Dressed To Kill?
Yesterday I woke up with no desire to get out of bed. All that muscle strain & sleep deprivation finally catching up with me. Calling in sick wasn't an option though. Deadlines, deadlines.
In an effort to wake myself up & get excited about going to work, I started thinking about what to wear. And I decided to go for shock value. In almost 7 years, I had never worn anything but pants to the office. The testesterone-driven, chauvinistic corporate culture I work in makes it hard to be taken seriously unless you act like a man i.e. wearing pants, minimal, invisible make-up if at all, no high heels & no jewellery other than my watch & wedding ring. So for almost 7 years, I had avoided anything liable to remind anyone at work of my gender.
But I was leaving soon, right? I no longer have a future with this organization so who cares?
I dragged myself out of bed & went to look in my closet. It took me about 30 minutes to decide on a short(just above the knee), black & white, silk wrap-around shirtdress. Not too short & long-sleeved but you can't get much more feminine than silk, short & wrap-around, right?
Next came the question of shoes. Red high-heels with black stockings & suspender? Too hookerish. I haven't done the suspender belt thing since I read that people can tell from the lining through your clothes. Standing infront of the mirror to test that claim, I found it to be demonstrably true. The lining does show no matter how heavily you're dressed. And silk is not heavily dressed by any means.
Red high heels with black tights? Still too hookerish. Red high heels with neutral tights? No, no, no. Red shoes are just too much for the office. Even though I love these particular red heels. Prada etc...But no.
So black heels with tights? I decide to lose the tights altogether. Instead I opt for a pair of black strappy sandals. Nine West is definitely more like the office than Prada.
But there is a problem. The dress is a recent purchase & I'd never actually worn it before. As I moved around the bedroom getting ready, I noticed that the dress has a tendency to open all the way up to my waist when I sit down. Imagine what the wind outside would have done to it.
Having no desire to flash everyone at the office & get fired for violating the dress code and/or indecent exposure, I contemplated my options. A half-slip? But then it would show. I dislike the idea of walking around with my slip showing. In the end, I go for a pair of plain black cycling shorts. Problem solved.
Of course, I wore my hair down & blow-dried straight, making a mental note to cut it soon. And I left off the make-up. Just sunscreen & powder. Like everyday.
Perfume: Insolence from Guerlain. A wedding present btw. A change from my usual Boss or Ralph Lauren.
Thus armed, I drove to work.
The first people to stare were the two security guards at the entrance to our building. It wasn't an admiring stare. It was a shocked who-is-this stare.
Since there was no question of taking the stairs in those heels, I just kept my head down & scurried into the lift. I never say good morning anyway so why start now?
Had a panic attack in the lift. Didn't want to step onto my floor. Which is a first right? Me - the claustrophobe - wanting to stay in a lift? This tells you how scared I was.
I briefly considered sneaking back down & going home to change. But I knew there was no time. The lift alarm went off as it is bound to do when you hold it open too long. The noise was unbearable so I practically threw myself out & let it close.
Walked to my office the same way I walked into the bldg. Head down & not looking at anyone.
But people were mostly really, really sweet. Everyone told me I looked nice but not in a disgusting or embarrassing manner. It was almost protective. Like they could see I was self-conscious & were trying to put me at ease.
Maybe they just thought I looked terrible & felt sorry for me?
Either way, I have to say yesterday, my opinion of the male of the species went up a few notches. They can be really decent, can't they?
Won't be doing it again though.
1) Those heels were agony for someone who has to run around all day like me.
2) It's nice to change your look & feel it works. And it's liberating to feel you broke some kind of taboo. But I didn't really like being the center of attention so much. It's nice for one day as a change but on a daily basis, it would feel like living in a fishbowl & it would be too distracting.
3) It didn't give me the mood lift I thought it would. To put it honestly, I no longer enjoy looking gorgeous & being admired unless my husband is around to get pissed about it.
That has become the real litmus test for me. If he's irritated & looking over his shoulder, it means he thinks am the best-looking woman in the room. And it's what HE thinks that clinches it for me.
Without him, it's all a bit flat & not really worth the mutilated feet.
I shall save the dress for when I see him. Maybe then I can even go for the works. You know, no cycling shorts, stockings, suspender belt, red shoes, matching bag, red lipstick etc....When I see him.