Tuesday, May 12, 2015


As I wade through my thirties, the number "40" being in the not-too-distant future, I have to say that vanity never completely wanes.

At the risk of sounding incredibly narcissistic and shallow, I confess I still want to feel beautiful. I still want to be desirable. I suppose this sentiment will change if/when I reach the age of 80. But in the meantime, here I am.

After all, can anyone honestly say they don't care if they're repulsive and repugnant? And if you, reader, are such a person, then I tip my hat to you.

So, as I've mentioned before, I've been called ugly before on numerous occasions. I won't revisit those memories, but suffice it to say that being called ugly from ages 8 through 18 is pretty shitty.

It's so arbitrary. As Khaled Hosseini said in his novel, And the Mountains Echoed, "Beauty is an enormous, unmerited gift given randomly, stupidly." A girl can be the same exact person, but after a few pubescent changes and some weight loss, she can transform from an object of scorn to one of desire.

We abhor beauty, yet we covet it. And so, while the moments grow more sporadic as I age, I still get a kick out of a compliment.

My work is pretty business casual (emphasis on the "casual"). I push the envelope a little. Slacks with simple shirts. Jeans with a cardigan. Simple flats and even sneakers. I've toyed with the idea of wearing black yoga pants and hoping to pass them off as black slacks, but I was advised against it. As you can see, I love feeling casual and comfortable.

Today was an unseasonably warm day, and I decided to wear . . . a dress. With heels.

I never wear dresses or heels. Ever. Only when the weather is so uncomfortably warm do I throw out the notion of embarrassment over my less-than-ideal legs, thighs, and arms, and decide to don a dress.

So I wore a blue dress with simple nude pumps. Kind of like this:

It's so funny. When you happen to look good on a given day, women and men will compliment you in completely different ways.

Today, women exclaimed, "That dress is so cute on you" or "I love that dress!" They would gush for a minute or two and then we'd talk about the warm weather and how it brings out the cute summery dresses.

Men, on the other hand, say absolutely nothing. They compliment you in other ways. I said hi to a male coworker in the kitchen, whom I've worked with for years, and for a solid five seconds, he didn't say anything. He just said "Hi" and eyed me up and down - not in a pervy way - but in a somewhat shocked way. Clearly I've been dressing like a hobo for the last few years.

There was another male coworker with whom I've also worked for years. This particular morning, I saw him at the end of the hallway. I smiled and waved before going into my office. He stopped mid-step, paused for a second, half-smiled back, and shyly looked away.

What? It was bizarre and funny at the same time. All because of a dress and heels.

No comments:

Site Meter