The uniform

While Haiti lies in ruins and orphans need kin; and the Mass. voters have chosen to be catastrophically unhelpful regarding healthcare reform, I opt to focus on my own ridonculous problems instead. Like the tiny little identity crisis I’ve been having. (Honestly, it’s just easier. But let me say, in my defense, that my $$ has gone where the need truly is.)

I used to be the kind of person who put some thought into getting dressed in the morning – I wasn’t terribly adventurous or avant-garde, just ever so slightly creative. (I wore scarves.) When I was in (art) school, I wore my charcoal handprints and paintsplatters like badges (Hello My Name Is Artiste) of devil-may-bite-me cool. Lately though, because gardening is such dirty work, and I’m not 19 anymore, I have filled my closet, thanks to Savers (that’s Value Village to you west coasties), with chinos and khakis and ugly sweaters because I don’t mind ruining those things.

I realized recently that dressing for work in clothes I hate has made me (unfashionably) lazy and invisible way before my time. I have been known to wear the same exact thing all week because I’ve gotten so out of the habit of giving a shit. I generally don’t even bother anymore with cuteness on the weekends – especially if I’m going to be blowing out my knees in this garden. My inner French-girl weeps and refuses to open the shutters.

Maybe it’s because I’m in a hurry to enjoy the last months of my thirties before my butt drops below my knees; maybe it’s because I have to wear an actual uniform at work; maybe it’s because gardening media seems suddenly infused with excessively hip hipsters like Alys Fowler, Gayle Trail and Patti Moreno The-Garden-Girl, who wear vintage scarves and have tattoos and tromp around their gardens in Jack Purcells or exquisitely expensive Hunter wellies. For whatever combination of reasons, I have become increasingly aware that I don’t like what I’m projecting. I’m not liking that I’m not looking as much like me as I used to.

The only thing I can think to do for it (aside from shopping for new “work” clothes and I’m trying to resist that impulse) is to open up my closet. And truly, since most of it, even the cute stuff, is from Savers anyway, nothing is sacred. And I wonder if stretching my creative muscle this way will make it limber in other ways. (Maybe I’ll paint again?) Meanwhile the true woes of the world worry on…

Do you wear a uniform – in or out of the garden?

An exclusive first-listen to Charlotte Gainsbourg’s (avec Beck) new album is here.