August 15, 2005

not kindred

Today I am wearing black trousers, a fitted white button-down shirt, and a black and white houndstooth plaid vest. A coworker (the same one) commented that it was the most professional outfit she'd seen me in. It's certainly not the most professional outfit I've worn here, but then again she doesn't see me every day. (It hasn't escaped my notice that she'd get quite offended if I made the same sort of comments to her that she makes to me, but luckily I find her amusing.)

My wardrobe is best described as "eclectic"; the outfit I think of as most quintessentially me is probably a plain fitted jersey T-shirt and jeans, but I also enjoy wearing wide flowing skirts, short straight skirts, silk blouses, plaid flannel shirts, sweaters of all descriptions, fuzzy fleece pullovers.... I don't like wearing the same look every day; I get bored. So I strive for a basic level of professionalism and wear what I like. (Though I may have to give up the denim skirt I wore Friday. That front slit is unexceptional when I stand, but rises higher than is comfortable for work when I sit down.)

The coworker's comment is interesting, because the more I talk to her, the more orthogonal I think our views of the world are. Her clothes are professional enough, but I find them boring. They're not the sort worn by someone who doesn't care at all about clothing, or I probably wouldn't notice them at all; they want to be looked at but they're the sort of suit that sacrifices quality to achieve a dressy look with cheap fabrics. (They are, in fact, the sort of clothes that are one reason I don't wear suits or suit separates much, because when I go looking in department stores for suit-ish clothes I get disgusted with the sleazy fabrics. I'd rather wear honest cotton or wool, so I do, but seem to end up with less dressy clothes.)

It goes far beyond clothes, though. She's on a no-carb diet; if I were to diet I'd still want to eat what I liked, but less of it, and I don't believe in limiting the variety I eat. She's always looking to meet men; maybe I would be if I were still single, but when I was I tended to prefer to live my life and just meet whoever came along into it, instead of looking for them. I've always preferred to become friends before getting romantically involved, though when I met Rudder, everything sort of happened so fast that we did both at the same time. She's a political animal, work-wise; I understand the importance of the politics that are inevitable in every group of humans, but tend to avoid them when possible out of both lack of interest and a feeling that I wouldn't be good at it anyway.

She works out, but from her comments, I think she may be the sort of woman Marn talks about, who gets on the cardio equipment and says, "Well, time to burn off that doughnut!".

Most notably, recently we were discussing weight, and I proudly told her about Old Salt's comment, "My God, you're buff!" She said, "And you took that as a compliment? See, I'd be insulted by that."

I can't even get my mind around that. Also, you know those women on the front of muscle magazines that so many women are afraid of looking like? That doesn't happen by accident. Really. (In fact, I don't think it happens at all, save through better living through chemistry.)

She does read, some, or at least I've seen a book in her car (French Women Don't Get Fat) but I don't think she really understands about books, or why anyone would want to live with a nose in one. I'd be surprised if she walked into my house and didn't immediately ask, "Have you really read all of these? And why?"

She's nice enough, and I like her well enough as a work-buddy, but somehow, well ... I think Miss Cornelia Bryant would say she's " of the race that knoweth not Joseph". Which is ironic, because in many ways, Miss Cornelia might approve more of her than she would of me.

Posted by dichroic at August 15, 2005 02:00 PM

"...become friends before getting romantically involved..." What a strange idea! I've said it for years, but most young people don't believe me.

Posted by: l-empress at August 15, 2005 02:29 PM

Miss Cornelia would very much approve of your kindness and your work ethic. She would also approve of your dressing in 'honest' clothing rather than dressing in frippery just to please those scoundrel men. She'd also be a bit miffed with co-worker if she turned down pie! heh. I passed a small semi-private airport tonight and thought of you. I knew you'd know what each of those planes were. ~LA

Posted by: LA at August 15, 2005 08:19 PM
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