Ok, y’all. I have a date on Thursday and I’m trying hard not to talk myself out of it. I mean, I want to go. Of course I do. Right? I put an ad out there (on okcupid), he responded, I responded to his response, we’ve been making witty repartee for a couple weeks (too long! I know, but I’m such a nervous twit, I kept putting off the whole meeting-in-person thing), things are going well.
But in addition to my general level of… oh, what should I call it? Panic? … relating to dating, I have a legitimate problem: I have nothing to wear.
Or, alternatively, I have everything to wear.
The argument for the “nothing to wear” camp is strong. I packed weirdly, in moving to this intentional community. I dedicated my closet to comfort and thought not too much about little things like “cuteness” or “seductiveness”. You think I’m kidding? Here’s a complete list of the pants and skirts I brought with me:
- Five pairs of Old Navy’s Smoked Jersey Gauchos. These look surprisingly good, for pants that have the mother of all elastic waists and cost $9.99. If it were warm out, I’d throw on this t-shirt and call it a day.
- Four pairs of jeans. Two are so old they have holes in them. One is the notoriously stinky Right Fit jeans from Lane Bryant. One is lovely, Calvin Klein, but they need hemming (seriously? I’m nearly six feet tall and they need hemming?) and, um, yeah, I’ve been here for two months and I haven’t gotten around to that yet.
- A floaty, cotton, hugely seasonally inappropriate skirt from The Gap.
- No more. That’s all.
I also have an overabundance of dresses. Just where, exactly, did I think I was going to wear dresses? Here’s what I do every day: I eat breakfast. I clean up after breakfast (clean up after 60 people, that is – this is a messy thing, not just wiping the Cheerios I spilled on the counter into the trash can). I go to community meeting. I nap. I eat lunch. I rake leaves. I sit around and think about God. I email people about what I’m thinking about God. I talk with other people about God. I cook. I eat dinner. I go to bed. On Fridays, I take a class.
I could wear a dress. (If I found acceptable tights, sometime before Thursday. Tights have been my pre-date nemesis before and, no, I didn’t adequately solve the problem last time.) But, thing is, these days at least, I’m not much of a dress-wearing type. Don’t get me wrong. I love dresses, I love dressing up, but fact is I’m living at a retreat center and the fanciest I get is throwing on a necklace with my ripped jeans.
The other day, another woman here – a staff person, who lived here as a student thirty years ago – told a story about a date she went on while she was a student here. She said she got herself all worked up over what she was going to wear and rushed out to buy something new, only to realize that if the woman she was seeing didn’t like how she dressed normally the relationship probably didn’t have a lot of staying power. It’s an obvious point, but it’s stuck in my mind this time.
So, the argument for everything to wear? I have all my clothes here. Nine pairs of pants. A skirt. Several dresses. All sorts of shirts – mostly fitted t-shirts and sweaters – that I haven’t discussed at all. Maybe I should stop worrying so much and just pull something out of the closet. Like this (scroll down). That looks pretty good, right? I have both those items of clothing with me here, although they’ve seen some wear and tear since then (and those are, after all, the smelly jeans. But then he’s not going to be getting up close and personal with my pants. Not on the first date! Heavens, I’m not that kind of girl.)
Pep talks would be deeply appreciated. Wish me luck!