Saturday, December 10, 2005

 

what's in an outfit?

I hit a bit of a realization this week.

Tuesday and Wednesday I wore cute skirts and boots. I love boots, and currently have three pairs. I see them as an investment, so when I see more that I like, I snatch them up. One can never have enough.

At any rate, on those two days I looked presentable, feminine. I got hellos, smiles, etc. Normal, right? I mean, I'm a friendly person. I talk to strangers.

Thursday I wore pants and my glasses and I was total chopped liver. I may as well been invisible, or a hideous leperous blob rolling down the street, for all of the acknowledgment that I got. I felt like shaking the security guard, saying "But you said hi yesterday! It's ME!"

And so, I realized that 1) I like attention. and 2) It's going to suck when attention stops.

I suppose no one can blame me for those two things...I think a lot of us are like that. But I had never realized how important it actually is, though. I just think it's so unfair that it all depends on what you're wearing, and what you look like. Why must one look good...in order to feel good?

It reminds me of this poem by Randall Jarrell that I stumbled upon in early October, about a housewife who feels invisible. It's called "Next Day" and can be found here. This is the part that stops me in my tracks every time I read it:

When I was young and miserable and pretty
And poor, I'd wish
What all girls wish: to have a husband,
A house and children. Now that I'm old, my wish
Is womanish:
That the boy putting groceries in my car

See me. It bewilders me he doesn't see me.
For so many years
I was good enough to eat: the world looked at me
And its mouth watered. How often they have undressed me,
The eyes of strangers!

The poem in its entirety frightens me. I hope my mom doesn't feel that way, that I'm not her lovely daughter, away, that she doesn't look at herself with eyes that she hates. I hope that this poem isn't me, in 25 years.

Is this how legions of women feel? I think I tend to forget that inside every person is someone with their own insecurities. I forget that everyone wants to feel beautiful, regardless of age.

Comments:
It's so very true, sadly. So I figure we should make an effort Meg, not for ourselves but for those around us. I'm sure this doesn't apply only to women, so everyday lets make it a point to say hi as much as possible to everyone who isn't dressed to the nines, although I have the impression that you already do... But if this guy looks extra unhappy, lets add some umpf- a huge smile to go along :)
 
Well, what I've found is that everyone has insecurities, but what they fail to think about is how insecure that person they are walking by feels. Sometimes even someone who is feeling inferior to someone else is in actuality intimidating someone else. If that makes sense, at all.
 
Oh yeah, and another thing I thought of: when you say you looked like "chopped liver" you very much in fact may be projecting that unhappy attitude upon the people you see, and if they think you are in the middle of a mighty maelstrom of malaligned moods they won't want to say hi. Now if you are all happy cheery gay meghan, they feel like being all friendly. It's all about how you feel. (I think)
 
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