Monday, February 27, 2006

What I Am Wearing

I was talking on the phone with Karl last night, discussing his plans for his blog, and he stated that one thing he knew he wouldn't do is he wouldn't compulsively describe what he was wearing. This, of course, led into a discussion of why I do compulsively need to tell people what I'm wearing, when I'm blogging. (Right now: jeans, black bicycling-type shirt, green zip-up and rubber-soled slippers.)

When I started posting, I think part of the reason why I felt the need to describe what I was wearing was in order to set the scene. I feel the need to bring my surroundings and my atmosphere into my posts, because I am so inextricably linked to my surroudings. I'm not one of those sorts of people who can "shut off" everything around me and just think.

More importantly, what I am wearing is a pretty good indicator of the state of my mind. If it's the middle of the afternoon and I'm still in my pyjamas, that's saying something. If I'm wearing my slippers, I'm feeling safe, and am not about to take any risks at that moment. When I presented at my last conference, I spent much of the weekend in my slippers. However, just before my session, I switched into my leather shoes. I see myself, in that way, as similar to "Emily" in Emily Climbs, who cannot stand up for herself as her aunt scolds her about spilling ink, because she is wearing her bedroom slippers, and "I am easily cowed when I'm wearing bedroom slippers." (Quote approximated.)

What I wear indicates my mental state, but sometimes I also purposely dress to affect my mood. Like Ky, sometimes I need to wear something special or different in order to get creative work done. At times, I have worn special hats for working (as influenced by Jo from Little Women). Sometimes I wear high heels. I wore lipstick whenever I was working on my honour's paper, because just the act of putting on make up was enough to set apart that time for writing. It's like being in costume.

And now I'm realising that I'm wearing schlumpy clothes today, and I haven't washed my hair yet, meaning that I'm not really in a state where I'm going to get effective work done today. Would you excuse me while I go shower and dress up?


Julia H. PhD(someday?) said...

hmm... I think you've really hit the nail on the head with "setting the scene" and "the act of putting on make up"... I think I need to buy some lipstick. Why? BECAUSE I CAN'T SEEM TO WRITE ANYTHING!

Limon de Campo said...

I also wear lipstick while I write! In fact, I keep lipstick and a little mirror in my desk drawer; it sort of makes me feel like a 1950s stenographer, and for some reason, that inspires me to produce stuff. (Or at least it makes me *want* to produce stuff. Mostly I just read blogs)

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Oooh. Lipstick and a mirror in the desk drawer. That's such a good idea.

Kristiface said...

Oooooh, I'm going to have to try the lipstick trick. Do you know one for grading? lol

I like your clothes descriptions-- though for me, a day in my pajamas is usually a productive one ;)

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Sometimes, a day in my pyjamas means that I'm quasi-productive, but it also means that I haven't really fully gotten moving since I got up. I also probably haven't eaten properly.