While I was growing up, Dad had his shirts made by a Chinese man with a heavy accent, whose name was Sam. Sam embroidered Dad's name or his initials above the right side pocket on his shirts. There were a few of these treasures left in the back of Dad's closet, and I felt lucky to have nabbed one. I wear it when I'm feeling distant from my father. It's old and stained, but it represents the man who not only enjoyed dressing, but enjoyed knowing his loved ones dressed well too.
Every occasion required a new outfit! Birthdays, funerals, Easter Sunday, graduation; more often an occasion wasn't needed. He'd open his wallet and say, "Go buy yourself a new outfit."
Through his eyes and actions, I learned to love and appreciate dressing well. So much, that I actually get excited the night before a new-dress occasion, or the night before I have a new outfit to wear. I especially get excited when I have something fun to wear to school.
Yes, dressing should be fun! It's an art form. A chance to declare in cloth--who you are!
Since last week, every time I think about Monday, I get a little elevator-shaft-lift in my stomach. You see, Monday requires full dress (dresses or skirts for female teachers, ties and jackets for the men, and the students look impeccable in their blazers), and I prefer teaching in pants. But this Monday...I have this very serious black and white pin striped skirt and jacket. Very serious. I usually wear it with a crisp-ironed white blouse, and black pumps. Maybe with pearls. But last week, I envisioned a new look. Yes, I envision outfits!
While searching for the perfect souvenir shirt at Disneyland, I found a colorful shirt that would go with everything. I imagined pairing it with something serious to lighten up the end of high school for my anxious-to-graduate seniors. While thumbing through the shirts, I turned to see my daughter who was wearing a Mickey Mouse t-shirt and it was the same color as my suit. Ah ha! The vision was complete!
Hence! All the excitement for Monday morning, or much ado about what should be nothing, but is in fact, everything. What do you think Dad?