had me try on.
I did have to admit that this was not my style. Usually when I go to the Huntington, on a mission to write, I am wearing jeans and a t-shirt. The thought of meeting a man never crosses my mind. Usually the men that I do see at the gardens are on a date, married with famiily in tow, or gay. But my friend seemed convinced that if I added color to my wardrobe than I would get more attention from the opposite sex.
I was still in limbo about the whole idea. So what does my friend do, she gets my mother on her side. I call my mom and tell her about my friend’s plan. My mom is all for it and she wants pictures as proof that I bought clothes with color.
Now, I realize that my wardrobe of choice has primarily been black since high school but I did own some things in color. T-shirts, mostly, but at least they were in different colors. OK, maybe I do have a problem. I’m not the girly type. I don’t wear dresses unless I have to. I go for comfort first. But I can pull off girly if I want to. Ahh, a challenge was born.
I bought the outfits my friend picked out for me and I decided to go a step further, making her a promise that I would be girly everyday that week at work. I would wear skirts and dresses (absolutely no black), do my hair and make-up, and leave my tennis shoes at home. 5 days, I could totally do this.
Of course when I made this promise to my friend, I never thought about my kids’ reactions. On the first day, everyone told me how nice I looked in my long gray skirt and Royal blue blouse with ruffles. Then on Tuesday, when I showed up wearing another gray skirt, a few students pointed out to me “Miss B, do you know you are wearing a skirt again today?” Giving them my usual smart, sarcastic remark of “No, I had no idea. The Gnomes must have dressed me this morning.” They knew I was OK.
On Wednesday when I wore a Navy blue skirt, the kids complimented me with an air of concern. My hair was down–usually a sign that I was having a bad day. They were baffled by my new wardrobe choices. And on Thursday, when I showed up in the Floral Hippie Chic Blouse, they were freaking out. One girl came up to me, with several others behind her as if they were my intervention crew, and decided to approach the subject with me. “Miss B, do you realize that you are wearing flowers today? We’re worried about you. Why did you suddenly change your style? Do you need to talk about anything? We are here for you if you need us.”
Wow, my kids thought I lost it. The rumor mill was probably churning out a doosey–Miss B has finally lost her mind.
I reassured them that this was an experiment. I was just trying to prove a point that I could be girly for a week if I wanted to and that next week I would be back to normal. They all let out a sigh of relief, hugged me and went back to their respective lunch tables.
I do have to admit that it was nice to be complimented on a daily basis. And my friend was right, I did get the attention of the opposite sex (as well as a phone number). But I’m not sure it was worth the panic it caused my kids. I think it is OK for me to get a little girly every once in a while for work but not every day. Besides, I am not a morning person so getting up early to get ready was torture. So it is best, for all concerned, if I go back to my own style and just throw some color in from time to time.