(Started to put the following in the comments after Jess’s, but it got too long.)
Part of the reason I doubt I’ll ever give up this blog – despite a common view that FaceBook punctured the blogosphere (which I don’t think is true; it mainly pulled out the non-anonymous folks, though it did decrease blog comments, maybe because blog commenting is harder) – is how much I learn and grow from it, because of you all. Thoughtful disagreement is invaluable to me.
Answers to some questions: I was comfortable in what I wore to the party; other mothers were more covered up; and, a friend reported, Nana was wearing underwear. Nana did comment on FaceBook, “Why did I wear such a short skirt?” Suggesting there is some insight/struggle/insecurity there too, making me feel a little more ashamed. (A friend from the Pacific Northwest commented back that, well, it is hotter where we are ... )
I realized after my last post that I dress at opposite points on the spectrum for work and non-work. I am practically Amish at work. No bare legs! Errant necklines get the stapler treatment! Bare arms are covered before any patient contact! Occasionally if it’s really, really hot I’ll show toes, but I feel self-conscious about it all day. So for a recent dress-up event involving residents, I pulled the Ugly Pretty Girl move (you know, like in all those movies where the Plain Jane takes off her glasses and baggy clothes and appears at the school dance looking like Halle Berry and OMG, she’s pretty! WHO KNEW?). I wore a sequined silk fuschia halter dress that showed leg (below the knee), and heels, and put on contacts and eye makeup and pinned my hair up. And people seemed astonished. Comments included, “Wow, look at Dr. M, making it happen!” For days afterward residents were coming up to me saying, “You looked good. Like, really good.” Which felt nice.
Clearly I have a hard time with the middle ground, and I still haven’t seen a rule of thumb I can apply to myself. I agree in theory with the idea that everyone should be wearing exactly what they want to wear, and I mostly follow this at home and don’t care much what people think – although honestly? I’d like to be a nudist, and remember this post? Well, I have finally started wearing a shirt – but at work I don’t like wondering if I’m upsetting my patients. The distraction quotient does exist; there is one physician where I work who shows SO MUCH skin every single day that many, many people have asked many other people to “speak to her about it.” I partly like that she dresses that way, but I partly find it insensitive, not least because she is conventionally gorgeous and it seems like she’s showing off rather than being comfortable in her own skin.
I don’t mind being the Pretty Ugly Girl, but I don’t want to be the Mean Girl. Jacq, I think I won’t post her outfit next year.