There is an older gentleman who occasionally has matters in my place of work and never fails to make a scene. He is a highly respected member of our community and thus shall not be identified by name here, however, the names Zorro, Sherlock Holmes, or The Count of Monte Cristo will suffice for reasons to follow. The first element of shock this man brings with him wherever he goes is that his wardrobe is something out of a Victorian era mystery-solving aristocrat’s closet, complete with inverse cape and homberg hat. And yes, I had to look up what those things were called.
In stark contrast, I usually wear clothes that are more suited to current times, like things that don’t look out of place without the accompaniment of a pipe and a monocle. I was wearing some of these new fangled future clothes the other day that consisted of a gray pantsuit and a turtleneck. Take it easy grandpa, I wasn’t even showing my ankles. I should also mention that it’s been snowing for the past week here and the temperature in the Charleston area has leveled off at around 25. So, Sherlock Holmes came into the office on this day and conducted business as usual, but before he left he came up to me and said “Don’t you have any pretty skirts or dresses you can wear? You don’t have to wear manly pantsuits for people to take you seriously.”
Since it’s not 1975, I am unaccustomed to responding to statements such as this, but I am aware that people say them sometimes. I muffled my shock and resisted the urge to ask him if he understands that wearing a skirt in the winter requires all kinds of discomfort like shaving, wearing panty hose, ripping panty hose and buying new ones and freezing. For all I know he’s very familiar with all of this. Instead I told him that I did know of my right to show my legs (although I got the impression that his suggestion was not for my benefit) but as it was so cold out I preferred pants for walking outside and wading through snow. He nodded and reminded me as he walked away that “People will take you seriously regardless of what you wear.” SAID THE MAN IN THE CAPE. Mondoo, where is your shenanigans stamp? That is the least true thing I’ve heard since Jeremy Piven’s hairplugs cover-up. Look at Jessica Simpson in her mom jeans. Look at anyone wearing crocs, harem pants, sweatpants with writing across the seat and chicken suits. Just because you have enough stored up prestige that no one laughs in your face for dressing like the Mayor of Casterbridge does not mean that they are not laughing at you at all.