Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Edward Scissorhands has been in my closet

I took a stroll through my little high-end resort village and looked at the fashions in the windows. The hemlines on jackets, tops and skirts are crazily uneven this season, as if Edward Scissorhands had gone mental in the closet.

Ah Fashion! I still wear a dress from Ralph Lauren’s Prairie Collection and even though I’ve cut off all the skip-to-my-Lou ruffles, it still makes me feel as if I’m traveling west in a covered wagon with a passel of young un’s and trying to keep the milk from curdling.

Why do designers suddenly want to dress my sisters to look like irrepressible tweens, thumbing their nose at convention with their jagged hems. Maybe because it’s the exact opposite of APPEARING TO CARE a.k.a being vulnerable a.k.a. having been bruised by life a.k.a living in Loserville or Needy Town.

Women who wear the current fashion must feel invincible - as in “You think I’m just a DINK (double income, no kids) with a six-figure salary, but in fact, I’m an in-your-face outlier with all the vulnerability leached out of me.

Let’s talk about vulnerability for a minute. I happen to be a sucker for vulnerability. When someone I don’t particularly like expresses vulnerability, I become insanely nice to them even if it’s someone I only know casually. I have a neighbor two streets over who can’t stop talking. My goal when I meet her is to say anything that will get me on my way. “I have internal bleeding and I’m rushing to the doctor. “(BTW she would hardly hear this as talkers seldom listen.) One day the talker said she had been crying because her daughter was mad at her. I went into insane mode and offered to take her to lunch so we could discuss it.

Expressing vulnerability even in business situations can result in social bonuses, especially if it is some charming frailty like claustrophobia and providing you’re able to perform like the ambitious young Turk they hired. The person you confess to suddenly knows a secret about you and it makes them a tad protective and generous because if you don’t suffer from claustrophobia, it sounds like a silly thing to have. I have the opposite of claustrophobia. I don’t like leaving my house with its tiny rooms. There, see? I just expressed a vulnerability but, happy day, you don’t have to do a darn thing except cluck in sympathy for a few seconds and feel superior. Vulnerability can be a good thing if you don’t use it too often.

This week four separate people wrote to express thanks for posts in my blog that gave them that jolt of recognition. Whenever I get a comment, I go back and read the post again to see it through their eyes. It is the ultimate satisfaction for a writer and makes me want to jump for joy. Thank you, readers.

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