I really felt like I was going to be sick.
Then, I really wanted to change.
But I didn’t. I wore this dress to work. And ahh!!! the effort to get ready!
First, there was the struggle to get the tights out of the packaging. (Hey, what’s with sticking a piece of cardboard in one of the legs of the tights? I had to wrestle with the cardboard and try not to rip the tights while pulling the cardboard out.) Then, I wiggled myself into the tights. Because I put on some winter weight in January of this year, that I never took off all summer, I felt the top part of my tights roll down where my belly sits. Not cool. I’ve had to wear pantyhose a couple of times this year and the same thing happened. But for some reason I thought it would be different for tights. Nope, it’s the same.
As I drove to work, feeling the top part of my tights roll down in the car once more under my dress, I felt like I had to walk taller, look leaner; all eyes were on me and I would be exposed as “the fraud in the dress”. My preference is always to blend into walls, while hiding the rest of me behind a plant.
Then, I got caught in traffic. I mumbled, “I don’t understand? Yesterday, google maps said 35 minutes, and I did it in 30 minutes. Today, it said 40 minutes, but it’s been already 25 minutes and I’m no where near work. What gives? It’s because I’m wearing a dress isn’t it?”
As I turned my car and crossed one of the bridges, I scanned the sidewalks looking for other women wearing dresses. I needed reassurance that I was not alone. What I saw were women confidently walking in their coordinated outfits (some even in dresses and skirts) – effortlessly. Why did I make such a big deal about this?
It’s because I’m clumsy and uncoordinated, often times on the edge of falling over. As well, I’m always terrified of a wardrobe malfunction. Today, was no exception as I packed my dress pants and shirt in my bag as a “just in case.”
But, I had another concern too. What would I say if people asked me at work about the dress? I haven’t told my colleagues about this blog. I have a long standing record of hiding things from people for fear of being ridiculed or that they would think me insane. When I ran the New York Marathon in 2011, I didn’t mention it to one person at work. I was terrified I wouldn’t complete the race, but at the same time what happens if they thought I ran it too slow. (I’m more of a run/walk girl. I was slow – completing it in around 5 hours 44 minutes.) But when I told everyone the first day back to work, they were all so proud of me.
And when I started writing, I kept that secret too. I didn’t tell friends, colleagues nor family. The only person who knew was my husband. It was only after I was published by a literary journal that I revealed it to everyone. And, again I was wrong. Everyone was so happy for me, and so very supportive.
When I was getting ready this morning, I decided that if anyone asked at work why I wore a dress, I would tell them about the blog. I would count it as one of my “pushing the boundaries.” Luckily, no one did, so I was off the hook. I’m changing, but it’s a very slow process.
On my drive home tonight, we had the first snowfall of the season. Wearing a dress and heels, no snow tires on my car, I crawled my way home. But I made it through the day in a dress with no major wardrobe malfunction. This morning I was going to put the dress off. My argument was this: I have a whole year to complete the challenges. But, what kind of start is that? How would I ever rise to the challenge of the potential polar bear dip in January, if I can’t even wear a dress to work just one day? After all, you can’t wait forever to do things. Change happens – whether you’re ready or not.