Ever since I can remember, my mother (hello, mother, ) has taught me that good things happen to well dressed people. She firmly believes that people who dress nicely (but not expensively! she would emphasize, never expensively!) somehow incur good clothes karma and succeed.
She is probably right on many levels. We've all read the articles about how important dressing well for an interview is etc. etc.
Thus, growing up my siblings and I found ourselves wearing more than our fair share of dresses and carefully ironed collared shirts. While other kids got to wear pajamas on the airplane, we wore outfits bordering on Sunday best. Mother wore a nice skirt, earrings, and of course, lipstick (we will get to that later.)
When we found our tickets upgraded, or moved to first class, my mother always reminded us that it was because we looked nice, and good things happen to people who look nice.
Enter Junior High and High School, the one time my mother's theory was rendered completely irrelevant. Whenever I complained about my lack of date or any other boy-misfortune, my mother would always tell me that I would have better luck if I "stopped wearing those jeans, put on a pair of nice pants (khakis, always, the khakis), and wore a bright colored button-down." I swear I spent my adolescence hearing about nice pants because boys liked girls who looked nice. She failed to realized that any boy attracted to a girl who looked like a mini Martha Stewart was probably gay.
Even worse, whenever I left the house, my mother would holler "LIPSTCK, STEPH, LIPSTICK." It did not matter what time it was, where I was going, or how quietly I would try and sneak out the door. "LIPSTIIIIICK," she would cry. Sometimes she would even throw a tube from the top of the stairs into the foyer as I left.
I am now married to a guy who has seen me wear khakis approximately once, doesn't seem to notice when I wear the pink button down gifted to me by my mother, and hates, loathes, and despises the feel of lipstick when engaged in certain activities of the kissing variety. Even so, sometimes I wake up with the sound of "LIPSTICK" echoing in my head.
This happened yesterday, and I found myself making a deliberate effort into looking nice. I did my hair. I wore an outfit I knew was cute because I wore it before and my sister Grace said so. I even put on lipstick while waiting at a stoplight driving to the junior high school I was subbing at.
Saying that nice things happen to well dressed people is all well in good when dealing with the real world. But junior high is not the real world. If the real world is earth, where everything weighs a certain amount and gravity keeps us on the ground, junior high is the moon, nothing weighs the same and everyone is floating. Accordingly, one could suggest that in junior high, bad things happen to well dressed people.
I gave two kids "Friday School" meaning they have to come in tomorrow on their day off, and sent numerous little moonlings to the office. One was a very tall very big ninth grader who grabbed my shoulders and shook me violently before leaving (yes, I nearly peed my pants.)
The worst part, just before the kids would misbehave, they would, and I am not kidding you, would compliment my outfit/appearance.
"You're really pretty," (slams nearby student into desk)
"I like your shoes," (throws something across the room)
"You are hot," (yells to a girl across the room, saying that he wants to have sex with her,)
Lesson: I am going back to my standard uniform of make-up less old cardigan wearing grandma-esque clothing uniform. Whatever karma I lose is just not worth it.
And no, I will no longer be wearing LIPSTICK, either.