Because there is no point and trying to dress nicely in this climate just throws me into existential crisis
I hate winter.
Have I mentioned that?
I hate winter.
I hate snow.
It’s not pretty. It’s not nice. It’s not anything but evil.
It’s hard to drive in.
It’s hard to walk in.
It gets your clothes wet. It gets your shoes wet.
It’s dangerous. If untreated, the sidewalk is icy, which means you could slip and break your wrist, as my friend Karen did two days ago.
This injury, BTW, is common enough that it has its own acronym: FOOSH = Fell On OutStretched Hand.
If the sidewalk is treated, that means it has salt on it. Salt is not good for Italian leather shoes.
When I met Marido, I was living in Memphis, which is in The South, where Women Dress Up For Everything Including The Grocery Store.
I didn’t dress up for the grocery store but I felt guilty about it. I did, however, dress up to go out to eat or to the theater.
I persisted in my ways even when I was visiting Marido. I raised my eyebrows at the other women I would see Out – other women wearing jeans and bulky sweaters and clunky boots.
I moved here and persisted. We got a subscription to the theater and I would Dress Up and again, raise my eyebrows at Women In The Theater Wearing Jeans And Sweaters.
Then I noticed something.
I never took my coat off.
I never took it off at the theater because it was too cold.
(That’s because Milwaukee is German and we don’t waste money on frivolities like heat. In Chicago, AKA Gomorrah, public spaces are heated to such a high temperature that I start taking my clothes off the second I walk into a building so I don’t get soaking wet from sweat.)
Wait. I took off my coat once. The woman behind me tapped me on the shoulder and asked, “Excuse me, but did you know your dress is not zipped all the way?”
I felt behind me and realized that the top half of my back was exposed because indeed my dress was not zipped all the way.
I turned to Marido and asked, “Why didn’t you say something?”
“Because I thought you wanted it that way!” he answered. “It’s that low in the front!”
I looked at the woman and shook my head. She rolled her eyes in sympathy.
Back to always wearing a coat.
And always taking a really long time to walk from the car to the theater because I had to worry about ice and about salt and about protecting my gorgeous Italian shoes.
I. Was. Always. Cold.
Because I never had enough clothes on.
That’s when I understood.
And that’s when I, too, started wearing jeans and boots to the theater.