Saturday, January 15, 2011

You Never Know Who You'll Meet

The very first time I flew, I was a sophomore in college. I was going home for Christmas break and I was getting a ride from some friends of my step-dad. Keep in mind, this takes place in Arkansas and the wife, Sheila, was a good Southern lady. She does big hair & big make-up every day. My flight was crazy early in the morning and I threw on some jeans & a tshirt. I washed my face, but I was NOT going to put on make-up or do my hair for a flight this early. I walked out the bathroom and Sheila gave me the up-and-down and said, "Is that what you're going to wear on the plane?" Well, yeah. And she shook her head and said, "Oh honey, but you just never know who you're going meet!"

She meant this in the sense that I could sit down next to a man and he could turn out to be my husband. And I scoffed at it at the time. But to this day, any time I am tempted to leave the house looking sloppy, I hear Sheila's voice in my head, "But you just never know who you're going to meet!"

Now, I like to consider myself stylish. I like to think I have good taste. When I travel on my own time, I like to be comfortable but still look put together. I've purchased items of clothing specifically to wear whilst traveling. I own a pair of simple black leggings that I wear with tunic-length tops & a black blazer or long black cardigan. I have a few black jersey dresses that I can layer things under or over. I wear easy-on, easy-off boots or flats. I brush my hair. If it's not cooperating, I put it up in a bun. I accessorize a bit with a scarf or a long necklace. I wear a bit of make-up.

None of this is complicated and because it's all made out of stretchy materials like jersey, it's all comfortable. And I don't have to resort to a pair of sweatpants with words across the ass. And I don't scrape my bedhead into a rat's nest of a pony tail. I don't top it with a 3-sizes-too-big hoodie. And I don't tuck my sweatpants into a pair of Uggs. I do not understand this apparent lack of pride in what one wears. The girls (and women!) I see dressed like this look like they don't care. They look like they've stopped trying. Comfort is one thing. Sloth is another.

My feelings on this partly come from spending two semesters studying abroad in Italy. In Italy, even the street kids have a certain style they represent. Little old ladies wear stockings, heels, skirts & blouses to go to the grocery store. Little old men wear suspenders and dress pants to go to the bar for a coffee. People dress themselves. They don't just pull something off the floor because they're only going to the post office and who are you going to meet at the post office? Well, you just never know.

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