Earlier, I had worn this very sexy outfit.
A short, electric blue dress with leggings and high heeled boots. Big gold hoops. Oh, how I love big gold hoops. I will never have refined taste. But sexy—I can sometimes do that.
We were out. I crossed my legs and looked flirty.
We got back, the rest of the Sunday was supposed to be lazy, because of the rain. But then Bear wanted to go to Prospect Park and see the blossoming trees. We’d missed them last year, and he was determined.
“But it’s cold…” I said.
“Put on some warm clothes,” he said.
I put on these ancient bellbottoms that I inherited from a friend who realized that they were never going to be fashionable again. They didn’t used to fit. They were so big on me. Now all of my other jeans pinch meanly, in tender places. So I pulled the big, flopping bellbottoms on. And the brown sneakers I try never to wear. And an expressionless long-sleeved shirt.
“Oh, wow,” said Bear, coming into the bedroom. “You look so hot. What a great outfit.”
I looked at him for a long moment. “Are you serious?”
“I love that outfit,” he said. His eyes were sort of hungry. Like in a romance novel, where the heroine is wearing something that is actually sexy. Maybe a tiny, crimson dress with a plunging neckline that emphasizes her pert bosom. Not a slouchy shirt and tired jeans that emphasize…Nothing?
“It shows off your body really well,” he said.
I wasn’t seeing it. First of all, there wasn’t any skin showing. Second of all, it was not attractive.
“You don’t know anything about beauty,” he said, teasing, but sort of serious.
He likes to say that sometimes, since I’ve been writing this blog.
“Yes, I do,” I said, automatically.
“This is beauty,” he said, gesturing at me. “You think it’s more complicated.”
I went over to the mirror, to see what the deal was. It was as I expected—shlumpy. Normal. Like I didn’t own any nice clothes. Like I was boring. Like I was ordinary. Also, my arms– OK, not getting into it.
“Come ON,” I said. “What about what I was wearing before?”
“Yeah, that was nice,” he said. “Not, like, on this level. But nice.”
I sighed. It is possible that we will never agree about these things.
Which is really good. Because I only have so many awesome outfits. Shlumpy outfits? Those I can do all day, every day.
* * *
I think I actually can appreciate casual looks– I don’t think sexy has to be a cocktail dress. But I still don’t quite understand Bear’s taste. How would you dress to be sexy?
Unroast: Today I love the way I look in pirate boots. Remember this outfit?
P.S. The trees weren’t blossoming yet, in Prospect Park. But it was still really, really fun.
P.P.S. Check out this awesome piece in the NYT by a mom who, rather than putting her 7 yr old daughter on a diet, thinks seriously about how to set a healthy body image example for her. She begins by praising her own “cushy” butt in front of her daughter. Adorable.
Update: Apparently the writer of the above awesome piece I linked to READS THIS BLOG. I FEEL SO COOL RIGHT NOW.
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