Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Bad Day 43--There is nothing free about public education

$300 for school supplies and we're not even finished! And that does not include the $100 graphing calculator which may or may not be rentable from the school. We're hoping it is. We came home with a cart filled to the brim with school supplies and we still have to find things like those pens that have four colors in one pen that all the cool kids had when you were little and your mother would never ever buy them and now the school requires your child to have four. Four! Of those really cool multi-pens. And a notebook full of graph paper which I didn't even know they made. But we did manage to find a Hunger Games folder, so that was time well spent.

But back to fashion. OK, not really a good segue but I've been dying to rant about fashion at my work place. As many of you may have guessed, I work for the Department of State. I know that some members of congress think we are pinko liberals, but for liberals, we're really conservative. You can tell by the way we dress. OK, by the way everyone else but me dresses. The Department may be the last bastion of the seersucker suit. Now, I'm not denigrating seersucker at all. I love a good seersucker blazer. I just thought no one not in 1965 still wore suits made out of it. (I own a seersucker blazer and it is adorable and by that one British designer who isn't out to get me.) But there is a gentleman at the Department who occasionally wears his with a straw boater. So he must be in 1955, I think. This is not him, but you get the idea. And no, there is no live poultry at the Department that I know of. There are raccoons, though. I'll save the stories about live animals for another post.

I also know that we're conservative based on the number of flag pins I see people wearing. Very often they also include the flag of a country they've served in, but just as often it's only the American flag. I bought a rhinestone version when I went to Texas because I couldn't bear to wear they ugly fake gold ones, and I didn't want to be left out of the color guard parade. The other reason that I know for certain we are not liberal is that the only color women at the Department ever wear is black. Black suits are the uniform of choice and it's very rare to see someone in something other than black. I, myself, made a vow never to buy at black suit, although I did break down and buy one after several years, but that is because the pants made my bum look really small and cute and it is pin-striped and has the most beautiful maroon lining, so I don't think it counts. Also, I split it up and wear it as separates.

Once, someone told me I had my own style. I think she was trying to offend me, but I refused to be offended because it is true, and it is a good style, and she so wishes she had my sense of fashion. And another person of the black-suit-flag-pin brigade told me that my kelly green raincoat is very bright. I said, "Yes. It is!" And then I unfurled my rainbow umbrella. My philosophy is, if the day is gray, something should be bright and cheerful. I'm definitely not garish and I'm certainly in no need of What Not to Wear, but I do wear blue more than black, and all my lanyards are actually necklaces because if I have to wear something around my neck, it's going to be jewelry and most lanyards people wear with their badges are ugly.

Once in a while, I see someone more daring than me. No, not the girl in the strapless sheer taupe jumpsuit which would have been great at the Playboy Mansion but was shocking at the Department! No, not her. But today I saw a woman wearing a really pretty dark blue chambray shirt with leather trim around the zipper and I wanted to applaud her and say, "Keep it up!" We fashionistas need to support each other in our time of need.

Speaking of the fashion-challenged, this little girl is having a worse day than me.

Chinese swimmers wear face-kinis at the public Huiquan Beach in Qingdao, on China's eastern coast.

No, she and her mother are not superheroes on holiday. They are Chinese and her mother is so afraid of her daughter having fun in the sun and getting tan that she made her wear this awful face-kini. Poor thing. It's a hot summer day and all she wants to do is swim and she is so covered in clothing she can't even feel the way her hair floats in the water or the cool spray on her cheeks. So thank you, face-kini mother, for reminding me that as flawed as I am, I never dressed my children in a Hannibal Lechter mask to go to the beach. (And thank you, Bobbi, for the link!)

No comments:

Post a Comment