I was planning on writing about something else entirely, but Marilyn’s post yesterday generated so many comments that I took some time to think about what exactly I wear when I write and why.
I fall into both camps that were discussed yesterday—I do get up and get dressed almost immediately upon waking, but there are those days when I loll in my pajamas for a few minutes. These are the days, inevitably, when it is raining cats and dogs and someone needs a ride to school. On those days, yes, I have been known to drive around town in Old Navy pajama pants and a “Life Is Good” tee shirt, hoping against hope that I don’t break a law that would require that I pull over and face a cop, most of whom live right in the town. I’d never live it down. And, for sure, I’d end up in the “Blotter” section of our local paper, the section most often cited as the first one everyone goes to on Thursday when the Gazette arrives. Trust me—you do not want to see your name in the Blotter.
I could be one of those writers who spends an entire day in pajamas, but I don’t feel like the day has any merit until I’ve showered and dressed. Additional grooming is another matter entirely. I have just returned from a lunchtime trip to Trader Joe’s where I realized—upon gazing into the mirrored glass above some of the pre-prepared dinners—that I never brushed my hair today. There’s really no point in getting up and worrying about what you’ll wear if you forget to brush your hair, is there? Thankfully, I never forget to brush my teeth but remembering to put on a little make-up? Another one of my issues.
Work attire usually consists of tee shirts and jeans. However, there are some days that require that I leave the house to see a client and on those days, I usually put on a pair of nicer pants and a blouse with a cardigan. My mother calls these “wake clothes” because they are too dressy to hang around the house in, yet not dressy enough to wear to a wedding. To her, they represent the clothes that we normal folk call “business casual” but since we’re a wake-professional family (all Irish-Catholic families are to some degree), she has denoted them “wake clothes.” Feel free to adopt this phrase into your vernacular. Guaranteed, most everyone will know of which you speak. Incidentally, husband I went to Bermuda this summer to a resort that had five restaurants on the premises, many requiring “smart casual” wear. We wore our wake clothes. We weren’t turned away.
The only problem with the tee shirt/jean combo is that it doesn’t allow me to wear many of the fifty-odd pairs of shoes that I own, many stilettos, most dressier than the usual daily ensemble requires. So every once in a while, just to shake things up, I will put on a pair of shoes that I shouldn’t be caught dead in during the day in the middle of the week and prance on down to the A&P to clickety-clack along the aisles, feeling like Amazonian shopping woman.
But here’s an equally thought-provoking question that I’d love your input on. What’s on your desk when you write? What are your magic writing talismans?