- Grin to yourself. Outwardly, remain cool. Slip her card into your card case as if this feat of dating dexterity is something you do every week rather than once or twice a decade.
- Imagine calling her. Panic. Realize that you have nothing to say that could be considered witty or interesting or remotely intelligent or even grammatically English.
- Keep it tucked away safe. Take it out now and then to look at it. Repeat #2.
- Google her. Tell yourself this is not stalker behavior. Clear your browser. Distract yourself with work.
- Write five poems that no one within forty miles of your closet could tell were in any way gay. Post one on your blog. Repeat #4.
- Check out her photography portfolio online. Wonder why the single photo of her doesn’t show the glow you see when you look at her in person. Repeat #5.
- Write a poem that is, face it, just a little bit gay. Wait for the glitter to fall on your head.
- Repeat #2-7. Keep waiting.
One of the unforeseen outcomes of my unexpected insight back in December that maybe the way I dress for work is actually just fine is that thinking about clothes has become less of a negative Why Do I Even Bother sort of thing and more of an adventure. I like adventures, but they do tend to cost money and take up room in my closet (not that closet). So I came up with a method to both make room and postpone new purchases: for every piece of clothing I buy, I have to get rid of three. So far, this includes shoes; I haven’t decided yet whether or not to include jewelry. It will probably depend on the price: a $3 pair of earrings, no; a $40 pair of cufflinks, yes. (And you can see why people have been complaining about the way I dress when you consider that I think it is completely reasonable to pay $3 for a pair of earrings and $40 for a pair of cufflinks.)
The 3:1 ratio is strategic on two levels. Physically, it is obviously a matter of limited space in my apartment. I have held on too long to some ten-, fifteen-, and twenty-year-old clothing that hasn’t fit in a long time or is basically falling apart, however beloved.
But less literally, there is also something to the idea I learned back when I was a life coach, that if you want something new in your life you need to create a vacuum. I keep going back and forth trying to decide if discovering myself to be potentially bisexual is earth-quaking or completely immaterial; at some point I’ll dig into that question further. But for right now, I am holding space in head for the possibility that it might be both–a chance for transformation, thinking of myself less as a moth and more as a butterfly.
So I decided that I would get rid of clothes that:
- have holes or tears (I wear my clothes to death); or
- don’t fit quite right (and still won’t even if I can lose the six pounds I intend to lose by the end of the year); or
- don’t make me feel attractive; or
- aren’t simply comfy for binge-watching Netflix.
So far since New Year’s I’ve gotten rid of two big garbage bags of trash (paint-covered jeans, shirts sans elbows, etc.) and two bags of give-away clothes (The Epilepsy Foundation has a collection bin in front of my laundromat). So I’m improving my look, clearing physical and mental space, and doing some good in the world.
Not bad for a few weekend’s work, eh?