Monday, June 09, 2008
You Know You Were in the Middle East Too Long When...
Last week, New York had a few kinda chilly days.
We were hammered. WNYC was predicting 97 degree weather today, though I'm not sure what the thermometers topped out at. The humidity was, of course, dreadful.
Last weekend—in an attempt to push myself along in my planned reassimiliation, or was I just trying to impress someone??—I bought clothes. Lots of clothes. Clothing without sleeves. Skirts, the kind that didn't go all the way to my ankles. A skimpy summer dress. Clothes I could not afford.
This morning, I cut the labels off and tried them on.
I felt improper. Near-naked. Like I couldn't go out of the house.
The heat won and I made it to work in a frilly little short-sleeved blouse and a knee-length skirt. All I need is a little practice to get over the lessons I have ingrained in myself from living in other cultures, and from my daily culturally appropriate comic-book-costume policing.
And from my deliberate anonymity. On the road, I don't want to be noticed. I strive for plainness to avoid confrontations. Like say, men exposing themselves to me or making inappropriate remarks about what activities they have planned for me.
Hard to believe I used to wear pretty much anything. Go to Maxwell's in a slip? Is it a nice slip? No problem! And now the mere thought of a strapless top makes me go pale.