As I was getting dressed I once again thought how much I prefer dresses to pants, and always have. Perhaps it was just the time I grew up in that drove my preference but when the option to wear pants everywhere and anywhere was available, I didn't. I stuck to my dresses and skirts. Someone asked me why I wore dresses even on a casual Saturday outing and my answer was - they're more comfortable; I have more freedom in a dress than in pants.
Jeans, anything denim except for my short jacket with the appliqued butterflies (oh 60's where art thou?) were on my 'Do Not Wear" list. I think I have owned 3 pairs of jeans in my whole life - hate jeans, hate denim. Too confining. And that is the crux of the matter - confinement versus free flowing freedom.
I had an epiphany some 15 years ago about why I have a near hysterical reaction to anything constricting or confining. I have wonder why my therapist and I never explored that aspect of my personality, he was well aware of it. As in, when I described a fantasy I had of going into work with an uzi and walking into the bullpen and calling each person by name and when they popped up from their cubicles, gunning them down. (I think I envisioned a game of whack-a-mole with guns and real estate agents). My dear and darling therapist said, with great concern "But Grace then you would go to jail, and you know you can't bear to be confined" I did explain to the dear, darling man, who often struck me as being a bit naive, that it was just a fantasy. Or maybe I was in worse emotional shape than I thought and he really believed I might do something like that. New York City in the early 80's - how hard would it have been to get a machine gun?
Oh, did you want to know why the thought of being constricted or confined sends me into hysterics - ah, it seems when I was a toddler the mother would tie me to the radiator when no one else was home. I don't know why because I learned early on to stay out of her way and to stay quiet. I wasn't nick-named the mouse for no reason. But that's something else.
I did wear pants to work on occasion but they were more costume than clothing - men's suits custom tailored to fit me; over-the-knee hi-heel boots with skin-tight stretch pants, turtle neck bodysuit and suspenders. Carefully coordinated costumes, worn to make a point, I think. I don't recall what the point might have been but certainly not my usual attire.
And my usual attire? Silk suits with silk t-shirts; anything made from soft flowing material but yet very simple and tailored. And always my beloved high-heels and fancy stockings - that was how I dressed for years and years and...
So now, fat, old and disabled, I still wear my soft flowy dresses in the house and when I venture out into the world I wear soft cotton-knit yoga pants that drape down my legs paired with a silky-knit t-shirt. My shoes are clunky black non-slip monstrosities that help me stay up-right and balanced.
And every morning as I slip my soft dress over my head, I remember when I was hot-shit in silk and suede...