Judging People by what they Wear

Furlough day, yay? :-/

I find myself, as I get older, judging people from time to time by how they are dressed. Clarification, if you are a student, and you’re in dress code, I don’t care. If you are a colleague, what ever you are comfortable in as a professional, I don’t care. Further clarification if you are a particular student of mine, y’all better have section hype shorts and the same colored t-shirts soon 😀

I remember not caring what I wore until about 4th grade. It probably happens sooner now. But back in the day, kids clothes were pretty basic. I see toddlers running around now in stuff that is cooler than anything in my closet! Anyway, mom came home with some funny stuff and I wore a couple of those shirts once to school and I somehow managed to lose them quickly. I didn’t made fun of so much as friends were like, dude, seriously?

By the time I had started junior high I had transitioned into a solid surfer look. But before the end of 7th grade I was transitioning in the hard rocker look. When I started high school I had ridiculously long hair, which worked well since I was in a rock band and nothing is cooler than being on stage shaking what yo mama gave you and having your long curly black hair flying around too 😀

When I quit the band I chopped off all the hair and went sporty. I remember a lot of people I had grown up with and had been going to school with didn’t even know I was still going to the same school as them 😀 (I dove hardcore into being a mini-rockstar) The sporty look is something I do after work and on weekends still, after I do the slacks-button down shirt-tie look all day.

I remember being in stores when I had my long haired rocker how I was watched differently then when I had my surfer or sporty look. I know there are reasons for that, and part of that are just my perceptions. I do know now if I walk into a store after work wearing a tie or I walk into that same store later in sweats I will be looked at and treated differently. I understand the reasons for that too. It’s all about expectations.

OMG. I just had a terrible thought. There was a time, and I think it has been a long time since this has happened, but there were cases of rape where the defendant either had charges dismissed or significantly reduced because of what the victim was wearing.

The other day I was walking my dog at dusk at a local park. There was a group of 5 or 6 boys 14-16 years old. I don’t remember the exact number because when I saw them I looked away right away. I didn’t want to make eye contact with them. They were standing in a tight circle wearing clothes that were at least 1 size too large on each of them. Dark colors. Had they been playing ball or had the clothes fit more appropriately (AKA not “cool”) I would not have avoided them, it is a big park, leave them to that corner. It’s not like I expected anything to happen or felt threatened. Stupid doesn’t have a schedule or plan. No need to tempt fate. I was a young stupid boy once too. I did nothing particularly bad to anyone. Most of my stupid was confined to myself 😀

I saw a young woman (late 20’s) today in the parking lot of a medical building, very smartly dressed, bright colors, and wearing sunglasses (but it’s outside and she had very fair skin). She was unloading what appeared to be party supplies. She was smiling and entered the building. I was early for my appointment and was sitting in my car reading. A few minutes later she comes back out, gets in her car and leaves. I thought wow, what I nice person!

Later at the grocery store a saw another young woman (maybe early 30’s, maybe late 20’s) also very smartly dressed, lots of black. She’s wearing sunglasses too, but nothing close to being fair skinned, we are inside, and she has a sour look on her face. Unhappy, was my first thought. There is some kind of crazy/stupid going on in her life where she finds herself young, well dressed and a shopping cart full of stuff and still looking like she is bordering on a painful experience.

That reminds me of a few months ago in another grocery store waiting in line to check out. Standing behind me was a young mom, I could tell by what her shopping cart was filled with, and the fact that she came to the store with apparently was the first clean top and bottom she came across. I guessed that given a reason, she probably has a closet full of nice and pretty clothes as she had a quite a figure that was apparent through just a t-shirt and shorts. Her hair was in a ponytail and that was pulled through the back of a baseball cap, but she was wearing, in my opinion, just the right amount of make-up. She looked stressed and tired. I noticed a couple of household items that had NFL logos on them, one of them was Tide. I made a comment about everybody wanting to get in on a good thing. She responded somewhat cautiously (I am guessing as in, omg am I getting hit on at the store) but thoughtfully. I had something smart and significant to say about her comment. She smiled and seemed to lighten up. We ended up having a good 5 minute chat (slow store check out ALWAYS but the prices are good!)

Well thank you readers. Hope all is well with you and your loved ones. May you find abundant blessings and Grace everyday.


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