Written by Emily
I’m not sure how many of you out there do this. It might be no one else, but I’m going to risk it. When I get dressed, I think to myself, “What would Stacy and Clinton think about this outfit?” “Who are Stacy and Clinton?” some of you might be asking. C’mon. Take a minute. Yep–the two hosts of TLC’s What Not To Wear.
I dress as though the two of them might do one of those terrifying drop-bys in the department store–the ones that scare the poor victims on the show into fashion sobriety. This is why I wear blazers to the grocery store.
I loved going to work for a number of reasons, namely all of the warm reasons teachers choose to teach, but another reason was being able to get dressed. I shamelessly rocked heels and taught on my feet throughout all of my pregnancies. I was single-handedly trying to rewrite the image of teacher as the matronly-looking school marm who wears sweaters that tell stories of cats with button eyes. If I had to bite the bullet and buy something new every week to make this happen, then so be it. I know how to take one for the team.
So when I decided to resign, my chest tightened a little bit. No more getting dressed up on a daily basis. Some may think, “Thank God, bring on the sweats.” Not me. I looked my husband squarely in the eye and begged him to make sure I got dressed every. single. day. It’s a slippery slope to pajama pants at the library’s story time. A HUGE Stacey and Clinton No-No.
Yesterday, while rifling through my closet for something to wear to the playground, I caught sight of some fierce animal print heels (not at all appropriate). I moved myself over to the shoe section of my closet and took a moment to mourn the retirement of my heels.
Good-bye, red patent-leather heels.
Good-bye, snake-skin creamy gold wedges.
So long, favorite black pointy-toe heels.
And on and on with the good-byes. “You’ve been replaced,” I muttered. “Make room for the Sperry Topsiders and Toms. Move over for the flats.”
I’ll reorganize my closet and dresser next. *Sigh*
It’s materialistic and silly to write about something as superficial as shoes and clothing when I’m choosing to stay home with my children– a fulfilling, admirable and blessed opportunity, I know– but those things are tangible. I can see them beginning to gather dust in my closet and in my drawers. They’re the things that I notice myself passing up on a trip to the mall to pick up something for the baby, who is growing faster than I can keep up with. They’re all little reminders of a part of me that I’m retiring right now.
And as I replace my pencil skirts with jeans, my heels with flats, and my blouses with sweaters (marked on the shoulder with baby goo of all kinds), I still want to be me, not an imitation or someone playing a part.
And while I’m excited to be home with my children, I don’t want to become unrecognizable to myself or anyone else. I don’t want to allow part of myself to gather dust. I don’t want to, heaven forbid, actually morph into someone new all together. But, then again, maybe that’s part of this decision. Part of change, of transitioning.
So here I go into unchartered territory, standing on the cusp of a brand new life–exhilarated and terrified and not quite sure what to wear.
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