Thursday, April 17, 2008

Spring: You Are Here

Thank god Spring is finally here and I can get dressed again. I never know what to wear during those neither-here-nor-there weeks in between Winter and Spring. You feel stuffy in earth tones and wool but a little overeager (and chilly) wearing brightly colored cotton.

A few years ago I nearly had nervous breakdown trying to figure out a good in-between ensemble to wear to work. It was the first semi-warm day of the year I was a half-hour late for my job at a newspaper with an "anything goes" dress code policy. A mini-skirt was clearly in order but my legs were aggressively pale so I pulled on my black leather boots. By then I was mad tardy so I grabbed my leather coat and purse bounded out the door. As I was hurrying out of the lobby of my building I caught sight of myself in a mirrored wall and stopped short. Between the black leather coat, the black leather handbag, the short skirt and the black stiletto boots, I looked like a springtime dominatrix. (The craigslist ad would read: Dominatrix for hire. Looking for pain slut/balls to stomp this season. Let’s enjoy the cherry blossoms together!)

At this point I was so behind that I didn’t have time to go back and change. I was self-conscious the entire way to work and sure that every passerby was doing a double-take. The fact that it was an obnoxiously sunny day made my black leather outfit feel all the more ridiculous. “Quit imagining things,” I admonished myself. “This is New York, where people wear all-black year round. No one is looking at your outfit.”

When I walked into the office our receptionist glanced up. Normally the woman was so self-occupied she wouldn’t have noticed if I was on fire. That day she looked at me over the top of her glasses. “Girlfriend” she tsked. “That is a lot of...material.”

At the end of the day, I left my jacket on the back of my desk chair.


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Rainy-Day Kate said...

...But this is New York, where everybody manages to care and not-care, simultaneously and a lot, about what everybody else in the city is wearing.