When I go out, I mentally note all serious fashion faux pas that someone has made, and I'm ashamed to admit, even voice it out loud to my friends sometimes - under the faint belief that it's actually not mean when they're strangers. Like that lady who just walked in who should have left the overly chunky necklace at home, the young lady in the pretty dress who spoils everything because the heel of her shoes are funny looking, and oh my! check out the garishness of those wince-inducing heavily embroidered jeans the woman standing next to you is wearing! And that one there should have worn a top that covers her butt if she's going to wear those skin tight leggings!
It always starts out quite warmly enough. You know that warm, fuzzy, evil feeling we women get when we see our fellow women look bad in some way (even though no one will admit to it)? It all starts out like that, one moment you feel pretty smug, noticing everything from the loudly fake Louis Vuitton bag to the obscure lip liner that doesn't go with the lipstick shade. You feel good about yourself because you know you would never be so stupid as to make such blatant misses.
Or do you? Then you look at yourself, and the doubt starts creeping in. As your glee slowly dissipates, so does your confidence.
"Maybe I should have worn the beige shoes instead of the white ones?"
"Am I overdressed? Should I have kicked the heels and worn something more low-key?"
" Maybe I'm too casual and should have gone with the heels instead..."
And as you squirm and fidget, you try to catch a glimpse of yourself on any surface that might remotely reflect your reassurance-hungry form. But alas! Once the seed of doubt has been planted, no reflection is ever kind. In the harsh light of the mall, your previously chic smoky blue bag now just looks cheap, plastic blue. And in the dim light of the restaurant, your pretty white dress now looks dull and old...
This never bothered me when I was younger. My wardrobe was always very exhaustive so I always dressed plainly and I didn't pay too much attention to what I wore. Of course, I loved pretty clothes as much as the next young girl but because you know you didn't have them, you just got comfortable with the ones you have. I hated fashion magazines and would not touch them with a ten foot pole. I viewed them as the source of all evil.
It's quite a different story now. I don't even feel like I have a choice. I work very hard during the week, and because I am single and I don't have kids whose education and clothes and food and diapers I have to pay for, if I earn myself a little extra money and the weekend comes around and there is nothing to do, what is a girl to do? :P
Now the house is littered with all sorts of fashion mags that I glance through (but still won't read though..I still maintain there's nothing in these magazines that is worthy of one's reading time :P). I just pick out items that I like so when the weekend comes I can go to the stores and pick them up. I fume in frustration when I fall in love with something and Hyderabad doesn't have the store. I will even go online to chase up on those items.
I have to admit here that this is a hard confession to make. It's like screaming out loud to everyone saying 'Oh look, see how vain and shallow I am.' *Sigh* But one has to face facts at times...when one feels like it, that is.
Anyway, what I'm coming to is that I think I have found a solution to this insanity. This bolt of wisdom came to me last weekend while out with a friend. We were going out for a movie and dinner and I'd dressed pretty carefully. The friend and I were hungry so we grabbed a tub of popcorn, cokes, and hotdogs even though we were a bit late.
We went into the completely dark hall, groped around for our seats, and in all of the fumbling around, I suddenly felt something sticky through my shirt. I touched the sticky area and to my horror, I realised that in all the hustle I had been lovingly hugging the mustard covered hotdogs against my shirt and now the mustard was appreciatively hugging me back!
I tried my best to get it off but by the time the movie was over and we walked out, I had a nice, big patch of yellow right on the front of my shirt. I was pretty conscious about it for awhile but after I realised that there was nothing I could do, I just accepted the fact that I looked pretty stupid and people were probably saying the kind of things I think or say about them. And surprisingly, I just sort of felt relieved.
And when I accepted that I looked stupid, I stopped noticing notice anyone else's clothes to criticize them. Maybe because I wasn't in a position to but it still was a good position to be in. Makes you a better human being.
So that's the gist of it all people. If you want to be a better, nicer human being, go sloppy! Seems like it's the only way to go :-)