April 04, 2021

No Skirts over Pants


Those of you who know me know that I love to wear skirts or dresses over pants. Vintage or modern, it doesn't matter, there's something about the look that I like, and yes, I know, most other people hate.

I don't care what other people think, at least not on this matter. But something "interesting" happened on Wednesday, the day before my boss "Paulie*" and I were to head south and west - to Arlington, Texas for some business. Here's sort of how it went down.
*name changed to protect the person who said stupid, narrow-minded things.

Phone rings

Me: Hello
Paulie: Hi Jamye. I hope you are well. I know we are leaving for Dallas tomorrow, and before we go, there's something I need to talk to you about. It's the way you dress.

Jamye pauses for a long moment

Me: Uh huh.
Paulie: You have to dress differently when you go to Texas. No skirts over pants. It's very different than New York.


Paulie: I mean, even I change the way I dress.

More silence

Paulie: (struggling as Jamye hasn't responded to anything he's saying) I mean... on behalf of your parents, you're an attractive girl, you need to dress that way. I am only telling you this because I never had the guts to tell my own daughters the same.

Okay, so I didn't tell him off, but my silence spoke volumes. I was disgusted, more at myself for not saying I quit, then for not saying anything at all. I decided I would dress ugly conservative. Red and white socks. Blue pants. Some American flag emblem on top. Only, I don't have a lot of clothing with me, so I knew it would be hard to find the perfect outfit.

To Paulie's credit, he called me back 11 hours later and this is what he said:

Paulie: I've been thinking about what I said to you all day. And I just want to apologize. I didn't hire you for how you dress, I hired you for who you are.

This was a big move on Paulie's part, so I accepted his apology. Because I had to. Because I wasn't going to quit the project with two weeks left. And I wore vintage clothing to Texas, although I didn't wear a skirt over pants. But I will next time.

I'm not really sure what the moral of this story is boys and girls. It could be that sometimes even smart people say stupid things. Or maybe, silence is sometimes more effective than speech. Or, Jamye get some eggs and tell your boss off. Like I said, I don't know. But it doesn't matter, because our little exchange made me want to be me even more.

Posted by jamye at April 4, 2021 11:53 AM