Dress for Success
it's what you do that counts... right?

So I scored this office job. Sure, it only pays $6.25 an hour and itís mostly brainless grunt work, but itís a job. Eight hours a day, five days a week, five weeks. Besides, my supplemental income brings in a much higher hourly wage, so moneyís not the big issue.

The big issue is, what do I wear?

See, Iím pretty much a comfort-dictates-style person, so my usual attire is pants with lots of pockets, a t-shirt, and boots. My hair is short for the same reason: utility. I can roll out of bed at 7:30 and leave the house by 8:05. If I shower the night before, I donít get up until 7:50 or so. But now that I work in an office, I have a dilemma in the morning: clothing. For guys, itís like, "gee, which tie should I wear with my button-down shirt and suit?" Tough life, guys. I feel sympathy, really. For me itís more like, "gee, I only have two pairs of shoes: brown and blue. Can I wear the blue shoes with the black dress, or would the brown be better? Or should I wear the brown dress again so that I can wear the brown shoes?" I actually have more than two pairs of nice shoes, but theyíre not the kind Iíd like to stagger around in for eight hours while I run around the office gathering back issues. (The company I work for writes newsmagazines for kids. I work in the library.) The point is, I can either be the Mismatched Intern, or I can go out and blow seventy bucks on a pair of nice shoes that wonít rub the skin off my feet. Shit, thatís more than a dayís wages for me, and Iím supposed to be saving up for college here. Frankly, I donít care if my shoes and my dress match, but I feel like I should be learning this stuff. What happens when Iím not an intern anymore, and I have to leave my cozy little college dorm room for the last time and set out into the "real world" to fend for myself? I have no idea what I should buy and what makes me look like an idiot.

My other problem with office garb is that, as I said, Iím a creature of comfort. I donít like having my movement constricted - and with my job, it puts me in danger of ripping off a sleeve as I lift cartons of magazines onto high shelves. If Iím paying an arm and a leg for clothing, I want it to be frigginí comfortable. If I didnít have hipbones like a cow, Iíd just wear a suit to work. But menís clothing doesnít fit me because, well, Iím not a man. Although I bought a very nice tux shirt at the sidewalk sale. The sleeves are a bit long since I had to get it big enough to fit around my chest... Well, if I ever get filthy rich Iíll have someone tailor suits for me and Iíll look dashing all the time. Hah.

But until then, Iíll be the one in the blue shoes and the black dress.

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squeezed from her warped brain on 07/22/98