Tuesday, April 17, 2012


So I'm about to step out of my comfort level, and talk about something that does not define me because if it defines me, maybe it will contradict other definitions....

Maybe I've mentioned this before, or maybe not. When I was in first grade, my friends and I had a discussion about gender. Several of us were informed by one all-knowing friend on our street, that "There are two kinds of girls. Tomboys and girlie-girls. Tomboys like Legos... girlie girls like barbie dolls and make-up and..."

Barbies frustrated me because I couldn't get them to walk and carry dishes at the same time. I either had to make them hold the dish and hop, or move the dish to the doll table and manipulate their legs. Seriously! Mom always said she preferred regular dolls over the ones with special abilities... such as potty-training. She said it allowed us to use our imagination. But with Barbies, I NEEDED them to at least cup the plates between their hands so that I could "walk them"... besides, Ken was kinda ugly with his plastic hair, so I wanted Barbie to have a different boyfriend.

I did like legos, particularly building the houses and designing the rooms (something I've since learned, is what girls do tend to enjoy about Legos- while boys like making it an action game- but I didn't know that then). So that settled it, I was a tomboy.

My self-definition meant I never wanted to be a prissy girl who cried over a broken-nail, feared worms and getting dirty, etc. It meant that ideally, I wouldn't cry in general, but that, I couldn't help; it just happened- way too embarrassingly often.

But anyway, tomboys also shouldn't be all that concerned with looks. No make-up, no flirty clothing, and basically, you just grab whatever's clean in your closet, throw it on, and walk out the door.... I did have some preferences. I liked solid, bright colored t-shirts for a long time- trying to represent cheerfulness among the blacks and grays around me, until the random older men cat-calling as I walked by (as I'm sure they did every girl) began to wear on me. Then I started wearing black and walking "tough," to protect myself... and I always liked clothing with animals on them. But other than this, I wasn't concerned with looks. I might consider the question, "Do I like this shirt?", but never the question, "Does this look good on ME?"

Beyond that, I've always been anti-materialism- for as long as I've known what materialism is. So I don't talk about "stuff," because stuff has no meaning. Meaning comes from experience, and belief-structures, and, more recently, relationships.

But anyway, as I said, I'm stepping out of my comfort level: Today I want to talk about clothes.... BUT I HAVE AN EXCUSE! Probably starting in high school, I started thinking of clothing as a form of representation- about the time when black started symbolizing "tough." I continued wearing animal shirts as the exception because animals were a big part of who I was. I planned on becoming a wildlife manager in Africa, working with elephants or rhinos on a reserve, so animals represented me. Into college, when I started playing intramural soccer, biking, surfing, backpacking, and such, I also wanted to wear clothing that represented outdoorsy-ness. But not having money, you wear what you already have and what you can find in the thrift store.

But then I received my B.A., and obtained a job, and was promoted, and had a bit of money coming in, and could actually buy clothes I liked. Well, I was also a young supervisor-manager, and I needed my staff to know I was serious about my job and not some young kid, being a 27 yr. old who looked 21 or 22....so mostly what I bought was business suits. But that is when I had room to develop my style, and what I've found is that I have more than one style. It depends on my mood.

Okay, so I finally got to the rather shallow purpose of this post- clear down at the bottom; Ideally, there would be some way to simultaneously dress outdoorsy/artsy/adventurous, but I haven't figured that out yet, so in lieu of that, I tend to like things that have a bohemian flair- maybe a long skirt- paneled with different coordinating fabrics, with a peasant blouse... or a safari look- nothing too costume-ish though... or casual-feminine-tomboy- flaired jeans with a form-fitting solid gray, green, blue, or purple shirt... and of course (if you know me), various hats and scarves to complete any outfit... alas, I am back to broke, and back to wearing whatever I already have that still fits and isn't too worn- or what I find at Goodwill... and I realize that I have become a bit materialistic, concerning myself with whether what I wear represents me appropriately.

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I love comments. It makes me feel like I'm not just talking to a wall, and rids me of the feeling that this time, I said too much, or said something the wrong way.

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I love comments. It makes me feel like I'm not just talking to a wall, and rids me of the feeling that this time, I said too much, or said something the wrong way.

(I review your comments first, so if you want to say something just to me, just let me know).