In a recent discussion with my cousins (10 and 12, both girls) they were both shocked and some what horrified to learn the following:
- I don't own short-shorts.
- I don't own and Abercrombie and Fitch or any other name brands.
- I've never worn a two piece bathing suit.
- Most of my clothes comes from the boys/mens section of the clothing store.
- I am still wearing some of my brother's hand me downs.
- I haven't bought any new clothes in almost 4 years (and the last thing I bought was my platoon t-shirt which we designed ourselves while doing our basic training.)
- I own one skirt and one dress (dress is for winter, skirt is for summer.)
- I never wear make-up and wear jewellery only a couple of times a year.
I was also informed by my younger cousin that there was simply nothing that can be done stylish with short hair. (She was trying to think of a way for me to wear my hair other than down or in a half pony-tail.)
Why am I so laisser faire? Why do I not dress with the latest trends? Why boy's clothes?
- My happiness is not directly tied to what name is printed on my shirt's tag.
- I don't particularly want to display my body to the world, it's mine not something to be gawked at.
- I don't need to worry about ruining what I have on when I'm cooking, painting, cleaning, running around, or just enjoying myself. It just goes in the wash (yeah rarely do I own anything that needs the delicate cycle) and if it's still all messed up it becomes painting gear.
- Men's clothes actually have POKETS! You know those useful things you can put your wallet in. (Are you shocked that I don't own a purse?)
- I am not upset/ashamed/embarrassed/sad or all those other uncomfortable feelings when I'm not dressed to the nines.
- I can maintain my wardrobe with very little cash which leaves that finite resource available for stuff like retirement, charity, paying off my mortgage.
- I don't have to spend a lot of time taking care of my appearance. Instead I can spend that time reading, cooking, sewing, outside, studying, keeping up with house hold tasks, you know, stuff that's important to me.
- It allows me to walk in the opposite direction that everybody else is headed. Style is in because the masses have followed whoever decided that something was the "cool" thing to do. When I was a kid lots of people tried to make me be just like them and then mocked me when I refused. You'll find that the more you try and tell me what to do the more stubbornly I'll head in the opposite direction. I don't like being told what I should do or who I should be.
- Finally I am comfortable in my brother's hand me down kaki shorts and platoon t-shirt. Not just physically but psychologically. That's who I am and I like who I am.
So where does that leave me? Kind of in the same spot where I started. My family will sigh and try and talk me into something "better." People who are new to my life will sit and stare at me when I say certain things about my wardrobe; and me? I'll just keep be-bopping through life continuing to refuse to be anything other than just plain old me.