Wednesday, June 24, 2009


When I haven't seen someone in a long time, the first thing I notice is how much, or how little, they've changed.

I moved back to Boston over three weeks ago to weather the employment and economic storm for a time without the burden of rent and bills. It was a necessary move and not one that I was at all happy about. I had my little life in Brooklyn. Small routines and local hangouts. I hadn't spent more than a weekend in Boston in over two years. After enjoying the comforts that came with spending some time in the city of my birth, I would begin itching to get back home. Because that was what New York had become.

Interestingly enough, one of the most jarring things for me to deal with has been the conservative manner of dress that pervades this city. The changes that I had undergone weren't obvious until a few days after my return. Before the rains descended upon us, I pulled out The Dress, placed my laptop in a bright green bag and walked to the nearest coffee shop with my laptop. After being shocked, shocked, that not every café here has wireless available, I decided to head back to the house. It was on that return trip that I took my first real look at those around me. There I was, swathed in color and looking out of place. I wasn't used to it. On an afternoon later that week, three different people in one short trip to Whole Foods stared at me before approaching and asking about the long, maroon cardigan I had simply thrown on to keep out the unseasonable chill. In New York, I rarely stuck out. I blended in with the blur of people wearing all manner of outfit, from the gray suit to the acid washed skinny jean to the patterned maxi dress. My wardrobe had its shining moments, but for the most part, people's eyes slid right by me. I liked it that way. Here, however, I was decidedly other.

I've spent large chunks of my life being decidedly other. It's always made me mildly uncomfortable. My clothes, however, had never been the cause. I wasn't sure how to handle it. After the rains came, I began to feel restless. I was rather tempted to do something drastic. Rip holes in my tights. Splash bleach all over The Jeans before turning them into shorts. I was fearful that I would begin to fade away and fall back on bad habits to deal with my discomfort.

I took a breath. Or several. I realized that the constant dreariness was affecting me. That a break here didn't mean that I would backslide into the person I once was. That once the sun finally broke, I could remove the dresses from their hiding place. Shake them out. Put them on. And that people might look, but that is not necessarily a bad thing.

That, in this case, sticking out isn't something that should bother me.

1 comment:

margaret said...

i love "the dress"! and come on, it's totally classic. boston is lame--ignore those sheep.

are you going to be in nyc for the 4th? i have a friend in town and i think you two would get along awesomely...