Full Scale Meltdown/WHAT THE HELL

So,

Today I was thinking I could handle maybe a little bit of clothes shopping. The last time I went, it wasn’t so bad– I grabbed the first few things that fit, no problem, I was in and out in fifteen minutes, and it was over. No big deal, no tears, no worries. I don’t particularly like the clothes I bought, but I don’t particularlydislikethem either– they’re just clothes, and they fit me well.

I need a professional outfit to wear to interviews. Just a nice pair of pants and a nice top, something that doesn’t say “yes, I live out of a duffel bag and think ink stains are the perfect accessory to any outfit– by the way, can I write a poem about you?” And, because I’m still sick, I’m still at my parents’ house– which means I’m with my sister–which means I have a girly girl who will help me pick out clothing. Which, theoretically means it should be easy to find ONE pair of pants and ONE shirt and ONE pair of basic shoes that fit this body I’m stuffed in and won’t cause any potential employers to recoil in horror before I have a chance to open my mouth, right?

Yeah, if anything confirmed my wrongness… it was the hour I just spent picking out ONE outfit, which I will return, and then I will pick out something completely different, without any input from anyone else because I will buy something I’m comfortable in rather than something my prissy little sister would wear.

It was like buying a costume. In fact the only thing that kept me from having a full scale meltdown before I actually got to the safety of my parents’ house was pretending that I was buying a costume for a role for a stage production. It’s a pair of black pants with FOUR DIFFERENT CLOSURES. WHY??? WHY???? WHY FOUR CLOSURES LADIES??? HOW DO YOU PEE???? It hits in the oddest spot. Pants should cover the lower half of your body– why do they cover the bottom half of my ribcage and then balloon out and then tuck in again? Am I a clown? Do I wear a red nose? Should I also be wearing makeup? Why is there a thing that looks like a pocket but isn’t a pocket? Why is there a non functional leather tab near the one actual functional pocket? I am so confused!

And then, the top. I picked out a basic black sweater with a button down collar and cuffs. Neutral, professional, no frills– and no gender bias, right?

My sister wanted me in layers, frills, polka dots, stripes, cardigans, tank tops, scoop necks– the colors and choices and patterns and layers and adjustments and combinations were overwhelming and everything came with rules and different ways to wear it based on what else you were wearing it with and you can’t just wear one shirt at a time, you have to wear at least two or three, and they have to coordinate, and somehow it was so simple for her, and you have to “accentuate the positive and camouflage the negative” and this is a shrug, not a cardigan, and you wear it like this, not like that, and you do this, and no, that needs a tank top, and you wear this and then this… and it was so simple and why couldn’t I get it, and why was I getting cranky?

I was getting cranky because the whole process literally filled me with fear and anxiety. I felt wrong wrong wrong bad wrong dirty bad wrong wrong wrong bad dirty bad wrong bad wrong the whole time. Ugly, strange, disconnected, fearful, like I somehow forgot to study for a test and was failing, failing to keep up, missing something I should have known but didn’t.

I…

wow. I don’t get it.

How is this easy? How does it ever become easy to costume yourself in femininity? What is it like for this not to feel like a farce?

I wish I knew… I am so envious of you…

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10 thoughts on “Full Scale Meltdown/WHAT THE HELL

  1. I only know that I get anxiety that clothes don’t fit me right because of my size, but not because I don’t feel right in them. I’m sorry you were so uncomfortable :(

  2. My wardrobe could never survive an interview, mostly just jeans, flannel shirts and boots. Unless I should ever apply for executive poop scooper.

    I’m sorry you had such a soul wrenching experience. Does your sister not know the full you? Did she not know you were shopping for gender-neutral?

    • She understands that I am gender-neutral, but she doesn’t understand why that matters if I’m shopping for interview clothes…. or why that matters at all, actually. She just doesn’t really care.

  3. Aw. :-( I can see how that experience was tough on you. :-( And I’m sorry it was tough. :-(

    The only person I can shop with (and feel totally comfortable with) is my youngest. She knows my taste amazing well and is helpful. Taking anyone else clothes shopping with me would drive me up the wall to the point of bananas! :-D

    You know what you feel best in…what you look good in…so you WILL find the outfit that will be perfect! (I think the basic black sweater sounds amazing!)

    HUGE HUGS!

  4. I am a REALLY bad person to ask. I suck at this too. I like the men’s section of most stores, because it is FAR less complicated…and MOST of the time that’s where I shop. I usually look like I just woke up/got run over by a bus…I don’t like frills and stuff.

    My basic outfit for student teaching/work is a basic collared shirt (I actually buy these in women’s) and a pair of black/beige pants with clogs. Nothing fancy about it, and it’s business casual! :)

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