letters / memory / mom

dress the part

I was in high school in the 80s when my mother wrote this.

This money order is not just a Christmas present. People your age need to dress appropriately. As your mother, I’m going to add some advice about spending this money–you’re probably going to get a lot of advice. Ignore everybody. Make yourself happy. This is a “Do yourself a favor” gift. Spend it all in one place, on one thing of 5 things–I’ll send more sedate amounts from time to time that I’ll expect you to be sensible about. Don’t be sensible. Have fun. BUY what makes you feel good. Ignore your grandmother. I spent years wearing clothes I hated, especially pants that didn’t fit. To get on in life you’ve got to dress whatever part you pick for yourself. But the part you pick must be entirely your choice, not forced by circumstances. I love you.

Thanks for the unicorn. He adorns my living room–the only Christmas thing there. A very famous philosopher/ psychologist said that “Adults need fantasy more than children” (because they’re so far away from their dreams). So you’re in exalted company.

Thank you. Have your own brand of fun. (Listen to me, I’m your mother.)

My mom rarely had money to spare. She either had no car or a terrible car, and her refrigerator usually contained lettuce, cheese, grapes, apples, and milk. She also kept potatoes, tomatoes, melba toast, and coffee.
For meals (when I visited) we went to my grandmother’s. With the money I bought boots even though I lived in Florida. I loved those wildly impractical boots.

my new boots

Now, of course, that unicorn I bought my mother is mine. Adults will always need unicorns.

So, anyway, do you dress the part you’ve picked for yourself?

9 thoughts on “dress the part

  1. Not at ALL. Wait, actually I guess I do. I chose dowdy, country housewife, and that’s reflected in my clothes. I’m realizing I didn’t choose that on purpose, though. I honestly don’t know how I would dress if I could pick any clothes I wanted.

  2. I don’t think so. But I can’t right now anyway. At this point I have to dress as “fat ugly slob with no job” and those clothes do NOT appeal. They’re just all I have at the moment.

    • I’m not sure what those clothes are…though there is this dad who comes to get his kids from school and who is a bit overweight and who wears tee shirts that are too small and sweatpants. Oh, and there is the guy with the ZZ Top beard who wears tank tops over his beer gut and shows up with a rat on his shoulder. I assume you don’t mean anything like that.

  3. Those boots are awesome! Love them! πŸ™‚

    Do I dress the part I’ve picked for myself? Hmm. Now that’s thought provoking. I think I’ll have to think about the “picked for myself” part first.

    • Those boots were awesome, but foolish in Florida weather. I was always wearing clothes wrong for Florida weather–as if I had to prove to Mother Nature that I could wear what I wanted no matter what. Silly girl!

      So, have you thought about the part you picked for yourself?

      • LOL I think the part I picked for myself was probably young urban professional of some sort. The part I actually got was suburban homeschool mom. Looking back, I would probably have to say I didn’t know myself well enough then to pick parts. πŸ™‚

        I always felt like I didn’t get to choose most of the big things that happened in my life, others chose them for me or in some instances forced them on me.

        Overall though, I’m happy with what I have now. πŸ™‚

  4. The Missus tells me I’m vain about my seeming lack of vanity. Something like that, anyway. The point, I think, is that she believes I’ve cultivated a certain habitual “look” which doesn’t look like someone would have chosen it at all, except by sorta wandering into it accidentally. I’ll deviate outside a fairly small range of styles only for Special Occasions, and unconvincingly even then. That’s true of haircut, beard, clothes, shoes, etc.

    It may also be true of my writing. Hard to say.

    (Even that “hard to say” addendum is suspect, if that makes any sense.)

    • Yes, it makes sense.

      I confess that I am extremely picky about what I’ll wear. My clothes are cheap, mind you. I shop either at Target or JC Penney usually, but if I can’t find something that seems like me–and I’m super clear on this–then I buy nothing at all.

      At work a few years back a student ran into me coming around a corner and spilled my coffee down the front of my white summer top. I had to borrow a school tee shirt for the rest of the day. I thought I would go mad wearing that so-not-me shirt even though there wasn’t anything really wrong with the shirt. One teacher saw me and said, “You don’t look yourself today.”

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