Tuesday, September 19, 2006

big old jet airliner

I came back to San Francisco, knowing that in less than 24 hours, I would be getting on another airplane to yet another destination. In New York, the frenetic nature of my schedule had fit perfectly with the bustle of the subway, the streets, the throngs of people. As soon as I stepped off BART and started my walk home, all that nervous energy that served as a sort of fuel melted away. Maybe that’s bad, maybe that’s good.

It’s evening and I’m on a messed up schedule that is somewhere between east coast and west coast time. I had to leave at 5:30 this morning from the BK, and I tried my best not to do the west coast conversion to the unholy hour that I was rising for that purpose. And in less than eight hours, I’ll be off again on another flight. Oh yeah, and I haven’t bothered to pack yet.

A young woman and I were chatting yesterday in our suits while waiting for a bus. It is hard to believe that it was just yesterday that I donned that suit; already, it feels a light year past. Anyway- the perky young thing remarked that wearing suits made her feel stiff and unnatural. They are uncomfortable and constraining; she noted she feels automatically nervous whenever she wears one.

I remember when I felt the same way. But nowadays, I feel a bit differently about suits. I still loathe them- I live in San Francisco, dudes, it’s not like suits are part of the usual workwear in this joint. However, while I grumble and groan about actually getting into one, as long as I have managed to get a suit that fits me well, I find something powerful about wearing one.

First of all, there’s something about being constrained by formal attire that forces me to act like a grown-up (and I’ve already mentioned my troubles with acting like a grown-up previously, so assume this is a good thing). Secondly, suits do strangely make me feel powerful- in a suit, I feel like I have to be taken seriously to some degree. It’s an automatic get-out-of-condescension-free card. Third, the combination of silk and tailoring with high heels changes the entire way I walk. I realized that yesterday as I was stalking about Manhattan in my suit, desperate to get back to Brooklyn, where my jeans sat lovingly in wait. My gait takes on a swagger. It might very well be entirely in my head, but after all, that’s the whole point. The chances that the people interviewing you take note of your suit at all are fairly minimal; but your confidence in said suit is critical and comes through more than anything else.

I wanted to tell the PYT at the bus stop all of this, but, hi, that would have come off as both condescending and snotty under the circumstances. So I simply shrugged and remarked that whoever invented pantyhose really has a lot of explaining to do.

My cousin M & I agreed that there are a multitude of clowns in the world. We also agreed that I need a strong dose of modesty, because, after a glass of Prosecco (oh yes, b*tches, and you thought I wasn’t girly) one night, I proclaimed, “I know there’s a clown in my future. I can see him coming from a mile away.”

My cousin M said, “And how do you know with such certainty that this is going to happen?”

“Because I feel invincible right now,” I explained. “And this makes me irresistible to the common clown. Besides which, come on, you know that if it’s just a clown you’re looking for, you can find one. So can I.” After spending a long weekend of conversations like that with me, my cousin M is probably going to stage an intervention to get me psychiatric counseling.

No comments: