My boss’s boss, David, pulled me in the office today. “Spend some money,” he said. “Buy some clothes.”
I had caught signals before that he wished I were a spiffy dresser, but I thought I had compensated enough. Evidently not. When I related this advice to my family, the menfolk were outraged. One brother hoped I flipped him the bird and quit my job. My father suggested that he would have told him to find some other country bumpkin to sycophantically comply with his fashion obsession.
Neither of those reactions even crossed my mind. To them the suggestion was a moral offense, somewhere just past lying on the way toward prostitution. Such niceties could only matter to worthless sorts of people. I am not sure whether they have not noticed that the female (minority) population right here in town notices and appreciates attire, or if that simply serves to reinforce the degraded nature of such concerns. I easily understand that such things do not matter to my nearest male relations, but I struggle to grasp why it is so offensive that it would matter to anyone else. Who cares if it matters?
My own biggest concern is that I learn to care myself. It is one thing to wear clothes to satisfy people around you; it is something else to look down on other people because of the clothes they wear. I don’t know how well I can maintain that distinction.