In the list of search terms that brought viewers to my blog post, Dress Code, I found “panty hose worn with short shorts”. I cringe a little wondering whether this was a search by a girl seeking sartorial instruction or a guy with a fetish. Nevertheless, it spurred two of us to come up with the rest of the outfit. The shorts have to be white and the shoes white, high-heeled strappy sandals. A tube top in hot pink and yellow stripes is the perfect addition to this outfit, which will be just the thing for a summer funeral.
“What should I wear,” he asked. It was a hot day. We planned to take the dog for a hike through the woods before dinner and Blake preferred shorts, the shorter the better.
Many years ago, he had cut off a pair of jeans, rather, it must be said, too short and had worn them for many years to every family gathering from Mother’s Day to Thanksgiving, thereby, scandalizing his mother-in-law.
“Bring a pair of long pants,” I suggested. La Veranda Osteria took reservations so perhaps it was somewhat formal.
I was loathe to say that. For the most part no one tells us what to wear anymore. Mostly but not entirely.
A week earlier, he had asked a few of us to the Sail Past at his yacht club. “The invitation calls for dress whites and navy blazers,” he added, “but people ignore that.” I had planned to wear white and navy anyway, seeing it as an occasion to play dressup.
Wearing white pants on the deck of a sail boat is a challenging affair at the best of times, what with winding wet sheets around winches, but that Saturday turned out to be rainy: you step into the sailboat by stepping onto the seat cushion with your muddy shoes. At the skippers’ meeting, the decision was made to cancel the sail because the lake was too choppy for dozens of boats to sail in close quarters past the commodore’s boat to salute him. All the more time to hang out, waiting for the reception, dinner and dance, and so we found ourselves in the bar. Strictly speaking, it was not the bar, but the dining room and “strict” is what I am speaking about.
The air conditioner was running full tilt despite the cool weather, pouring cold air down onto the top of my head and my neck. I can’t abide that. I reached over, picked up my hither-to-unnecessary straw hat and put it on my head. It had barely settled my hair when the waiter appeared at my elbow and whispered something unintelligible. I needed translation. She was telling me to remove my hat.
She was telling ME to remove my hat. But I am female. I have a licence – just a minute, it’s here somewhere. I got it when I was born into this western society. Not only am I allowed to wear a hat anywhere I want, there are still places where it is mandatory. Aren’t there? I spent the first half of my life, travelling with a kerchief (a square scarf which is folded into a triangle- oh, just picture Queen Elizabeth with her dogs on a wet day) in case I wanted to visit a church or cathedral. And now I’m being told not to. Apparently, I had walked right by that sign that said so.
I took it off. I didn’t want to make a scene, pull out my six shooter, so incompatible with the genteel chapeau.
I could just imagine that oh-so-politically-correct discussion where it was deemed unfair to tell men to remove their hats in the dining room if women were wearing theirs. The rule was a great leveller. I had been levelled!
What if I were Muslim, I wondered. I fantasized coming in wearing a headscarf. Then let them try to tell me what to wear!