- What can $1 buy you? A custom sketch from Sketch-It! – Some talented artists with a good biz idea
- I didn’t think it was possible: Taco Bell’s Dress the Sauce Packet
- Adidas’ Adicolor Short films are all out now. Different directors, same budget (keep this in mind!). The only stipulation? A color. Each short is really interesting and I love the different directions they took.
Slightly misjudging the weather (I failed to check the weather forecast at 6am), I dressed for warm weather today (it’s not that hot, and the sun is partially hidden). Since I had had a recent, positive encounter with a razor, I thought it would be okay to pull out the mozzarella legs* for a day and put on a flowered skirt and some wedge sandals.
I actually have more skirts than pants in my wardrobe here, but due to 1) riding my bicycle to the train station and therefore wanting to minimize embarassment and one-handed riding as I try to keep my skirt covering my legs, and 2) not really caring about my work appearance, I tend to favor jeans/pants and a shirt for work. Our office is pretty casual, especially since we don’t meet with clients very often.
Little did I know that today would cause such a commotion.
“Sei vestita da signorina!” You’re dressed like a girl!
“Quanto bella sei oggi!” How beautiful you are today!
“Che eleganza!” How elegant!
It felt like I was back in high school, when I first started wearing dresses and was experimenting in my femininity. I remember that one dress that always got a compliment, the one I wish I had more of. Playing softball, soccer, and field hockey always meant that I was always running somewhere, getting ready to change into workout clothes, and not worrying about makeup that I would probably sweat off later.
I guess this gave me a bit of a tomboy reputation. Which I didn’t mind. And I still don’t (you can take the girl out of the tomboy clothes…)
At university #1, I took further “femininity” steps and made more effort to care after my appearance and clothing. Except I was attending the Engineering school. So that got a lot of attention, this time for sticking out instead of fitting in. High heels and quadratic equations just didn’t seem to mix right. This continued after graduation when I worked as a network engineer during the dot.com boom/bust – sometimes my solitary presence in a network configuration class or hardware demonstration had the same effect as “Free XBox!!” Females were scarce in those times, and even more in that industry.
Finally, my timing was right when I made it to MBA school. Appearance was important, especially for networking, and I enjoyed getting “girly,” especially when I was organizing the events. I visited the MAC counter so many times that I started to be recognized and was offered stock in the company. My third-best weapon, after my voice and typing fingers, was my makeup brush. (fourth was my credit card)
And then I moved to Italy.
Leaving a country and only filling up a backpack as you go forces you to make a lot of choices. Comfort. (Plain cotton or red sequin halter?) Space. (Sorry, spiral-cut wooden platforms) Longevity. (How many different ways can I wear this?)
So I started with a sparse closet, and have slowly fleshed it out over time in 2 1/2 years. Some days I open it and want to wear my Pumas with that cool baby tee I just bought, and of course, with jeans. Other days I would love to slide that back-slit skirt and halter top on just to remind myself that I can. I can wear whatever I want.
Femininity is not an outward appearance, and it is not a requirement to be woman.
So yes, I am a signorina. A tomboy. A systems manager. A networker. A wife. A flirt.
I can be all of those things, all at once, or not at all. This is me.
* S insists I am white “like a mozzarella” and therefore I have told him I will endeavor to become more like a “smoked scamorza.”