November 23, 2012 by blogmasterjdeam
I recently got caught up in the game known as “what shall I wear.” This is a game I’ve been playing for nearly fifty years, so I already know how it plays out.
Here is the scenario: I have been invited to a luncheon where President Clinton will be appearing. My first go-to is: I’m not going to that, I won’t fit in, I won’t be accepted – it will be like growing up in Springerville, Arizona all over again. (Unless you were a Non-Mormon growing up in Springerville it would be difficult to explain this metaphor, so you’ll have to trust me and pretend you know what I’m talking about.)
So, I’m not sure I want to go, yet I’ve already missed a chance of a lifetime when I turned down the opportunity to have dinner with President Obama. (Yes, yes, I’m still kicking myself over that.) Here is what I decide to do: I turn to my team of trusted advisors. My advisors say: of course you’ll go, it will be the chance of a lifetime. Of course they are right and they only yelled at me for a short time when I told them about declining dinner with President Obama.
Then we turn to the seemingly bigger question: what should I wear? One of my trusted advisors happens to have the talent of knowing style. My sister Diana has been dressing me for a very long time. She knows what is appropriate for what event, what looks good on me, all the right things I am supposed to know. I skipped that class growing up and just cheated off Diana’s paper.
One of my other trusted advisers actually grew up in D.C. She knows what to say and how to say it. My friend, Teri, is comfortable in these situations because she was always on the inside. Plus, she knows the right questions to ask, the right compliments to give – you know, the stuff you learn growing up in the society known as our capital.
Between these two and my father, I have put myself out there. Now I actually have to go. Here is this momentous occasion, however, and I’m stuck on the question of what to wear. Really.
My first go to for almost all occasions is jeans. As my father, Don, pointed out: I am a Western Girl*, so I should dress like one. I like the way he thinks about fashion. Diana disagrees.
For the record, I own one dress: my funeral black, which can be adjusted for winter or summer funerals, and one pair of black dress heels. I own about five pair of yoga pants, with their accompanying tops, a dozen shirts and a dozen more sweatshirts and sweaters. And, of course, six or seven pair of jeans. I am quite tall and long limbed so finding clothing has always been a hassle. I am a bad shopper and mostly refuse to try things on. You wouldn’t enjoy shopping with me. I can give references.
After many hours of back and forth with Diana, the purchase of some nice jeans, blouse and jacket from some high end fashion shop, I finally gave up and said who cares what I wear. This is part of the illusion. I can just wear a gunny sack with a belt (Thank you, Teri) and show up in my beat up, mostly muddy Subaru. (And, yes, the valet will get dog hair all over his uniform.)
Then this morning I realized, I’m in the world, I might as well play the game. I realized that important fact with this analogy: if I was playing in a football game, I would want the right uniform. I certainly wouldn’t show up in jeans. I’d need the padding, the helmet, the spikes – all the things you wear to play football. (Except for that nasty looking mouth guard – yuck.)
So I surrender to a fashion force greater than myself. I bow down and am grateful for Diana’s advice, and I play the game. As Diana said: “YOU CANNOT MEET A PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES IN JEANS!”
At this point you’re probably thinking: what does this have to do with yoga again? Good question, I’m glad you asked.
It falls under the section known as “Self-study.” Before I started this process of 100 days I would have handled this so much differently. Actually I would have handled it the way I did a month or so ago when President Obama kindly invited me to dinner. I would have gone into the I’m not worthy mode and declined.
Now I know: Look, it is just a luncheon with a person who has done some pretty amazing things. You are lucky to get invited (thus worthy.)** You happen to have someone in your life who knows what you are supposed to wear – use that resource (you wouldn’t wear yoga clothing to play football.) You also have someone in your life who knows how to behave – use that resource too. But always remember, this is just another act in a stage production. IT ISN’T WHAT’S REAL.
With that in mind, I step out from behind the curtain and get ready for my scene.
Yours, while running out of time to get this Life 101 class finished, Chris
*Don’t you like how my dad still refers to me as a girl?
** Thank you, Teri