Saturday 2 May 2015

Appearance, Again

It's Seraphic Singles Saturday, and clearly I am losing my edge if all I can think to write about, once again, is the swing dance society and clothes. However I have been a married lady for almost six years, and you know how forgetful we get. (I was Single once?!?!?) We also sometimes say things we would have resented hearing ourselves when we were Single, like "You're too picky."

In my defense, I have never told anyone they were too picky. Picky is good. Hold out for kindness and true love.

Obsession 1: Being Asked to Dance

Okay, so guess what? I got asked to dance by TWO (2) of the Cool Kids as well as guys at my level at swing dancing, and I never even asked anyone to dance. Oh wait, I think I hinted madly at once of my classmates and he said "It's too fast for me." But--woot!--six different leads asked me to dance, and I chalk it up to the following:

1. I was wearing sneakers (plimsolls).

2. I was wearing a skirt, a T-shirt and small jewellery.

3. I had braided my hair and stuffed the ends of the braids under a jolly red kerchief, such as ladies might have worn in the 1940s or 1950s or in the fields at in any agrarian decade.

4. I did not spend much time conversing with people.

5. I stood at the side of the dance floor, bobbing to side to side, watching the best of the dancers with rapt interest and enjoyment.

6. I smiled a lot. A LOT.

7. I apologized only once for messing up.

8. I did not look at men who approached from the side.

9. I listened to the most sought after lead to tell me about his week until a girl came over and asked him to dance. I went for my coat--and then he asked me to dance. I suspect even a fantastic dancer sometimes wants to be found interesting  for something other than dancing. Presumably Fred Astaire went golfing once in a while, or collected stamps, or read Proust.

10. I danced as well as I possibly could. I had just taken two classes, after all.

Obsession 2: Clothes

A Single with a boyfriend (let's call her a Static Single) showed me photos of a young female relation in a bright red dress of which she did not approve. The relation was very pretty indeed, but the dress was not. I am not a fan of dresses that make breasts look like twin suns appearing over the horizon. I guess they're okay on glamorous movie stars at parties or in pin-up photos to be cherished by troops overseas. But I don't think they look very nice on pretty young girls. Whereas such a dress might improve the appearance of some actresses or some 40- or 50-something, they really don't do justice to youthful beauty.

The young female relation has a serious boyfriend, so I comforted the Static Single by pointing out that the dress wasn't ruining her marital hopes or anything, and the worst that could happen is she would distract other men around, which might alienate other young women.  But, yeah, it was incongruous. It was too old for her, if you know what I mean.

It's funny. Women over 30 start thinking about clothes being "too young" for them, but women under 30 don't think clothes are "too old" for them just because they are sexy. They seem to think something is "too old" because it is too frumpy or ill-fitting. But that's not the same thing at all, and nobody should wear frumpy clothes in public anyway. Something is "too old" when it doesn't really match your appearance. If you look like a saintly milkmaid, then pretty, floaty dresses are for you. If you look like a sassy old boot, a tight black mini-dress fastened with gold safety pins might actually look good.

I do not look like a sassy old boot but like Lizzy Siddal's fading cousin choleric aunt. Thus tight black mini-dresses would look incredibly stupid on me. But on the other hand, so would some of the pretty floaty dresses I advocate for young things. Amusingly, earlier this week I found a green vintage late 1940s/early 1950s German dress which I coveted mightly. However, when I tried to put it on, I could not get the waist over my shoulders, and so I was stuck with my green semi-sleeved arms in the air, and the top of my head and my eyes sticking out of the neck. It was really very funny. The salesgirl (herself German, I believe) and I laughed very heartily.

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