May 30, 2002
Today’s appetizer: I updated my main page with a link to my brand new Family Photos page.
While flipping through my planner, looking for I don’t even remember what, I came across a page titled “The Rules”. Rather than how to get a man, these appear to be fashion and behavior standards I planned to enforce when I became Queen of the Universe. I’m not sure when I wrote this list, but I’m guessing it was sometime in 1996, based on the date on the page immediately following. (Yes, that is a long time to keep a piece of paper in my planner, which is why organizing is one of my goals for this year). It gives a glimpse into the kinds of things that annoyed me back then, some of which still rankle.
The stirrup in stirrup pants should not show.
This was a much bigger issue when stirrup pants were popular, and my eyes were being assaulted everywhere with stirrups combined with nude pantyhose and pumps or, worse yet, slingbacks. The whole idea of stirrup pants is to create a nice clean line, and interrupting that line with contrasting flesh and straps and socks defeats the purpose and looks bad. I haven’t softened on this one; on the rare occasions when I wear stirrup pants now (I think it was all of two or three times last winter, and yes, I realize how uncool that is), I still always wear little ankle boots with them to preserve the mystery of the elastic band under my instep.
Don’t go out in public with chipped nail polish (fingers or toes).
This is still a nice idea, but I don’t get so worked up about it now. I’ve even been known to do it myself, though I usually wear clear or almost-clear polish so chips don’t show all that much. Today’s manicure is a very sheer pink with tiny sparkles applied over the peeling coats of nail strengthener that were already there. Not the perfection I once aimed for, but I had to give up either the perfection or the polish, and I chose polish. It gives me a little lift to see my nails shiny and sometimes colorful.
Don’t talk during the movie (during coming attractions okay), during a seminar, while someone else is talking in a meeting.
This is just being polite and is still a good rule. I don’t go to nearly as many seminars or meetings in my current job as I did in my last one, so don’t have an opportunity to see so much bad behavior in those settings anymore. And it’s probably a losing battle, but I still think people should shut up during movies. It’s hard sometimes to resist the temptation to lean over to Mr. Karen and share some snide comment or clever observation, but I manage, and other people should, too.
Don’t wear shorts to work in an office, unless it’s a Saturday.
Hee. This one reflects my annoyance at people getting away with violating the dress code where I used to work. Now I’m at a place where there is no dress code, and shorts don’t bother me. I still don’t wear them myself, but that’s a personal issue.
Put your pager on silent if you’re in a class or a meeting.
This was before everyone had a cell phone. It’s still polite, though.
No ankle bracelets under pantyhose.
I’d amend that to add “or over pantyhose”. It just looks wrong to me. Though I’ve never worn an ankle bracelet myself, so perhaps I should try it before I start making all sorts of rules for doing so.
No knee highs with skirts unless there’s NO chance the tops will peek out (check the slit when you walk).
You can imagine what I thought about the thigh highs and mini skirt trend that came later.
I like to think that I’ve gotten less uptight and less judgmental as I’ve gotten older, but I still agree with most of these rule written by my stressed-out younger self. I know there are rules I once had that I no longer follow, like the “no elastic waist pants” one, which I’m violating right now with my comfy back-elastic waist twills, but I wonder if I’ve just replaced discarded rules with new ones about other things. I guess that’s okay; changing the rules as I go along demonstrates growth and flexibility, both things I aspire to. Still, it would be good to let fewer things bother me. Maybe that can be one of next year’s goals, after I’m thin and strong and on top of my clutter problem. Hey, it could happen! After all, having written these rules down here, I threw the hard copy out and now have one less piece of paper in my planner. That’s progress.