Having decided to take my progress as a writer seriously, I recently returned to the day job. It takes a bit of getting used to, but most jobs are the same really. You have stuff to do and you have to do parts of it with people who are neither family nor friends. In some cases they become one or the other or both, but mostly they just get on your nerves and you end up spending more time with them than you do with your own family and friends anyways.
The thing that’s been bothering me though, is this: what to wear?
I just can’t help it, but whenever I wear formal work clothes it throws me back about thirty years to when I had to wear a school uniform. It’s the same principle really, you’re made wear uncomfortable clothes that look stupid but send out the message that you belong to some organisation or other. Well it’s not exactly a uniform in this job; I’d actually like it if I had to wear a peaked cap and a traffic warden’s outfit. There’s something sexy about those kinds of uniforms, and if I didn’t take an allergic reaction to entering hospitals I may even have considered becoming a nurse just for the sake of the uniform. After all, nurses get to have a lot of sex and it all boils down to the nurse’s outfit. I know this firsthand, as I’ve seen porn movies and there are lots of nurses in them, bold ones who haven’t even taken off the uniforms before filming.
In my case, I headed down to the fatty shop and bought a few pairs of grey pants and some hideous pin striped blouses. I dug out two old pairs of shoes with a heel on them and unearthed a bottle of foundation somewhere. I put on the stuff I’d bought and remembered my green and yellow school uniform and how wrong it felt not to be wearing real clothes. I applied the war paint, to include plum coloured lipstick. I felt a lump in my throat leaving my Converse runners and blue jeans at the end of the bed, but I reminded myself of the looming pay check and how much better that is than avoiding debt collectors and writing bad poetry.
I wouldn’t mind what I call ‘real work clothes’. Painters, for example, wearing protective clothing, or a farmer wearing his wellies and big anorak, but I just can’t get my head around why you have to put on a new persona and wear itchy, dorky, power monger garb just because you’re sitting at a desk putting information into a computer.
Maybe it’s to send out the image that people who wear Converse are not real people. After all, how could they have jobs if they wear runners? Indeed, it’s probably only poets and people with half written novels who wear Converse.
Next week we’re all meeting for a so called ‘social’ and I’m beginning to get that feeling that I had as a teenager when we went to the first school discos. I’m excited about meeting up after work when we’re allowed to wear our real clothes, the ones that reflect upon our real selves. Then again, perhaps I’ll be disappointed. The others might turn up in that sort of proscribed leisure gear. The kind of really tame striped tops and cream pants. After all, it is dinner we’re planning. But I don’t care. I’m going to be a real rebel and wear my Converse. So hmmph.